Monday, January 17, 2011

Inception Ending Explained


I almost feel cheated by the ending which fails to answer a very important question.

My view on Inception is that it is an O.K. movie.  You could think of it like "The Matrix" except in the dream world.  Dreams in this film don't work like real dreams, so there is no real believability here except that the film sets up its own rules and the characters believe it.    Since most of the action sequences in the movie takes place in the dream world, it is easy to feel a little detached from the action.

I give the movie gets some credit for being different, so I give it:  * * * 1/2.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Die Hard II, Die Harder (* * *)

It is a mystery to me why Roger Ebert would give just 2.5 stars to Air Force One, and 3.5 stars to Die Hard II.   In his review for Die Hard II, he talks about how skillfully director Renny Harlin crafted this film.  There may to truth to this, but I disdained the direction because Die Hard II is a completely absurd movie, littered with clichés, annoying arguments, non stop foul language, and plot holes big enough to fly a plane through.   Although Air Force One may not be perfect, it is somewhat more plausible.  Ebert thinks that Air Force One is recycled from other action movies, but given that, you would think that he never saw Die Hard II, which feels like it is recycled from a a bunch of bad 70's films.  This is a formula picture if there ever was one.  So I think that Air Force One is the movie Die Hard II should have been.

Despite how completely absurd the movie is, it sort of works.  There is a suspense that carries the movie.  As I watched it, no matter how silly the movie seemed, I kept wanting to see what would happen next.    Maybe this is what Ebert means by skillful direction.  I despise the script, but the movie has enough action sequences to drag the audience along from one scene to the next.  For me, the movie was a kind of guilty pleasure;  It was something I could enjoy if I didn't think about it too hard.  (In fact, it helps to not think at all.)   If the goal of the movie is to be a mindless summer action picture, then it succeeds in both respects.

For this reason, I reluctantly give the film three stars.  If you like action movies, then it is probably worth seeing once, but only once.  All the other Die Hard movies are better.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Air Force One (* * *)

Is the movie Air Force One slightly corny and clichéd?  In a few places, but it never misses a beat as a good action picture.  Roger Ebert thinks that the whole film is recycled from other movies.  That could be true, but I haven't seen all the movies Mr. Ebert has.  For me, the movie worked because the pace never let up.  There is always something entertaining on the screen.

The theme song is also a little corny, but in a patriotic sort of way.  Listen to it here.   This is the kind of song good enough to replace "Hail to the Chief."  I think that it sounds a little bit like a Star Trek theme, and in fact it was written by Jerry Goldsmith who also wrote the theme to Star Trek Voyager.  Someone on youtube noticed the similarity and made this video.

Kung Fu Panda II (Teaser Trailer)

Paul (Trailer)