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|Saturday, May 27th, 2006|
|Holy Crap X-Men3!
X-Men: The Last Stand - The third and (possibly) final part to the X-Men series. A mutant "cure" is found, and then everything goes to hell. Magneto (the always wonderful Ian McKellen) gathers an army to destroy the source: a mutant boy named Leech. Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and his band of peaceful mutants hope to stop Magneto and blah blah blah. You get the picture. The story's much cooler in execution than on paper.
Okay. The great things. Characters lose their powers. Characters die. And goodness knows there are a lot of them. Storm, Beast ,Wolverine (me fav), Collosus, Shadowcat, Iceman, Magneto, Pyro, Cyclops, Juggernaut (who almost steals the show with his one-liners) and best of all: Jean Gray (Famke Jannsen). I haven't even read half the list off, but you get the picture. Needless to say, with so many protagonists, some people's screen time is shunted over, but I don't really give a crap. If you've ever read the original comics, the fightscene pages were twice as spastic and crammed as this movie was.
Kelsey Grammar and Hugh Jackman are wonderful as Beast and Wolverine. No wonder the latter's getting his own spin-off (I personally hope he's going to fight the Hulk). She's changed actresses three times over but ShadowCat (Ellen Page) finally gets to kick some ass. Jannsen is F***ing SCARY as Jean Gray/ Phoenix. This plot line in particular is well done.There's no cheesy "coming out" sequence like in #2
. The action sequences were a blast.
People were so afraid that Brett Ratner was going to screw up the movie. In my opinion he did better than Bryan Singer. There weren't so many stupid moments that caused me to shake my head. This was hard-hitting. Wolverine got to kill people. Favorite characters got to die. This was serious, and it really uped the ante knowing that no one was safe from termination. Well, everyone but Hugh Jackman, cause he rocks so damn much.
Halle Berry can kick the bucket for all I care. She can use lightning but she's just not cut out for comic book movies. And can she STICK with an accent/hairstyle/place in the story? Jean Grey may change into Phoenix but Berry is the real re-inventor around here. I mean, now she can FLY and spin faster than a twister on crack? C'mon. Lets have some continuity here.
A great comic book movie except for Halle Berry, X-Men:: The Last Stand gets an A- Now lets move onto that Wolverine movie.
|Friday, May 19th, 2006|
|The Da Vinci Code
The Da Vinci Code - Ron Howard's adaptation of the infamous novel in which Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou, a favorite of mine) unmask a mystery involving Mary Magdalene's place in the Catholic Church, and the finding of theHoly Grail. I've been told by nit-picks that I don't include enough plot details. You want a total synopsis, see the movie.
Anywho, Lot of big names in this one, andnot coincidently, a lt of good performances. Hanks does well as Langdon, and Tautou even better as Neveu. Ian McKellen has great fun with his screen time and is quite good at clearing through lengthy exposition (There's quite a bit in this movie, but it's all done quite well). There's suspense and intrigue, and no one is quite who they say they are. It kept me on my toes for the movie's two and a half hour run. Jean Reno and Alfred Molina have slightly less time on screen and bring strong support to the table. Paul Bettany is quite shocking and scary in his role as Silas.
The film is about 98% fiction, but personally I've always wondered why we've promoted Jesus into a deity. "Does mortaility take away the splendor of his deeds?" is one of the themes the film goes into, and it really makes you think.
I have not read the book, but I am told that this was pretty much the same expierience. If you liked the book, you'll like the movie. If you haven't read the book, give this film a run. It's a summer blockbuster suspense movie that makes you think. I couldn't have asked for more. This film gets an
|Sunday, April 23rd, 2006|
|Saturday, April 22nd, 2006|
Silent Hill - Rose DeSilva (Radha Mitchell) looks for her daughter Sharon in a malevolent ghost town known as Silent Hill.
Being a fan of the beloved game franchise for years, I awaited this movie with bated breath. I come off with mixed feelings about it though they lean more towards the positive. I really feel that Christopher Gans captured the town's essence and the feelings of sheer terror found in the gameplay.
Parts of the movie are gross, disturbing, and the film overall is depressing. The monsters are horrifically real and truly inhuman creations. Truly, the movie is in its stride in the middle of the movie when Rose, sometimes accompanied by cop Cybil Bennet (Laurie Holden), is exposed to the various ghoulish creations and environments of the town's rotten core. Never has a film made me feel so terrified and very ill-at-ease. (I heard people laughing at points that seemed to be caused by excess tension that from actual mirth.) Though Johny Cash's "Ring of Fire" is amusingly used, there is very little to laugh about in the film. The rest of the music is taken directly from the games and is well used to cvreate a depressing atmosphere. Either you like it or you don't.
I should say "nothing intentionally written for you to laugh about" because a few bits of dialogue are kind of clumsy or unnecessary and caused me to grin slightly. I would've expected better of Roger Avary, writer of Pulp Fiction, but he probably gets tired of everyone comparing his stuff to that film.
The acting is mostly strong, and when it isn't, it sticks out like a big ol' sore thumb. Mitchell does well as Rose. Always showing concern for her daughter, never screaming too much or overacting. Holden plays good support. Sean Bean is completely wasted on the sidelines as Christopher, Rose's anxious husband desperately looking for her while the real story goes on. Why couldn't they have saved him for the sequel? I could almost see him almost yearning to do have some big part in the story. Instead, as it happened in North Country and Equilibrium, he is thrown away. Alice Krige is suitably creepy as Christabella, and Tanya Allen just sucks as Anna. Why did they include her? She brings down the quality of whatever scene she's in. Thankfully, she gets killed off. Unthankfully, it's one of the most gruesome things in the movie.
The secodn half of the movie doesn't hold up to the first half, and I really dislike that so many people are around the "ghost town". In the games, there were at most 6 people total in the town. Here, there's maybe 30. It really brings down the quality.
The movie ending (and hell, the entirety of the movie) is likely to be confusing for most and depressing for all if they figure it out. In any case it's a bloody good scare and a must see for horror afficionados. For Silent Hill fans, a mixed bag. I'm still unsure where I stand on Gans interpretation. There was a lot he did I like and some that I really didn't like. I might appreciate it more with repeated viewings.
This gets a B/B-
|Friday, April 7th, 2006|
|Lucky Number Slevin
Lucky Number Slevin – A case of mistaken identity lands Slevin (Josh Hartnett) into the middle of a war being plotted by two of the city's most rival crime bosses: The Rabbi (Ben Kingsley) and The Boss (Morgan Freeman). Slevin is under constant surveillance by relentless Detective Brikowski (Stanley Tucci) as well as the infamous assassin Goodkat (Bruce Willis) and finds himself having to hatch his own ingenious plot to get them before they get him.
Wow! This is quite the clever movie. One of the things that attracted me was the dialogue. It is quirky, brainy and quick-witted. Josh Hartnett, who I enjoyed in the widely ignored Hollywood Homicide, delightfully displays this verbal black belt in karate that sadly does not extend to his physical fighting skills. He gets the crap beaten out of him quite frequently. He keeps the movie going with charm and our sympathy for his being in such a crappy situation. Anymore about him would be spoilers, but suffice to say it’s very entertaining. Lucy Liu plays his love interest. Her scenes with him are about 10 times as entertaining as the entirety of Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. Though that doesn’t say much at all, I grew to care about their relationship.
Another thing I was quite grateful for was the presence of Morgan Freeman. His sultry voice is, for once, not acting as narrator or warm support to the lead. He plays one of the villains, and does so with silky menace. I was also glad to see Ben Kingsley in something of quality for a change. After Thunderbirds, Species and (ugh) BloodRayne, I thought he’d finally given up on doing anything worthy of his skills. He didn’t have anything too too challenging to do, but I enjoyed his little monologue near the end. Bruce Willis is…. Bruce Willis. If you like the persona he brings in his films (I enjoyed his young cop a little more than his old cop) this is it with a heavy mystique added. To be fair, he was a wild card and was completely unpredictable.
Of course, completely unpredictable could be the name of this movie. Without revealing anything I can tell you that almost everything said and done comes out of left field. The story is so good and the exposition is skillfully prepared, (by director Paul McGuigan) so the lags are minimal and any confusion felt is momentary. If you like your suspense…..suspenseful, than this is for you. My only real critique is that I can’t imagine anyone would want to see the movie more than once. Also, if you’re looking for any depth or greater meaning, aside form its layers, there is none. But it’s an excellent and what’s more, intelligent movie. And that deserves notice.
Lucky Number Slevin gets an A-
|Sunday, March 19th, 2006|
|V for Vendetta
V for Vendetta - World War III has come and gone, and the mistakes of the past have come 'round full circle. The people of Great Britain, in fear of the plague and chaos that resulted in the "States", have handed their rights away to the church, and a Hitler-esquire ruler (John Hurt) for protection. But not all hope is lost, for an anarchist has come to save us from ourselves. His name is V (Hugo Weaving) and he has not forgotten "freedom" and it is not just a word to him.
This is an excellent movie. It hits hard the problems of today. We find ourselves being robbed of our civil liberties by a pack of sniveling fear-mongers. We find ourselves in a world where our religion has quickly become the only thing that matters, and crimes committed by those that claim to be heads of religion are allowed to get away with horrid crimes. We find that the line between "hero" and "villain" is quite easy to cross, if it exists at all.
Hugo Weaving deserves an Oscar nomination at least. He won't get it, but someone's got to admit that it's pretty damn hard to act and show emotion and charisma inside a mask. He is a formidable presence as the charming and devilish anarchist V. Natalie Portman isn't quite as good, but she's still very convincing as the vulnerable, but not too vulnerable Every.
As one of my earlier comments might have indicated, I was grimly satisfied at the inclusion of a pedophile priest. SOMEONE had to include it in a movie sometime.
The effects are spectacular and the dialog is too. I enjoyed the brutal hard hitting fight sequences quite a bit.
It will be snubbed all around, but V for Vendetta is an amazing movie with numerous references to our own situation with George W. Bush, the 1930s syphilis testings, the the Nazi rise to power and the Holocaust (all four of which could occur over and over again).
Who knew one of the most important messages could come in a comic book movie? V for Vendetta gets an A.
|Sunday, March 5th, 2006|
Crash won the Oscar. I'm glad that Ang Lee took home the Oscar for Best Director, but c'mon. Two films, both raise important social issues. But Crash was the better made film overall. YAY!!! I didn't think the Oscar people could surprise us much.
Kudos to John for making fun of WTL and all the damn montages, and keeping the night enjoyable. Seriously, if they could afford all the montage/commercial time, couldn't they give the award receivers sufficient time to talk?
Steve Carell and Will Ferrell were awesome as well. What the hell was Ben Stiller thinking?
And, "It's Hard to Be A Pimp?" WTF? That was terrible. The Crash song was beautiful. I cracked up so hard when one of the Rappers thanked Jesus. So nice to know Jesus cares about pimps, and the many hardships they face.
|Saturday, February 25th, 2006|
|My clever idea for dealing with Creationists
If they so want to spit in the face of science, then it should be made a law that creationists cannot use technology beyond that which was current to the 19th century. Oh lets make it nice, 1856, the year Darwin thought up that great theory of evolution.You can't pick and choose what science to take in, like some sort of clubhouse. No cars. No guns beyond the old flint lock single shot ones with the bayonets. No electric lightbulb or telephone. And no reality television. If you hate science so damn much, your faith in God can take it.
|Thursday, February 16th, 2006|
The Aristocrats - A documentary about a foul joke that spanned back to the Vaudeville era involving a family (and a dog) fecal matter, and lots of other stuff. Simply put, the Aristocrats delivers the foul. But not necessarily the funny. Comedians like George Carlin, Robin Williams and Bob Saget made me laugh, but other comedians simply left me cold, because they kept delivering more of the same. This movie is a prime example of too much of a good thing. Vulgarity must be used sparingly to be effective. It's all a wave of crap and piss and blood otherwise. John Stewart and Bill Mahr were better (and made me laugh, as they always do). They didn't actually tell the joke. If you rent the movie, watch a little of it. Then go to some of the DVD features. Those are better and funnier. Simply put, the Aristocrats is a movie that has comedians talking about a joke, and they're funny when the do, but when they tell the joke, it's just not funny. And the two camera editing is irritating as hell.
Interesting idea but inside jokes do not work for mass viewing, The Aristocrats gets a
|Wednesday, February 8th, 2006|
|I play by no ones rules. Not even my own.
Hello all (insert joke about lack of people that read my lj here). Wow. I haven't updated in about a month or so. Well I was gonna write a review of The New World (I loved it) but then I stopped. I don't feel like following rules, self-imposed or otherwise. I do the work given to me at school and lapse into a coma, inserting a clever or witty comment here or there to pass off what I do as class participation. It's actually quite liberating. The only class I can't do that in is Holocaust. It's too important and too devastating a subject matter to be passed off as such.
Anywho, Urinetown rehearsals are well underway. I get the feeling that Mr. Bechtold doesn't really appreciate me. He and maybe one or two other people mistake inquisitiveness and eagerness for brown-nosing. They could not be more wrong. I suck at ass kssing. The one or two times I've tried it have gone miserably. At least I've got dedication and talent going in my favor. As for Bech, if he doesn't like me, fuck him. The rest of the class seems to enjoy my company and I've got four months left at the place, than cya.
As for graduation, the play I want to do, Lion in Winter (I have the role of John) seems to have it's first performance date on the same day of my graduation, June 9th. Apparently graduation is one of those rites of passage (Why oh why are the only cool rites of passage in movies) and it's deadly dull. My sisters was boring and she advises me to do the play, my dad regretted going to both of his, and my mom played cards in the back until her name was called up for diploma receival. I'd rather do the play, but lets not be hasty (Treebeard). Nothing is written in stone, nor the stars.
Anywho, I like everyone else have heard about this business over that Denmark cartoon. Anyone else find it ironic that, in response to a cartoon that says the Muslims are terrorists, the Muslims react with terrorism? Yes guys, it's an insult. Suck it up. No cartoon is worth 12 dead people (unless it's the cartoonists behind Family Circus, Dennis the Menace, Cathy, For Better or for Worse, Adam @ Home and..... the people that put them into syndication). Jim Davis, you just barely made the list for leaving Garfield on the funny pages for 15 years too long. Bill Waterson had the right idea. He quit while that lovable little brat and his tiger were still fresh. But nooooooo Jim, you just had to make sure you milked the cow dry. Just haaaaaaad to get that Bill Murray movie out there.
|Friday, January 27th, 2006|
|Syriana review/the bigggest dissapointment of 2005.
Syriana - From writer/director Stephen Gaghan, winner of the Best Screenplay Academy Award for Traffic, comes Syriana, a political thriller that unfolds against the intrigue of the global oil industry. From the players brokering back-room deals in Washington to the men toiling in the oil fields of the Persian Gulf, the film's multiple storylines weave together to illuminate the human consequences of the fierce pursuit of wealth and power.
Yeesh. Apparently that's the plot of the movie. I couldn't put it together, and boy did I try. The movie is largely incomprehensible. The screenplay is unremarkable, with an off-kilter comment here or there passing as humor. The direction is incredibly tilted. Sodenburg can make an explosion shocking and effective, but as there are only two of them, he spend the rest of the film delving in suspense and drama, and failing at both. I felt absolutely no emotion of Matt Damon as the loss of his son. Also, remember that metallic negative "twang" that was sometimes used on the "Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction" show to scream to the audience that something bad is about to happen? Well it's used a whole lot in Syriana, and yet nothing happens. So, much in fact that the sound effect loses it's effect entirely, and I started rolling my eyes.
That was a small nit-pick, but it shows the ineptitude of the movie. It tries to be an edgy movie, but at two hours and fifteen minutes (and tries to juggle five complicated stories) it's already bloated and in need of editing.
Maybe this was interesting to people who read the Wall Street Journal, and are into World Industry. I'm not one of them. This was boring, and one of the few movies I've seen that I considered walking out of.
Some good things. The acting isn't bad. Matt Damon and George Clooney tried hard (and had a few good scenes), but they're both miscast. This needed actors of a different caliber. Maybe the director saw Ocean's Eleven too many times.
Boring, disjointed, and largely incomprehensible, Syriana gets a
I want my seven bucks back.
|Tuesday, January 24th, 2006|
|Cool stuff Pirates of the Carribean 2.
Hey. I been busy with musicals. I had a blast watching my sis and being her personal assistant in Oliver. Rehearsals for Urinetown are under way. I'm now the understudy for the lead. yay. At least his lines'll give me something to do during the long bitter hours rehearsing Seussical.
Anywho my friend Dean showed me his photo album from Pirates. It looked awesome. He got signed photos from Kiera Knightley and Orlando Bloom and got to hang out with them. That tops me. I got signed stuff from Alan Rickman and Ian Mckellan, but curtosy of my sister. Anywho, the ships and costumes looked awesome. Dean got to hang with the two pirates from the first movie (the one with the fake eye and "Poppet"). And apparently in the new movie Commodore Norrington gets captured by evil forces and turns bad. Ooh cool. with his swordsmanship skills he'll be tough to beat. it was forbidden to photograph Johnny Depp and he kept to himself mostly but Dean got a secret snapshop of him while Depp wandered about the ship. Dean only spent two weeks on the set but it was the funnest thing he'd ever done. Damnit I wanna be in the third movie! Too bad it's probably almost done.
|Saturday, January 14th, 2006|
|Do I really have anything to say?
I'm tired. I'm writing on this thing because I feel I should so lets see.
Oliver has been underway for me (as Sound Assistant) since Tuesday. The cast is fun, even if I do have to listen to "Food Glorious Food" ad nauseum and always help out little (slip of the tongue, the kid is almost as tall as my sister, who is playing Nancy) Oliver with his damn mike (he is about 95% of my work. Can the kid keep a damn microphone on straight for 10 minutes?) Still, it's all worth it to hang with the cast and watch my big sister, who rocks, btw. And I'm not the only one who thinks so. Nick and Matt are awesome as Fagan and Bill Sykes, respectively. It's ALSCT, which means they have difficulty showing any spine and giving the violence any real weight, but w/e. The cast party earlier tonight was a blast.
A side note for all Pirates of the Carribean fans in my friends community. One of the Chorus members, Dean, played a pirate in the sequel. He'll show me pictures next week he says. He actually got to meet Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly and Johnny Depp and got them all gifts! How f***ing cool is that? He said Bloom and Knightly were a blast to be with and really nice, and Depp was sociable and entertaining when he wanted to be, but often he was dislocated and not terribly engaging. Makes sense, as he's a Gemini (Anyone who's been around a Gemini will know the duality of which I speak). Plus, anyone who's seem his movies knows the guy's eccentirc as hell.
DFamnit, I wanna be in the third movie! too bad they're almost done with it.
|Saturday, December 31st, 2005|
|Happy new year in 18 minutes.
Sorry to not update (all 3 of you that read) but there hasn't been a whole lot that I've felt was worthy of sharing. I didn't get the lead in the school play, which sucks, but I got over it. I did great in Much Ado About Nothing. I'm feeling very detached from the rest of the world outside of my immediate family, which sucks. But I got some awesome DVDs and my puppy is doing great. So Happy New Year. Here's to good times, hardship, and Knowing that it could be worse. And I can't wait to be done with high school.
Crash - How could this one've slipped past theaters with such minimal exposure? A series of interconnected vignettes involving diverse characters and odd circumstances. I should've known to pick this one up when I saw that Don Cheadle stars. That man is a magical actor. Other important players are Terrence Howard as a successful black Hollywood director who is unsure about whether to stand and fight for his dignity after he and his wife are pulled over and abused by Matt Dillon, while Ryan Phillips a conflicted cop, is disgusted at Dillon's abuse of power. And this is the best movie Brendan Fraser has done since Gods and Monsters, but we don't see as much of him. His wife Sandra Bullock (who I was delighted to not see play herself) is spooked into distrusting and dispising all minorities after she and Fraser are car-jacked. There are like 12 or 13 other important characters, and each is given a thoughtful and diverse backround.
Paul Higgis is a masterful director and writer. The film is engaging, intense and powerful, with central themes of race and socio-economic status (more the former than the latter). I dislike using the terms Hero and Villain because these people are just people. Points of view switch and people grow, as they would in real life. The movie is slightly fanciful but not so much that it looses reality. And the fact that it is so real is what makes you connect with it the most.
No question, this is the best movie of the year and gets an
|Friday, December 30th, 2005|
|movie reviews for all two of you that read 'em
The Producers - The story of a down on his luck producer (Nathan Lane) and his accountant (Matthew Broderick) and their get rich quick plan to reep the benifits of a terrible show. Thankfully, this movie makes use of it's forum, something that Rent really neglected to do, and director Susan Stroman does more with the script and songs than just a faithful re-telling of the musical, like Chris Columbus did.
Lane and Broderick work well together (and they should after all the time spent doing the show on Broadway) and are very funny. Uma Therman is very sexy, very tall, and does well with what little she's given to do. Will Ferrel is very funny and he finally has a musical outlet to show his theater talents (I loved his rendition of "Afternoon Delight" back in Anchorman). He should do more of this and fewer "Bewitched"s and "Kicking and Screaming"s, for all our sakes, seriously. Gary Beach and Roger De Bries are also very funny.
On a side-note, has Uwe Boll seen the original of this movie? Cause I swear the premise is what his career has consisted of, German ties aside.
The humor and gag routines are all very tougue and cheek. There are those that don't go for this sort of thing, but most of them also don't enjoy musicals. For the rest of the world, this is a treat. Some negative note are one or two flat moments and a few minor pacing problems. Enough chit-chat, go see it! This gets a
Brokeback Mountain - The story of two young men, a Wyoming ranch hand named Ennis (Heath Ledger) and a rodeo cowboy named Jack(Jake Gyllenhall), who meet sheepherding in Wyoming and form a homosexual bond that severely conflicts their lives. The movie so accurately depicts the conflicts and diversity presented in this situation that fiction replicates life to close to the quick.
Gyllenhall delivered the passionate performance I've grown to expect from him, but Ledger truly surprised me with his realness and quiet intensity. For the first time watching him on screen I'd forgotten that he was Heath Ledger. We really see him getting eaten up as he is torn between two lives, one with Jack and one with Alma, his wife, and unable to fulfill either person. Michelle Williams also deserves praise for her performance as Alma, Ellis's wife, and the suffering she goes through when she discovers her husband is gay.
The cinematography is excellent. Ang Lee surpasses himself and makes up for that really bad Hulk movie. This is a movie where not dialouge but image is the central focus, and Lee excels at this. Its raw look at the trials and tribulations of homosexuals created by society is barrier breaking, emotional, and not to be missed.
One of the year's best films, this gets an
|Wednesday, December 28th, 2005|
|Best Films of 2005 that I have seen
2. King Kong
3. Good Night and Good Luck
4. Brokeback Mountain
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
6. Batman Begins
7. Sin City
8. A History of Violence
9. Wallace and Gromit & the Curse of the Were-Rabbit
10. Corpse Bride
|Saturday, December 17th, 2005|
King Kong - Peter Jackson's take on the story of Ann Darrow(Naomi Watts)'s journey to Skull Island, in which she meets Kong, who is captured by Carl Denhem (Jack Black) and brought back to New York. The movie has some stellar performances with Naomi Watts in the lead because she spent about 70% of the film acting with what wasn't there and still managed to make a convincing and likable character. Thankfully she doesn't scream nearly as much as Fay Wray did. Adrian Brody is quiet and intelligent as writer Jack Driscol, and there is actual romance between the two characters, something sorely missed in the original. Jack Black is pretty convincing and wryly funny as the selfish Carl Denhem. Though he doesn't give quite as much poigniancy to the last line of the film as Robert Armstrong did, I like that he is given a slightly underhanded devil-may-care approach in this film, as in both this and the 1933 version, Denhem is the man that causes all of the lives to be lost with his foolish schemes, but in the old version, he was put into a heroic position, while the ape was the villain.
This movie takes a much more loving and respectable view at Kong than the old movie. In that, he was a savage creep, and there were allusions to him raping Ann. I was glad to see him die. In this, he is a misunderstood creature and Ann's defender and there is a touching romance between the two of them. In the 1933 version, he destroyed most of the city just for the hell of it, and climbed up the tallest tower to be get busy with Ann. Gross! In this one, he wrecks the city in a search for Ann because he wants to protect Ann from these savages that chained him up. He climbs the tower as a last defense against these people that want him dead. 72 years of advanced technology aside, this movie casts Kong in a great light as one of the best and most misunderstood heroes in film history. He looks fantastic and he stays 25 feet tall. Yay.
There are tips of the hat to the original. The (dreary I thought) dance of the savages in the original is the campy Broadway dance played out at the display of King Kong in New York. The kinda dorky ship scene between Fay Wray and Bruce Cabot from the original that passed as romance back in 1933 is now an improvised scene in Carl's film. And though the movie still has black savages (which, as I'm in an African-American Literature class right now, I'll hear all about on Monday) and they are scary, there is the addtion of the black heroic character Hayes (played by Evan Parke) to even things out a bit. Whatever. Some prudes will never be happy.
This movie has got to be one of the most suspenseful movies I've ever seen. Not since Jurassic Park or, I dunno, the Lord of the Rings has there been such a rollarcoaster of a movie. The island is a feast for the eyes. There is pretty much giant everything. There are giant bats, grubs, centipedes(This part was super freaky) and loads of dinosaurs. One amazing sequence involved a stampede, and another had Kong fighting three T. Rexes. Amazing. Just amazing.
My critiques, not many. A few minutes cut from the ship getting to the island and landing at the island, and a few cut from the empire state building sequence would not have gone wrong. It's not terrible, just a tad excessive. Other than that, this is an awesome movie.
Not to be missed, King Kong gets an
|Sunday, December 11th, 2005|
|The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Chronicles of Narnia - Based on the classic novel by C.S. Lewis. Four London children are sent to a professor (Jim Broadbent)s country home for protection during World War II. There they find a magic wardrobe which leads to a mystical land called Narnia, which is being ruled by an evil witch (Tilda Swinton). To defeat the Witch, they must join forces with Aslan (voiced by Liam Neeson), the lion God of Narnia, and the great battle between good and evil.
Good things first. The film is well directed for the most part, though it could've been made more touching. It, in the wake of numerous Harry Potter films, Lord of the Rings, and a slew of mediocre epic wanna-bes, manages to keep the ideas of magic and grandscale battles interesting. The music and locales offer a different sort of character and charm from other movies. Swinton is drippingly evil as the Witch. Though she looks like Galadrial without eyebrows and dialated pupils, her character is radically different and deserves apreciation. The children are all earnest and cute and British, though they all have some points where I just wanted to reach into the screen and slap one or two of them. There are some adorable critters in the mix of everything. I loved the adorable little Beavers (voiced by Ray Winstone and Dawn French, one of my beloved British actresses) and the Fox (voiced by the charming Rupert Everett). Liam Neeson voices Aslan (Why is he always typecast as mentor figures?) with earnesty and authority. The final battle is pleasing to the eyes and the adrenaline of all, and manages to be satisfying in spite of it's PG rating. (On a minor note, why are all these expierienced warriors so willing to be commanded by a couple of teen boys? Silly.)
Now on to the mediocre stuff. I found myself grimacing at the absurdity and spectacle of the sacrificing of Aslan. Really, what the hell is this? The Passion of the Lion? Disney already killed a Lion in one of their films, and they did it better that way. I haven't read the books, but I don't care if it IS in the book. The scene is just silly. I get the allegory. On the third hour the mice nibbled at the Lion's ropes, and he became alive again. Dumb. Another thing that concerns me. For a film that takes place during World War II, and strives to show us the importance of sacrifice, Narnia is pretty lenient on letting ANYONE die, unless they're bad. Good people don't die. And that's where the boys are separated from the men, and Lord of the Rings is placed a notch (well. several notches) above Narnia. War involves sacrifice. It involves pain, and Narnia glides over that like it's the glacier lake. Oh, and having a scene that shows Santa giving a 6 year old girl a dagger is just plain wrong. Excellent to take a child to, and pretty durn good for everyone else, Narnia gets a B+