Archive for July, 2010

2oth Century Fox

George Clooney, Bill Murray, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson

Mr Fox is fantastic.  He’s also a born thief.  He went on the wagon to please the Mrs. Fantastic Fox, but can’t help himself from stealing chickens from the biggest, weirdest, baddest, nastiest farmers around.

Reviewers are raving about “the best film of 2009” and “On par with anything out of Pixar”.  Hunh?  Maybe these guys were in the production company or something.   This is NOT the film I watched.  The one I saw was mediocre at best.

I grew up watching stop motion animation, and it was pretty cool back in the day.  And it’s nice to see it well done again like this is.  In fact, if you don’t know it, you almost accept it as normal 3D animation and don’t think about it being “stop motion”.

My problem was with the story.  Some loved it.  I was just pretty bored and disappointed in it.  Mr. Fox is a split personality.  He’s trying to be good but just can’t.  The farmers retaliate and he screws the whole band, so he has to try to save everybody and live happily ever after.  Oh well, that’s what happens, but it’s hard to care about it.  It’s kind of ironic when the fox is acting like a human (talking to his lawyer) and still thieving chickens.   What they talk about it is kind of funny, but nothing as heart wrenching or laugh out loud funny as other better movies.  I think this is a mid range film, worth it if you’re really a fan of stop motion, or if you’re a cartoon junkie, but if you have limited time, I would suggest something else.  Certainly Toy Story3, Dispicable Me, and many others are much better.

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Author: EdG

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Animus Films, Paramount

Matt Long, Jessica Stroup, Mischa Barton

Anyone here read Misery?  If you read the book or saw the movie, then you’ve already seen this movie.  Honestly, it was almost 100% the same film, almost down to the dialog.   Someone in a review compared this to Fatal Attraction for teens.  Nope, this was Misery for teens.  I don’t want to give away the story, but every major scene was in there.

If it wasn’t such a blatant rip-off, I probably would have really liked it.  It was a well done movie, and the characters were pretty well acted.  Teenage football hero, now a College football star comes back home to his high school for Homecoming (hence the title) and for a ceremony to retire jersey number 7!   He brings his new girlfriend for the celebration.  Trouble is, his high school sweetheart doesn’t quite get that it’s over, and she isn’t happy that he has someone else.  Turns out she’s a pretty twisted soul.   There’s a whole back story about her and her recently deceased mother that isn’t really developed thoroughly.  Now both girls do some pretty dumb things, and the football hero/jock is pretty stupid as well.  Same for the callers to the farm house.  Everybody here is pretty stupid, but I guess that’s the point.

If you haven’t seen both movies, watch Misery with James Caan and Kathy Bates (It’s a Stephen King st0ry) as it’s must better, or if you’re so inclined, watch them both and learn what “derivative” means!

Not a bad movie, but there’s really no surprises either.   Except that this is another of those movies filmed in “The Burgh”.   Yep, Pittsburgh, Pa.

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Author: EdG

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RKO Pictures, Foresight Unlimited

Jesse Metcalfe, Amber Tamblyn, Michael Douglas

This film is available on “Watch Instantly” on Netflix.  This is one of my favorite genres, the courtroom drama.   A young reporter just knows that the DA is falsifying evidence so that he NEVER loses a murder case.  So to try to prove it, this nut decides to frame himself in a murder case to prove that he’s falsifying evidence.  Gee, how could that go wrong?

People either love this or hate it.  I find myself somewhere in between.  I guess it’s because I love courtroom dramas, and the fact that there are some really big holes in the story are not really that important.  If you ride it out and ignore the stupid things that nit-pickers like to fuss about, the story is kind of fun.

It’s low budget, and I’m not sure how they got Michael Douglas to do it.  He must be friends with the director, and he didn’t really have much to do.   But they are a few twists and turns.   Oh, and I guess I should mention this is a remake of at 1956 film by the same name.  I haven’t seen that one, but I hear it shows up on Turner Classic Movies once in a while.  I’ll have to keep an eye out for it.

So the point of the movie isn’t as some think, the value of direct versus circumstancial evidence.  The point is more about false evidence.  But it’s not really about that.  Twists and turns happen and for a while you’re not sure what’s up anymore.  I rated this movie in the middle, as I enjoyed the plot twists and the courtroom antics,  and the car chase wasn’t so bad either.  But it’s not a great movie either.  It could have been paced a bit better.  All in all though, I’m glad I slipped this into my “instant” queue.   The price was right!

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Author: EdG

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Summit Entertainment

Kristin Sewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Bryce Dallas Howard

Three and a half Stars

The third installment of the Twilight Saga has been out.  The wifey wanted to see it, so off we went.  Well, I was impressed by the first film, and disappointed in the second.  This one was much better.  There was some real action in this movie, and the story moved along.  Victoria finally made it clear what she’s really up to, and a tentative and fragile truce between Team Edward and Team Jacob seems to be holding a bit.  Bella still can’t make up her mind, and it makes it clear why there’s no Team Bella.  Because Bella is annoying and turns everybody off.  The only one more annoying is Bella’s Dad, but he’s not important anyway.

I started out after Part Two as a Team Edward fan, but I think I just switched.  Jacob has much more to offer Bella, and he’ll take care of her.  I don’t trust Edward.  But that’s just me.   I did notice that the Team Edward T-shirts were on sale at the theater for $5.00, but there were no Team Jacob shirts to be had at any price.  But that could be because the Jacob fans don’t wear shirts, I’m not sure.

Ok, so it wasn’t great or anything, but it was decent, and a darn site better than the last one.  It was worth it to watch it in a theater filled with people to see their reaction to some of the classic lines.  I don’t know if Bella is ever going to make up her mind or not, but it doesn’t really matter at this point.  As long as someone kicks Jane (Dakota Fanning) in the backside.  That girl deserves it!   Guess I’ll have to stick around for the next one to see if someone finally does.

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Author: EdG

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Warner Brothers

Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page

This movie starts with a 1 minute flashback.  Uh oh.  This movie has held #1 in the box office for 2 weeks in a row, and shows no sign of letting up.  When I went to see it, the theater was full.  I was expecting to be blown away.  Well, I wasn’t.  What’s Leonardo doing these days?  He’s been in one weird movie after another.

Now, I certainly did not HATE this movie.  I just wasn’t blown away as I expected to be.  Maybe I expected too much.

The concept is original….oh wait, no it isn’t.  Didn’t I see Sandra Bullock, Kevin Bacon,  and Natalie Wood  doing this some time ago?   Ok, so you can go into someone’s dreams and control what they see, and fake them out.  You can “extract” their most well guarded secrets.  (Didn’t Robert Jordan write this in the Wheel of  Time series?   Until he died, that is without finishing the story, I might add.  (Bummer).   So what would happen if you were to give a person an idea in the dream, but make them think they thought it up, and it wasn’t given to them.   Very difficult and to do this you must think up the most convoluted, werid, strange, far fetched, out of the question, impossible scenario known to modern cinema.  How many dreams inside dreams inside dreams can we create?  Then the “phsyics” of this.  Hey, did you know that every level of dream within a dream is faster?   What poppycock.

However, the views were exceptional!   I sat in the first row, surrounded by the beauty.  There were colors, and sounds, and scenery.  There is a James Bondesque chase scene on a snowy mountain.

So did they succeed, or fail?  Did you really care?  Do you know what’s real and what isn’t?  I think this film is like the Emperor’s New Clothes. Two thirds of the people in the theater had no idea what just happened, but everyone wanted to say how great it was because they didn’t want anyone to know they didn’t know what was going on.

So the word of mouth grows.  You must see this, it’s so cerebral.

Well, don’t expect a great flick storywise.  Be prepared to set your common sense (dare I say intelligence) aside, and enjoy the cinematography.  You’ll definitely want to know what it’s about, so you can share the conversation around the water cooler.  Just don’t tell anyone the Emperor has no clothes.  🙂

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Author: EdG

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