Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Transformers: The Dark of the Moon

When I was a naive lad of 14, I saw a movie called Transformers and thought it was awesome. Keep in mind, this was 2007, just a year before I discovered web personalities James Rolfe, Doug Walker, and Bob "Moviebob" Chipman. Because of them, I grew an interest in film. From then on, my taste in films migrated away from junk action movies.

In 2009, I saw Revenge of the Fallen and it was the most irritatingly, annoyingly long theater experience of my adolescent life.

As for Dark of the Moon, while it is less teeth grinding than the last one, it is still needlessly long. A full hour and a half is spent on making this seem more important than it is by relating it to certain events in history. We all knew about the Apollo conspiracy from the first trailer, but what the trailers DIDN'T tell me was that there was a part where a few characters go to Chernobyl to poke around the ruins. They also got THE REAL LIFE BUZZ ALDRIN for a cameo. I should be laughing at how delusional the film seems to be, thinking it is a grand cinematic epic and not an extended summer popcorn movie, but instead, I just feel insulted.

Also, Mr. Bay, I know Leonard Nimoy is married to your cousin, good on you, but next time you bring him into one of your movies, keep the Star Trek references to a minimum. Wheelie watching the episode where "Spock goes crazy"? Fairly clever. Sentinel Prime (Nimoy) saying "The needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few." in a menacing tone? WAY TOO FAR!

While I will admit that the Battle of Chicago sequence was pretty well done, the film is still too long. Unless they wanted to make a character drama, a movie with giant robots should not be more than 2 hours long.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cars 2

About now, John Turturro has two movies out, both of which are sequels and both of which involve animated, talking cars. This one is the better one.

I haven't seen the first Cars in a while, but from what I can remember, it can be basically summed up as "Doc Hollywood with cars". This one avoids the trap of sequels being remakes in disguise by being "007 with cars" and being fully aware of it.

Yes, for the first time, Pixar has made a film that wasn't meant for the Academy, but instead for all the little kids who love Cars and the toy line. Personally, I find it perfectly reasonable for Pixar to do this. Sometimes, dramatic actors take breaks from serious performances by acting in light-hearted comedies, so why can't Pixar do the same?

Now, the movie isn't really bad in anyway, it's a shallow blockbuster that will keep the kids entertained, so mission accomplished I guess.

However, I wasn't really crazy about this movie mostly because I just don't like spy movies. When I watched this, I had this sinking, lackluster feeling that I haven't felt since I watched Goldfinger.

It's not bad, it's just not my style.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Super 8

I take acting classes up in Seattle and the main kid in this movie, Joel Courtney, is one of classmates, so it was a total thrill to see this and support his (hopefully) career-making performance.

Set in the late '70s, Joe (Joel Courtney) is helping his friend Charles (Riley Griffiths) making a movie (using Super 8 film, obviously). While filming, they are caught in the middle of a train derailment. The train, owned by the U.S. Air Force, contains an alien that is then set free to reek havoc on the small town of Lillian, Ohio.

Also appearing in this film are Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka, Kyle Chandler, Dan Castellaneta (apparently), and others.

The movie is, essentially, a tribute to the classic family movies of the '80s, specifically Steven Spielberg's E.T. There are spot on performances all around but the kids are definitely the stars of the show, especially Elle Fanning.

There are some problems. J.J. Abrams can't have enough lens flares and and the CG effects are a bit obvious, but at the very least, the characters are likable and memorable, and the score is noticeably well done.

This is definitely a step up from Star Trek and that is coming from someone who LIKED Star Trek. Also, if the score is nice and memorable, you already got my attention.

I liked it.