Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Why Cloverfield Will Suck

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

Don’t get me wrong. I’m going to see it, I’m excited as hell, and I’m pretty sure they’re gonna show the monster in all its glory — but I know the movie’s going to suck. Here’s why:

  1. There will be no buildup. My guess is that it starts out at the party, and goes from there. How about five minutes of strange incidents from around the globe, à la the viral videos already released? I don’t want to come into the movie and miss half of it because I’m too lazy to waste time clicking through tie-in websites that pretend to give you vital clues to the plot.
  2. There won’t be a plausible reason for the monster to attack NYC. Perhaps some suspension of disbelief is in order, but the fact that the film is a ‘realistic’ documentary will not play into the plot. Obviously, a gigantic creature that lives underwater will head to NYC, with a million buildings in the way and irritating explosions, to spawn/have fun/feed. I’m pretty sure there’s more food available in the ocean — including that tantalizing Slusho ingredient!
  3. We won’t get more info than what’s on the ‘recovered’ tapes. I love back story, and the shit we’re spoon-fed on the viral marketing websites won’t explain anything about the monster. So we’ll never know if it’s an alien, or a mutation caused by man, or something else. Some will say that this enhances the ‘mystery’, but I’ve had enough uninformed fan speculation from the lead-up to the movie. I want some goddamn answers, not more fanboy theory. I want to know A) what it is, B) why’s it’s pissed, and C) how they stopped it.
  4. There will be an epilogue, but it will leave more questions than answers. This is, after all, the product of J.J. “Lost” Abrams.
  5. They’re gonna waste time on the ‘parasites.’ You know, the little creatures the main monster exudes? The ones that are probably taking a bite out of that chick’s neck outside the medical tent from the 2:00 trailer? I don’t want an Aliens-style crawlspace suspense terror-fest — I want a Godzilla-style smash-the-buildings monster movie.
  6. Is anything more cliché than “I’m going into the city, I don’t care about the 100 story-tall freakazoid, but she’s there and I have to save her?” Stupid romantic subplot detracts from awesome Statue of Liberty-munchin’.

I guess I’m just being pre-irritated by all the hype. I could be wrong; I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt it.

Harry Potter and the Magical Fanbois

Sunday, January 8th, 2006

According to the imdb’s readers, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was the best picture of 2005.

…Excuse me? Sure, it was entertaining, but it was kind of a bad movie. Maybe I should be blaming JK Rowling, whose books always seem to follow the same formula, but the movie was about as innovative as its predecessors. I can see it being in the top 10, but… #1?

Further examination of the results reveals some interesting patterns. Sure enough, the big names are there… but Daniel Radcliffe was voted #2 for best actor? WTF? His performances in the Harry Potter movies have always been (if you’ll pardon the pun) unmagical. In almost every category on this poll, something Harry Potter-related places higher than it should have. I have nothing against Potter and company, but I don’t think Harry Potter (the film and the titular character) was Oscar-worthy.

But Hogwart’s isn’t the only scene of bias on this poll. Serenity (which is a fairly spectacular film) placed pretty high, too, for a film that so few people saw.

Hm… Harry Potter fans and Browncoats. Who would’ve imagined that the Internet would be populated by 13-year-olds* and Sci-Fi geeks? 😉

* PS — I don’t want to forget the 40-year-olds slobbering over Emma Watson. Grow up, boys!

Review: Star Wars – Revenge of the Sith

Thursday, May 19th, 2005

George Lucas had quite a lot to do in Revenge of the Sith, his final installment in the Star Wars saga. This film, sitting as it does between the other prequels and A New Hope, had to be the bridge between them. As I entered the theater I wondered, with some trepidation, whether good ol’ George could pull it off. Could he make this movie as entertaining, action-packed, and enlightening as Episodes IV-VI, or would it fall flat like its two predecessors, awash in woody acting, bad dialog, and waaaaaaay too many scenes about “tort reform” or whatever it is that the Galactic Senate is squabbling about?

The answer is — thankfully, resoundingly — yes! Revenge of the Sith is the best of the Star Wars prequels. Alone, this is not saying alone, but I shall be so bold as to say that it might be the best Star Wars movie of them all. This may sound like blasphemy to some, but I assure that my assertion is grounded in reason and not the thrill of popcorn and droids and explosions and soda.

This film succeeds so wildly because it is about a man. It might as well have been named Star Wars: Anakin’s Fall. The other films had character moments, especially Return of the Jedi, but none of them captures a story as powerful as the drama and tragedy of the rise of Darth Vader. The movie chronicles, in sometimes excruciating detail, what drives Anakin Skywalker to the dark side of the Force. Anakin’s fall is natural; it doesn’t feel rushed or unexplained. We can even be thankful for the awful scene in Attack of the Clones when he tells Padme of how he killed all the Sand people, because it showed his darker and more vulnerable side. Anakin’s tears flow from the knowledge of what he is becoming, and more strikingly they flow because he knows he is powerless to stop his transformation.

It is all, to quote Peter Parker, all for the girl. And this time, believe it or not, there are even moments of chemistry between Padme and Anakin. I really felt, for the first time, that Anakin was doing everything for her.

But drama does not a Star Wars flick make. There was action — tons of it. Exploding, riveting, bodies and spaceships careening everywhere! This film had more action than either of the first two. The pacing felt right, and not spread out and thin like in the other prequels. Sometimes, Lucas even manages to meld the drama and the action. For example, when Palpatine orders the Jedi exterminated, we get to see the very real repercussions of his mandate.

In viewing this film, you have to cut your losses. You know how it’s going to turn out; you know that the Jedi can’t win. But even small victories feel rewarding as the order and ideals of the Old Republic crumble into the foundations of the Galactic Empire. Anakin loses his battle with evil and succumbs to it, scarring his mind and body, but Obi-Wan escapes. Palpatine faces Yoda, power is tested, and Yoda lives to fight another day. These are the only comforts in a galaxy that is slowly consuming itself with fear and cowardice. It is a dark, dark movie, but even in its darkest moments, there is a germ of hope: just look at the title of Episode IV.

Star Wars Costume

Thursday, May 19th, 2005

For this film, I decided to splurge and dress up. I found some instructions and got underway.

First, the Lightsabre. $7.00 at K-Mart.

Next, the costume. Unfortunately, because I picked the priciest place in town, I paid about $40 for all the cloth.

A white T-shirt underneath and a brown pair of paints completed the look. I think it turned out really relly.

C.C. is sporting his Sith costume — my black jacket, black pants, and a black T-shirt. He already had the Darth Maul lightsabre.

Special thanks to Mom and to Maggie for helping with the sewing.

Rocky Horror is On

Tuesday, April 5th, 2005

How do I constantly find opportunities to wear women’s clothing? Last year for my Acting II class I played a queen (a medieval queen, smartass), replete with gigantic prom dress, huge high heels, and a tiny tiara. And last summer, I got conned into playing Dr. Frankenfurter in a local cast show of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This, obviously, was a step up (or down), as I was now wearing women’s underwear, as well. And a corsette. And pearls.

And now I’m doing it again. The show will be on May 14th, the day after the last day of finals week. Most of the original cast (at least, the major players — Brad, Janet, and Eddie/Dr. Scott) will be returning as well. We’ll get seven weeks to practice, instead of one. It should be fun.

More details will be appearing as I get them. Maybe even some pictures and crap.

Review: Spider-Man 2

Saturday, July 3rd, 2004

Current Listening: REM – “Drive” (Automatic For the People)

Smack, crack, bushwhacked. / Tie another one to the racks, baby. / Hey kids, rock and roll. / Nobody tells you where to go, baby. / What if I ride? What if you walk? / What if you rock around the clock?

The Good: More humor, more conflict, and Aunt May has a bigger role, too.

The Bad: Do you love me? Waaah. Sob. Sob. Kiss. Waaah.

The Ugly: Stan Lee’s cameo was barely recognizable — “Watch out!”

I’ve got a soft place in my heart for Spidey. While not professing to be an extreme fan, I have about sixty comic books, a few of them bought at comic book stores and maybe worth a little bit. So I couldn’t understand when some of my friends, including my girlfriend, said they didn’t really like the first movie. I chalked it up to naïvety — how could they know the greatest superhero in the world?

Then it occured to me that they didn’t have the comic books. They didn’t know about Spidey’s inner struggle. They couldn’t see that his world was as much the world of jobs, homework, and trouble with friends as it was the world of web-slinging.

Well now they can. Call me brash, but Spider-Man 2 makes the original Spider-Man flick look like Batman Forever. It’s bigger, swetter, more dramatic, and the villain is cooler.

That villain would be Otto Octavius, also known as Doctor Octopus. For those who say that a superhero is defined by his villains, Doc Ock is the perfect example. Alfred Molina does a great job playing the altruistic scientist-turned-raging-madman. In this Spider-Man universe (as opposed to the comic books), the arms take over the scientist, turning him into a bystander-killing, Spidey-hating machine. You can still see the struggle in his eyes, though, and at the end we see that Octopus is just as tortured as our favorite webslinger.

Spidey, by the way, has plenty to fret about. He’s losing jobs, his grades are slipping, and Mary Jane, though still interested, is moving on the bigger and better things — namely, J. Jonah Jameson’s astronaut son. A temporary loss of his power — and subsequent tumble from twenty stories up — convinces the webslinger to retire the webs. And thus we are exposed to the internal conflict of the movie — how much should a hero give up for the good of mankind?

But no hero can call it quits for good, can he?

This installment was much truer to the comic books than its predecessor. It even managed to capture the teenage angst of the early Spidey books. My only problem with this angst is that some of it was unnecessary. For example, Peter Parker has a money-hungry landlord with a teenage daughter who obviously has a thing for Pete. One scene, in which he eats chocolate cake with her after hanging up his webs, was extraneous baggage.

Sam Raimi did a great job directing, and even managed to throw in some of his trademarks — namely, Bruce Campbell and a scene with Doc Ock’s living metallic arms that could have been straight out of Evil Dead. Raimi always manages to make humor and action work well together, and this film was no exception. Laughs came during the height of the action and were intersperced with the drama, lightening what otherwise might have been a heavy-handed movie. I wish Spidey had some acidic one-liners for Doc Ock and the other criminals he battles (a comic book trademark), though.

My only other quibble with the film was its ending. I don’t want to give it away, so let’s just say that it had some closure (yet we all know there will be at least two more sequels), but also left us hanging and me worried that the next villain would be Harry Osbourne as the Green Goblin. Sure, the comic book fans might like that, but moviegoers would have to sit through another movie of the Green Goblin’s crappy costume.

And I’d like to see Spidey fly off the handle at some villain and really wail on him. You know? He got some punches thrown at Doc Ock, but I wanna see Spidey kick the crap outta somebody. The villains get to do it to him, but turnabout is fair play, right?

I Am Riff-Raff

Sunday, September 21st, 2003

Hooray For Richard O’Brien

Which Rocky character are you?

Note: This was a post of survey results for “Which Rocky Horror character are you?” I got Riff-Raff. The site is dead now and just a parking page.