Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Best actors from the last 40 years.
Why the First 'Star Wars' Is Still the Best 'Star Wars'
- I disagree. I think that The Empire Strikes Back is the best movie
I have ever seen. The last 40 to 50% of "Star Wars" is nothing but
action making it more video game like, and therefore it explores the
characters less. It does do a great job of exploring the characters
in the first half, but the movie starts out slow; it takes 15 minutes
before we even meet the main character, Luke. We are half an hour
into the movie before Luke decides to leave Tatooine.
The Empire Strikes Back is a little slow in middle when Luke is
training with Yoda on Degoba, but it is a necessary part of the
character development leading up to the confrontation between Luke and
Darth Vader. Everything else in the movie is rich with action, but
that action in most scenes seems to exist for the purpose of revealing
more about the characters. This makes the movie high art.
(IMHO the few extra special effects that Lucas added in 1997 only
serve as a distraction from the original movie.)
Both movies will still be around a hundred years after they were made.
Speaking of which, we are not that far off from the hundredth
anniversary of Charlie Chaplin's "City Lights". Although not great by
modern standards, it certainly was great when it came out. It is my
favorite silent film.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Another Earth. Rating: B+.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Children of Men. Rating: A
Michael Caine has a strong supporting role as an old hippie, which is counter to his usual roles, but completely believable.
The movie does a great job of exploring post 9-11 themes, as well as religious themes. The pregnant woman is essentially the mother of the entire future human race.
I had to turn on closed captioning to understand some of the British accents. The movie never slows down to explain anything, but assumes that you are smart enough to follow along. I paused the film in places to read some of the billboards, many of which give interesting insights into this future world.
The movie is rated R for violence, language, and brief nudity.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
Bambi (rating: B)
It is what it is. Bambi is part of our American culture. I suppose that some people would consider the movie to be high art. Seventy years ago audiences probably thought that this was one of the greatest movies they had ever seen, and they were probably right. But if this movie were made today, it would need three times the dialog and three times the plot.
The only time I was really impressed with the animation was when the movie uses multiple layers to zoom in and out. For brief moments, the movie breaks out of its 2D mode to give us a good illusion of 3 dimensions. It happens so seldom that it contrasts too much with the rest of the movie.
Children might fall in love with all the cute animals, but then again they might get bored. I found the story to be barely adequate, but I also thought that some of the characters, like Thumper with his delightful voice and one tooth, were fun to watch.
On the DVD, the documentary about how the movie was made is just as entertaining as the movie.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Queen to Play (Rating: B)
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
FW: Source Code 2011 SF movie
I watched “Another Earth” another SciFi over the weekend. Interesting movie, and like Code 46, not typical SciFi.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
FW: Source Code 2011 SF movie
Source Code is a 2011 American science fiction-techno-thriller film directed by Duncan Jones, written by Ben Ripley, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Russell Peters and Jeffrey Wright. The film had its world premiere on March 11, 2011 at SXSW, and was released by Summit Entertainment on April 1, in North America and Europe.
I was pleasantly surprised. I liked it. No anticipation because I never saw any of the trailers. I had not much of an idea of what it was about or that it was even considered science fiction. And the best surprise of all was when I found out it was directed by Duncan Jones who directed “Moon”. I didn’t discover that until I was watching the DVD extras. Just like the main character in “Moon”, our hero is very very screwed!
BTW: Most current Netflix CDs have all the extras removed now. I’m not sure which studio is doing it the most but it’s very annoying. If the disk even has any extras listed if you select any it gives you a nice little annoying message about how this cd is for rental purposes only and you need to go purchase the blu-ray version.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
The Help (Rating: B)
There is an unbelievable scene in the middle of that is disgusting, but funny. I sometimes have a low tolerance for things like this, which is why I never watched American Pie, because I know what the title really means. I will eventually get around to watching it. Likewise, in the movie Crash, which is another movie about racism, there is an unpleasant sexual assault by a police officer that soured me on the whole movie. I wondered if such a scene was realistic, or if movie was forcing a distorted view to fit an agenda.
The movie The Help and the book by the same have been the subject of much controversy. They have been criticized for not being historically accurate, whitewashing the true history, and for the way it portrays white and black characters. It has also been praised for its great performances and willingness to address racial issues. Since one of the things the movie is about is the publication of a 1963 documentary book called "The Help", the film gives us the false impression that the movie is completely based upon real events. Actually the book is fictional and published in 2009.
Accurate or not, the movie knows how to tell a great story. It hits all the right buttons and works from beginning to end. The cast and the acting are great.