Archive for June, 2011

Super 8

Godzilla, Dracula, Frankenstein.  Monster movies have always had their audience on the edge of their seats screaming out in horror.  Super 8 is J.J. Abrams homage to this enticing genre.  Joe Lamb (Joel Courtney), Alice Dainard (Elle Fanning) and their friends live in rural Ohio where they are creating a low budget monster movie for a local film competition.   On set at a railroad station, they witness a Air Force train derailment which unleashes strange and bizarre occurrences on their small town.   Joe’s father and deputy sheriff, Jackson (Kyle Chandler) fights to keep his town safe while butting heads with Louis Dainard (Ron Eldard0) who Jackson blames for his wife’s factory accident.  The town and boys must sift through the chaos to complete their film while trying to unveil the secrecy of the train.   From the very beginning you get the feeling that Super 8 is the movie J.J. Abrams has always wanted to make.

The vagueness of what the Air Force train unleashes onto the town is what creates the initial suspense.  The Air Force is close lipped and preventing all who know from ever speaking again.  As the movie continues, more townsfolk have contact with the ambiguous monster, but when they go to describe it all they can do is ramble in gibberish.  At first it just seems like fear has gotten the better of them but as the audience starts seeing the monster it starts becoming cliche. Continue reading

The Frodo and Sam

Lord of the Rings is an epic trilogy full of action and adventure.  By the third film the fellowship had split and the story revolved around 4 groups.  Pippin and Gandalf.  Legolas, Gimli, and Aragorn. Merry with Rohan. And finally Frodo and Sam.  While the rest of the cast reunites in the battle of Minas Tirith, Frodo and Sam are still rambling on to Mordor.  The first time you watch Return of the King, Frodo and Sam’s trek to Mordor is interesting and fundamental to the story, but can we be honest for a second, its boring as all the fire in Mt, Doom.  In subsequent viewings of the film, their storyline become even more dull.  You start hoping the giant spider, Shelob, or the Orcs or even Gollum will kill Frodo ending our suffering. Finally when you have racked as many viewings as I have you just start fast-forwarding through their dreadful walking sequences.

The Frodo and Sam storyline becomes so well known as tenuous that my group of friends have started to categorize plot lines in films as ‘the Frodo and Sam’.  That is to say, ‘the Frodo and Sam’ are the story lines that we are uninterested in and wish we could skip over.  For example the missionary and the mermaid in POTC On Stranger Tides; No thanks, go back to Jack please!

I hereby allow all of you to use this when you watch an assortment of films and are frustrated by certain character’s stories.

X-Men: First Class

Just like the first X-Men film, First Class fades from black to a Nazi concentration camp.  After being separated from his mother, Eric Lensherr screams in pain as soldiers forcefully remove him.  Fighting for his life, Eric slowly pulls apart a chain link fence that sections himself from his mother.  The scene ends with a soldier knocking Eric out but the camera pans up to eerily looking man in a window, Dr. Schmidt.  Unlike in the original, the situation at the concentration camp continues as we learn a little more about Eric and his powers.  X-Men: First Class tells the story of a group of mutants as they discover and learn to appreciate their powers.

The story jumps around between, a walking, Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) as a PHD student at Oxford studying genetics with his long time friend Raven (Jennifer Lawrence),  an older Eric Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) searching the globe for Dr. Schmidt, and CIA agent Moira Mactaggert (Rose Bryne) who stumbles on a conspiracy orchestrated by the newly names Dr. Schmidt, Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon).  Continue reading

The Tale of the Three Brothers

A while back in my review of The Deathly Hallows Part 1, I described my favorite scene from the film to be the animated story of the 3 brothers explaining the origins of the deathly hallows.  Well that scene has finally surfaces on you tube and I wanted to share it with you all (click photo to watch).

I currently am re-watching the Harry Potter series in anticipation for The Deathly Hallows Part 2.  Harry Potter is such an important part of my generations youth and once the credits on The Deathly Hallows Part 2 roll I am considering childhood to be over.

Midnight In Paris

Ever get the feeling to just walk.  Walk and see where it leads you.  Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) struggles to find joy with his fiancee, Inez (Rachel McAdams), her friends and family so instead he decides to walk the streets of Paris.  After finding himself lost after the stroke of midnight, a car from another world drives up the cobblestone street.  Gil gets in and is transported to an era where his literary icons exchange stories and gallivant around the city of lights.  Transfixed on returning to this bygone era, Gil departs every night to the 1920’s where his stagnate novel is appreciated and a charming art groupie, Adriana (Marion Cotillard) holds his fancy.  Gil finds himself stuck between the era he has always felt he belonged and the struggles of his real life.

When is Paris the most beautiful? Gil and his counterparts argue each sides of this age old question throughout the film.  During the day, at night or even in the rain, but one thing is certain this is a love letter to Paris.  This film features equal parts classic Woody Allen dialogue and b roll shots of the city.  Continue reading