So I’ve been far too lax in posting as of late. I could throw a bunch of excuses up here, but long and short of it is, I’ve been very tired lately, mentally and physically.
I’ve been keeping a list of topics that I think deserve blogging so I figured I’d start chewing through them by doing some film micro-reviews.
I’ve got the soundtrack to Tron: Legacy playing right now, and it is fantastic. Daft Punk did a phenomenal job of capturing the feel of the original while updating it and providing a truly immersing soundtrack.
The narrative of the film itself isn’t anything to write home about, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. Seeing Bruce Boxleitner and Jeff Bridges back in these geeky roles is a treat. Jeff seems to be channeling “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski, which is hilarious and awesome at the same time.
I watched the film for the second time yesterday on my home system and it was just as enjoyable as seeing it in the theater. As with all recent releases I’m going well out of my way to avoid the 3D fad. I find the forced focal points to be straining on the eyes, plus I seem to always end up with scratched glasses. Frankly, I just prefer seeing stuff in 2D.
The long and short of Tron: Legacy is this, if you like the original, you’ll probably enjoy Legacy. I had a lot of fun watching it and it is recommended.
Tomorrow When The War Began
It’s hard to say anything about this movie without drawing a direct comparison to the superior 80′s film Red Dawn. Basic premise is an invading force takes control of part of Australia while some kids are camping. When they return, they find themselves behind enemy lines and begin guerrilla warfare against said force.
It’s not a bad movie. And I hate that that implies negativity towards the film. It’s an Australian production and suffers somewhat from a smaller budget. It also is hampered by a PG rating, but that is to be expected as it is adapted from a young-adult series of books. I think a full-on, R-rated version of this would be a really wonderful film. Exploring just how far people will go in a lord of the flies type situation against a superior enemy… but then I can just pop in Red Dawn (which itself has a remake completed awaiting distribution which I am dreading…). Overall, if you’re looking for a neat little mid-budget film, I recommend it.
I also must mention that the lead actress, a miss Caitlin Stasey, is ridiculously beautiful.
Dinner for Shmucks
I didn’t hate it. I didn’t love it. It had a few funny moments, mostly executed by Jermaine Clement’s over-the-top artist character.
I really really loved this movie. It was my introduction to Emma Stone, who, aside from being astoundingly gorgeous, has fantastic comedic timing. This film is a homage to the wonderful John Hughes films that peppered the 80′s.
The script is tight, the dialogue witty, and the characters great. Amanda Bynes bible thumper is hilarious and with a supporting grown-up cast including Stanley Tucci, Thomas Hayden Church and Lisa Kudrow among others, the delivery of everything in this script is great. The back-and-forth banter is very quick and laugh-out-loud funny with some very obscure and high-brow reverences.
Overall, a great film worth seeing.
Legend of the Guardians – The Owls of Ga’Hoole
Aside from an excruciatingly long title and some monumentally uninspired posters, I really enjoyed this. It has some truly gorgeous footage and looks great on a big screen. As a kids animated movie, it’s got your typical archetypes displayed and exploited; the mentor, the friend, the betrayed sibling, etc. But it works. I liked it and again, it’s damn pretty.
Plus, I think it’s the only film with a talking echidna released in 2010.
Contrary to the title, this is a very European feeling film. One that is very much a slow burner and I think that hurt it greatly at the box office. Most of the online comments I’ve seen about this say that it’s incredibly boring, but I found it anything but. It is most definitely not an action film, despite what the premise and poster may allude to, but rather a tight drama about an assassin and how isolated and lonely his life is. I thought the performances were excellent and the story was quite engaging.
Don’t go in expecting a shoot-em-up action film and you might be surprised by how much you like this.
Another European thriller, this one moves along a fair bit quicker than The American, and I enjoyed it just as much. It really does keep you guessing with a “is he/isn’t he” question throughout the entire film. The cinematography in Venice is great and the colours of the film really stand out. The production was plagued with many challenges with actors and director’s going through many changes, but the end result is far better than expected.
The Next Three Days
I’m not a huge fan of Russel Crowe, but I found him to be well cast in this film. The premise is an ordinary man trying to break his wife out of jail for a crime she may or may not have committed. It’s interesting to see to what lengths and what a normal guy would do, sacrifice and learn to get back the woman he loves. This isn’t Ocean’s Eleven where we have a team full of professional thieves and con-men; this is one normal dude who has to learn everything and improvise along the way to create a fool-proof plan to break out his wife and escape. There are some moments of belief suspension, but overall it works and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it.
Far better than I expected, you should watch this film if only to see Harrison Ford turn in a hilarious performance as a crotchety old reporter who believes (in my opinion rightly) that morning shows are beneath him. It’s fairly formulaic and expected, but provides some laughs and decent performances all around. But watching Ford chew through this stuff is a real treat.
Exactly as you would expect from a Disney animated film. It’s stereotypical, funny, creative and pretty. I was kind of annoyed that they billed it as Walt Disney’s 50th animated motion picture as it’s clearly 3D and not traditional animation, but it’s still a fun little film with no consequences.
And the chameleon character I found myself laughing at far more than a grown man should.
This is a great film… which I found incredibly boring. I was not in the right frame of mind when I started watching it and would have been better suited with a comedy of some sort. I do recommend it, but make sure you’re int he mood for a slow character drama when you start watching.
One thing I will note about this, Jennifer Lawrence has been heavily pushed as the front-runner for the lead role of Katniss in the film version of The Hunger Games. You can really see why when watching Winter’s Bone. The characters are very similar in defending their younger siblings through times of extreme poverty and suppression and sacrificing all to do so.
Just some brief final films that I didn’t enjoy:
You Again – A great cast totally put to waste. Painful to watch.
The Kids Are All Right – Good film, which I just found very boring to watch. Performances are good, but I think over-rated.
Shrek 4 – Awful. There’s a surprise.