It's upsetting that most people don't seem to care for original material like this anymore. One guy in the theater had his phone out messing around for much of it, another was getting up and walking out like every thirty minutes, and the girl he was with even whipped out her iPad for a while. Ugh. This is why I tend to wait and watch movies at home.
God, I really hate that! How did you get through the film without chucking something at them? :P
Oh it was tough, believe me!American Hustle: 5/10How this was nominated for so many awards, I will never understand. Costumes were fantastic, yes, but nothing else really stood out to me. It's not a bad film by any means, but it's probably the most overrated film I've seen since Argo. Some good acting, particularly from Christian Bale and Jennifer Lawrence, but I don't think the entire main cast deserved to be nominated. It has enough charm to get by, but I found it a grind to get through, and thought it could have been cut down significantly.Robocop (2014): 7/10This one surprised me in a different way. I was convinced that it would be on the same level as the Total Recall remake, but in fact, it was quite engaging, and seemed to have a good grasp on what the source material was trying to do. I was worried that the social commentary/satire element would be lost in a modern interpretation, and that there would be too much focus on action, but that wasn't the case. It's subtle (although there are a couple of callbacks that are far too blatant), and there's actually nuance in the performances, and the action is mostly reserved for the final act, and aside from the generous helping of CGI, these actions scenes wouldn't be out of place in an 80s movie.Not a great film, and certainly doesn't touch the original, but it has its moments for sure, and I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to.The Secret Life of Walter Mitty: 7/10I wasn't really sure what to expect here. I knew people who had seen this when it first came out and hated it, and now after watching it, I feel like their expectations must have been based on a fondness for Danny Kaye's 1947 adaptation. I love Kaye's version, but I think Ben Stiller took the material and made it his own in a way that mostly works. It's an easy, fun film with a lot of very nice cinematography. Probably a little too heavy on the inspirational-sounding indie-rock soundtrack, but whatever. Maybe I just still think Ben Stiller is cool for some reason.Anchorman 2: 5/10Well this was a disappointment. I loved the first one, and didn't really think it needed a sequel, but I was excited when it got one anyway. There's too much reliance on rehashing old jokes, but too little reliance on an understanding of why those jokes worked in the first place. Ron Burgundy saying "By the beard of Zeus!" or whatever in the first movie was funny because it's a quirky character trait that you might imagine someone actually saying. "By the hymen of Olivia Newton John" is just taking the original gag to a ridiculous extreme. It's this kind of out of character remarks that make this film a failure where the original was a great success.However, for all its failings, there are some jokes that hit, even ones that are rehashed. The giant newscaster cameo battle at the end, which is of course a rehash of the battle in the first film, comes out of nowhere and is gloriously stupid and absurd. It's just too bad the rest of the film is so mediocre.
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: 10/10This surpasses the first film in every way. It is fantastic. The CGI is absolutely incredible; definitely some of the best I've ever seen. Possibly the very best I've seen, in fact. There's no reason whatsoever to need to question whether these animals are real or not. Like Richard Parker in Life of Pi, these ARE real animals. There is very rarely any question about it. All the ape acting, like the first film, is spot on (a couple of sequences in particular, where Koba interacts with a couple of humans, are just stunning,) and provides so much depth and nuance. The human acting this time around is also good, fortunately, but of course, the apes are where it's really at. There's also a great score by Michael Giacchino that, coupled with some really beautiful cinematography, bring the film together very nicely, and elevate it far above Rise.It must have been an incredible undertaking to bring this to life, but it was handled so flawlessly that it seriously makes the first film look like kind of a joke in comparison. Pacing is a little slower than the first, but no time seems wasted, and everything that happens has very clear and tangible consequences. There is a minimum amount of levity, and it is usually immediately followed by something that completely negates it. It's a dark, sometimes frightening film, but nevertheless, it's also quite fun, and builds to a very satisfying conclusion. That final shot... amazing.It's really a remarkable film, and I hope it isn't disregarded come awards season. Probably my favorite of the year so far.
R.I.P.D. - ?/10You know a movie is bad when Jeff Bridges is more annoying than Ryan Reynolds.
You mean you didn't like "Men in Black" in the "Dead Like Me" universe? I have to agree--that film was bad. Bad bad bad. Bad. Really bad. To paraphrase Douglas Adams: "'RIPD' is bad. Really bad. It's impossible to imagine how vastly, mind-bogglingly bad it was. I mean, you may think 'Green Lantern' was bad, but that's PEANUTS compared to 'RIPD!'"It's so bad that I wasted a perfectly good "Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" joke on a film undeserving of a H2G2 reference....OK, so...InTension 10/10This brilliant short screened recently at the Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival, and I'm totally lying about that rating. It's a 7 at best. Well shot though. Yay, me.X-Men: Days of Future Past 7.5/10I enjoyed the movie--it looked good, the performers did well, the film succeeded at it's goal of telling an exciting action story, then re-booting the universe so that "X-Men," "X2," "X3, X-Men Origins: Wolverine" and "The Wolverine" never happened.I suppose the main issues for me were two-fold. First, when you do this kind of time travel story, you know that tons of future mutants will die in wonderfully creative ways, but the timeline is going to be reset, no it never happened, so *yawn* The 2023 scenes did look good, but Halle Berry's contribution was to toss a single lightning bolt. Sunspot--well, it's a good thing I read the comics and casting notices so I knew he was Sunspot, because it's not like anyone said his name or anything. Still, his actor got paid to wear a motion-capture suit, scream and point his arms. It's a paycheck. Blink was, by far, the most effective of the mutants introduced in the film. Her "teleportals" were very well realized on film, and she was obviously the most effective member of that team. Without Blink, they would have all been dead years before. Bishop? Again, it's a good thing I read the comics, or I would have wondered why Bishop's teammates kept shooting him.My second issue stems a bit from the first: because the entire movie is a time travel "reset button" and because so many of the new characters introduced had zero depth, and because the majority of the established characters had little-or-zero character growth, I never emotionally engaged with the film. Technically it's gorgeous, the story beats are well defined, but I just didn't care that much. Xavier as a drug addict was somewhat interesting, but there's no doubt that he's going to get off the needle and start being Professor X again, so, despite stellar work from James McAvoy, I didn't engage. However, just as in "First Class" Mystique gets to steal the emotional core of the film and tuck it into her blue bodysuit. While we all know going into the film that Mystique will not succeed in killing Trask, the question of will she be "reasoned" out of it, forcibly restrained, or even killed off is open till the end of that sequence in front of the White House.A few other observations/questions: *SPOILERS*Quicksilver had the best action sequence in the film by far. That superspeed sequence in the Pentagon was spectacular. Singer indicates that the majority of that scene was done in-camera--using motion control to shoot the "frozen" passes at 3600 fps and Quicksilver's passes at 60fps. Most of the suspended objects were practically rigged on set, and CGI was mostly limited to fluids and particles. I nit the headphones, since the Walkman wasn't released until 1979, and, listening to the radio, well... He would have had enough time to hear start of the attack of the first guitar strum of "Time in a Bottle," but forget about that--that sequence was just fun!Boy, Anna Paquin got great billing for three seconds of screen time and no dialog! (Singer indicated a scene in 2023 of the X-Men rescuing Rogue was cut for time)I have always assumed that X-Men Origins: Wolverine took place in 1978/79 and that the final battle between Logan and "THAT'S NOT DEADPOOL!" was the "reality" behind the Three Mile Island incident. Certainly, in 1973, Logan doesn't have his adamantium yet. Given that, in the last sequence of 1973, we see that Mystique is impersonating Maj. Stryker, does this mean the Weapon X program never existed? Did Wolverine get adamantium in the new timeline? Just wondering....What in the HELL happened to James Marsden's jawline?! He's got some double-chin action going which he'll need to work on for the next film.... Yes, that's a cheap shot. It's also true.Peter Dinkalage is awesome.
Also gotta love the totally out-of-nowhere cameo in the post credits scene. Really going for some deep universe unification with that one.
I actually forgot about the cameo. Had to explain to my girls who that was... they both thought I was joking.
Simon- "The air insertion sequence in Godzilla is one of the most ballsy sequences in the last decade-or-so of filmmaking. "
Agreed- and the choral-like dissonance of the music really pushed it over the top. I almost felt like I had to hold on to my seat!
I figured out the time signature of the main theme- very unusual compared to something like Star Wars which is in strict 4/4 time. The theme in Godzilla switches from three measures of 4/4 to one 3/4 giving it just a slight disorienting effect. I should have been able to pick up on that sooner as I was a music major and I've written stuff with much more difficult time signature changes than this. Sometimes it's the simple things that trip you up.
The specific part I'm refering to starts around the 1 minute mark.
Godzilla's soundtrack is incredible - and the spine-tingling, vomit-inducing roar that he lets rip halfway through the cinema made me feel like I was being pushing into the cinema chair. @Triem - I hadn't noticed that slight measure change, but I agree, it's completely disorienting. Just another example of me being oblivious to a deliberate music effect :P
Kirstie- "@Triem - I hadn't noticed that slight measure change,........."
That was me, actually, Kirstie. And I agree about the roar. I was watching it for a third time- yeah I know, a little obsessive, and I dozed off as it was a little late for me. I woke up with a start when Godzilla roared. I'm pretty sure they boosted the volume for that or my cat was playing a joke on me and pawed the remote. ;^) (awwwe- no wink emoticon!)
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