Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Lovely Bones

To sum it up, this was a beautiful and disturbing film. The filmmaking and acting employed in this film are top-notch and credible. The imagery and visualizations of the "inbetween" are stunning and the vivid dream-like interpretation is gorgeous. Like I said, a beautiful film. The acting is very real and there are some stunning performances by Saoirse Ronan and Stanley Tucci. Even Marky Mark gives a good performance.
Now, with all that being said, the film is disturbing and extremely intense. It is not a film for the faint-hearted. If you know anything about the film, then you know that the story surrounds some very dark and horrid content. The film is about the murder of a 14-year old girl (Saoirse Ronan) and the search for her killer (Stanley Tucci). The scene where the murderer catches the girl in his trap is a long, uncomfortable, and nerve-racking moment in the film. But the most disturbing element of the film is not the crime itself, but the getting to know more about the murderer through the eyes of the little girl. The murder takes place 1/4 through the movie, the last 3/4 of the film focuses on the murderer and how creepy he really is. It's always uncomfortable to get inside the mind of a slaughterer. Tucci does an excellent job portraying this killer, and his believability really contributes to the power and eeriness of the film.

**Spoiler Alert**
While it is true that the men who commit similar crimes are rarely found, I hated that he got away in this film. The end of the film tries to give you some satisfaction by showing him fall over and bounce down a cliff-side to his death, but that wasn't enough for me. I felt that his death was too simple a fate for his crimes, I wanted him to suffer. That's how you know that a film does an excellent job creating the enemy; the audience's desire to annihilate him by the end of the movie.
You know, most inmates do not take kindly to child rapists or murderers. So, if I had my choice, I would have the guy get caught, and then have a final scene where a thug walks up to him in jail and says, "I hear you been murdering little girls... I don't like that." And then just show the killer slowly looking up at the thug, trying his best to compose his fear - and cut! I would have been satisfied with that.
**End Spoiler Alert**

Overall, I really liked this film, but due to it's content, I can't say it's one that I would watch very often.

As far as questionable content:
There are quite a few disturbing images.

P.S. - The image in this post is copyrighted by DreamWorks SKG and Paramount Pictures.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

We're About to Get...What?

For those of you who are major 80's buffs, this might be considered interesting and scary at the same time.

Sherlock Holmes

Overall, I really liked this movie. As with most movies, there are some things that irked me a bit at first, but nothing that would make me dislike it as a whole. One thing that I especially liked was how this film was different from it's previews and reviews. The previews made it look like an action film and that idea was echoed by the various reviews it received. Many reviews said that this film was nothing like the books. Having read the books, I felt that this was a very good picture of the Sherlock Holmes books; it was not based on a particular book, but it was very similar to their style.
I also thought that Robert Downey Jr. did very well portraying Holmes and that Jude Law made for a good Watson. I was getting tired of seeing versions of the Sherlock Holmes books where Watson was portrayed as a fat and dense sidekick, which was nothing like the books.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable film that is both fun and intriguing. The action is not overdone, the story keeps you interested, and the characters are believable.

As far as questionable content:
The movie stars Rachel McAdams. It seems to be a requirement to have her at least half-naked in one scene in every film she's in. The scene is brief riskiness.
The film also contains some dark scenes involving black magic that might be a bit much for some.

P.S. - The image used in this post is copyrighted by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

More Sequels That Didn't Make the First List...

Well, I finished my previous sequels post and was suddenly bombarded by more sequels and movie news. So here's a sequel (ha ha, that's a good joke considering that I'm writing about sequels and... I... it's about... I... oh, nevermind) to the last post.

Goonies 2 - At a recent 25th anniversary celebration for the first film, Director Richard Donner made a statement that there will be a sequel to The Goonies with as much of the original cast as possible.
Starfighter - How many of you remember (or have even heard of) The Last Starfighter? It's a film about a kid who beats a video game and aliens come to utilize his skills in a space battle. Well, there is a sequel on the way. The end.
Three Men and a Bride - From baby to little lady to bride, we just can't get enough of Steve Guttenberg, Tom Selleck, and Ted Dansen attempting to properly father a little girl.
Spider-man 4 - Rumors are bouncing back and forth about what the next Spider-man movie will be; a sequel or a franchise reboot?
Men in Black 3 - Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are suiting up to fight aliens once again.
Clash of the Titans 2 - Despite how bad the first movie was, it has made enough money to boast a sequel... but what will it be about?...and will we care?
Avatar 2 - James Cameron has said that the first film was an introduction to a small piece of Pandora; now he wants to take us further into Pandora and possibly further into space.
The Bourne Legacy - We are hoping that this film will include Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass (director of Supremacy and Ultimatum) since it is being penned by Tony Gilroy, writer of all three previous films.
Fantastic Four (Reboot) - Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer sucked, so let's pretend those two movies didn't happen and just start back over and see if we can get it right this time.
Oz, the Great and the Powerful - A prequel to The Wizard of Oz focusing mainly on the Wizard.
Happy Feet 2 -  Apparently we didn't respond to the "Save the Penguins" subliminal (or not) message in the first one, so they must release another movie.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sequels and Reboots in Brief...

I figured that I'd give everyone a heads up on the many, many, many sequels and reboots that are coming our way soon. Seems to be the season for nothing else right now, so here it is (in no particular order):
Nanny Mcphee Returns - yep, modern-Mary Poppins is back for another film. You can view the trailer here. While I enjoyed the first film, this one doesn't look as stirring. New family, same plot.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit 2 - The first film was great, but why would you want to frame Roger again?
Sherlock Holmes 2 - Slated for a release at the end of 2011, this film is sporting much of the same cast as before. Come on, you had to know this was coming with how the first one ended.
Mission: Impossible 4 - If it ain't broke, rehash it several times over... apparently. I was amazed everyone agreed to do a third film after the M:I 2 disaster; don't get me started on that film. While this film is produced by J.J. Abrams, the man responsible for bringing it back to life with M:I 3, the film is being directed by Brad Bird. That strikes me as odd since Bird's film credits are mainly cartoons (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille).
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Reboot) - In light of other successful prequels and film reboots, someone decided it would be a good idea to attempt a Ninja Turtles restart. The worst part about this, is that it is being helmed by Michael Bay (our Transformers-destroying friend) and produced by a studio that has never done anything but horror films. Oh joy.
Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom - He's back to fight the evil, they will never defeat him. (That was a tribute to Ghostbusters 2, if no one caught it)
Transformers 3 - I know I've already touched on this film, but the recent update is that Megan Fox's role has been replaced with a Victoria Secret model. While I was excited before, I'm depressed now. At least Megan Fox was interested in acting. How much body ogling are we going to have to endure with a VS model on board? Michael Bay, thou art an idiot.
More Musketeers - Orlando Bloom has apparently just signed on for another Three Musketeers attempt. I say we stick to Disney's Three Musketeers and leave well enough alone.
Batman 3 - Christopher Nolan has been more open about a Dark Knight sequel now that Inception is done. He says that his brother is working on a script and he is excited about the ideas for a third film. His main concern is whether or not they can make a good film. He also says that Joker will not come back for the third film; he doesn't feel comfortable doing that.
Superman - Along with ideas for a Batman 3, Nolan has also been interested in working on a Superman film.
National Treasure 3 - The script is being completed at current. It is starting where the second one ended: page 47.
Snow White - Apparently Brett Ratner (famous for his Rush Hour films) is creating a Snow White film that boasts a different attitude than what we've seen from Disney or TV specials.
Gulliver's Travels - Jack Black is the lead star of a Gulliver's Travels remake. 'nuff said.
X-Men: First Class - Bryan Singer, famed for his X-Men and X2 films, is producing a new X-Men film that will focus on the younger generation of X-Men, such as Rogue and Ice Man.
Battlestar Galactica - Along with X-Men: First Class, Singer has also undertaken a film based on the popular television series, Battlestar Galactica. This should make Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, and Rajesh happy, don't you think?
Excalibur - Aside from those two films, Singer has also decided to take on another long-time legend and remake the popular 80's film, Excalibur.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2 - If that isn't enough, Singer will also be directing the sequel to the prequel of X-Men, X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2. This story will focus on Wolverine's life in Japan training as a Samurai.
Indiana Jones 5 - While most viewers (myself included) despised Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it managed to make enough revenue to inspire Spielberg and Lucas to look at making another one, possibly moving the Indiana Jones franchise from Harrison Ford to Shia LeBeouf.
Halo - This movie has been on and off for a while, but it has been confirmed that the movie will be made, it's just a matter of when.
The Hobbit Parts 1 & 2 - Peter Jackson will be producing the prequel to Lord of the Rings, in two parts, as soon as the studio gives the project a green light. Guillermo Del Toro, famed for his Hellboy films, was signed on to direct the films, but after two-years of pre-production work and no green light from the studio, he called it quits last month.
Star Trek Sequel - I'm sure most people expected this, but a Star Trek sequel has been announced.
Ghostbusters 3 - This project has been very back and forth recently and no one was sure if it was going to happen or not. Especially since Bill Murray has been stating that the rumors are all myths. In a conversation in ABC 7, Harold Ramis recently said that Ghostbusters 3 will happen and is planned to be released Christmas of 2012. We'll see.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - The fourth installment of the Pirates films will have lots of goodies for fans of the series; including, but not limited to, the Fountain of Youth, Blackbeard, Penélope Cruz, Barbossa, Captain Jack Sparrow, an so on and so forth. This movie is actually based on a completely separate novel by Tim Powers, called On Stranger Tides, with a main character named Jack Shandy. Should be interesting.
Cars 2 - In this sequel, Lightening McQueen and Mater take it to an international level with McQueen racing on some global fast tracks.

Whew, made it. That was a lot. Disappointments, here we come. (Am I being overly-pessimistic?)

Taken

I had very high hopes going into Taken, mainly because I think Liam Neeson is an amazing actor and has a reputation of participating in good movies (until recently - Clash of the Titans and possibly The A-Team). The first half-hour of the film was very engaging and the scene of the daughter's capture was intense. It stayed fairly intense for the rest of the movie, but my interest slowly declined from there, mainly because of the character progression of Neeson. Again, I will do my best not to spoil the movie for those who still have not seen it. In the beginning, Neeson is a very likable lead character. He portrays a credible father through the entire movie, there is no question about that. The problem arises when Neeson's daughter is taken and he assumes his role as ex-spy. Neeson throws away the good-natured, fatherly persona and becomes a violent James Bond-like figure, killing anyone and everyone that he sees. He almost becomes the bad guy in the film, lacking the qualities that set him apart from his enemies; basically becoming a mindless killing machine, especially by the end of the film. You still get the feeling that he'd do anything to get his daughter back, but you begin to wonder at what price. Like Drew said in an earlier post, it's a pretty vengeful movie.

**Spoiler Alert**
The movie ends pretty quickly. Neeson finds where his daughter is, bursts in, guns blazing, and kills everyone in a matter of minutes. The thing that bothered me the most about this film is after Neeson gets his daughter back. They return to America and suddenly everything is back to normal and its like the whole thing never happened. Everyone's happy and wonderful and untraumatized. Sure, the daughter has a better relationship with her father, but other than that, nothing has changed from the beginning of the movie. I hated that! Annoyed the heck out of me. It's like they could have cut out everything in-between and you still would have had the same ending. Grrr.. never do that; completely takes away anything to be gained from the film.
**End Spoiler Alert**

As far as questionable content:
**Spoiler Alert** - The daughter is part of a large group of women that are being sold as sex slaves to foreign men, so you can imagine what the women are all wearing, or almost not wearing, during the bidding scene. There are a couple other scenes that deal with this content that are a bit risky.
**Non-Spoiler Alert** - The movie is a fairly violent film. Lots of shooting and hand-to-hand-to-knife combat stuff going on. So, be ready to see violence.
There is some profanity, but no "F"-bomb. Because of the nature of the theft of the daughter, there are sexual references.

P.S. - The image used in this post is copyrighted by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Seven Pounds

Overall, I felt that Seven Pounds was interesting, but not astounding in any way. Plus, it's a bit depressing and sad. Seven Pounds, for me, is one of those movies where I watch it, enjoy it, but feel no need to see it again. I felt that while I was interested to see the progression of the story and how it was all wrapped up in the end, I was not captivated enough by the characters or the goal. Will Smith seemed to retain one emotion - depression - and one look throughout the film - either confusion or being lost. Will Smith is a great actor, but he seemed to be lacking a connection with his role.
I also have to admit that I did not like the ending. I will do my best to not reveal anything for readers who still desire to see the movie. I know that what Smith does at the end of the film is supposed to be considered heroic or generous, but I felt it was more of a cop-out. Sure, he helped a lot of people in the end; but after all that happened to him through the first 7/8 of the film, I just ended up feeling sad for him instead of proud of him. He was so caught up in the tragedy of his past that his moment of heroism came off (to me) as an emotional dodge or a form of self-pity. You also feel really sorry for his friends in the end.
Now, I know I am giving off the impression that I hated this film; not so. It was enjoyable to watch. But it was a sad film and I feel like I don't need to see it again.

As far as questionable content:
There is a sex scene where the characters begin undressing each other down to their skivvies. We don't see anything beyond that point. There is some mild profanity but no "F"-bomb.

P.S. - The image used in this post is copyrighted by Columbia Pictures.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I~Comm Updated....

While I was Production Manager for I~Comm - I have since been replaced by Mr. Jordan and become a grunt worker - we debated for many hours on a logo and intro video for I~Comm. The intro video that we currently had, no one really liked it. You can view it below:
The video was created in a very short amount of time because we needed an intro video, and we needed it right then. We have been using this video and complaining about it every time we see it. We debated changing it for about a year, but failed to move forward with anything. A couple weeks ago, I got tired of debating it and just decided to do it. I wanted a video that encompassed all of the I~Comm departments, which included a student newspaper, video productions, photo, web development, design, agency, and so on. I needed something that could represent all of them. After thinking about it for several days, I came up with an idea and created it using Adobe® After Effects®. Here it is below:

The Invisible, Taken, and Seven Pounds

Drew says this about the following films:

The Invisible
The Invisible is way good! I thought it was mad artistic and creative. Some people say they predicted everything, but I think they...didn't get what happened, lol.


Taken
Taken was good, but at the same time I felt like it was just another revenge movie with not enough events and ended pretty quick. But I feel that I'm probably alone on that, and that's okay.


Seven Pounds
Seven Pounds: I actually didn't quite like because it didn't have a huge range of emotions for a good actor like Will Smith to do. It had a lot of depth to it, but it didn't seem to have enough humor to it to cope and balance out the sad parts of it (I know it's not a comedy, but good writing has elements of comedy so the audience doesn't feel depressed at the end of the film). That's my take.

P.S. - The images used in this post are copyrighted by Buena Vista Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, and Columbia Pictures.