Posted on 8/09/11 12:29 PM
by Gerry Carey
I went to see Paul in theaters a while back. And seeing as it's coming out on DVD this week I figured that I should make sure that everyone knows that it is a very good comedy that is certainly worth checking out. Despite its R rating Paul is a charmer and a rare example of a comedy that doesn't really go for the shock laughs - except for one glaring instance which features someone being smashed to death.
You get the familiar stars in Simon and Nick, who play a couple of British sci-fi nerds touring the southwest, starting at Comic-Con and then visiting the most famous UFO sites. They get mixed up with a smart-mouthed alien named Paul, perfectly voiced by Seth Rogen, and then somehow recruit a Jesus-happy Kristen Wiig along the way. All of these peeps are fun to watch by themselves, and shoving them all together really worked out to be even more fun.
I think the reason Paul worked so well was that they didn't try too hard to force joke after joke; they used the absurdity of given situations as enough. For example, Kristen Wiig plays a very sheltered lady whose world is turned upside down by the fact that her Bible stories seem to have been a bunch of fibs. So, she starts to cut loose with her new pals and curses for the first time in her life, failing to use the curse words properly. Thus starts a running gag that continues for the rest of the film and consistently made me laugh. Isn't that the key to good comedy?
Going into the movie, the biggest concern for me was Seth Rogen in the titular role. I wasn't at all concerned with Seth's ability to be funny, but I was worried about how the alien would be animated with his voice and how the actors would interact with the CGI alien- Howard the Duck comes to mind. Fortunately, both the alien and his interactions were just fine and my concerns were allayed, I was very pleased. A skinny, smoking, laid back alien seemed to be the best representation of Seth I could ask for.
So in short this movie is boss. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are characters that you pull for the whole way. Kristen Wiig might be at her funniest in this one as well. And Seth Rogen's voice lends itself very well to alien bodies. Paul is the second best comedy I've seen this year and a movie that you should go rent/buy/borrow. Hopefully Pegg and Frost continue pumping out great comedies for us all to enjoy.
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Posted on 8/08/11 11:57 AM
by Kyle Coleman
This is by far the worst animated movie I have ever seen. From the paper-thin plot, to the unfunny recurring "jokes," to the laziest animation imagineable, Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs. Evil is a complete stinker. I guess it's a rule in Hollywood now that if a first installment is marginally well received, makes money, and leaves room for a sequel (they always do), then a second film is guaranteed. Hoodwinked the first barely skated by with a 47% on RottenTomatoes but brought in $110 million worldwide, making a sequel inevitable. Thus, we have the creation of Hoodwinked Too.
Needless to say, any of the original charm from the first film does not carry over to the second. Anne Hathaway is replaced by Hayden Panetierre to voice the lead Red Riding Hood character, already a step in the wrong direction. Red Riding Hood must to save her grandmother's secret recipe from getting into the wrong hands since once cooked, this recipe makes its eater all-powerful. This plotline is sustained for 87 minutes until the unsatisfying conclusion that (spoiler alert) you can eat one of the power muffins and become unstoppable, but if you pop more than one in your mouth you'll balloon out of control like the girl in Willy Wonka. What an unbelievably ridiculous cop out.
Bad "two/too" puns aside, there are a plethora of failed jokes and bits in the film that are worth mentioning. My favorite was a traveling, yodeling goat that appeared six times, at the beginning of each new location the movie brought us. Let me reiterate that point: SIX TIMES!! Not only was it unfunny, it was absolutely perplexing and had no place in the movie whatsoever. He would sing a song about his travels and his misfortune and then some other unrelated event in the movie would lead to a large object falling on the goat, breaking his spirit, but unfortunately not breaking his spine.
This leads me to the animation. The budget for this film (the term "film" being used very generously here) was $30 million. Since we've already established that this is a complete money grab, they of course had to add 3D technology. So, the focus on 3D led to complete disregard for the synching of lips and speech or to any of the background elements in each scene. Normally, a smaller character like a squirrel was zipping around in the background for no other reason than to distract the viewer from the mistimed lips and dialogue, or presumably to make use of the 3D. Since I didn't see the 3D version, I got to focus on the bad animation, and it is truly the worst I've ever seen. Proof: just look at how lazy this spider web is, attached to nothing and supporting a bus:
With Pixar normally setting the bar high, I can't see how movies like this get produced. I've never been happier to see that a movie actually lost money box office vs. budget, and I'll be shocked if and when they complete the trilogy. Please, please don't see this movie when you're even close to sober.
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Posted on 8/05/11 01:02 PM
by Kyle Coleman
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the best summer movie I've seen in 2011. Not to be confused with the best movie I've seen this summer, which is either Harry Potter 7.2 or Super 8 depending on how specific you are about when summer officially starts. I say that Apes is the best "summer movie" because it nails every element of what a summer flick is supposed to have: fun plot, compelling characters, cool special effects, fast action and a touch of emotional depth.
James Franco plays a biological researcher developing a drug that allows regeneration of brain cells for the ultimate purpose of curing human diseases like Alzheimer's (from which is father, John Lithgow, suffers). He tests his drug on a lady chimp with great results, higher intelligence and great learning capabilities.
Unfortunately, she feels that her newborn baby is being threatened in the facility, has a violent reaction and is put down by the business suits in charge. Franco adopts the baby chimp, who has inherited the intelligence genes from his mother, and the two live together for years. I never like to give too much away plot-wise, so I'll keep this short: the chimp misbehaves and is put in captivity with other apes. One thing leads to another, and the planet of the apes is officially rising.
I must admit, I didn't think from the trailers that this movie was going to be worth the price of admission, and I was very, very wrong. Right from the start, we get immersed with the developing relationship between Franco and his baby monkey, Caesar. We end up caring about the little fella, being proud of his intelligence, and sympathizing with him even when he misbehaves. Because of this attachment, I found myself betraying my own human race and rooting for Caesar once the two sides were at odds. This was probably abetted by Tom Felton, better known as Draco Malfoy, who plays an abusive chimp handler that I couldn't help but hate (I wonder if I'll hate him forever because of Draco).
At the same time, there is a nice juxtaposition between Franco, who is developing the drug to make a positive difference in the world, and the CEO of the company, who cares about nothing but the money he'll make from the successful drug. The CEO rushing the development of the drug not only allows a quicker spread of intelligence in the apes, but also sets up a potential epidemic that will be a major focus of the sequel (stay seated for the closing credits scene).
The capture animation in Apes is absolutely stunning. I couldn't believe how perfect they look, and how great the movement and feel of all the chimps was in every scene. The chimps were awesome without being distracting (like 3D would have been) and the animation allowed for close-ups of faces and eyes that wonderfully conveyed emotions during key scenes. If nothing else, this film is worth seeing just for this aspect.
After we saw the development, captivity and jailbreak of the apes, it is time for a dramatic climax that was just flat out cool. The movie takes place in San Francisco, and the Golden Gate Bridge was a perfect stomping ground for the apes to show off their talents: running, climbing, swinging and fighting while facing heavy human opposition. I'd like to commend director Rupert Wyatt, because this scene could not have been better.
So, believe the advertising, believe the hype. Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a great summer film and I can't wait to see it again.
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Posted on 8/04/11 12:29 PM
by Matt Chandler
Rango, now out on VHS, has just about everything you'd want from a digitally animated movie. For the Toy Storys, a lot of the charm comes from seeing the familiar through the eyes of toys; in this case it's through desert critters. There are so many riffs on the classic Old Western theme-around every dusty corner is something recognizable yet often hilariously original-that I definitely missed some gold the first time around.
You've got Rango, the new drifter in town. He's not a tough lizard by nature, but he went from a pet to would-be road kill, and he needs to prove to himself and to the people of "Dirt" that he isn't a nobody. The currency in desert country is H20, and the town's supply (an office cooler size water jug) is running dry. To make matters worse, Rattlesnake Jake and his mob-type gang are terrorizing all the kindly iguanas, moles, cactus mice etc. Through a string of tall tales and Mr. Magoo-like luck (surviving a saloon showdown with a tough Gila Monster, accidentally killing a dangerous predatory hawk), Rango begins to build a legend for himself. The cute li'l animals of Dirt are in desperate need of a hero, and Rango is the lizard for the job.
Johnny Depp pulls off Rango's voice as I think only he could: mixing bravado with that unmistakable "strange" and "out-there" quality he is known for. I loved Ned Beaty-also hilarious as "Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear" in Toy Story 3-as Tortoise John, the town mayor. Isla Fischer is spunky as Beans, Rango's love interest, and it was funny to listen to Abigail Breslin's take on a country accent.
The animation in Rango is unbelievably good. We've been trained to expect things to look fantastic, and often don't appreciate it, but I found myself saying "wow" a lot while taking in the movie. The unique setting and imaginatively drawn characters help. The writing was also top notch, and the pacing of the movie was perfect. Sure it helps that we've all heard the story before, but I can't impart to you through this already over-long review how many jokes, sight gags, and clever references there are. I bet it was nice for Verbinski to do something other than Pirates movies for a change, but his re-teaming with Depp shows that they must have some good chemistry. (Who likes Johnny more, Verbinski or Tim Burton?).
The movie pulled in only half what Pixar hits muster at the box office, and I think quality-wise it deserves a place near the top of the recent animated classics. That said, I understand the lack of widespread appeal. For one, the advertising was strange and unappealing. I can't elaborate, but I remember thinking that Rango looked like something I was not about to rush out and see. The ad campaign obviously didn't do it justice. Not only is Rango successful as a kid's movie, it also appeals to an older audience.
While there is a fair share of slap stick for the kids, there's plenty of "over-their-head" adult humor; profanity is used, people (animals) are killed, there's even a dark subplot where Beans goes into a psychological coping state when she has memories of her alcoholic father. It's not all fun and games, but I think that's what made Rango work on so many levels. Shit goes down in shoot-em up Westerns. If it didn't, we wouldn't care as much for the plot, the characters, or the movie. I have to bring your attention to fellow successful critic Michael Philips of the Chicago Tribune who said there were "Moans and sobs of pre-teen fright whenever Rattlesnake Jake slithered into view, threatening murder." THAT is ridiculous. I'll side with Chicago's preeminent reviewer Roger Ebe, who found the film "wickedly satirical." Rango's light and funny in all the right places, but turns up the tension-meter at just the right moments for maximum movie-watching pleasure.
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Posted on 7/31/11 10:37 AM
by Kyle Coleman
As I was watching The Fighter the other day, I began wondering how the Academy chose Melissa Leo over Amy Adams for Best Supporting Actress, an impossibly close decision, which led me to look up the other nominees. I recognized all but one, Jacki Weaver from Sundance Winner Animal Kingdom. Given both my love of film and my arguably deeper love of animals, I decided this one was right up my alley. (Spoiler alert: there aren't any actual animals in the film, but don't let that deter you.)
Animal Kingdom is a 2010 Australian film centering around a 17-year-old boy, Joshua "J" Cody, who loses his mother to a drug overdose, moves in with his estranged grandmother (Weaver) and gets mixed up in the "coming undone" of his felonious extended family. As the family situation becomes more and more strained, each character is looking out for his or her own interests, leading to brilliant character development and some very intense scenes.
There are an abundance of fine performances including breakout star James Fecheville, who plays a perfectly minimalistic role as a conflicted teenager. Caught between his own morality and the criminal proclivities of his family, Fecheville conveys more emotion through a seemingly expressionless face than I thought possible. His stoic demeanor follows him through most of the film and we can see emotions beginning to build up as the plot progresses, from sadness and confusion, to anger and revenge, and the toil finally becomes overwhelming enough to produce an impeccably acted emotional breakdown. I was very impressed with Fecheville and hope that I'll be seeing his name in lights sometime soon.
Not to be outdone, previously mentioned Jacki Weaver gives an equally inspired performance as the grandmother "Smurf," who puts forth a veneer of caring love that masks a borderline sociopathic personality. We understand her decision making process from beginning to end and although we may disagree with the choices she makes, her performance envelopes us in the mind of a grandmotherly criminal, something I have never experienced before.
J's four uncles are compelling characters as well, two are maniacal crime bosses while the other two are caught in the middle, looking for a way out. I found myself hating the former while sympathizing with the latter, an impressive juxtaposition created by writer/director David Michôd. Throw in Guy Pearce as the lead detective in a murder case charged to the uncles, and this is one of the best ensemble casts in recent memory.
Michôd beautifully mixes fast-paced, plot progressing scenes with slower, character-driven and emotionally powerful scenes, creating a nice balance of action and drama. The score is also eerily dramatic and serves its purpose in the waning scenes when everything comes together and simultaneously falls apart, leading to the final line in the movie that could not be more apt: "It's a crazy fuckin' world." See this film for the fine directing, the absorbing narrative or the impressive performances, either way you will not be disappointed.
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Posted on 7/30/11 12:46 PM
by Matt Chandler
I don't know what took me so long to see this, but I just watched There Will Be Blood. It is quite a film. Daniel Day Lewis was Daniel Plainview for two and a half hours, and as much as his performance stole the show, I was shocked by Paul Dano's equally maniacal performance as Eli Sunday. It's tough to take your eyes off either actor in the throes of their respective craziness, and since many scenes find them crossing paths, it's an entertaining ride.
(This review goes beyond spoiler alert, and more into the territory of assuming that I'm the only person in the world who had NOT seen the movie.)
For all his cut-throat greed, we don't really know what drives Plainview. You want to think (pessimistically) that he has some redeeming qualities, but those are expectedly quashed in the final two scenes with his deaf adopted son and then Eli. Was that opening in the silver mine meant to show how far Plainview would painfully crawl on a broken leg just to get his paws on some money? Or to demonstrate the trials and tribulations he experienced early on that shaped his disdain for people? I don't know. Either way, he hates everyone despite the fact that the audience doesn't see him getting manipulated or hurt by anyone. He does the manipulating. He screws people over.
I've come to the conclusion that while Plainview certainly started out selfish and hell-bent on his fortune, his true contempt for humanity came from seeing Eli Sunday take advantage of people in similar ways as himself. Plainview readily admits he likes seeing other people fail, but it's not limited to the oil business. When Eli stands in his path, Plainview views him like a piece of property. The problem is Eli's not an easy read, and is a formidable mental opponent for most of the film. (Side note- I know Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love) writes movies that are anything but one dimensional. Plus, There Will Be Blood is a little too over the top not to be an allegory for something, so I don't feel too bad analyzing it, which I normally find stupid.) As we quickly see, moving up the ladder from silver to oil is bigger all around: accidents are deadlier, more people are involved, more land is needed, and most importantly, more money is made. I'm not too sure if the oil money made Plainview crazier or if he was always crazy and finally had the resources to really cut loose.
From the standpoint of creating an "oil town," for the screen, this movie deserves a lot of credit. Sure There Will Be Blood is about the central characters, but the location, sets, and costumes are so good they merit mention because they push the film from good to great. I wasn't sure how oil tycoons did it in the early 20th century, but the production definitely transports you to a different era. What I did know, and it has been reaffirmed, is that people back then were dirty all the time.
Acting, though, steals the show. The ending is already legendary (I was waiting for the "milkshake" spiel the entire movie), but my favorite moment is right after Plainview's fake brother pleads with him: "Daniel, I'm your friend. I'm not trying to hurt you ever." The camera flashes to Daniel Day Lewis' face to show possibly the angriest/most appalled look ever captured on screen-there is no reasoning with this man. A close second is Plainview going from groggily hung-over to furious while being slapped around by Eli, keeping it together just long enough to be "baptized" and get his land.
I was about to read Oil! to best write this review, but the editors put me on a short time constraint. From what I've gathered the movie's only very loosely based on the book, which may or may be about oil. I think this film stands on its own as incredibly unique, but I couldn't help comparing it to one of my all time favorites, No Country For Old Men. Not only because they were written and directed by great filmmakers and both came out in the same year, but also because the central character in both is inhumanely evil. Each performance earned their respective Oscars for good reason. However, while the two films present humanity at its bleakest, they do it in very different ways: the Coen Bros. crafted a tightly wound story around a few days in the 1980s; Anderson's film chronicles several decades in the early parts of the twentieth century.
It's difficult to compare quality when the projects are so different, but I agree with the Best Pic. Oscar going to the Coens for a couple of reasons, mostly pure personal choice: While it was impossible to understand Anton Chigur, No Country was stuffed with characters you were rooting for. Plainview was tough to relate to in many, many ways, and since he was on screen the entire time I found the movie very slightly less engaging. Second, it's a tough sell for me to really enjoy big scale epic movies. I think it's much harder to pull off a perfect movie that aims for as massive a scope as There Will Be Blood. This was about as good an epic as I have seen, but I felt like pieces of story were missing that kept the movie from cracking my top ten.
Anderson reached for brilliance with There Will Be Blood, and even if he came up a bit short, he created one of the best films of the last decade.
Matt's Soundtrack Segment (R)
I am a big Radiohead fan, so I was biased from the get-go, but Jonny Greenwood's score was phenomenal for filling in those (lengthy) empty spells of dialogue with just the right amount of jittery and unsettling notes. How about when the oil derrick explodes and all instrumental hell breaks loose? Also-and I had to look this up-Brahms' violin "Concerto in D Major" to close that last scene provided a nice deal of irony to cap things off. Nice job Brahms.
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Posted on 7/27/11 09:32 AM
by Jared Calfee
Disclaimer: I have not seen Final Destination 5
I recently watched Final Destination 5, the sequel to the Final installment of the Final Destination film franchise, THE Final Destination, which I feel should now be renamed Final Destination 4. Then they can change the name of this film to Final Destination 7: Part 1 of 3, and do sort of a Harry Potter thing, only with more number skipping. Anywho, on to the review of the film.
Again I would like to emphasize that I have not seen this movie.
In the film, we again have a cast of relative unknowns who survive a catastrophe. In this installment, our heroes survive the collapse of a suspension bridge because a reasonably good looking young fellow (played artfully by Nicholas D'Agosto) has a prophetic vision just in the nick of time to save them. Had he been more observant, he would have noticed that the "CAUTION: CONSTRUCTION" sign just before the bridge had a picture on it of the bridge snapped in half. For some reason, the bridge was still open to traffic, despite the fact that the construction crew apparently knew of its imminent collapse.
So, death has been cheated, and must seek out and kill all the survivors who weren't supposed to survive. First, he goes after the brother with the Elder Wand. Sorry, wrong movie. Moving on, the characters begin to die or almost die in entertaining ways, such as falling off the table while full of acupuncture needles, or having a laser-eye surgery machine melt your brain. It's a clever idea, making the villain death so that there are no restrictions as to how you can kill off your characters. Maybe it isn't 7 movies worth of clever, but hey I guess they are still making money. What I did always wonder was why "death" didn't just give them a heart attack or a brain aneurism or AIDS or something. But I guess that would be an even worse movie. And this movie is pretty darn bad.
I would again like to remind you that I have not seen this movie. I cannot stress this point enough.
I found the 3D special effects greatly improved from the 4th movie. This is really the only type of movie I want to watch in 3D, where the entire thing is a gimmick anyway so adding in one more gimmick just adds to the outlandish nature of it all. I cannot take a movie seriously if I am watching it in 3D glasses. The problem is that, even in 3D, it doesn't really feel like the things on screen are coming at you, it just gives you a better sense of the depth of what is happening on screen. But again, the 3D is much better than in the fourth. And the movie in general is a bit more jump-inducing.
Overall, this movie is exactly what you would expect. If you liked the first nineteen, you will probably like this one too. If you thought the others were stupid, you will not be pleasantly surprised. There is a pretty funny character played by the reliably funny David Koechner. But overall this series continues to be over-the-top, unsurprising, and generally unnecessary. I won't be seeing part 6.
3.2/10: Don't see it in theaters, or rent it. But if you feel you must see it, do it in theaters for the 3D.
Just one more time I would like to stress that I have not seen any of this movie, and I do not plan on seeing it at any point, in theaters or otherwise.
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Posted on 7/24/11 12:34 PM
by Kyle Coleman
I wasn't expecting too much when I went to see "Captain America: The First Avenger." I don't have any nostalgic ties and don't know enough about the character to have really cared about a film being produced. That, plus Chris Evans cast as the leading man, had me thinking that this one was going to be very skippable. But then, it started getting positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, ultimately settling at about 70%, and I decided to give it a go.
Captain America is the story of an undersized manboy who joins the Army during WWII, showing skills and aptitude that qualify him for an innovative scientific experiment. The once 90 pound man is transformed into a strapping soldier and eventually finds his way to the battle field, destroying enemy Red Skull's (Hugo Weaving) army of Hydra soldiers. I don't want to say anymore, but it is impossible to give any spoilers since the movie is so predictable.
Unfortunately, my initial inclinations were correct. This movie failed me on so many levels I don't even know where to begin. What Evans doesn't need to exacerbate his cardboard performance is a poorly written screenplay, and he got just that. It wasn't just his delivery that was groan inducing, all the characters had a line or two that left me wondering if anyone cared about the dialogue and plot, or if they were just going for visuals. The humor that was in the film didn't do it for me and while other in the theater were laughing, I couldn't tell whether it was honest or sarcastic laughter.
I don't want to be a Negative Nancy the whole time here, so I will say that the visuals were pretty good. I opted not to see the 3D version, so I wasn't distracted with that fanciness and instead got nice graphics during battle scenes that were very impressive. However, while the laser weapons were looking cool, I got distracted by the fact that I have no idea how they came to be, how this technology was harnessed through whatever science magic they found, and why the Hydra soldiers are so bad at protecting it. Just one of many plot details that were either glazed over or skipped entirely.
Another thing that bothered me is that we never get to see how evil the menacing Red Skull truly can be. As my fellow movie-goer pointed out, Red Skull is supposed to be worse than Hitler, so it wouldn't have hurt to show some sort of mass destruction at the hands of Mr. Skull. Instead, all we see is him backstabbing some Nazi soldiers and announcing that he is going to destroy the rest of the world. I guess we'll just believe that he's capable and that Captain America is the only one that can stop him.
All this leads up to a confrontation between Cap. America and Red Skull in a futuristic looking jet, autopilot saving the day, something happening to Red Skull (I'm not avoiding spoilers, I really don't know what happened), and Captain America proving his righteousness through martyrdom. This was one of the most anti-climactic climaxes I've ever sat through; fitting for a movie that just seemed to be going through the motions, its only real purpose to set the stage for "The Avengers" movie next summer.
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Posted on 7/18/11 12:12 AM
by Kyle Coleman
Thank goodness for spec scripts. In case you're unfamiliar, spec scripts are also known as "speculative screenplays," and are basically undetailed shooting scripts. They are written by screenplay writers without directorial instructions and normally optioned to studios for production. The reason I'm mentioning their existence is because without them, Source Code would have never seen the light of day.
Writer Ben Ripley worked on the spec for Source Code until he had it perfected, knowing that it could be his chance for a big break in Hollywood due to its unconventional style and marked difference from standard silver screen fare. Coupled with director Duncan Jones' own unique style, this sci-fi thriller works on every level-action, suspense, mystery, emotion and a satisfying (if ambiguous) resolution.
Source Code is about a new technology called "source code" that allows Capt. Colter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) to embody a passenger on a Chicago bound train that is the subject of a terrorist attack. Gyllenhaal is sent to a period of time, eight minutes before the attack and must deduce who the bomber is and how to thwart him. The technology is explained in further detail but what matters conceptually is that the source code allows Gyllenhaal to relive the same eight minutes on the train over and over again, learning and remembering each time he goes back to the beginning.
Along the way, we are introduced to Gyllenhaal's train mate Christina (Michelle Monaghan) and the source code operator Capt. Goodwin (Vera Farmiga), who both assist Gyllenhaal's mission in emotional and tactical ways respectively. Both female leads have great chemistry with Gyllenhaal serving to elicit the excitement of a budding relationship from Monaghan and compassion and empathy from Farmiga. Jones successfully balances the different emotions of the two separate worlds with the interplay between the two women and Gyllenhaal, creating very likable characters that the viewer becomes attached to and roots for.
Gyllenhaal's performance is especially praise-worthy. He deftly portrays a man who wakes up very confused and exasperated but builds confidence with each source code iteration until he becomes determined that he can complete his mission and beyond, to accomplish something that not even the source code physicists thought possible.
Jones (son of David Bowie) makes perfect use of the 93 minute run time, pacing the film wonderfully forward, never a dull moment. He strikes a perfect balance between action and emotion, and cares that we care about the outcome of all parties involved while still producing a satisfying sci-fi film. Add on a controversial ending that evokes discussion amongst fellow viewers and this is a can't-miss film and one of 2011's finest.
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Posted on 7/18/11 12:09 AM
What you are going to have to do when you inevitably go see Transformers: Dark of the Moon, is sit down in your favorite theater seat and furiously shake your head for about three full minutes. Hopefully, you can shake out the most recent five to six years of education you've had because you will certainly enjoy yourself more the closer you are to having your brain function at a nine year old level.
Trans3, in all honesty, has some of the best effects you will ever see. The 3D elements weren't overwhelming, which I think is good, and the feeling of such a grand scale is pretty cool. It is annoying how much money these movies have made, but if you put these things on mute and watch, you could have a rip roarin' good time. And who can blame these people for churning out a product that is guaranteed to make a silly amount of money. We're probably lucky that it's good at all.
That being said, I really hated this movie. The first hour of this seemingly eighteen hour movie (actually 155 min) was so brutal that my movie mate abandoned me for greener pastures (Super 8). They know people are watching and that they came for the effects, so why won't they show the damn things? I spent the first hour of this movie either staring at Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, cringing at Shia LaBeouf's bumbling, and searching my now dumber brain for reasons why 80% of these characters are even in the movie. Sam's parents make another unfortunate appearance, Josh Duhamel's character (I've seen three of these movies and haven't learned the character's name because it matters about as much Rosie's IQ) shoots big guns with no results for a while until the actual heroes come from time to time, and those two racially insensitive robots from the second movie get reincarnated as two tiny robots that just have a lot less lines and even less purpose than previous guys.
But then, finally, the loud booms start to happen. They are really loud. And I have to admit they visuals are awesome. But there is essentially no reason for any human to be in this movie. They can't beat a transformer, we established that from the opening scene of Trans1. Shia's running into Chicago (btw how the f*$k did he get there?) with what seems like no plan at all, to fight alien robots that cannot be touched by anything built on Earth. The second half of this movie is transformers doing awesome stuff, cut to Rosie staring dumbly, transformers doing awesome stuff, cut to Shia yelling "OPTIMUSSS!" or "BUBBLEBEEEE!," transformers doing awesome stuff, cut to Tyrese saying something incredibly stupid for the life threatening situation he's in ("Why do the Decepticons get all the cool shit?"). The movie ends when Rosie walks over and bats her eyes at Megatron, the evil leader, enough so that he turns on his number two and ruins any chance he had at winning this inexplicable war. Nice one, Rosie.
In short, this movie is probably worth going to see in theaters but it will not be easy. It's far too long and too dumb to see without the help of the buddy system. The visuals are amazing but the reason for them is either non-existent or simply makes no sense. I give this movie a 4 out of 10 because I allowed myself to be wowed by the amazing elements, but it is still very difficult to get through thanks to bad acting, an opening 60 minutes of boredom, and a complete lack of substance.
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