Sunday, September 11, 2011

Contagion ::

Public Enemies * * *

"Public Enemies" gives a "just the facts" style drama without really delving
into the motivation or the background of the characters. When we first meet
John Dilinger, he is alreayd a bad man doing bad things. The movie never
bothers to explain why.

Inglorious Basterds * * *

Inglorious Basterds tells an alternate history where a group of undercover commandos help end World War II by killing off the Nazi leadership.

I don't know if "Inglorious Basterds" is a brilliant film or an excessively gratuitiously violent movie. It is both.  The movie repeats the same formula over and over: Clever conversation followed by horrendous violence. It does this about 6 times, so it started to feel repetitious.  The scene at the end movie I found too disturbing.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rise of the Planet of The Apes * * * 1/2

When the remake of "Planet of the Apes" came out in 2001 to mixed
reviews, a Salt Lake City radio talk show host named Bob Lonsberry
summed it up very nicely: "I went to see a movie. There were apes in
it. That is good enough for me."

I went to see "Rise of the Planet of The Apes" with low expectations
because I thought that the trailer had given away the whole story.
Although I was partially correct, I didn't count on how skillfully
that story would be told. This is a well crafted and thought out

In several places the movie isn't totally logical or believable, but
for heaven's sake, a movie like this isn't suppose to be. Believability
takes a back seat to good storytelling.

This could be the best Planet of the Apes movie since the original.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

RIO * * *

The trailer for RIO simply plays the most eye popping scene from the movie where one blue parrot tries to teach another blue parrot how to fly by jumping off a mountain.   The trip down is pretty exciting, but this does not not end well because the two parrots are chained together and one of the parrots clearly does not know how to fly becaue he is obviously a domesticated bird.  How they got into the situation where the two chained birds are jumping off a mountain we can only learn by watching the film, which I have been wanting to do ever since I saw the trailer over a year ago.  I meant to see the movie in the theater, but I never got around to it, so I settled for video.

My favorite part of the movie by far is the first 5 minutes where a little girl adopts an orphaned baby parrot, names him Blue, and they grow up together, which is easy to imagine since some parrots live really long lives.  Within five minutes the movie establishes that the girl, Linda, has grown up and has a really strong bond with her parrot.  I don't know if it is possible for a human and a bird to have such a strong bond, but it is a necessary part of the story since Blue and Linda become seperated in Rio de Janeiro.   The rest of the movie is a somewhat familiar story about how they eventually get back together.  It is not that different from 1,001 Dalmations or Finding Nemo, but the first 5 minutes did such a great job of establishing the bond that it made the story compelling.

There are some predictable villians and some not-so-predictable villians and at least one annoying musical number too many, which is typical for animated films.  Overall, the movie is a good way to spend 90 minutes.