Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!

Here we go, yet another post expressing holiday wishes...

Those of you hoping for a review will be pleased to know that I saw Tron Legacy last night, so that one is probably coming down the pipeline soon, most likely some time before the new year.

Until then, for those celebrating tonight, have a warm, safe, happy holidays.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween again!

Did any of you guys catch the premiere of the Walking Dead on AMC last night? Gruesome stuff, but awesome as well. Can't wait to see more.

Anyway, I think now would be a good time to give you guys an update as to what's been happening lately. I recently just got a full time, 37 1/2 hour a week job at a medical billing company. It's not exactly what I expected to be doing, but it pays the bills, and that's always important. What makes this relevant is that now that I have a set amount of hours, I'll have a bit of a more stable schedule, which means that it will be slightly easier for me to make posts here.

It's kind of a shame that I've been so busy lately though, as I've been missing some great films coming out. I would have liked to see Red and The Social Network, or even Easy A or Jackass 3D. Oh well, maybe I might review them when they're available on Netflix. I promise you though, there will be more content coming soon.

For now though, I'll just share with you this video I found on Cracked's Youtube channel. I thought it was pretty funny, anyway.

Monday, August 30, 2010

So, 127 Hours Looks Cool

Are you guys familiar with the story of Aron Ralston?

You can click on his name there to hear about the whole story from him, Alex Cohen and Alex Chadwick at NPR, but the long and short of it is this. Aron's a mountain climber who, in May 2003, got his arm caught between a boulder and a rock wall while he was climbing somewhere in Utah. He waited for help for hours, but no one came, and the boulder was too heavy to lift off of himself, so he ended up doing what a lot of people couldn't even imagine doing in a million years. He freed himself by carving off the trapped arm with a dull knife.

I know. Jesus. And he still climbs mountains today.

Of course, it shouldn't surprise anyone that his story would make a great premise for a movie. Luckily, it seems like director Danny Boyle picked up on this:

Here's the trailer for Danny Boyle's newest project, 127 Hours. Trailer courtesy of Filmonic and Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Judging by how the trailer starts out, I kind of worry that this premise will get "hollywooded" up, if you know what I mean. Still, I know that I'm seeing 127 Hours the day it comes out, because it looks really interesting. There's a good premise, good director attached, and I really like James Franco, so, yeah, I think I may give this one a shot. More information as it develops.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Movie: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. Rating: Awesome.

Pictured here are Allison Pill and Mark Webber, laughing it up in full costume as Sex Bob Omb band mates Kim Pine and Stephen Stills.

As I’m sure most of you are aware of by now, I had been highly anticipating this movie from the day I heard about it. Being a fan of Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novels, I soaked up any info I could on the production, and posted about it several times here on this blog. Now that I’ve finally gotten to see this movie, I don’t regret any of it.

Did the movie turn out exactly the way I wanted it to? Not in every way. Nevertheless, watching this film was a blast. It’s the most fun I’ve had in the theater since seeing Zombieland last year. Cramming six graphic novels into one movie couldn’t have possibly been easy, but in my opinion, director Edgar Wright did a pretty good job. Inception may still stand as my favorite movie of the summer, but Scott Pilgrim vs. The World comes in at a very close second.

The story of this movie focuses on a 20-something, slacker Canadian named Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera), who is currently locked into a bit of a directionless funk in his life following the break-up with his college girlfriend Envy Adams (Brie Larson). He has no job, he shares a very small and cramped apartment with his cool gay roommate Wallace Wells (Kieran Culkin), and he holds a simple and poorly conceived relationship with a seventeen year old high school girl named Knives Chau (Ellen Wong), which his friends and his sister Stacy (Anna Kendrick) constantly give him crap about. He is also kind of involved in an extremely small garage band, called Sex Bob Omb, with his friends, guitar player and front man Stephen Stills (Mark Webber) and drummer Kim Pine (Allison Pill). His life sort of drifts aimlessly until a girl from America comes rollerblading into it, the cool and mysterious Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Scott is immediately smitten, Ramona becomes interested as well, and pretty soon the two start dating, but there’s a catch. In order for Scott and Ramona to continue dating in peace, Scott must face off and win in several battles with the League of Ramona’s Evil Exes, consisting of mystic hipster Matthew Patel (Satya Bhabha), movie star Lucas Lee (Chris Evans), bassist and vegan psychic Todd Ingram (Brandon Routh), half-ninja Roxxy Richter (Mae Whitman), the twins Kyle and Ken Katanayagi (Keita and Shota Saito), and shady record producer and perfect asshole Gideon Graves (Jason Scwartzmann). Can he get the best of all seven, and finally get his life together?

When talking about this movie, there are definitely two elephants in the room to address. The first elephant is the crazy, video-game themed atmosphere. As someone who spent a huge chunk of my youth playing video games, I'll say that there are times when it works, and times when it doesn’t. Some jokes, like the “pee bar” and whatnot, kind of fall flat, but there are other references that really do work well, such as the Legend of Zelda music being used in just the right places, the health bars during some of the fights, and a number of others. The subspace highway from the comics is present too, but it doesn’t play as big a role in the plot of the movie and is really only mentioned in the first half, so I get the sense that a lot of people not familiar with the source material may not understand its role in the story fully. There is a method to the pixelated madness that goes on in this movie, but only within the context of its own universe. So if you can just sit back and not question the mechanics of the universe too much, there’s a chance you may really enjoy how creatively free it all is. I know I did.

To be honest, it really surprised me how well the crazy special effects worked. In some of the trailers and TV spots for this movie, seeing all the WHIP and KPOW during the fights, as well as seeing some of the more classic video game stuff, kind of worried me, only because it seemed as if it would come off as cheesy. When I saw it all in motion and context, though, it helped in giving this movie its own flavor. It was a really fun addition to the fights, as well as the overall mood of the movie. I think I can say with an incredible amount of confidence that this movie is one of the few comic book movies I’ve seen where the “comic book coming to life” motif is pulled off without being cringe-worthy. That’s all thanks to some really good editing, anyway.

Unfortunately, not all of the editing in this movie is entirely perfect, as indicated by how quickly the first half of the movie and some of the scenes in between fights move along. Wright’s quick cuts, combined with the very good comedic timing of most of the actors, causes almost all the jokes to work wonderfully. One could argue, though, that some of the more exposition-heavy scenes move a little too quickly, almost as if they’re trying to get them done as soon as possible to get to the fights. There are definitely deeper plot elements here, but the movie blows through them at such a frenetic pace that they can be kind of easy to miss.

The other elephant to address is the casting. I’m mostly talking about the casting in the lead roles, especially Michael Cera’s Scott and Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s Ramona. The best way I can sum up both of their performances is “reasonably well.” I felt that Cera tried really hard to break away from the role of “annoying awkward young guy” that he is always typecast in, but there are times, especially before the evil exes become part of the plot, where he regresses back into that again. In a way I can’t quite articulate, it sort of works, even more so when you consider the kind of person Scott is before he meets Ramona. In some of the lead up to the fights, though, he really needed to exert a little more energy. Winstead nails the whole “cool, mysterious girl” part of Ramona’s personality down well, but she could have sprinkled a little more warmth here and there to help make the character more likable. There were some scenes where the both of them could have stood to generate a little better chemistry between each other.

It doesn’t help that, in the rush to get to the action some sizeable bits of character development get left behind, concerning most of the supporting cast and especially concerning Ramona and her relationship with Scott. This is kind of a shame, because Ramona is obviously meant to be very important to the story. While we do get a look into her past, we don’t really get to know much about her in general. Her interest in Scott was shown in a very subtle way, but it would have helped if we had seen a little more of their time together to really get the idea that they like each other. Seeing more of that development would have made them a little more relatable as characters and added a tad more depth to the story. Don’t get me wrong, there is quite a bit of depth already, and we do see some substantial character growth from both Scott and Ramona, but it would have had more impact if the movie had just slowed down, maybe cut back a little on some of the fighting, and focused a little more on Scott and Ramona as a couple.

From left to right, Webber, Pill and Cera rehearse the songs that Beck wrote for the movie. While Beck composed and wrote the songs, the actors in the movie provided the vocals.

Most of the side characters had some really defined personalit
ies, and were really funny, especially Pill’s Kim, Aubrey Plaza’s Julie, and Webber’s Stills, and while I thought they shined brightly in the scenes they were in, I wish I had gotten to see more of them. My favorite evil exes were Routh’s Todd and Scwartzmann’s Gideon, although Whitman’s Roxxy, Bhabha’s Patel, and Evans’ Lucas stood out as well. Again, though, they all left me wanting more, since they get even less screen time than the heroes of the film, with the exception of maybe Gideon. So who has the highest score in terms of acting in this movie? The best players on the leaderboard are definitely Kieran Culkin as Wallace and Ellen Wong as Knives. These two steal scenes like Rickey Henderson stole bases. Culkin gets some of the best and snarkiest lines in the movie, and Wong has the stalker fan girl traits of her character down pat. Whatever screen time they had, they always used it to its fullest, and did their best to be absolutely hilarious every time. I certainly hope we get to see the both of them in more movies in the future.

The music and cinematography add greatly to the enjoyability of the movie as well. Nigel Godrich’s score really gets you in the mood to watch dudes fight, and we also get some wonderful tracks from Metric, Beck, and plenty of other bands that embrace the backdrop of the Toronto alternative indie scene that the movie provides. Some of the shots we see of the city at night in the snow are great as well, but the really big conversation starter is the fight choreography. There’s no shaky cam bullshit, no cutting around, just clear, straight up brawling. It’s refreshing to see that again in an action movie these days, especially when so many modern day action movies don’t even bother anymore.

While Scott Pilgrim vs. The World has its flaws, it is still one hell of a ride, and is certainly worth a look. I understand that the video game and music references and Michael Cera may scare a lot of people away, but underneath all that is a great, action-packed, coming-of-age love story that deals with themes such as growing up, owning up to your shortcomings, learning to respect yourself and others, and becoming a better person. You don’t need to be a gaming nerd, or a hipster, or in your twenties to identify with that kind of story. So yeah, go check this one out, it’s totally worth it.

All the behind the scenes pictures in this post are straight from Bryan Lee O'Malley's Flickr feed. Click here to see more.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

And now, the Expendables!

This is gonna be a real quick post for tonight, I just wanna share some pretty cool stuff promoting The Expendables, Sylvester Stallone's super fun-looking ultimate all-star explosion-fest that's coming out in a couple weeks.

Coming Soon has a new clip of the movie posted from Lionsgate. Go forth and watch Jason Statham light up an entire dock of enemy soldiers, you know you want to...

Also, the Youtube channel for the movie is really cool too. Best interview ever.

I'm probably gonna go see this after Scott Pilgrim, and I really, really hope it's good. The biggest draw for this movie is definitely the all-star cast, and Stallone, Crews, Li and of course Lundgren are the ones I'm looking forward to seeing the most. Oh, and Mickey Rourke! Got my fingers crossed for a Lundgren/Stallone rematch too.

Please please pleeeeeeease do not suck.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of These (Inception Review)

In this shot, Mal and Cobb form a blueprint in the sand for their new world in Limbo. Taken from IGN Movies, click here to see more shots.

The concept of lucid dreaming – the idea that a person can be aware that he or she is dreaming, and alter the dream world around them – is an idea that has been explored again and again by countless books, television shows, and movies, and when the idea is used it is almost always done in a way that makes the whole process seem rather fantastical and dangerous. This movie is no exception, but the way the idea is presented is uniquely from the director’s point of view.

What Christopher Nolan has done with his new film Inception, which he both wrote and directed, is take that idea and use it to help build an entire world around it, a world where one can plant ideas into someone’s consciousness or steal them away, all through entering the dream world created by one’s sub consciousness. It is an incredible and fascinating idea to discuss, especially for people who are interested in psychology and how humans interpret and process dreams, but how good Inception is depends entirely on how sound the execution of the idea is on the silver screen.

The best way to look at that is to look at the story first. Our main character, Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), is a man who has experimented with travelling deep into the different layers of his own sub consciousness. His skills led him to craft and expand on the dream world along with his wife Mal (Marion Cotillard), creating a sort of paradise for themselves to live happily, if only for a short time. Unfortunately, this whole thing ends up twisting Mal’s psyche, causing her to lose her perception of reality and the ability to tell when she is or isn’t dreaming. The loss of her sanity ultimately results in the loss of her life, and her suicide is pinned all on Cobb, who has to leave the country and his two children behind. He decides to become an extractor, a person who steals ideas from people’s minds to make a profit, to support him while waiting for the one opportunity to be able to return to his children and redeem himself for his past sins.

That opportunity presents itself in the form of a job proposed to him by a wealthy businessman named Saito (Ken Wantanabe), who is looking to dissolve a competitive company run by one of his business rivals, a Robert Fischer Jr. (Cillian Murphy). The job Saito wants Cobb to do does not involve stealing an idea, but rather planting one, a process known as “inception.” With the help of his organizer and long-time partner in crime Arthur (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a shape shifting forger named Eames (Tom Hardy), a sedative expert named Yusuf (Dileep Rao), and a promising architect known as Ariadne (Ellen Page), Cobb looks to finish the job and win the struggle with his own demons as well.

This film, if it’s even possible to simplify it, can best be described as a psychological, almost sci-fi thriller merged with the concept of the classic heist movie. Unlike most of the interpretations of dream worlds in other films, this one isn’t just some generic acid-esque trip either. Nolan’s dream world has rules, standards and devices that help to not only advance the plot, but to keep the characters alive and the story moving as well. All the elements of the plot and the atmosphere seem so organized and well put together, and what I like the most is that there are very few confusing questions that needed to be answered or loose ends to be tied up, except of course for the entirely ambiguous ending which I’m not going to spoil here (all I’ll say about that is that people are probably going to be discussing it for months, which is most likely the point). The progression of the story isn’t entirely perfect though. A lot of scenes in the beginning jump around from place to place a little too quickly, and that can make it really hard for some viewers to follow what is going on at some points of the movie. If you really pay attention, though, everything becomes pretty clear.

We get some really impressive shots in this film, of city skylines and beaches and Cold War-esque mountain bases, and in the dream sequences they are all supplemented nicely with some really good CGI. This is probably one of the few films I can think of where such an overt use of computer-generated effects didn’t invoke awkwardness or the dreaded uncanny valley, and I appreciate it very much.

The performances in this film were, for the most part, pretty top notch. DiCaprio and Levitt were great as always, Rao manages to pull off some nice comic relief without getting too goofy and disturbing the overall mood of the film, and Cotillard plays off DiCaprio really well. I thought Hardy’s character kind of overdid the whole snarky badass thing he seemed to be going for at times though, and I kind of wished Page would have given Ariadne a little more personality. Not that her character wasn’t good, but there were times when she seemed rather generic.

Overall, despite some miniscule flaws Inception is one of those movies that not only entertains you, but gets the wheels in your brain turning as well. Even if the mechanics of Nolan’s dream-oriented universe aren’t entirely clear to some, it still makes for a really fun and interesting topic to discuss, almost like a souvenir to take home with you after the experience of watching the film. I can’t think of anybody who doesn’t love that.

For a better understanding of Cobb's mission, this neat infographic outlines the plan really well. Created by 3D modeler "dehahs." To see the full picture, head over to his Deviant Art page.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Thursday For Trailers

OK, since I didn't get to really do any kind of summer movie preview or anything, I thought I'd give this a try instead.

For today's post, I'm just going to put up some trailers I think are interesting, and add my own personal comments on them. I'm sort of hoping I can make this a weekly thing, maybe do this every Thursday, perhaps it would give me some motivation to update more often, but we'll see how it goes.

Edit: Sorry everybody, I had Youtube videos up before, but I had some trouble embedding them, so just click on the movie titles to watch the trailers. Better luck next time!

Let's see, our first trailer just came out over the weekend, and is getting a ton of internet buzz right now.


I've probably talked about this movie more than anything else on this blog so far, and while I can't definitely say whether the movie will be good or not, this newer trailer fills me with hope. We have Cera trying to break away from the George Michael Bluth role he's constantly typecast as, we have a lot of well done quick shots that Wright is well known for (and could be considered perfect for this adaptation, for anyone who's familiar with the books). Winstead and Wong look pretty cool, Whitman looks funny, and Evans looks like a real show stealer.
I kind of wish that the trailer was a bit clearer on what the movie is about, rather than just showing off joke after joke. It seems like the studio is definitely shooting for demographics that aren't immediately familiar with Scott Pilgrim, and that's fine, but let's try not to give it all away too soon. In any case, this looks promising enough, and I really hope this film will not only be good, but can find it's audience as well.
Our next one is for Inception, Chris Nolan's new film that I mentioned quite a while ago.


This film has an incredibly cool concept behind it, and an all star cast that can help it along. In this film, Leo Dicaprio plays Dom Cobb, a thief that assists companies in performing corporate espionage by stealing secrets from people's dreams. With his sort-of sidekick, played by Ellen Page, he must perform one last job.

The scope of Nolan's vision of this concept looks amazing from this trailer alone, although I'm not exactly sure if the cities we see crumbling here are representative of the dreams Cobb invades or not. This is one of the first couple times I've seen this trailer, and it still looks kind of weird, but perhaps it's best for me to just roll with it. Page looks good, and it feels even better to see Michael Caine back with Nolan since they always tend to work well together. I do feel like this trailer takes a lot of notes from the trailers for Nolan's Batman movies, but that probably had more to do with the editing department and the studio than Nolan himself. Nonetheless, this also joins the handful of big budget movies that I'm actually looking forward to this summer.

The last trailer here is for a movie that I'm not as interested to see as the first two, but looks fun regardless.


Jesus, I do not envy Adrien Brody and pals right now.

Yes, Brody, Alice Braga, Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace, and several others (I swear this is the summer of the all-star cast) are a band of misfits that end up on a planet that serves as a hunting reserve for the predators, and they've got to outwit the creatures to survive. It seems like director Nimrod Antal and producer Robert Rodriguez have decided to completely ignore the continuity of the abysmal Aliens vs. Predator, and that's all right with me. Anyone who's a fan of the Predator franchise will probably end up enjoying this movie no matter what critics say about it, and I have to admit that even though the most I've seen of Predator was bits and pieces of the first movie, this does look like it will be a good popcorn flick.

On the other hand, Brody is definitely a far cry from Ahnold as far as leads go. If you asked me who would have been the lead for a movie like this, I probably wouldn't have suggested the dude who played Wladyslaw Szpilman from The Pianist. Also, while this isn't surprising at all, the trailer makes it look like the story might be interesting, but the plot might not be much more than "humans run from/try to fight the predators." Then again, what more could you expect from this kind of movie anyway?

Well, that's good for now. I'm gonna go see if I can come up with some more ideas for posts. Hopefully, I can catch Toy Story 3 before I go on vacation later this month. See ya!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Iron Man 2 Review

Hey, look who's back!

Seeing Iron Man’s likeness on the window of the Burger King on Main Street reminds me that it’s that wonderful time of year once again.

When you’re looking for big budget effects and flashy action scenes, there’s nothing like the summer movie season. You could say it already came more than a few weeks ago with the opening of Kick Ass, but having not seen that film yet I’d say the cream of the blockbuster crop so far is the more recently released Iron Man 2, directed by Jon Favreau and written by Justin Theroux. Oh, before I forget, there are spoilers ahead, so be careful.

This movie starts off well after the events of the first Iron Man movie, as Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), thanks to the deeds he’s performed as Iron Man and the decisions he’s made with Stark Industries has, in his own words, successfully privatized world peace. It’s implied that he has somewhat of a good relationship going with Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), his company’s profits seem to be in the black, and life just can’t get any better, right? Wrong. It turns out the suit he uses to save lives around the country and the globe is killing him, as the arc reactor in his chest that keeps shards of shrapnel from entering his heart is giving him an unhealthy dose of palladium, resulting in the very visible effects of palladium poisoning. On top of that, the supremely bitter Ivan Vanko (Mickey Rourke), the son of one of his father’s business partners and collaborators, has developed his own version of the arc reactor technology, complete with laser whips, and is out for revenge against Stark for supposedly ruining his life. Things get more complicated when his first fight with Stark catches the eye of both the government, which wants Stark to hand his technology over to the military for further development, and of the CEO of Hammer Industries Justin Hammer (Sam Rockwell), a competitor who wishes to work with Vanko to develop his own variation of Stark’s multi-billion dollar tech as well. Hopefully, with the help of friends and allies such as Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Black Widow (Scarlett Johannson), and Col. James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), Stark can set everything straight.

A lot of the secondary stars of this film ended up surprising me more than anybody else. I initially thought Cheadle was going to be quite jarring as the new Rhodey, but I thought he did just as good a job as Terrence Howard did in the first film. Scar Jo also gave a pretty good performance as Widow. Of course, RDJ and Paltrow shine with the best performances out of all of them, with their characters portraying the proper mood along with events as they unfold in the story. Paltrow’s performance was especially strong; from the shock and gratefulness she feels when Stark makes her the new CEO, to the stress she is going through later in the film when having to deal with the responsibilities of running the company and dealing with Stark’s secrecy and erratic behavior. The weakest performances in the film definitely have to be Jackson’s Fury and Rourke’s Vanko. Fury in this movie cam off as sort of cheesy and heavily rehearsed, which for a lot of Jackson’s roles these days seems to be par for the course. This is unfortunate, because I like Jackson as an actor, but while I realize the character was practically modeled just for him, I still thought he laid it on a little too thick. Vanko seems to have the opposite problem; a lot of his role seems a bit phoned in. Beyond the two qualities we saw, being a super smart engineer and being all vengeful, he didn’t really seem to have much of a personality to speak of, and while that might not entirely be Rourke’s fault, his acting definitely makes it look that way. Also, while we got to see more of him than we did of Obadiah Stane/Iron Monger in the first film, he still kind of suffers from lack of exposure, especially since during the middle of the film he is mostly waiting and plotting rather than actually doing anything.
Scar Jo here, along with Rockwell, RDJ and Paltrow, all give pretty good performances.

Speaking of the middle, the pacing of this movie really seems to slow down when we get to the deeper parts, most of them involving either Stark feeling futile about his life as the palladium poisoning causes it to slip away, or Vanko brooding and plotting his revenge. I realize that scenes like that might need a little more time, but I just thought they didn’t mesh all that well with the much faster action beats that we saw shortly after the beginning and near the end. Those action scenes were of course great, with some solid fight choreography and some really good dialogue from the characters that kept them entertaining. My favorite ones had to be the one where Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) and Black Widow break into Hammer Industries, and the final fight with Vanko, Iron Man and Rhodey. In both scenes, the heroes play off of each other really well, and come up with really creative moves and strategies to take down the thugs they’re up against.

Admittedly, while the action meshes well with the story and the story seems to be good enough, at least for a comic book movie like this, some elements of the plot seem a bit weird. For example, I know that Stark is a super genius and all, but creating a brand new element? Along with having his father map it out for him while he was still a kid, and the fact that it’s just what he needs to cure his poisoning? I could Google a bunch of arguments as to why this is very implausible, but then I remember that science in comic books isn’t usually on par with the real world, and promptly calm down. I am still a little irritated that it turned out to be such a MacGuffin. I also have to say that while I admire Marvel’s recent attempt at making their superhero films consistent by giving them their own continuity, I’m not sure I appreciated all these references to films that aren’t even out yet. I think this is something I’ll just have to get used to as other films come out, but it’s just kind of annoying that it’s so constant in this movie, especially in the third part and the teaser after the credits.

In short, Iron Man 2 has its own issues with plot elements and weak performances, but it surprised me in how much it got out of some characters as well as the story. I don’t know if it or Kick Ass is the superior super hero movie so far (once again, I didn’t get to see Kick Ass), but it’s certainly a pretty good movie on its own. I can’t wait to see what else this summer will have to offer.

Images courtesy of Eclectic Electronics, Coming and trademark Marvel Comics/Paramount Pictures/Disney.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Super Half Assed Triple Review Time!

After a veritable long time drought of posts here, it looks as if it’s time to do yet another super-condensed quickie reviews.

Most of these movies have been out for quite a while though, so I won’t drag things out or use too many details since you guys probably know all about them by now. All I’m going to do here is just dedicate a paragraph to each movie, with each one just relaying my opinion.

Tonight’s movies are Up In The Air, Shutter Island, and How To Train Your Dragon.

With Up In The Air, there really isn’t much wrong here. It seems like Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner have churned out a very relevant, well written flick here. I think a lot of people will definitely be able to relate to the subject matter, and I found the ending to have a bit of a depressing bite to it, it really drove the point of the story home. I won’t spoil too much, but the goals that Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) had hoped to accomplish early on in the film end up seeming really shallow in the end. I’m not sure if it was entirely intentional, but I did kind of notice an overarching theme of how one shouldn’t automatically be so sure about the goals one sets in life, and how one should always prepare for any calamities that may occur, which I thought blended nicely with the premise of the film. As for the acting, I greatly enjoyed the snark of both Clooney’s and Vera Farminga’s characters, and this film also served as a great introduction to Anna Kendrick. She really portrayed her character’s naiveté well, and had some fantastic chemistry with Clooney. I don’t have too many gripes about this film, aside from the second half dragging a little and the utterly soul-crushing conclusion, which had me leaving the theater feeling a little down (although, like I’ve said about this kind of thing before, this was probably intentional). I actually think this can be counted as one of Reitman’s best.

I wish I could say the same about Scorsese’s Shutter Island, but I really think him and screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis could have done better with the execution for such an interesting idea.

There were some parts where they were clearly going for horror, but too much of this movie just seems like stuff that everyone has seen before done way better. The story and plot were also looking pretty good in the previews, but I felt like there were some parts where the themes of the movie were laid on a little too thick, especially the part where they are interviewing inmates of the asylum about the whereabouts and characteristics of the escaped patient, Rachel Solando. The run-up to the climax of the film is sort of weird and off-putting, it becomes a little confusing, and then when we arrive at the conclusion for some reason it just seems all too obvious. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt that way about the end of a mystery story before, but judging from other opinions about the movie that I’ve heard from friends and reviewers, I’m at least not alone in thinking that things got kind of confusing. It could be the way it was written, or the way Scorsese had it pan out, but I don’t know, maybe it was just me. Leo DiCaprio isn’t too bad as Teddy Daniels, but I found his fake Boston accent a little irritating, just like I did when he used it in the Departed. If he’s going to do another movie set in New England, I honestly think a voice coach wouldn’t be a bad idea. Michelle Williams was a little chilling in her role as his wife Dolores, and I liked Ben Kingsley a whole lot too. In short, I liked the movie for what it was meant to be, but it could have been written a bit better.

Now on to the most recent flick, Dreamworks’ How To Train Your Dragon. I really, really liked this film, it seems like Dreamworks made a super solid effort to not have the movie’s humor rely entirely on dated pop-culture references and gross “adult” jokes, which is pretty commendable for them. I loved Gerard Butler as the Viking lord Stoick, and Jay Baruchel brings some wonderfully smart assed-ness (ugh, I don’t even know if that’s a word or not, but whatever) to his role as the hero of the film, Hiccup. Yes, that’s his name, but trust me, he’s awesome. I’ll admit, I liked Astrid (America Ferrara) at first, but in the second half of the film she was kind of degenerated to the role of sidekick a little too quickly. I understand she was meant to be a secondary character in the first place, but I still found it a tiny bit off-putting regardless. The Viking kid who was a D&D nerd-type character (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) was kind of annoying. Also, it was really odd that the adult Vikings had brash Scottish accents, while the young’ins sounded like American kids (what makes this even odder was that real Vikings weren’t Scottish or American), but that’s kind of a minor gripe. Everything else though, the 3-D effects, the cinematography, the story, everything down to the extremely well crafted fantasy world, was done great. This film could serve as a good model for Dreamworks’ future films. Also, Toothless was wicked adorable, although that’s not surprising since he was designed by the same artist that did Stitch.

OK, that’s all settled at least. Sorry about it being so half-assed, but there you go.

I’m actually kind of proud that I’ve been able to keep this going for about a year (well, OK, sort of). In the meantime, though, I need to get really serious about forming a regular update schedule for this blog, because there are a lot of good-looking movies coming out this summer, and the window of time to talk about them in a relevant manner is shrinking.

Heck, Iron Man 2 is due in a couple of weeks, and between Mickey Rourke laser whipping racecars Crimson Dynamo style, and Scarlett Johannson as Black Widow, there’s no shortage of stuff to be excited about. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to review it.

Enjoy the pictures here, I got them from The Vine, Daemon's Movies, and Dreamworks. Sorry, I'm too tired for captions.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Oscar Night Update

OK, there's no better way to say this, so I'm just gonna say it. I decided to scrap those two blu-ray reviews I was going to do.

I regret fucking this up, but it's already pretty far out since the both of them were released, and there just wasn't enough time or interest to do them. Way too much going on. Besides, I think I'd rather focus on what's currently going on anyway. Also, there are a few things I want to write about soon that aren't just reviews, so I got to plan those out, too.

I do have a review planned out for tomorrow, but we'll see what happens.

Anyway, I guess the oscars are in about an hour. Best picture is probably gonna come down to either Hurt Locker or Avatar. I'm personally hoping the former will win, but knowing how political this all is it will probably be the latter. Ehhhh.....

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

My Computer Asplode

Well, I know you guys are tired of hearing this at this point, but for the 40,908th time, I'm sorry about the serious lack of updates.

The original plan, honest, was to keep updating through January, but my laptop caught some serious Trojans, which screwed things up so badly that I pretty much had to take it to the shop.

Long story short, after an impromptu hiatus Cinematic Supersonic is now back up and running, and yes, I plan to have those blu-ray reviews up by the end of the week. They're for movies that I saw over the summer but never got a chance to review, the first one being for The Hangover and the other Inglorious Basterds. I kind of feel bad about not reviewing these movies sooner, because both blu-rays came out around Christmas time and I think whomever reads this blog would've expected something by now. No worries though, they're coming soon.