Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Sorcerer’s Apprentice is based on the Disney short of the same name appearing in the film Fantasia. It’s the part where Mickey wears that wizard’s hat (seen in the end credits of this film) and makes all the brooms come to life. The brooms get all crazy and he cant control them anymore. This famous animated sequence is brought to life in this film complete with the original music. Really cool, but does anyone care? Does anyone even remember Fantasia – well we do, but I mean kids? Do kids care? Who knows. But this movie gives me the same reaction.
It was cool and neat and fun, but will anyone care?
I have always liked Nic Cage and think he is a good actor, and Alfred Molina is wicked too and you get some other cool stuff as well. Their interplay is neat, and Molina (Horvath) also has an apprentice – which was cool, and the really cool stuff involves magic and how it’s used.
Anything can be magical and each sorcerer needs a ring, or wand, or something to make the magic happen, but the chosen one will be able to create magic without a ring.
Anyway, Merlin always fought Morgan Le Fay and he had 3 apprentices, Molina, Cage and Monica Bellucci – Monica and Cage fell in love, Molina got pissed and joined Morgana. They killed Merlin but his powers will live on through others – namely the Prime Merlinion – who will be the chosen one I mentioned earlier. So Cage searches thousands of years for him and finds him.
Pretty basic, but a lot of fun. One cool thing is that Cage has trapped several of Morgana’s minions in one of those Chinese wooden dolls that gets smaller as you open it. Not sure of the name, but it splits in half, then there’s a smaller one inside, that splits again and again. Well each level has a different villain trapped in it, so we get more guys! All cool. Ill probably buy it.
NOTE: The love story is really cheesey in this picture. But it was made for kids, but at least it’s not stupid.
Myrna Loy, Jean Harlow, Spencer Tracy and William Powell star in this comedy. Even though the Thin Man couple are in this, it’s not a Thin man movie! But it was just as much fun!
Spence publishes an article in his paper about Loy being seen with a married man. The article was proven false and Spencer has to run out on his wedding (he was marrying Harlow) to stop the presses. He does, but not before a handful of copies make it to the streets. Well, Loy is not impressed and decides to sue the paper for 5 million bucks. She is a spoiled rich girl who doesn’t like to be made fun of.
So Spence hires Powell (a man notorious for womanizing – he can get any woman he wants) to marry Harlow (who is Spences fiancé) and then Powell is to go schmooze Loy and have the paper catch them together, thus proving that Loy is a husband stealer and she will drop her claim against the paper.
It may seem hard to follow, but it’s really not. It is really enjoyable and you think you may know what happens, but you may be wrong. Heck I was wrong half the time. You think Powell will snatch up Loy in a second eh, well not really! In fact, she doesn’t like him – well, at first, but then something else starts to happen with the fake wedding of Powell and Harlow – all in all this is a really well written movie.
The comedic parts work well, and the dramatic parts too. And the actors are just great in this piece, and Loy and Powell prove they don’t have to be in a Thin Man movie to be great!
Monday, July 26, 2010
In a nut-shell, Edward’s vampire family decides that they look too young and have been in Forks too long for their cover-age and it’s time to move on. Edward refuses to bite Bella and turn her into a vampire like him to be his eternal mate, because apparently vampires are damned and have no soul. Edward doesn’t want to damn Bella. Anyhow, Edward breaks up with Bella, the Cullens leave, and Bella descends into a deep depression for months. She discovers that adrenaline rushes generate visions of Edward, and she goes in search of ways to induce this (including hooking up with potential rapists, etc.). She then gets her childhood friend Jacob to fix a pair of junker motor-bikes she found, and her and Jacob become closer as she hangs out with him more. Thing is, Jacob is going through changes himself, and discovers his heritage as a werewolf. He breaks up with Bella fearing for her safety (one of the traits of werewolves is that they have a violent temper. He’s also super-buff (as a result of the change, apparently). Anyhoo, the chick from part one whose vampire partner was killed by the Cullens is after Bella. Edward hears that Bella was killed by this woman, and tries to commit suicide, Bella (with the help of the friendly vampire girl from part one, can’t remember her name) travels to Italy (in one second apparently) to stop him (most vamps hang out in Italy. News to me). There, a bunch of cool stuff happens (belatedly) and Edward is saved. He returns to Forks, he and Jacob have a face-off over Bella, Bella’s back with Edward, I puke.
Jacob cutting his hair is semi-explained as well as Edward not biting Bella. There’s a disturbing undertone that people don’t talk much about. In the movie, one of the werewolf pack that Jacob hangs with has a human fiancé with half her face cut up. It’s implied that the werewolf fiancé did it. In other parts of the movie, Bella discovers that she has to put herself in danger to see visions of Edward as he warns her to not hurt herself. I haven’t read the books, but from reading message boards, this idea sounds like it goes further in the book in that the Bella has to physically hurt herself to see Edward. Is that true? Are the books saying that physical abuse towards women is a normal part of a relationship? I understand that these girls are dating monsters and that wouldn’t be normal, but WTF? Is this element necessary?
The movie is passable. I realize now that I hate Edward. I hate that whole brooding “pity-me” insipidness. It’s funny how any suspense at all could be gleaned from these books. Judging by the movies, it’s obvious that Bella ends up with Edward. Jacob seems like a cheap thrill for Bella and their relationship doesn’t seem convincing. Then again, Bella/Edward doesn’t feel convincing either. And it always made me laugh that the entertainment media kept trying to wring more suspense out of who Bella would choose leading into the latest movie release Eclipse. I mean, aren’t these based on books that have been out for a few years now? You had Pat O'Brien yelling through TV screens everywhere “WHO DOES BELLA END UP WITH???” Well, in the books she ends up with Edward, you fool. Why does Pat O’Brien even care? He’s like 61 or something. Hell, why do I even care? I don’t, but I thought I’d give these movies a shot.
I give it 2 out of 5. It’s not absolute shite, but it’s overly long for what it’s doing (like Twilight 1) and I just want to see scary vampires make a comeback again (though I don’t think that’s happening anytime soon).
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Hollywood, Hollywood. Why must you remake everything? Isn't it bad enough that you did a Friday the 13th "reboot" and a Halloween "reboot", must you have nailed the unholy trilogy? Was this really necessary? Were people screaming for the Nightmare franchise to be rebooted? Well, as we've all learned now by reading this blog, nothing, and I mean nothing, is sacred in Hollywood. Anyhow, I finally caught this one, just to see if it sucked as much as I thought it would. Actually, it didn't. Which doesn't mean it should have been made in the first place.
Everyone was applauding the casting of Jackie Earl Haley as Freddy. Now, I like Jackie...he was great as Rorschach in Watchmen. That doesn't mean he should get every role in the planet, though. He tries his best, and his best is still good, but I don't know if I buy him as Freddy. He's too short, for one thing, and unfortunately, they shot him short. I don't think Robert Englund is the tallest man on planet Earth, but filmmakers were usually smart enough to shoot him in a way that he filled the frame...made him more intimidating (at least, before he became jokey Freddy). There's one shot, when Freddy is fighting with Nancy, and I swear she's taller than him! Couldn't they have put a track below him, at least?
Then, there's Nancy. In this one, she's an outsider, right from the beginning. Okay, is that just to show us how isolated she is to begin with? So when Freddy starts his shenanigans, it's set up that she can't confide or turn to anyone (thus setting up her relationship with the smart, yet awkward boy)? I will say, this Freddy was kind of perplexing. What were they going for? Why turn Freddy from a murderer into a simple molester (if there is such a thing), and try and throw the "he didn't do it" angle at the viewer? Because, if you're watching this, you're either a dumb teenager (whose opinion doesn't count), or you've caught a Nightmare or 2, and know who Freddy is...and know Freddy can never, ever be innocent. He kills children in their dreams! It doesn't get more bad than that.
Then there's the Mom. Okay, so she hid evidence that Nancy went to that school, so she wouldn't remember what Freddy did to her. So why keep a class picture of Nancy and her schoolmates in her drawer! Neatly labelled with everyone's names! You know, Nancy doesn't need to remember Freddy diddling her, but I want to keep a souvenir of that! Huh? What kind of irresponsible parenting is this? Luckily, she gets the most gruesome death in the entire movie.
I will commend the filmmakers that they really tried hard to make Freddy serious. There are no real quips, and Freddy shows up a lot, and I do mean A LOT in this movie, which is satisfying, because you don't have to wait around to see Freddy. He shows up in the first 5 minutes. The makeup...I'm not completely sold on. I read they tried to emulate what a real burn victim would look like...but I like Frankenstein's green look, and what's the last time you saw a corpse that was green? So, that's fine and dandy, but why screw with a classic?
Anyhow, this movie was actually better than I thought it would be (which shows the expectations I walked in with). At least Freddy was serious, and he was doing stuff, and trying to get scares. The script didn't make sense at parts, I was indifferent to the new makeup, and Freddy wasn't menacing enough to live up to his predecessor, despite Haley's best try. Catch this one, only if you're a collector of the series, and you get every Nightmare, or whatever. Otherwise, you probably have a better movie to watch.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Well I am not dreaming. This is a good movie. Done. Look, we got great acting, a really cool premise and this – you ready – this is not a remake, not a book, not a comic, not a TV show, it is Nolan’s own movie. Is everyone still with me?
Ok, is it a masterpiece – no. It is not 2001 or Blade Runner – what it is, is a heist movie with a cool concept. I mean they are not advertising this film as a masterpiece or anything other than a thriller.
Granted, I was never surprised during the film and within 10 mins I knew exactly precisely what the final shot of the film would be and I was right on the money. So what. It was enjoyable while I was watching it, and I liked it even afterward.
The only trouble I had was the same as a Stephenstein which was that the arctic scene was a bit off because everyone was dressed up in Hoth gear. Whatever, I could still tell what was happening.
All the characters were just great and I really liked the idea of Leo’s wife and what she was doing in the film (don’t wanna spoil it). Actually I really liked her A LOT, and I liked the idea of the totems, and how it was all put together.
Look, this is an action movie with some brains in it too. It not just a bunch of crap slapped together. It had some thought in there – and no, it’s nothing brilliant that any other university student didn’t know, or anyone that took first year psych, (which I did take) but heck, not a lot of people took psychology and wouldn’t know what to expect from this.
Also, on a personal note, anyone under the age of 20 will probably think this is the greatest movie ever made. Well that’s cause they don’t know what’s out there, but this is a good intro to students of film who wanna continue and find out more. Start with this, then see 13th floor, then go see blade runner, then see 2001.
I like Nolan for making a film he wanted to, and doing it well. Good job!
There are no postmen, packages, or anything that is delivered in this movie, so it’s not about mail. What it is about is characters and drama.
A drifter wanders into a small bed and breakfast where the owner, an older man, decides to hire the drifter as a waiter/cleaner. The drifter doesn’t like to stay in one spot too long, but decides to stay when he sees the owners younger wife played by Lana Turner, who would’ve convinced me to stay – even though I hate small towns.
So of course they fall for each other, but she is married. What to do? Divorce him? No good, she wants to turn the place into a great little restaurant. How about the old knock off the hubby routine? Sure, let’s try it, only it doesn’t turn out right, which is a relief because they aren’t really killers, but now we have a problem! What problem? Rent this and find out!
This movie has a great story and plot and I never really knew what was going to happen! Oh, and the title refers to how you wont ever miss what is coming too you because the postman always rings twice.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I know some people who read this blog have not seen the movie yet, so I have no intention of giving anything away. There's enough spoilers bouncing around the internet without adding to it. So, the big question is, is it good?
Well, other than Insomnia, all of Christopher Nolan's movies have been solid (at least the ones I've seen...I haven't seen Following, yet). With apologies to the rabid Dark Knight crowd, my favourite Chris Nolan film is still Memento. The concept behind this movie is just awesome, as was the acting, and the story, and the plot, and how it was shot and edited. It's the total package. All preceding films have been damn good, but I've had small nitpicky problems with it.
Inception fits into this category. Look, this film is well-written, with an awesome concept, and it is professionally executed by the all-star cast. Nolan never gets cheated on his production values. The movie looks great, and it's engrossing. It's not the sort of film too, where you can duck out for a leak. You need to pay attention.
That being said, there are a few tiny problems. I'm sure there's logistical flaws in the story (thought nothing comes immediately to mind, one of the astute readers/contributors to this blog will find one, I'm sure), and the problem is, Nolan makes "realistic" films with fantastical twists. He tries to make fantasy realistic, and that doesn't always work. Also, there's some extraneous shots, and everyone who sees the movie will know what I'm talking about, that is supposed to build suspense. There is no suspense, though. It's really well-written, but it's not what I would call unpredictable. Everything that you guess will happen, does happen. That doesn't mean it's bad, it's just trying to add suspense for suspense sake. It doesn't really matter. I also have another problem, that I won't address in this blog, but after you see the movie, I will tell you personally.
So, that's it. It's a really good concept-driven movie, that delivers exactly what you expect, and hope it does. Like I said, I don't want to give anything more away, so see it yourselves, and tell me what you think.
I bid thee a fond inception.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I walked into this movie thinking that the Predators aren’t what they used to be! They have lowered their standards large! They now attack small skinny guys like Adrien Brody. What happened to Arnie, Carl Weathers, Jessie Ventura, the big black guy and that native guy? All big beefcakes. Now they fight girls and skinny guys.
The Predators are also lazy too, instead of packing their bags and coming to Earth, they kidnap us and take us to their game world!
Those were my initial impressions and I had my 3/5 review ready in hand. But I was WRONG!!!!!
This movie is just so fantastic! I mean the acting, the story, set up, music (the actual Predator theme – jazzed up a bit), fights (I can see the fights!!!) and just overall awesomeness. This movie continues from part 1 and 2 (or takes place right before part 2), and even mentions some of the AVP stuff – hunting in 3s and so forth.
But this is a much better crafted film then the AVP’s and the typical action movies that are around now. Characters are allowed to come alive here before they are killed. We actually get to know them without being told everything. Also, the Predators have some interesting things going with them too. One Predator is tied up and appears to be a prisoner? We are not really told what is going on, but left to figure it out with the rest of the humans (unlike Airbender – where we are told everything). Plus each character has a special and unique trait or weapon. And even though there are like 8-9 guys, we know them all and can remember each of them. I know they are not strongmen like Arnie, and that didn’t bother me because they could really kick ass and were tough! Even Brody worked out for this one!
There is a Japanese guy who is Yakuza, who doesn’t talk (well hardly) but he is in a suit and has a handgun – doesn’t look impressive, but his attitude tells us he’s tough. When they land in the mud, he takes off his shoes and observes his surroundings. It’s as if he is ready to take on this challenge, whatever it is. At one point he gets a samurai katana and if you watch the show Deadliest Warrior, you know those swords are BAD ASS! So then he ends up squaring off against a Predator in a samurai battle! Complete with facing off, and posing and they fight in long blades of grass and weeds too! They also take their time with this fight, exchanging hits etc. The audience even cheered and clapped at that part and so did I! How can the audience cheer for a character that never really speaks? A character that wasn’t explained to them? Well it’s because the film makers know how to make a character great with just actions and movements. They get you pumped up for this guy because of the technique of film making!
The whole movie is like this. There is a payoff every time. They set up little things that pay off later – remember when most movies were like that! When my buddies walked out of the theatre we each expressed our love the Predator movies in general and were finally excited about something! After the AVP films we all said “Yeah that was cool.” And then moved on. Ok, so I bought some of the AVP toys – I’m a sucker for it. But now with this third Predator film in the series, the Predator franchise has really become something great that I hope continues in this fashion. Great job to all, oh and listen to the end credits music – if you know your Predator films you should enjoy it!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I know the word “Avatar” doesn’t appear in the official title of this movie, but that’s what I call it so there.
Ever watch a movie with your friend who talks through the entire movie explaining every character and every detail of everything and wont shut up and let you enjoy it? Well that’s what M Night has done here.
Every single character, location and event is explained to us. I guess he thinks we are too stupid to understand what is going on.
Look, I know this is a vast series and there is a lot to cover. It’s like Dragonball. Well, either drop stuff or make the movie 3 hours, or DON’T MAKE IT! That’s right! Don’t make the damn movie!
Anyway, the negative reviews on this film are about bad acting and bad story. Well the story is good and the acting is fine – I really liked the uncle and the prince (zuka?). I also liked the Avatar and I like what was going on. I really liked the use of powers, but what I didn’t like was this juvenile film making.
If you read wikipedia on this it would be the same experience as viewing it, only with viewing it you get some effects. Example. “we went to the water kingdom and my brother liked the princess.” Then NEXT SCENE “You have to meet my grandmother she will ask you about your white hair.” Then we get a PARAGRAPH describing why this girl has white hair! I know it pays off in the end, but why would that guy ask that specific question at that time so we the audience can figure it out. If the hair is important then show us, don’t tell us. This entire film is exposition. I can turn off the volume and just talk through it all.
Let me take Conan the Barbarian for example. It starts with the creation of the sword and Conan’s dad tells him about the riddle of steel. Then Thulsa Doom destroys his village and kills his family. There is NO TALKING after his father tells him the riddle. We understand that Conan is taught that the sword is more trusting than man, and that is the way of his people. The story is told through music and visuals. We are not told who Doom is, or that he is the leader, we only see a guy we assume is the leader killing what we assume to be Conan’s mom. The Avatar version is this: My village was attacked and then the leader of the men, Thulsa Doom and his 2 friends Thorgrim and Rexor killed my mom after using his hypnotizing power against her, then he left and I was taken as a slave to push a big wheel and then I fought as a pit fighter – STOP IT! I wanna watch the movie, not be told it.
When the prince shows up to the village in a similar scene this is what happens: “I am prince zuka of the fire nation, I am the rightful heir to the thrown.” Why does he need to say that? Well, because the audience must be told who he is. Let me learn who he is! I never knew anything about Conan when I watched the movie as a kid, but I can figure out who the bad guy is because I am not a fool, and the movie is SHOWING me by his actions and mannerisms.
Reading this you may think I am exaggerating, but I am NOT. THE ENTIRE FILM is like that. Everything is explained and then explained again, and then again. You don’t understand until you watch it. Gawd I have never been told an entire movie before.
If you want me to give examples verbally on this, call me and I will. Name your movie and I will do it in the Avatar style.
That being said, I liked the fights – which I could see for once and the use of the powers – oh yeah, they explain everything BUT the powers. If there are 20 water benders and SHIPS are attacking, why not RAISE THE ENTIRE OCEAN!!!! Maybe they cannot because they are novices or something – FINE, but if you explain the entire movie, then explain the powers – which is the important stuff anyway! Can you just control water? Or do you have to do those motions (kata) to do it? I believe you have to master the control through kata, then later you can manipulate the elements easier – and I don’t mind trying to figure it out – but when the entire movie is told to me, I start to lose interest and don’t pay attention – why? Because this is a passive experience. I was never drawn into the film or story.
Gawd, so annoying – I think this would’ve been a great series, but it was just blah. I am interested in seeing the show though – I have a feeling its really great since they have time to let me learn about the characters and what they do, instead of just being told about them.
Look, it’s the one they call the BLUE SPIRIT – look, it’s the prince.
That is how it happened in the movie! All of a sudden – new character, then he’s gone in one second and revealed???? What kind of mystery and suspense is that????????????
I may be too hard on this, but honestly it was just irritating when I know this should’ve been much better. I didn’t hate this movie and I actually thought that if they added another 90 mins of NO EXPOSITION, then it would’ve been like Lord of the Rings. You need to have an adventure aspect to it. It’s like someone just gave us the what we needed to know about the story and no actual story – if that makes sense to you.
If you take this a kids movie (for dumb kids) then its probably ok.
But I’m not a dumb kid!
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
When Jack Black accidentally magnetizes all the vhs tapes in Danny Glovers video store, he and his friend Mos Def have to remake all the movies themselves. Their versions are only 20 mins but contain a lot fun and heart. It draws the community in, and soon they start involving more people in the movies and they become hometown stars.
The point of this film is not their versions of the movie. The point is that format doesn’t matter and that the movie itself is the draw. I loved Ghostbusters and Robocop and Indiana Jones when they were on TV, or on vhs. Having them in dvd or bluray is nice of course, but the movie was good before all that. New formats don’t make shitty movies good!
The title Be Kind Rewind is based on the sticker that used to be on all video tapes when you rented them, but it also reminds us that sometimes you need to rewind in life and see what has passed and respect it. The funny parts of this movie are in the remakes Jack Black and Mos Def shoot, but also in Danny Glovers observations about current video stores – less selections, only comedy and action movies, employees that have no knowledge etc. This is a parallel to what is happening in Hollywood today!
The heart of this movie is about making a good movie that’s enjoyable. It doesn’t have to be a big budget, as long as there is a heart to it.
Take note Hollywood.
Yes I already said this was 5/5 – but this is a different set and it’s really worth it.
As it turns out the matches are different – so both sets are must have for Flair fans and Wrestling fans in general.
The tribute video (Fuel- Leave the Memories Alone) is so great I actually cried. Ric Flair was just the best entertainer in that business and even though it’s scripted – the hurt and blood is real. You have to commit to the business and in the words of Flair “I love this business, and I will never retire!”
He was 16 times world champion – meaning that he was popular/hated enough to be the headliner 16 times in 35 years! Being scripted doesn’t matter – the fans loved him (or hated him – in wrestling you need to be either loved or hated) enough that they had to make him champion that many times!
I love both sets and they are just a must have for everyone!
5/5 (for both collections)
Kevin Spacey is from the planet K-Pax, Jeff Bridges is the psychiatrist trying to help him. This is basically The Fisher King – Scifi edition (Bridges was in that too). This was a really good movie and again, the point here is not whether he is from space or not – you can conclude he is or isn’t based on what the movie provides, but that he touched the lives of others.
This movie was great – performance wise and theme wise. I would have liked a bit more exploration in what Spacey believes, but we got a lot, so I highly recommend this movie!
I wanted to see this in the theatre but missed out. Too bad for me!!!!!!
Cause this was a great film!
It’s about a Jiu-Jitsu fighter and his life. I don’t actually wanna give too much away on this one, but its not a fight movie. The fights here are about resolving an emotional battle – something like Karate Kid.
It shows the teachings of Jiu-Jitsu and I was totally captivated by it! This is a must own and I really enjoyed it!