Tuesday, July 23, 2013

X-Men Days of Future Past - New Posters

Batman/Superman! WHOA!!!!

WHOA. This was not expected! Who's going to be Batman? I liked Man of Steel, so this sounds like a great idea, especially building to the future Justice League movie. Zack Snyder directs, Snyder and David Goyer on story with Christopher Nolan producing.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim is awesome. Just go see it.  Go now. Support this film! We need more original ideas as films, this film was conceived entirely from the mind of director Guillermo del Toro, it's not based on a book, a comic, a video game, nothing. Just his love for giant monsters and robots. What fun it is!  I may be a little biased but I will admit I love a lot of the people involved in this film. I am a fan of del Toro's Hellboy films, Pan's Labyrinth, as well as Sons of Anarchy actors Charlie Hunnam and Ron Pearlman.  I loved what they created here.

What they've created is a world you can easily buy into and jump into. There is an effective prologue to set everything up and everything after that makes sense in this world.  More importantly this movie is a lot of eye-candy.  Great looking monsters, or Kaiju, battling even weirder robots, called Jaegers.  These Jaegers aren't Transformers ripoffs, they're bigger and the Kaiju they fight are even larger than they are sometimes. We're talking 20-30 stories tall, not the 3-5 of the Transformers.  Another thing about the Transformers comparisons, you can actually tell where the Jaeger is in the frame because it's not battling another robot, its battling something completely different.  That's one of the things that bothers me with Michael Bay's Transformers films, the action is great, but everything is such a mess of color and metal sheen that it's hard to tell which robot is which. Not so with Pacific Rim.  The action sequences are well choreographed and well lit and shot, even though they take place in the dark, rain, wind, and underwater.  Why not though, we are fighting in the Pacific ocean!

I'm not going to say much else other than that you should seek this film out.  It's one of the better summer films I've seen in 2013.  I think this is definitely a sleeper hit. Maybe by the time word gets out it will do well on Blu-Ray, I'm certainly getting it.


4.5 out of 5 Stars


Spring Breakers

Despite the four star review and quote you see in the picture, Spring Breakers is not a four-star film. Its barely even a film at all! Now, I'm not a wierd-indie-film lover but this was not a wierd-indie-film.  It was more like a hour and a half music video, except there is no music, no story, and barely little acting. The most acting being done here is by James Franco, behind a flashy grill, sunglasses, and hair braids.  Instead of a story, director Harmony Korine splices together short clips of events, somewhat in order, and expects us to infer a story from what he shows us.  It's largely incomplete.  This film wants to be lots of things and is none of them. It wants to be a party movie like Superbad, it wants to be a gangster/crime film like Scarface, it wants to be a lost teen drama, but its none of these things.  We have four female protagonists but there is so little dialogue that we don't know their names. We know there is an innocent one who leaves the film halfway through, and three slutty ones. I found out that Vanessa Hudgens' character was named Candy 5 minutes before the film ended.

A lot of this film is cutaways to young, nameless, bikini clad women, partying and mugging for the camera. Half the film is this footage, as every time we feel like we're getting somewhere in the scene, the director cuts away to this footage, completely undercutting any drama or characterization he had been building. We know it takes place on spring break already! We've heard James Franco's character repeat the line 10 times! Even more disappointing is that James Franco's Alien gangster is the most interesting character of the film, but with all the cutting away he seems like a caricature.  Its clear the Franco has fully developed this guy, but the script nor the director wants to let him flourish.   Towards the end of the film we have what feels like 10 minutes of the girls and Alien getting ready for a robbery, but instead of a sequence we hear James Franco's character ask over and over again, "Y'all ready for this?" Total crap.

I feel bad for the actresses here. I'm sure they read the script and were eager to get away from their "Disney Princess" image by being edgy, smoking pot, snorting cocaine, having sex, etc etc. That's fine, I was interested in seeing if they could act while doing all that.  What acting though? We barely hear any dialogue from the girls, if we do we hear it while we watch them snort cocaine, or gargle beer. It's a totally disjoiunted experience, that makes these girls seem less like actresses and more like dimwits.  I'm sure it was a blast to film, but its excruciating to watch.  Needless to say, I'll be avoiding anything else by "director" Harmony Korine from here on out.

0 out of 5 Stars.


Hit and Run

I caught Hit and Run on Netflix last week, and you should too. Its one of those few Netflix movies you might have never heard of that is actually worth your time.  Hit and Run was written by it's star, Dax Shepard which he co-directed with David Palmer.  You may know Dax from his initial run on MTV's Punk'd. If you remember the show, Dax was one of the best actors on there, tricking celebrities. He parlayed that show into some bit roles in TV and film, finally landing a lead role in the show Parenthood, which he is pretty good in as well.

Hit and Run is kind of a throwback movie to car films of the 70's.  There is a minimal plot where Dax's character is in witness protection in a small town with a new girlfriend, played by real life fiance Kristen Bell, where his old life comes back to haunt him and he has to go on the run.  What follows is Bradley Cooper in dreadlocks chasing after Dax and Kristin in car after car after car after car.

The chase scenes are all well shot, and lose the CGI effect and stunts that bigger films have for effective old-school filming.  It's nice to see a movie where you know there is a real driver driving a real car in this real chase. It makes it a little more exciting than when you can spot the CGI.  I thought the film was fun, add it to your Netflix queue and go drive some cars!

3.5 out of 5 Stars


This Is The End

I saw This Is The End a few weeks back. So since it was a little while ago, this will be a shorter review.  I remember liking the movie and laughing a lot while watching it.  If you think you've seen all the gags in the trailer for this movie, you're wrong.  This is an R-rated end of the world, demon apocalypse story that goes to R-rated extremes to make you laugh. You haven't seen it all in the trailers.  

This Is The End is written and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.  And they do a good job doing both.  There is one particular action/chase sequence that came out very well for first time directors, known more for comedy.  The basic premise is that these actors are playing themselves in this end of the world scenario. The movie starts out a little slow, as we spend a little more time than necessary with Jay Baruchel visiting with Seth Rogen before the two go to James Franco's house for a party, where the world inexplicably ends.  Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride are all at the party as well, and round out our group of survivors that we follow.  There is a little bit of Hollywood snobbiness in the party scene of the film, but the guys don't go out of their way to tear it down or make fun of it, which I thought they would, to relate the characters to the audience. In the end, maybe they didn't need to do that because I like a lot of these actors anyway.  The comedy here comes from a lot of different places.  Some of it is derived from the end of the world scenario and plot, other times it comes from a single line, but most of the time it comes from the relationships between the characters.  This creates a nice even mix for the movie, as you're not always laughing at one type of thing. The jokes come from all different directions, so when you're laughing, it's genuine.  

All in all, if you're a fan of any of these actors, or their past films, This Is The End is well worth your time.  If you've never seen any of these actors' films before, but like the end of the world scenario, a good dose of dick jokes, and buddy comedies, I think you'll like this film.  If you're still not convinced, here's two words that might make you want to see the film, as it has to be seen to believed: Demon Penis.

4 out of 5 Stars