Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Avatar (Brodie)

I saw it in 3D.  Loved it.  The last time I remember seeing a 3D movie, I was in high school at EPCOT Center.  This was the perfect movie to welcome me back.  The main character, Marine Jake Sully is stationed on a new planet, Pandora… in a new body, an avatar… interacting with (and as) a new people, the Na’vi. 

The 3D helped me feel as though I was going through the experience with him, creating a level of association and sympathy greater than any I’ve experienced before.  The 3D was spectacular.  My friend and I were constantly in awe.  When someone was underwater struggling for air, I found I craned my neck, straining to break the surface.  (Kinda like jerking Nintendo controls to make Mario jump.)

With James’ Cameron’s resume of Aliens, Abyss, Terminator 1 and 2, and Titanic, I was confident I was in good hands; and he didn’t let me down.  The hard-core Latina, the mechanical-suit loaders, and Sigourney Weaver were fun reminders of Aliens; the computer-generated graphics were as seamless as T2; the world and its aliens were as wondrous as those of Abyss; and the whole experience felt more real than Titanic.  Once again, Cameron has set new standards for the industry.

The story was clich├ęd and oversimplified, creating somewhat allegorical, rather than dynamic characters, but who cares?  The colors, action, movements, sights, sounds… I swear, at one point, I thought I was sensing textures through my hands.  When the movie ended, my friend and I agreed that removing the glasses and walking out of the theater was a return to a gray and flat world.  We wanted to go back to Pandora even if just to observe the normal day to day lives of the Na’vi because there, nothing seemed mundane. 

Avatar was an experience that shouldn’t be missed and won’t be regretted.  

Fantastic Mr. Fox (Brodie)

Hooray for quick, witty dialogue and dynamic characters!!  Fast-paced and interesting story made for a very entertaining movie.  Not surprising that I loved it--Wes Anderson doesn’t disappoint me. 

Where the Wild Things Are (Brodie)

It was ok.  The music, creatures, and land were engaging and original.  The movie succeeded in making me crave parental wisdom and learned lessons; yet, unfortunately, never delivered.

This Is It (Brodie)

Really enjoyed it.  Fantastic to see the elements that go into performances by one of the best showmen of all time.  He seemed a humble, patient perfectionist and visionary.  He knows exactly what he wants and is gentle as he explains it to others.  And of course, his music (Billy Jean, Smooth Criminal, Thriller) is the best part.  And I’ve gotta confess that there were some tears as I realized, as far as MJ goes, this really was it.  

Men Who Stare At Goats (Brodie)

Fun, quirky.  Loved the use of the word Jedi—particularly funny with Ewan McGreggor around.  The idea of the US Military funding a warm-fuzzy Jedi brigade?  Of course, I enjoyed this movie.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Transformers 2 Second Viewing (Charlie)

I watched it again because most people did not like this movie. I wanted to see if i liked it after watching it for a second time.... and i still do.

The first movie is a stronger film but i still like the action in the second better. It does not seem as close up. There are a couple times in the first one were i could not tell who was fighting. i do wish they had used Ironhide (my favorite) and Ratchet more in the second movie. Its only Optimus and Bumblebee who get any action scenes. The fight in the woods is awsome.

Megan Fox was not used well in this movie at all. I don't think she even needed to be in the movie. In the first movie she has that kick ass scene where she has Bumblebee hooked up to the back of the Tow Truck and drives into the fight. Great scene! None of that in this movie. Now that i think of it Josh Duhamel does not have any real action scenes either... huh.

I also noticed this time around a lot of penis jokes. This is something i could do without. I think i counted six jokes but i might have missed another 15. The comedy is where this movie fell the most for me. I did like the bit about the tight shirt... "We checked! There isnt one!"

So after a second viewing i dont think i liked it less but i did notice more faults to the movie

Paranormal Activity (Charlie)

To start I am going to say that I WILL be able to sleep with the lights off tonight but i did enjoy it.

This movie did what Blair Witch Project did but better. A lot of creepy stuff happens in this movie. If you do not like scary movies then i would avoid this one. All the actors are very normal looking people. There are no Scarlett Johanssons or... (who is an attractive man in entertainment today?)... Adam Wests in this movie. Most of it i don't think they were wearing any make up which added to the feel of it.

I think Hollywood should stop making slasher films (Friday the 13th/Halloween) or torture porn movies (Hostel, Saw or anything made by Lionsgate). This is the type of horror movie i like to see. Nothing is more scary then a Ghost. Like the movie Ghost. That movie scared the crap out of me.... maybe its too soon to make jokes about Patrick Swayze movies.

If you are one of the 10 people who have not seen Blair Witch Project i would go see Paranormal Activity instead.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Law Abiding Citizen

I kind of new what i was getting into when i went to go see this movie. But it has been more then 2 months since i have been to the movies so i looking for something simple....

And that is what it was. The story was not anything complex even when it tried very hard to be. It is pretty much a revenge film. But instead of your main character going after all the people directly involved he goes after all the people that were involved with the trial.

The acting was the best part. Jamie Foxx was good but nothing new there. After seeing this movie and 300 i would not mess with Gerard Butler. Another personal favorite actor is Gregory Itzin who plays the warden in this movie. He also played President Logan on the TV show 24 and has a very creepy resemblance to Richard Nixon.

So if you are looking for a good revenge movie i would watch Man on Fire or Quantum of Solace first. Then is you have time watch Law Abiding Citizen.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Zombieland (Brodie)

Loved it. Very funny. I think the lead actor (Jesse Eisenberg) has such a Michael Cera vibe to him that he may be in danger of trademark infringement. That aside, it was a very fun movie. I do need to warn against the amount of gore... holy schnarkeys, we're talkin' worse than Tarantino. And it felt like most of it happened before the opening credits--maybe I just got used to it after a while. They did definitely want to be sure they're working with a hearty audience. Even then, there was still a lot of cringing, screaming, and gasping throughout, yet enough laughter to make it all well worth it. For those of you ready to see ligaments and guts hanging from human mouths, you're gonna love this one.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Invention of Lying (Brodie)

No good. When it started and explained it was about a place where no one lied (save one), I was excited and got ready for a movie similar to Stranger Than Fiction that required an initial suspension of disbelief and went on to tell a beautiful story. This, however, was not such a treat.

There were some cute jokes based on the concept that people couldn't lie--my favorite was the Coke commercial--but the rest of the movie didn't have much else. I was ready to be exposed to a unique culture and individuals of a society where no one ever lied. Instead it was just like the world we live in now but everyone spoke their thoughts--and they're mean. It equated honesty with indiscretion, apathy, and shallowness. The love story was cliched and the characters were unlikeable--except maybe Mark, and he was (literally) lying to the entire world.

With such an all-star comedic cast--Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Tina Fey, Jim Gaffigan, Rob Lowe, Jonah Hill, Jason Bateman, Christopher Guest, and a great cameo by Edward Norton--how could a movie with a clever premise give so little? Don't know, but it struck me as little more than a fantasy of a scorned man with a morbid view of the world. Darn. It was good for a few chuckles. Worth $10? Probably not.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

9 (Brodie)

Disappointing. Was expecting originality and instead was given cliches and cheesiness. Darn. It was visually interesting and the characters were fun. However, the movie left me flat. Wasn't horrible--just not great.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Taking Woodstock (Brodie)

I really liked it.

A story about a family's personal and financial hardships and how the Woodstock music festival changed them. It really wasn't a movie about Woodstock, the concert just acted as a plot device to advance the characters' stories, which is why I liked this movie even more. It was a unique perspective about a such a defining event.

Characters were dynamic and interesting. Atmosphere was inspiring.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Inglourious Basterds (Brodie) OMG QT is OTT!

Ah, Quentin Tarantino. He's good at making movies that have me cheering and clapping. What a good show! It's quintessential QT: gory violence, larger-than-life characters, dialogue that's amusing in its weirdness (despite being in other languages), overdone cinematography, loud obnoxious music... he's good at what he does.

Now, he has made the Nazi movie to end all Nazi movies (which must now be pronounced natsees). He creates a movie land that is great to play in. It has nothing to do with reality, and that's why we like it... (ok, so maybe it has a little to do with reality, but that's also why we like it). Projects like Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers have started to make it more difficult to watch a good Nazi-killing flic without thinking and feeling a little deeper. But not to fear, QT--no doubt, toying with that fact--serves up a treat for the blood lust in us all. In that way, this movie joins those ranks of the-movies-that-make-it-hard-to-enjoy-Nazi-hunting; because from here on out, we are jaded and know that we'll never have it so good.

It should be seen and enjoyed. Yet, on spotting the 3-year old walking out of the theater with her parents, I feel I should restate that this is a movie about killing... people... violently. You know, blood, bludgeoning, and QT gore. It is not a family film meant for everyone. And I loved it!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Julie & Julia (Brodie)

Loved it! Deliciously delightful (sorry, can't help myself). Julie blogs about her attempt to cook all of Julia Child's 524 recipes in 365 days. Dynamic, fun characters who are especially relatable in their searches to spice up their mundane lives. Two functional marriages, which is so rare to see in movies (and elsewhere, for that matter) that it's a sight to behold. And of course, I'm partial to watching a blogger become famous by sending her words into the ether. J&J was great fun and kept me smiling throughout. I somewhat expected it to be sentimental or saccharine and was so happy to be proven wrong.

I understand that a movie starring a women, let alone two, will inevitably (and unfortunately) be labeled a "chick flick,"but the characters and stories are too engaging and sincere for anyone to pass up. If you need more convincing... um... the main characters' husbands are present enough to add a pinch of testosterone! But really, it's just a great story about people.

My advice: whether you fancy yourself a cook or not, you may want to be sure that your kitchen is well-stocked with butter for after the movie.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Lady in the Water (Brodie)

I really liked this movie too. I saw it for the first time about a month ago. It was a movie for big kids--adults who are childish enough to suspend their disbelief and jump in with both feet. That was a quality I loved about the film. Many times, far-fetched movies show the characters trying to convince themselves that these bizarre things are actually happening. They have moments of "I must be losing my mind" or other characters questioning their sanity. This movie was void of all of that, and I loved it. It was a fable and everyone seemed to except that it was. I think "cute" is a great word for it. It was a delightful story that was also meaningful--just as a kid's bedtime story should be. For those adults who want to curl up and hear a story reminiscent of what was read to them years ago--this is your movie. For those of you who want to be riveted by dialogue and awed by a revelation of human struggle; well, just hush up and go someplace else... the rest of us are trying to enjoy the story.

Lady in the Water (AKA- the apology letter written to M. Night Shyamalan)

Saw this movie for the second time today.

I'm pretty hung over, some what sensitive and emotional today I think I'm having a hormonal imbalance- or maybe just this movie speaks to me.

Cute(I know a word like this brings my being into question but it's the best adjective)- my definintion for this movie. It's just an adorable little film. (I know it's big but in reality it's a little film based on how little was spent making it and the low budget tricks they implemented or seem like artistic choices which Night's mentor was great at-see Hitchcock)

I love this movie. When I first saw the movie I wanted to write a giant apology letter to Shyamalan. Have really enjoyed his movies- Sixth Sense, Unbreakable (at the time I thought it might have been one of the best superhero movies ever), Signs (redunkulous- loved it).

Of course then came the backlash, if you went into Signs thinking giant alien invasion flick ala Independence day you were mistaken and abashedly felt robbed.

The Village came next, I still enjoyed the filmmaking but it was clearly the lesser of his films overall. I still fell for the story though and that is another story.

After Village, many people heavily criticized Night. For many these two in a row were very bad news.

Lady in the Water was next. I doubted his work. I read the reviews calling for him to stop writing and directing and please for god sack stop putting yourself in the movies. The backlash was incredible and I actually decided I would wait to see the movie. (his movies had become events for me).

Boy was I wrong.

Bed-time Stories, Fables and tales by the fire are the origins of our entertainment. (Night supposedly read this story to his children)

Movie gives me hope that there is a purpose for everyone and that even the smallest action undertaken alone could enact significant change in others-a ripple effect into the future. It comes together well with a message of people of all backgrounds coming together despite doubts and disbelief in each other and themselves and accepts the roles they play in trying to save "Story". Funny how the movie is entirely about saving "story" and getting the "story" home-what was on his mind that night?

Many little moments and layers bring this film an awkward human silliness that is just gentle and real to me. Giamatta is great, Jeffery Wright is great, the critic was great, the actor playing Shyamalan's sister was great.

Love the whole devise of the movie critic used in the film, and that he is the only person to be attacked and ripped apart by the scrunt. He was mocking himself in the film, mocking the film within the film and then taking a stab back at movie critics.

Both times I have seen this movie, I have felt something (maybe the score helped), something tangible the movie does it for me. Can Identify with any number of the characters who live in the complex. Love the role of Cleveland Heap as a Healer who only Heals himself by healing others and that idea of the exchange between a doctor(healer or anyone who works with patients) and a patient as a two way street.

So I'm sorry I initially listened to the critics on this one Shyamalan, of course then again I did see "The Happening" based on the tremendous previews. What was in the previews and basically the first 15-20 minutes of the film were great and then, WTF just happened? Awful Awful Awful. The movie was renamed "What Happened" in reference to what happened while you were writing this. So the your next film "The Last Airbender" I'm gonna see it opening night but I really am praying for more Signs/Lady/sixth/unbreakable and not "The La(o)st Filmmaker"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

District 9 (Or just Dic-nine)

Preface. (yes that's what I do)

1) Spoiler Alert (aka Rancid Banana behind the couch?)

2) Have yet to read the Official Brodie Review but have interviewed her extensively

Humanity. The Horror.

The setup-tremendous. 20 years ago an alien space craft, looking like a metallic upside down wedding cake, limps into Earth's atmosphere and abruptly stops and chills over the fine South African city of Johannesburg (Jo'Burg). On Board a race of low class, malnourished, worker bee, giant fugly insects festering in their own filth. We do what any good humans would do faced with a mass of refugees- we put them in a slum shanty town/concentration camp and blame them for all our problems. The Films exponsitionary vehicle is the documentary style they enact with lots of talking heads foreshadowing events while providing compelling back story of historical events melded with "live" action footage.

Any bonehead that claims this movie is deeply allegorical or has undertones of actual events is in fact proving that they are a bonehead. That is not to say it's great it's just hearing or reading of the "undertones" people discuss makes me puke. IT's A friggin BAT to the FACE. Which is great cuz the movie doesn't pull any punches in that sense. The environment is dark gritty real despite giant insect like click-clacking aliens all part of the action. The prominent back drop ,which is the upside down wedding cake or the bottom of cloud city from Empire known as the alien spaceship, serves as a great image for the movie and is used often juxtaposing the area between downtown and the ship as District 9. Some real nice shots for an eye candy addict like myself. The Aliens are always a close part of the action and with the creation of the documentary style allows me to suspend all reality and fall into this cold world.

Wikus Van De Merwe (Newcomer Sharlto Copley) is the Main Character as we follow this bumbling over acting heavy accented corporate stooge lead a excursion into the 9 in order to serve eviction notices to the Cat Food Eating populace. I'm Loving everything about this movie until about 30 minutes into it when I suddenly realize I'm trying hard to like this guy, chuckling a few times thinking it's supposed to be funny. It's not, it could have been, but it's just not. I really thought it was bad overacting and my biased desire to like this film was getting in my way and thus took me out of the film. Never fear, 4-5 quick handfuls of popcorn and sucks of a diet coke revived my interest. "Vikus" is a racist bastard who really has no redeeming qualities and I found myself routing for No one at the end except for the one Humane aspect of the film who was Chris Johnson. Yup the only intelligent alien. Chris Johnson. Love it.

The Pace is brisk and I was tearing my fingers into the armrests at times. Mix in some cool ass alien technology and a pretty satisfying few action sequences merge into basically a giant chase sequence make it a good movie to see especially in the theatre.

I feel the movie had the ingredient maybe to make a bigger impact; move me; cause change.
It just presents the world as shit and we are destined to shit all over each other and gravely repeat mistakes. I think potentially a more sympathetic character could have led me there, but then again I love the fact that it wasn't formula, wasn't cheap in it's character development (cuz there was none) . I found myself not routing for anyone- wishing for the humans to die, the main character to suffer, the aliens to die except for the two most "human" aliens. Maybe in hindsight that was the point. But I felt a little emotional devoid. Empty I left my seat really liking the movie yet thinking somehow they fucked up. Maybe they just held up a mirror and I didn't like it one bit.

They are destined to return in a possible sequel, wouldn't mind seeing the aliens creating district 10 made up of humans.

District 9 (Brodie)

I loved it. I'm going to try not to give anything away. I went into the movie knowing nothing and was glad I did.

I really liked the first-person documentary style, and the CG effects were great. The story was very thought-provoking without the sledge hammer bluntness we can usually expect from Hollywood. Though, the choice of setting was inescapably poignant. The "multi-national" nature of the people shown ensured that no one could evade the finger that was being pointed at humanity. And what a finger! The message was bleak, dark, and depressing. The one party scene that could have been fun and celebratory was shown as invasive, uncomfortable, and unbearable.

There was only one likeable character--well, one and a half if you count his son. And there were other glimmers of decency in some minor tertiary characters--those people who knew this was a story worth telling and exposing.

So why did I "love" a movie that was so bleak? Well, it was certainly original and different. It had some of the most gruesome violence I've seen since the exploding zombies of Planet Terror, and to me that was part of the point--in a world of such violence, there are no good guys. There is no Bruce Willis to sweep in and save the day. The world is what we make of it, so if we create a world of hatred and violence, then that's what we get.

For those of you looking for an action-packed movie that doesn't have a "bigger message," District 9 should still satisfy. It was pretty non-stop, and as I said, was filled with some great violence.

I don't know about you, but I'm anxious to see what will happen in three years.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hurt Locker (Brodie)

Compelling, revealing, important...
(The story of a US Army bomb squad in Iraq, focusing on three soldiers.)
I'm hesitant to say that it was a realistic portrayal of war because what do I know? But being that it was void of messages about patriotism or the why-are-we-in-Iraq-at-all discussions, I'm more apt to trust it. It wasn't about THIS war, it was just about war and the people who live through (or die in) them. It showed the everyday lives of the soldiers. It was about each moment, each mission, and the guy next to you, and from what I've heard from those who have been, that's what war is about.
Some parts seemed overdone to increase suspense, which brought in a little Hollywoodiness I could have done without, but those were exceptions and didn't detract much from the overall portrait (at least not for someone who's never served).
I was also impressed how--with a degree of subtlety--it showed why, despite the torment of war, some soldiers do want to go back.
Because the movie didn't preach or force a message down my throat, it felt honest.
Really well done.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

G.I. Joe (Brodie)

I haven't seen this movie nor do I plan to. I feel as though I could review it without doing so, and it turns out, I'm in good company. Here is a review from the Wall Street Journal:

‘G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra’
The folks at Paramount wouldn’t screen “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” for critics—they must love the movie so much they want to keep it to themselves. But why do I have to see it to review it? People debate the merits of movies they haven’t seen all the time—especially on the message boards of the Web, where vast numbers of fanboys, apprentice fanatics and professional grousers turn an endless supply of baseless assumptions into groundless conclusions.

At first I felt shut out, but then I realized I was missing the point of a double blessing. Paramount has spared me the pain of sitting through another military-toy epic (the recent “Transformers” sequel having been a near-death experience), and the studio has set me free to reach my own conclusions—not quite groundless but close—on the basis of the “G.I. Joe” trailer.
The first thing that happens in the trailer involves the Eiffel Tower, which is hit by a missile and makes a splash by falling into the Seine. I don’t like movies that trash the Eiffel Tower, although I loved “The Lavender Hill Mob,” in which Alec Guinness’s mild-mannered bank clerk smuggles gold bars out of England by turning them into Eiffel Tower paperweights.

The second thing involves an actor intoning, voice-over: “We have never faced a threat like this. A team is being assembled. They’re the best operatives in the world. When all else fails, we don’t.” Even apart from the actor pronouncing “assembled” as “assimbled,” the speech suggests a sound clip from an early rehearsal of a junior-high-school pageant. I don’t like movies with bad actors reading dumb lines.

Most of all, I don’t like vast industrial productions based on toys I never played with as a kid (although the first “Transformers” was actually good fun). When I wrote a review suggesting that the sequel would hasten the end of civilization, a reader emailed me to say, “I have more than 700 Transformer toys and you don’t know . . . ” That’s as far as I read, since what I did know is that he was right. I am no more qualified to judge the details of these toy-based monstrosities than a toy critic—there are toy critics, aren’t there?—would be qualified to review “Casablanca.” (Though a battery-powered Rick puffing real smoke might be collectible.)

Nonetheless, I insist on my right to say that “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” will also hasten the end of civilization and may well be as dreadful as it’s said to be by countless online blatherers who, exactly like me, haven’t seen a single frame of it on a big screen. These days, not seeing is believing.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Food Inc. (Brodie)

This movie was pretty good. And I highly recommend it. It was educational to learn about the unique and deadly E. Coli strain created by the "Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations" or CAFOs (no real need to call them "farms" anymore), to learn of Monsanto's monopoly on soy, of the national and international effects of subsidized corn, and more. I agree that we should know what we're putting into our bodies. The level of disconnect that we now have with our food is scary. The movie had enough sentiment to remind us that there are people getting very sick and even dying from this system, but emotions and sarcasm didn't dominate the movie like a Michael Moore film might do.

I did have some problems with it. It touted Stonyfield as a potential hero; however, I question how great big organic farms are. Their "natural" pesticides can be very toxic, their transportation and storage can be very energy intensive... My point: organic may not be the answer, and may not be enough.

But what is? I want to know more about what we can do. What will the consequences be for the world if we stop subsidizing corn? How can we afford to eat if the market does properly reflect what goes into our food? How can we vote with our dollars if Monsanto owns 90% of soy beans and soy is in everything? Does organic mean GMO free? I have so many more questions I want answered, and as they continued to remind us--there's a veil over the whole industry, so how do we learn more?

To be cheesy, I'll say this: "Food, Inc." left me hungry, and I'm ready for seconds. I guess, that was the point. I recommend that everyone see it. As I said originally, we should know what we're eating. To quote another movie that I'm not likely to see, "and knowing is half the battle."

Monday, August 3, 2009

Funny People (Brodie)

First, I'm going to point out, in case the comedian-battles-with-a-terminal-disease trailers didn't tip you off, it's not all that funny.

For everything else it tried to be, I give a definitive "eh" and shrug, (but even that's a gift that I'm giving probably only because I have a little crush on Seth Rogen).

How many times are we going to be force fed the "money bad; friends and family good" message from Adam Sandler? Who is he trying to convince? In this version, all of his character's growth (which I'm assuming the movie was supposed to be about) was saved for the last 60 seconds of the movie (the movie was 2 hrs 35 mins long), so I can't say that this one was much more profound than Click, and I can be almost sure that it was supposed to be. At least, I certainly thought so going into it.

He did, however, earn some points by seeming to show a sense of humor about the types of goofball, funny voice/funny face rolls that have been a staple of his comic career.

As far as being a showcase for many of Hollywood's funny peple, there are some enjoyable stand-up comedy scenes and great cameos--my favorites being from Paul Reiser (I was just happy to see him again), Sarah Silverman (as inappropriate as ever), Ray Romano and Eminem, whose assholeishness and sledgehammer-like subtlty was quite refreshing when turned on vapid actor Sandler.

To sum up, not much happens, it's not all that funny (despite the sprinkling of great comedians) and did I mention that it's 2 hrs and 35 mins long? This is the second review where I've had a problem with the length of a movie. Robots fighting is really only that entertaining for an hour and a half, maximum; and likewise with funny people who aren't being all that funny--or anything but present, for that matter. Where have all the good editors gone?

500 Days of Summer (Brodie)

Good soundtrack (Regina Spektor and Carla Bruni). Playful and refreshingly different in some ways but not terribly deep or revealing. The initial description of Summer was mockingly and amusingly done in a 1950's black and white educational film reel style about the "ideal" woman. And her character throughout seemed a little flat. The scene that had the most potential of giving us a glimpse into her character (her crying--practically sobbing--at the end of The Graduate) only teased us, and left us to simply conjecture about her unique reaction. I tend to think this was done to reveal the shortcomings of Tom's character and his perception of her, but it did mean that the movie didn't achieve a level of character or story depth that I thought it would. Maybe the film's intenion was to show love as shallow or maybe it was an inadvertant exposure of the writer's view. Hard to know. Either way, it was cute, but I was hoping for more.

Frost/Nixon (Brodie)

My lack of prior knowledge, makes it difficult (if not impossible) to assess an historical story for its accuracy, but I liked it. I felt it revealed a level of humanity and the remorse that I was reminded I still crave from our previous presidential administration. At least Nixon seemed to have a conscience and was articulate enough to explain why he didn't always follow it. It was a good story with a refreshing sense of justice, even if it was brought to us by the wonders of television.

Brick (Charlie)

I love this movie. You never get a true Detective Story these days. This is in my Top 10 favorite movies. The second the credits stared to role it ended up being a favorite. The next day i watched it again just to make sure i really liked it. You know what? i liked it even more. If you have not seen this movie then run , don't walk, to a store and pick it up. Great, just thinking about this movie makes me want to watch it again. Hollywood should not be scared to make more detective stories.

Brick (Brodie)

Very entertaining and riveting. Old-time intricate private investigator story set in a modern day high school complete with anti-hero protagonist, sleazy women he knows not to trust, his source that he protects by keeping hidden, a story he unravels by throwing himself into the knot, and quick, nearly incomprehensible dialogue--even with the English subtitles, it was like I was listening to another language. A reinvention of an old black and white genre--a gritty detective story told in a new, imaginative way. I applaud the director for his efforts; it must not have been easy. (Saw this one on DVD; was originally released in 2005.)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Harry Potter (Sex) the half erect prince {David}

- preface this entire document.

I will spoil this movie in the following graphs.

I've been a big fan of the Potta' movies, have never read any of the books.

So with trepidation I begin my dissection.

Enjoyed the growing up before our eyes cast choices- and the fact that they are now starting to intermingle with the opposite sexes making for cute moments and funny set pieces related to hormonal teens getting a hold of some serious magic. Weasley (Rupert Grint aka opi cunningham) ingesting the love potion mistakenly secondary to mumps measles and Rubella's (Romilda Vane played by cutie-pie Anna Shaffer) sending Harry some treats, and all that follows is fun. The little interchange between Hermione (Emma "awkward" Watson) and Ron (weasley) and Potter doing the whole goalie manipulation either by direct magic or false courage.

As usual the whole unraveling of clues and mystery and the onion that is each movie was satisfactory although I grow tired of some of the elements. Mostly because I really felt the entire time I knew where it was going, I guess my slight and I say slight delight is that Drako Malfoy's (tom felton who looks like a cross between home alone and children of the corn) target was Dumbledorf and not the Chosen One- Radcliffe's Potter. This was at least a decent reveal. Really though- as soon as Severus Snape makes the unbreakable bond it foreshadowed this whole situation. SO the whole time I spent waiting for Drako to either kill Potter or Dumbledorf and know that snape would have to buck up and do it. The brief meeting between snape and dumbledorf and the fact that seventeen times dumbledore repeats "harry you must do as I ask of you" left me figuring out something was going to happen to (par for the course great Michael Gambon's) Albus Dumbledore.

Harry sits useless- as I sat anticipating something good, And then magically nothing. Snape is a good guy and I cannot believe that one of the main characters is dead.

Minimal battle scenes, no climactic battle scene, Nothing I haven't seen before. The power of the Whore Crust? Hans Guberman= Snape = Die Hard Death fall off building scene = someone's similar scene= fart sounds- the air is let out of this movie that somehow should have been combined with another movie- someone just took 10 dollars.

The world is cool the magic is cool the little effects really bring the awesomeness of Hogwarts to life. But a giant shit for farts anticlimatic ending ruined it for me so much more cool stuff in the others, I guess you can give some credit that at least one movie did not end with a battle with Voldemort or Tom Riddle.

If I had to score it on my scoring sheet.

A. 17/20
B. 10/20
C. 13/20
D. 10/20
E. 5/20
total: 55/100

Potter you flunked- that somber tone in the theatre after the film was a collective grasp of WTF that's it?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Harry Potter 6 (Brodie)


I really liked it. I had just finished hearing the book read aloud in my house, so I was more keen to the differences in the story. However, some of the changes were slight improvements and others were acceptable and understandable. There were a few things that I had wished they'd done differently, but that's to be expected.

The characters are still really enjoyable to watch and their interactions as endearing as ever. The "bad guys" are not as present as they are in the other films, but their threat looms--at least I thought so. I'd have to hear from people who haven't read the books, I think. Daniel Radcliff's and Emma Watson's acting isn't the greatest, but they're still able to involve me in their stories so can't complain.

The ending is intense and hard to rate objectively after having just read the book, so again I'd like to hear from the movie-only viewers who didn't know what was going to happen. Also, being such a fan, it's not likely that I'll be confused by things, but I wonder if some parts were not well explained.

It seems The Deathly Hollows (the seventh and final book) will be split into two movies being released in 2010 and 2011. With the same director and screenwriter who did this film working on the final two, I greatly look forward to them.

Gran Torino (David)

I'd like to formally take credit for the ABC afterschool special analogy Brodie used.

I absolutely loved this movie. Probably laughed way to much at this bitter beer face of an old man that- let's face it- is Clint. In this movie it's even better so much so his name is like Clunt- great performance even though you could dismiss some of it because Eastwood has been here before.

Overall- I went in thinking it was going to be dirty harry in the 8-mile but it ended up being heart warming at times and the movie sort of changed a major beat about half way through which I felt was tangible and reflected growth of characters on screen.

Upon second viewing- the gang member cousins' including "Fong" are really re"dick"ulous at times. Never the less I let it go for one more racist rant or "old-man, no holding back, tell it how it is-athon"

Yum Yum.
Click Clack
Ting Ting
old bony finger cocked like gun and fanning the hammer back- thanks Clunt.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Gran Torino (Brodie)

Good script. Great characters, interesting development. Good plot, even if it was a little cliched. My only (somewhat large) complaint was that the acting/dialogue/delivery of the kids was--as my friend desccribed it--like an afterschool special. Their performances felt fake and out of place. Yet overall, I really enjoyed the movie.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Transformers 2 (ROTF-Liam)

This is going to be short, unlike the movie.

It wasn’t as good as the first Transformers. The jokes got dumber and the explosions got louder.

I didn’t like that all of the cool, giant robot fights were all in non-descript locations like forests and deserts and warehouses. In the first one they fought on city streets and highways. Seeing a Decepiticon crush an SUV gives the robots a kind of grand scale that just doesn’t come with knocking over a christmas tree. Setting the climactic battle in what was essentially a set left over from a minor fight scene in the first film was, to quote Optimus Prime in the first movie, a “big mistake.”

My biggest issue, though, was the lack of character development. And no, not the human characters. I mean, who cares about them?. I mean the robots. They added a lot of robot cannon fodder but that just means less screen time for the real robots. I wanted to see the Autobots get upset over Prime’s death. I wanted to see Ratchet and Ironhide strategizing. I didn’t need to see robot scrote and dozens of Decepticon “red-shirts.” Actually, the robot scrote was pretty awesome.

But, I still loved it nonetheless. [SPOILER ALERT] There’s this tinkerbell-ish scene near the end where Optimus Prime comes back to life and gets some upgrades and flies off to kick some ass. When I went to see this movie for the second time there was a kid that was about 7 years old or so that started screaming with glee and jumping on his seat when this happened. THAT is why I love this movie.

On a side note, I think it’s funny that they’ve “updated” one of Optimus Primes’ tag lines. In the cartoon he usually said “Autobots, transform & roll out!” But seeing as how Optimus is all “post-9/11” these days he now just says “let’s roll!” Even when he, in fact, flies.

In response to Brodie's "the portrayal of all women as always wanting sex was... um, offensive. " I mean, there's only two women in the movie: Mom and Fox. And fox, while undeniably just there for eye candy, doesn't actually act all that lusty in the movie. The mom does, I guess, but it's more of an empty nest kind of gag. I guess you really mean the sluticon? That's not even a woman! That's like the people who get upset at futurama because bender drinks and smokes. THEY'RE ROBOTS!

Transformers 2 (Brodie)

Brace yourself. I'm going in...

I hated Transformers. I left 10 minutes before the end because I had another movie to catch someplace else. I thought Transformers was a display of everything that's wrong with Hollywood.

The characters that we already knew and loved got stupid, boring, unfunny, and we had little idea of their motivations. Every character was annoying, and I just wanted them to shut the hell up. The jokes and dialogue which were interesting and engaging in the first movie, now seemed like they came straight from boys' junior high locker rooms.

The portrayal of all women as always wanting sex was... um, offensive. Even Sam's mother fit into that category. The female transformers didn't seem too bad but hard to know since the second they spoke, they were killed.

The violence didn't get me to emote at all. It was senseless and displayed in a way that we didn't even associate with the humans that were dying--the submarine, Shanghai, the aircraft carrier. Iron Man, I loved. ID4 was highly entertaining. Shoot 'Em Up was trying to be ironic, but dropped the ball and left me flat and confused. I didn't care about the good guys or the bad guys enough in Transformers. Although, I do agree that the Decepticons were more scary than the Terminators by far.

Now, I understand wanting to see robots beat each other up, rip each other's faces off... that's good entertainment (no joke). However, 2 hours and 45 minutes of it? Really? Close to 3 hours of robot fights?!

Ugh. I remember staring enviously at a man walking out after an hour. I should have just followed him.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Transformers 2 (Charlie)

I dont care what people say about it, I loved it!

I was not looking for a huge plot with lots of twists and turns. I wanted to see Robots blowing each other up and that's I what I got. I mean, it's a movie based from an action figure. This is not going to be the Godfather or Sound of Music. It was better then Terminator.

So I liked it! I will call it a guilty pleasure.

I did not think the jokes were as funny as the first one. The mother getting high was a little stupid and was one of my few complaints of the movie. I love Julie White and I felt like that bit was below her.

Now to me violence is a very fine line in movies. I am an action junky, so I can take a lot. But I do see when it is too much and needless. Transformer did not bother me. Maybe after seeing Terminator where no one dies I was looking for a menacing villain.

I was flipping through the channels the other day and Independence Day was on. Now the Aliens in that wipe out a good portion of our population. By the end of the movie I wanted to jump in a jet and take them on. This would be bad because I don't know how to fly a plane. I think the way the Decepticons were attacking those people made me want to go to Egypt and fight some two-story tall robots around the pyramids.... and I also really want to see the pyramids.

For me violence only works if it gets some kind of emotion out of me. Anger, Sadness, Excitement... ID4 and Transformers made me mad. Saving Private Ryan mad me angry and sad. Really any WW2 movie make me angry and sad. Iron Man got me excited (and I don't mean naughty excited). Movies like Terminator or Shoot 'Em Up just did nothing for me. If you have not seen Shoot 'Em Up with Clive Owen, don't... I am still mad at the guy who told me to watch it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Terminator 4 (Charlie)

I thought it was ok but it was not the best movie. They should have made it more of a war movie then plain action

Saving Private Ryan was a war movie where I cared about the characters. We traveled with them and when they died we felt bad. In the end we hate the Nazis even more (which is not hard to begin with). With T4 none of the main characters died so it did not make you hate the Terminators. I was not sitting in the theater saying to myself "Get those Terminator Bastards!"

Now that I think of it, very few people were killed in the movie. Even almost all the people that are captured end up being rescued.

So in the end, if you want to hate your villain then base them off Nazis.

Terminator 4 (Brodie)

I completely agree. T4 left me flat. The first two (let's keep the third out of this) were great because the good guys and the bad guys were so badass. The bad guy was unstoppable but we had faith that somehow the good guys would prevail--without the cheesy and predictable discussions of the power of the human heart (vomit).

These terminators, as you said, weren't scary, and John Connor was about as whiny, weak, and unsure of himself as the pubescent Eddie Furlong of T2. If the previous three ok, I'll bring 3 in for now) told us anything, it was that John Connor is the best and baddest leader of the resistance. Big disappointment there.

I loved seeing the early models of the T-1000. Although, I feel like John's reaction to having to kill the closest thing he's ever had to a father should have been, at least in some minor way, well... a reaction.

Why would anyone want their movie to look like the Matrix sequels by having an architect reveal scene? And it was a little embarassing to watch computers communicate orally. Do T4's writers still use typewriters and pens? 'Cause we, the audience, know better than that.

Overall, it was somewhat entertaining, and I might watch it again if I catch it on TV. If Hollywood wants to mess with established franchises with strong fan bases, they need to put in the effort... well, at least if they want my very important approval. (Yes, yes, I know that they're just trying to make money and don't give a crap. Well... I have a blog! So there.)