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Tag Archives: 2012

Quote Review: Wanderlust (2012)

“I think you’re making everybody uncomfortable.”

Another comedy that wants to be edgy and uproariously belligerent in its laughs, all the while providing some sort of a dramatic insight.  Sadly, it’s tired overkill that, minor chuckles aside, only pushes buttons that have been pressed too many times already (and with better results).

 
 

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The Dark Knight Rises: Full, Spoiler-Free Review

Christopher Nolan’s Batman films are among the few you can get away with coming to a verdict on before even seeing.  The big reason is that, regardless of what we’re given, it’s going to be quality work.  At this point it’s, well, pointless to talk about Batman Begins and The Dark Knight since they both live up to said pedigree.  And just like the initial skepticisms for those two films, concerns are beyond cast aside in The Dark Knight Rises.

Not many films get the idea of effective marketing, but The Dark Knight Rises really has it down.  The trailers often showed similar footage and, beyond the limited release of the prologue, all we had to work with were fragments.  As such, this is less a movie to spoil and more one to discuss in limited detail.

The film is set eight years after The Dark Knight, with Gotham’s criminal activity apparently at an all-time low.  During that time, the city has thrived off of a lie which has taken its toll on those who know the truth.  Much of the film’s first half reacquaints us with just what consequences have followed, which is played off as the more immediate threat ensues.

Enter Bane, who we all know from the trailers as the man who’ll become “Gotham’s reckoning.”  In a recent behind-the-scenes video, actor Tom Hardy said “The Joker wanted to watch the world burn.  Bane’s here to pull the pin on the grenade.”  There’s really no other way to say it, as Bane is pretty much the embodiment of a Batman villain in the form of a terrorist.  It gets to the point that you almost forget this is based on a graphic novel.  That is, until one or two tiny parts creep up and remind you that nothing is quite off limits, even under Nolan’s direction.  The presence and role Bane has is infrequent but significant.  It’s just a shame that his lines are still tough to make out, despite addressing the concerns of many fans (including myself).  Eventually it comes down to actions speaking louder than words, but it’s still tough to get a first impression when much of what you hear sounds like sheer distortion, bass and accent.

The villains from the Dark Knight films have been perhaps the most memorable.  And while Bane does more than enough to leave an impression (or two), we thankfully get a bit more of our heroes a la Batman Begins.  Superb as The Dark Knight was, the film was really about the Joker; his show-stealing scenes almost took away from our actual hero.  Not so much the case here.  Christian Bale puts on his best performance as Bruce Wayne and Batman, with the rest of the main cast matching his commitment.  In fact, while we’re on that subject, Michael Caine deserves an Oscar nomination for his performance.  He has hardly three or four scenes, but those moments really count and stick with you.

It’s a good thing we have these characters to enjoy and invest ourselves in, because without them, the story would definitely cripple.  Plot points almost come off like small details at first, but quickly play bigger and even pivotal roles.  To the more indifferent viewer, these are bound to be potential problems, but to the film’s credit, it’s at least trying to take itself and its audience seriously.  If you can’t get the entire picture, you’ll at least get the gist of things.

What The Dark Knight Rises manages to be, more than anything, is an effective concoction.  For a while it brews and swells with set ups and potential before utilizing the last hour to build the intensity with more than a few gripping, boiling points.  It leaves you panting, losing breath but still wanting to be subjected.  The universe is deeply grounded with characters pulling you in while the action and tension leave you immobilized.  It’s a fine, worthy conclusion that shows it’s less about matching or outdoing its predecessors, but more about ending the series on a proper note.

 
 

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Sci-Fi Reboots: Dredd vs. Total Recall

This is Law-Kall!

If there’s any reboot that people are bound to flock to this year, it’s The Amazing Spider-Man.  Marc Webb’s take on the comic book hero is pulling an Incredible Hulk on us by coming just five years after its spiritual predecessor.  Early reviews have been positive enough to guarantee that, unless it happens to bomb worse than Raimi’s castration of Venom, we’ll see at least one sequel.

But while Spider-Man joins Batman and the Avengers for the summertime superhero infestation, two films set for a later release have caught my eyes.

First we have the remake of Total Recall, this time seeing Colin Farrell follow up Arnie’s role from the 1990 version.  Like most of the reboots and updates we’ve seen, Len Wiseman’s Total Recall looks darkly dystopian.  So no, it hardly looks any different from all the other films that have ripped off Blade Runner for the past 30 years.  But if we were sick of the same things, film and sports would be as dead as knock knock jokes.  And let’s be honest, good as the original Total Recall was, it hasn’t exactly aged well; not to mention the fact it’s an above average mill of one-liners.  Though I’m not anticipating this to be to Philip K. Dick’s story as The Dark Knight is to Batman, a modernization doesn’t seem as pointless as many other recent sequels, remakes and spin-offs.  The remake looks more level-headed to say the least, and though Farrell wouldn’t be my first choice, he can do well with the right material and director.  Although I don’t think anything he does in the future will top Phone Booth.

Based on the trailer, the Rekall place Farrell visits might not be directly in-line with the people hunting him down.  This could make for a small scene versus business dynamic, but knowing the source material it’ll probably wind up being one of those double agent (or double company?) scenarios.  Either way, I hope we get some creative divergences from the original.  In particular, I’d like to see a twist to the original ending.

Then we have the remake of 1995’s infamous Judge Dredd adaptation.  The remake’s clever, shortened name?  Dredd.  Does this mean the film itself will be half as long?  Now if one of these sci-fi films will truly benefit from a newer, darker look, it’s definitely Judge Dredd.  There were two things Total Recall definitely had over Judge Dredd: the story actually required paying a bit of attention and it managed to be good in spite of the one-liners.  Even with the slated September release date, we hardly got a poster of Dredd until recently.  Now that we (finally) have a full-fledged trailer, we can see just how different and similar the film is simultaneously.  On one hand, we should be getting a more investible environment and story here.  And on the other it looks just like–you guessed it: any other Blade Runner inspired film.  One of the many things comic book fans weren’t so fond of in Judge Dredd was the fact Stallone took off the mask/helmet (we’ll call it a masket).  This time, however, Karl Urban of Star Trek, Doom and The Lord of the Rings will play judge, jury and executioner with the word being his masket never comes off.

One potential qualm I already have with the film is that I’ll always be able to tell Urban is acting, since he’s clearly trying to gruff up his voice.  But hey, it’s a step up from Stallone’s “law” and “I knew you’d say that” deliveries.  Beyond that, we have the usual mix of incredible technology but slum-ridden cities for the setting.  The drug used in the film (literally called “SLO-MO”) will probably appeal to some of the more…laid back audience members.  What I’m most curious about, as one who never read the comics, is how identifying with the characters will play out.  Just from the costume design, the judges scream symbolism of the law’s power, which not everyone is always so fond of.  And yet the people they’re against are being played up as the antagonists, so it might make for an interesting anti-hero scenario.

I doubt either film will leave a particularly big splash at the box office, especially since, after The Dark Knight Rises, our wallets will likely be gasping.  But in a summer littered with comic book superheroes and stale comedies, I’m up for a bit of standard, decent sci-fi flair.

Which do you think will stand above the other?

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Film, Movies

 

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Quote Review: Rock of Ages (2012)

“This place is about to become a sea of sweat, ear-shattering music and puke.”

Here’s a film so shamelessly cheesy that it makes one of those gargantuan pizzas you find in a city like Orlando seem nutritious by comparison.  Never mind leave standards and plausibility at the door, this is the type of movie you enjoy after too many drinks on a Saturday night.  But if you need your 80’s music fix with some sort of a story attached, then step forward!

 
 

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Theater Feature: Prometheus (2012)

For many people a film like Prometheus has been a long time coming.  Claims about whether it was indeed an Alien prequel bounced around more than a hard-hit drunkard.  Ultimately, Scott and company commented that Prometheus would be a standalone film.  Of course, given we’re in the blossoming online age, refutations to this claim came aplenty.  Now we can finally find out the truth among the summer’s biggest films.

The common, spoiler-free consensus is that Prometheus is set in the same universe as Alien, but isn’t a direct prequel.  This is about all the blind, incoming viewer needs to know beforehand.

Now that we have that cleared up, what about the film itself?  To put it simply, this is a real sparker for discussions.  Some will find this to be a surprising thought-provoker while others will at least see it as something worth pondering.  And this is a key part of the film’s theme.  We’re often searching for what we don’t know (everything) about.  Even when answers are provided, more questions can (and usually do) stem from those.  This is a key reason the film has drawn such divided and passionate discussions; it’s all the more why this is such fascinating watch.

In fact, more than anything, this theme is the driving force behind story and plot.  Beyond a group of people exploring a distant planet for answers we’ve long wondered, it’s tough to detail the film without spoilers.  When our character’s discoveries aren’t pushing things forward, their more than occasionally questionable actions are.  Development isn’t in the highest supply, but again, that’s part of the film’s style.  The story and circumstances are, to some extent, beyond them.  For what our key players provide, however, it’s mostly serviceable.  Granted, some might wonder whether Rapace or Fassbender deserve to be called the film’s key (human) character.  At least both of them provide note-worth performances, especially the latter (as always).

Beyond this, people should actually know what to expect.  Ridley Scott is doing science fiction, which he always has an eye for.  The shots are entrancing, heightened sequences are generally gripping and the art style is intriguing to say the least.  Factor these in simultaneously for some parts and we have a film that refuses to let you divert your eyes.  Ultimately, keeping your interest is what Prometheus does best, and it shouldn’t be any other way.

 
 

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The Films of 2012 You Shouldn’t Ignore

Well before 2011 was over people were already claiming 2012 to be one of the best years for film.  After all, the only thing better than sequels, remakes and adaptations are above average sequels, remakes and adaptations.  But while films like The Hunger Games and The Avengers bask in the financial intake, there are a slew of movies being overshadowed.  Not that they need help to generate revenue, but those who want something a bit different from the publicized crop can venture a look.
Lawless

A Depression-era film starring shouter Shia LaBeouf might not be the best way to kick a list off, but films that deal with law-shrugging gangsters still seem to resonate with many people–and who can blame them?  Plus, we have The Road director John Hillcoat at the helm here with a cast that includes Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce and Gary Oldman, who make relatively good film choices.  And as an added bonus, we have Jessica Chastain filling in the pretty-face card.  The trailer certainly looks enticing and the film should be a good way to keep our attention between the summer and fall film slaughters of 2012.

Trailer:

Moonrise Kingdom

A few people are keeping their eyes open for this latest film by Wes Anderson, which got very positive reactions at the Cannes Film Festival.  After all, what’s not to like?  It’s a dramedy by a talented and acclaimed director, the premise and scenario is different, the cast includes Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton and Harvey Keitel and–brace yourselves–it’s not adapted!  Between this and the trailer, which implies a perfect balance of charming and awkward comedy, there should be more anticipation for Moonrise Kingdom than Men In Black 3.  Of course, we all know the chances of that happening.

Trailer:

ParaNorman

Even with the misstep that was Cars 2, Pixar still appear to have quite a following lined up for Brave.  But what about the other animated movies?  Frankenweenie has been showing before literally every movie and, quite frankly, sounds more like a bad porno title than anything.  Then there’s ParaNorman, which has a very off-beat vibe based on the trailer…but that’s why it might be worthwhile.  There’s a bit of Tim Burton meets Nick Park here, except the former aspects should be handled well.  And if that turns out to be accurate, then we should have our second promising animated flick this year.

Trailer:

Red Lights

Most movies that deal with the paranormal are little more than campy, B-grade throw-outs, but here’s a movie that could prove to be a little different.  The cast is decent enough, which should help Cillian Murphy continue his slow climb of recognition; shame he’ll probably be as old as Christopher Plummer before becoming a household name.  That aside, Red Lights should work since it might take its audience seriously.  Granted, it’s unlikely this will be a game-changer (since Hollywood hardly know the definition), but the movie can at least raise the standards for its siblings to come.

Trailer:

Premium Rush

Okay, let’s be honest: the main reason people will see this movie is because of Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  The man seemed to become an overnight sensation and favorite thanks to 50/50, which isn’t difficult to reason.  Beyond that, this film looks to be a fairly by-the-numbers chase/action-thriller, but that’s just the point.  Everyone knows all the action movies they want to see this year, so hopefully Premium Rush will be a fun by-the-numbers film.  In fact, calling it Speed on a bicycle really doesn’t sound all that crazy after giving it some thought.

Trailer:

Gangster Squad

Oh look, another gangster/mafia film!  Except where Lawless may or may not look merely decent at this point, Gangster Squad could potentially bring us back to the former mafia glory of the 90’s.  Almost all of Ryan Gosling’s recent films have been acclaimed, critic-favorites Sean Penn and Nick Nolte are alongside him and, just for good measure, Josh Brolin, Giovanni Ribisi and Emma Stone have parts too.  Not everything about the film is promising, however; let’s be honest, the title is just silly and Ruben Fleischer is at the helm.  This would be fine, except a little number known as 30 Minutes or Less made his other effort, Zombieland, look like Resident Evil with Citizen Kane-like execution.  We’ll just have to hope Ruben has learned from his misstep, much like we’re hoping for Pixar’s redemption after a merely subpar sequel.

Trailer:

The Words

What is it with the sudden surge of movies about writers?  Ghost Writer, Being Flynn, Ruby Sparks and this: The Words.  Though Bradley Cooper did stretch his acting wings in Limitless, this just might make him a card worth taking seriously.  Based on the trailer, it almost looks like the movie wants to shoot for some sort of Academy recognition.  Now, we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves, but the film does look promising.  Drama, some light-hearted humor and, more than likely, a typical Hollywood ending, should make this a modest hit with casual critics–if such thing exists.

Trailer:

Looper

Hey look, it’s Back to the Future meets Inception!  There’s a good chance people have noticed the poster for this movie, but don’t know anything about it.  Audiences seem to enjoy the movies that do away with some laws of logic while keeping others, and Looper is looking to fit the bill wonderfully.  Just don’t expect it to be nearly as huge as either of the aforementioned films, since it’s clear this is more an adrenaline fix than food for thought.

Trailer:

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Film, Movies

 

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Quote Review: The Dictator (2012)

“What sorcery is this?”

At this point, Sacha Baron Cohen’s antics have become exactly what one expects and looks for when he’s involved.  Nothing is held back as any and all subtlety is tossed out even before the opening credits roll.  Admittedly, The Dictator doesn’t hold a finger to Borat, but viewers should get enough of what they’re looking for.  Just don’t expect to be rolling around the seats every five seconds.

 
 

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Theater Feature: The Avengers (2012)

This past weekend brought the ultimate wet dream for comic book fans as The Avengers hit theaters, meeting with a pleasant amount of praise along the way.  Factor in that it’s the latest in a long line of films from the past 3 years to set an opening weekend record and it’s bluntly obvious just about anyone remotely interested has already seen it.  At this point it’s literally pointless to ask-then-answer whether the film is good or not, so I’ll be taking a less conventional approach with this review.  In case you haven’t seen The Avengers, be warned this review will be FULL OF SPOILERS.  If you just want my quick thoughts on the film without having too much ruined, all you need to know is that The Avengers is a damn good time and perfect for a theatrical viewing.  Also, if you’re going to watch it in 3D, then be sure you catch it in IMAX, since this is far from the 3D quality seen in the first 15 minutes of Hugo.

MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Like I said, the film is a great time and one of the few that can warrant more than one theatrical viewing, if your wallet/bank account is feeling overly generous.  While a lot of this has to do with the well done action scenes, I actually found myself most invested when the characters were simply talking to each other.  Literally everyone has wonderful chemistry, whether the playfulness between Bruce and Tony or the family problem feuds between Loki and Thor.  Call me crazy, but I actually wanted to hear more of the big argument scene around the halfway mark.  Perhaps it’s a testament to the writing and/or characters, or maybe I’m so used to watching dramas and wish every argument could be a film itself (much like 12 Angry Men).  But I digress.

Another reason the film works so well is the humor, which definitely derives from the writing.  Just about any scene involving Tony Stark or the Hulk is comedic gold and if you disagree then your laughing strings are beyond withered.

One question I’m surprised hasn’t been asked more frequently is who everyone’s favorite Avenger is.  Tony Stark is his usual, brilliant, egocentric self; Thor is rash but good-hearted; Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce/Hulk is a great combination of thought and comedy; Captain America is the typical (but terrific) relatable, all around good guy; and Black Widow and Hawkeye are the determined, somewhat dryly humorous agents.  It’s truly a clash of awesomeness, which is a testament to this film’s build up and execution.  The last Avenger movie I saw leading up to this was Captain America–while it was still in theaters, so quite a few months separated my attachment from The Avengers.  But much like Fast Five, that didn’t matter; the characters were enjoyable and likable, so connecting wasn’t much of an issue.

If it sounds like The Avengers is the perfect summertime action film, that’s because it is.  But of course, like its predecessors (whether spiritual or not), it isn’t without a few problems.  Many of these might be nitpicks, but they exist.  First off, there’s a rumor that about 2 hours of footage was cut, which definitely show.  For a 140-minute movie, The Avengers really flies by, and even on my first viewing I had a feeling of where certain scenes were likely cut.  It’s a shame studios won’t give us everything up-front; films like Das Boot and each Lord of the Rings have cuts going for about 4 hours or more, each far superior to the theatrical version.  I suppose it’s just one more way to gip us when the movie comes out on DVD/Blu-ray (then we’ll have a longer cut for a gigantic box set that’ll make Harry Potter roll in his grave).

There were also a few small, unanswered questions I had throughout.  One of the biggest ones was what happened to Peggy from Captain America?  Sure, she probably got old and passed away, but I thought she’d at least get closure.  What also surprised me is that we never see Captain America ask about her, but we get confirmation that Thor’s love interest was flown out.  Speaking of which, what about Bruce Banner’s love interest?  We never even get a hint about her in this film.  I guess Gods really do get everything while humans get screwed over.  Sure, I’m not much for romantic subplots, but they should at least be resolved if included, instead of simply being cast aside.  Hopefully these are things that Thor 2, Captain America 2 and the next Hulk film will answer.

Also, I’m not sure if I’m alone on this, but did anyone else feel a bit of sympathy for Loki?  Yes, the film does do one hell of a job portraying how ruthless he can be, but I always got the impression he had some reluctance and was constantly trying to set it aside.

Despite my questions and quibbles, The Avengers does still stand as a fine way to start the summer off.  It might be easy to say that it’s all downhill from here for the season and superhero films, but I’d categorize the film as almost-amazing rather than flat-out awesome.  The Avengers certainly doesn’t hold a torch to The Dark Knight and I’d be surprised if The Dark Knight Rises happens to be inferior, but we are talking about very different films.  Ultimately, I’m in agreement and on the bandwagon: The Avengers is just a great film.

 

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2012: The Movies You DON’T Want to See

It’s funny that we live in a financially downturned economy when we’ve got movies like Avatar setting box office records.  I suppose it’s merely a reminder that, even when poverty-stricken, people still have the income to feed companies millions for sequels, remakes, spin-offs and adaptations all at once.  What’s amusing about this is that we’re so quick to pay for stuff we already have, often previously presented in a superior way nonetheless.

Be that as it may, with another summer on the horizon we have a splurge of movies coming out which some will be puzzled to decide between.  A few people even go to theaters without a single clue as to what’s showing and ask those in-line “what looks good?”  To that I wonder: We always ask and look at what’s worth spending half a new DVD release to see once, but what about upcoming releases that aren’t even worth watching a trailer for?  Summertime is easy time for film companies to draw in audiences again and again; so to help you know which ones are, without doubt, not worth wasting time or money on, here are some of 2012’s films that you do NOT want to see.

The Lucky One

The dog food totally isn’t a metaphor for Mr. Sparks’ novels.

If there’s any medium you can find several of the same story already done in, it’s books.  Some authors distinguish themselves with actual effort and, dare I say, variety from book to book.  Nicholas Sparks, on the other hand, shows about as much distinction between his books as one french fry from another at McDonald’s.  But wait, this adaptation of The Lucky One has a returning soldier from war; oh Nick, you’re so relevant and resonating with the times!  But wait, it’s another love story…with two leads who, if the trailer is any indication, make Keanu Reeves look melodramatic in the Matrix sequels.  I could find more depth in a teaspoon of water.

What To Expect When You’re Expecting

What?  You think this is fun?

Yes, nothing says fun and comedic gold quite like a film centered around pregnancy and its effects on several people.  If that alone isn’t enough, this movie is based on a pregnancy guide no less; this is how stripped of good ideas Hollywood’s become.  The trailer certainly isn’t doing any favors for this movie either, since it only looks like Grown Ups, Knocked Up, Hall Pass and half a billion other forgettable romantic comedies tossed into a mold-spewing blender.  We have decades upon decades of trite movies like this piled up already, it’d be a better investment to give Doug Walker $10 for each of his 20-minute Nostalgia Critic videos–at they’re entertaining.

Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted

We need to get away from the studios; I hear they’re planning to toss us in Burma next!

Just like Ice Age, the people behind Madagascar seem intent on driving what was an earnest animated film further into forced franchise fodder.  Being a film about animals, kids are bound to beg their parents to go see it like they would for a toy at Wal-Mart.  As far as the films on this list go, Madagascar 3 might be the least deserving of presumptuous dismissal, but that’s like saying a $200 pair of Beats headphones is a better investment than the $300 pair simply because you’re paying less for a still-overpriced item.  Except Madagascar 3 is coming to us in 3D (shocker there!) and even (post-converted) IMAX.  Whoops.

Madea’s Witness Protection

Please, take her away.  I’m here against my will.

Some people simply beat a dead horse.  Tyler Perry, on the other hand, prefers to find a herd of them, decapitate each one rather violently and crush them with cinder blocks until they’ve reached the Earth’s core.  Okay, maybe I’m being a bit harsh but honestly, who (besides Perry) wants to see this Madea creature keep polluting our theaters and stores?  I’d be more interested in seeing a sequel to White Chicks, not that the Wayans should take that to heart.  We already have over a half dozen films of Madea, which begins to make Michael Bay’s milking of the Transformers name seem innocent by comparison.  All he’d have to do to catch up is spit out two Transformers movies a year and the two can bask together while we collect the AYFKM memes.

Katy Perry: Part of Me 3D

Oh, yes, I totally hate being famous.  Yeah, attention is the LAST thing I want.

You’ve really got to hand it to people like Katy Perry and even Justin Bieber.  They give the world nothing but terrible music and an equally awful film about their pre-puberty struggles.  And yet people actually waste their time and shell out millions upon billions of dollars to hear and watch them.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d say everything they provide is insurance so that, when they look more deplorable than their music, they’ll still have more money than any decent, hard-working individual would earn in twenty lifetimes.  I might be getting off topic but that’s essentially all this upcoming Katy Perry feature is shaping up to be.  It’s trying to cater to people by saying “chase your dream,” but if that were so most of us would probably be pimps smoking illegal substances while making Zombieland a reality.  Of course, that might just be wishful thinking, but it’s certainly more promising than the idea of watching this…thing.

Step Up Revolution

Your Project X ain’t got nothin’ on this!

In some ways films are great for seeing things we might fantasize about, but half the time it’s all just exploitation.  Us Americans are easily the fattest and laziest slobs on the planet, yet we only take the hottest of the hot in Hollywood and have even taken to dancing so much that we’re getting a fourth Step Up movie.  These movies are really just gimmicks, which wouldn’t be too bad if we didn’t keep getting a slight twisting of the original seven freaking times.  Film franchises like Saw have suffered from this by overstaying their welcome.  Then there’s a film like The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, which may have been just another car movie to most, but the reason it actually worked was because the drifting ultimately took a backseat to a little something called the story.  But hey, we’re in a time where people elect to rattle their cars apart with Dubstep, so it shows what I know.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Because red lips are too mainstream.

Given its bad rep, I’d think audiences would have the common sense to avoid the Twilight travesty.  But the unfortunate reality is it continues to be a multi-million-dollar franchise.  I leave it to you to answer me this: What does Twilight offer to make me care?  Perhaps there’s something about being torn between a pale pedophile with a sparkling chest and a crazily buffed up boy with no real acting emotion that speaks to the younger female demographic.  But heck, even as a guy who likes to quench his testosterone with a theatrical viewing of something like The Expendables, I can find entertainment in a “girly movie.”  I’ve at least somewhat enjoyed cliche dumps like Along Came Polly, 13 Going on 30 and How Do You Know.  Yet Twilight continues to astound me and I have to ask why so many people keep going to see these movies?  I suppose if there’s anyone the recently released teaser might interest it would be rednecks, what with Bella eying an innocent deer in the woods, but that’s just a small, tingling suspicion…I hope.

How about you?  What films coming out this year do you absolutely refuse to see?  Which ones do you wish people would have the sense to avoid?

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Blog, Film, Movies

 

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Theater Feature: The Hunger Games (2012)

“This is the time to show them everything. Make sure they remember you.”

It’s been a strong, steady build up to the theatrical release of The Hunger Games, drawing comparisons everywhere between it, Twilight and even Harry Potter.  At this point, if you’re not already on board the bandwagon, there’s bound to be little which will persuade you otherwise.  But viewers on the fence or skeptical as to whether the film itself holds up need only know that it delivers.

Most of the story falls on the shoulders of its characters, who are well developed where it counts.  Jennifer Lawrence has already made quite a name for herself at such a young age, and she’s well up to the occasion as the strong yet wary Katniss Everdeen.  Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson also get sufficient screen time, offering a fun contrast of comedic touches which are practically extinguished after the first hour or so.  Josh Hutcherson also gets his share of time, often (luckily) alongside Lawrence, fitting the flawed by likable persona of his character.

If there’s one thing The Hunger Games does best, however, it’s keeping the viewer guessing as to just what will happen and how.  The Hunger Games event itself is built up in a way that there’s a constant sense of foreboding, which should keep anyone even slightly invested gripping their seat until the end.  Give credit to the marketing and publicity behind the film too, for keeping most of the second half under wraps while touting exactly what happens was a wise choice; the payoff wouldn’t have been nearly as great if this were handled another way.

While the film does touch on themes of social commentary, the focus is kept where it should be: the experience and nature of survival.  It definitely gets you thinking, but the action, suspense and character interactions all make sure your interest and enjoyment are never diminished.  Even with many smaller supporting characters who matter to the leads and story being glossed over, it’s tough to not get invested with everything that’s going on.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2012 in Film Review, Movie Review

 

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