Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Am Number Four

I went into this movie knowing absolutely nothing about it. I had heard that it was about aliens, but I really didn't understand at that point. I wasn't necessarily excited about the film, but I still walked away without being disappointed.
I Am Number Four is based on a teen novel about a high school student trying to hide the fact that he is an alien from humans and the monsters that are hunting him.
While I won't say that I loved this movie, it wasn't a bad film, even though there were times that it seemed too Twilight-esque for me. The acting in the film was a bit rough at times and some better performances would have done a lot for this film. The special effects in the film were well done and the action scenes were pretty cool to watch (Michael Bay produced the film and you can sense a lot of his influence in some of the action moments). The story was interesting and kept viewers involved enough to last the film.
Let me expound a little more on that last statement. The pacing of the movie didn't flow well. The first 3/4 of the film was pretty slow-moving mainly because they kept building the intensity of the pace and then breaking it by throwing in some rough and drawn-out get-to-know-the-characters scenes. Not well played. But once the movie finally got going and stayed moving, the film became more engaging and fun. It just took too long to get there. The last 1/4 of the movie is non-stop action and CGI. Pretty cool stuff, really.

**Spoiler Alert**
One scene that irked me the wrong way was after John first engages the Mogadorians and then runs to save Sarah. Despite the danger they are both in, John and Sarah still find time to go down to the school and develop a whole roll of photographs in a darkroom? Seriously? No, they would have died while still waiting for the first picture to develop.
And the monster slipping on the bar of soap...well...
**End Spoiler Alert**

Overall, the film was a fun teen action flick and worth the time.

As far as questionable content:
The film bounces back and forth between kid-friendly and adult quite a bit. There are some pretty violent and scary moments in the film and it certainly earns it's PG-13 rating.

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

Stardust

For me, Stardust was a wonderfully pleasant surprise. It was full of adventure, comedy, wonderful characters, and an engaging storyline.
Stardust is a film about a young man named Tristan who crosses into a magical world in hopes of finding a fallen star and bringing it back to his female crush in order to win her love. He quickly has to adjust his plans when he discovers that the fallen star is not in fact a piece of rock, but a living celestial beauty named Yvaine.
First and foremost, Stardust is, as the book author noted, a fairytale for adults. While the film can overall be seen as kid friendly, there are some sensual jokes and violence in the film that may be too adult for young'ns.
I found this film to be quite original in it's story and a joy to watch unravel. The several paralleling storylines are engaging and hilarious and the actors do an excellent job, especially Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer. It's just a fun movie.

**Spoiler Alert**
I have to admit that one of my favorite scenes in the film is the swordfight between Tristan and the dead Septimus. They way they had the undead Septimus move throughout the fight was bewitching and it's something that I've never seen in any other film before. Not even Jackie Chan's drunken master moves can compare with the oddity and fun of that battle scene. Well done!
**End Spoiler Alert**

If you are in the mood for a fun adventure with lots of surprising and action, Stardust is a good film to turn to.

P.S. - The image in this post is copyrighted by Paramount Home Entertainment.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

To start out bluntly, this was not my favorite film in the series, but it was overall an enjoyable experience.
The third film in The Chronicles of Narnia franchise follows Lucy, Edmund, and their annoying cousin Eustice back into the world of Narnia where they meet up with Prince Caspian and set out to find seven magical swords that have the power to dispel a rising darkness.
The first thing that caught my attention in this film was the change of hands from Disney over to 20th Century Fox. This worried me. It seems that Disney, despite having the ability to make several hundred Air Bud films and spinoffs, decided to pass off the sequels to another company for budget reasons. But the film did not lose any quality or sense of Narnia-ness with the transfer.
Continuing forward, the special effects in the film were gorgeous and there are some pretty visually stunning scenes. No expense was spared in the effects department. The acting was well done by both veterans and novices. The music, while not as captivating as the first film's, was good. So, not a bad film...but...
There were a couple of things that I disliked about the film. The first one being the flow of the film. This may sound like an oxymoron, but the movie moved pretty slow for the most part because of how fast things were happening. It seemed that the characters would sail from one place to the next, staying for a very brief time, and without any real good purpose for stopping. Very little seemed to happen at each place and because of the lack of adventure, it just seemed to drag on. I think the film would have been a lot more interesting if the characters did more at each place and if we got to spend a little more time exploring the character's weaknesses along the way. Slow down, let us get to know more about what's going on.

**Spoiler Alert**
Second dislike: The moment where the characters have made it to the dark island and Edmund conjures up the evil creature from his mind. I expected to see the Stay Puft marshmallow man instead of the eel-like creature since the scene was almost played exactly from Ghostbusters. The idea could have been pulled off fine, it was just the way they scripted it: One guy is warning everyone to clear their minds of fears and then Edmund apologizes for conjuring up the evil demon. It almost would have been cooler to see Mr. Stay Puft make an entrance...
**End Spoiler Alert**

So, while not the best in the series, it was still a worth-while film to watch and a good time for everyone who sees it.

P.S. - The image in this post is copyrighted by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.