Helmkat's Movie Ratings - Rotten Tomatoes

Movie Ratings and Reviews

John Carter
John Carter(2012)

Before I see the movie I thought I would document my journey from novel to big screen. Some years ago when it came out that John Carter of Mars was coming to the big screen I was instantly intrigued. I knew the stories were considered a sci-fi classic so I went out and and bought "Under the Moons of Mars" which put the first three Carter books under one cover.

So I read the books and found them fun, if not dated. I wondered how some of the scenarios of the books would translate on the big screen. First off everyone is basically nude except for straps, buckles and lots of gems. It goes without saying that actors were going to have to wear clothes. Also many of the heroes notions of the world were dated and felt stiff.

So I put the book on the bookshelf and waited for the trailers...

Then the first rumble of confusion appeared. Disney was dropping the "of Mars" from the title leaving just "John Carter". My brain exploded at that point because it became clear right then and there that Disney marketing had all come down with Goofey-itis.

Then the first posters appeared and they were cryptic to say the least. I thought for sure Disney would of come up with some Frezzeta esqe poster to get audiences in the spirit of the story but that was not to be...

Ok so then last year the first teaser trailer was released. I was -very-disappointed. The music was depressing and where was the action? how could a story that was non stop action have a trailer with no action?

Disney has obviously learned nothing from the failed marketing of past films, like say Bridge to Terabithia.

Then the second trailer came out and I was much happier. Ok here was some action, here was some cool music. Yet when I showed the trailer to friends who were not familiar with the story they either went "Meh" or "It looks confusing" or "It looks like Star Wars".

The I began hearing rumbles on the net that audiences who viewed the trailers were having the exact same reaction as my friends. Yet the word from secret screenings was that the movie was great.

It became quite clear to me that Disney marketing had completely dropped the ball. They had failed to frame the story in its historical context (Carter was the inspiration for 100 years of Sci-fi movies) and thus made it seem like John Carter is a rip off of lots of other movies instead of the other way around.

The feverish attempts to overcome the soft tracking for John Carter in the two weeks before release shows how desperate Disney marketing has become and they -still don't get it-. They keep playing up the same scenes that failed to capture the interest of audiences in the year before.

I will be seeing John Carter of course but I have a very sinking feeling that Disney will fail to see the light and realize any short comings in the box office draw are due to their own failure to market this movie correctly...

Last night I saw John Carter, honestly the movie tries very hard to be great but sputters and fails to deliver on most counts. Carters biggest flaw is in its editing, there is enough material presented in the film that 20-30 minutes could of easily been cut and the streamlined story that could of emerged would of aided the movie greatly. Its hard to believe that Stanton, being the Pixar vet that he is let this mishmashed script make the screen but I guess this really proves that Pixar is a team effort and when you have a lot of very good people working a story great things can happen.

To bad they weren't all together here.

Anyway a short story overview. John Carter is a Human who gets swept away to the planet Mars but not the Mars that you and I know, instead it is the Mars right out of the pulp fiction mind of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Mars (or Barsoom as the natives call it) is a dieing world filled with numerous warring tribes and cities states fighting for the remaining resources. Plopped down into the middle of this struggle, John Carter finds that his Earthly body can do super heroish feats in the weaker Martian gravity. Discovered by the brutish native race called "Tharks" Carter finds himself increasingly engaged in the struggles of Barsoom.

Basically that is what we got in the movie but its stitched together in such a way as to often be nonsensical. You may find your self saying "What is going on?". It all bounces around and the viewers is yanked around the story.

Ok so what works in the story? Well for one, the Tharks. Tall, slim and green with a brutish nature, Tharks are the most "alien" of the surface denizens of Barsoom. The movie captures them -perfectly- the viewer learns right away they are no "Navi", these are a people with a harsh point of view that has been forged on a harsh world. The second element that shines is "Woola", ugly and unfailingly loyal, Woola is the Barsoom peer for a dog. Except Woola looks like some kind of love child between a salamander and a Chow dog. I only wish that he had more screen time.

What didn't work? Well most of the rest. As I said above, the editing and basic story needed to be refocused. Because of those basic flaws the relationship between John Carter and everyone he interacts with comes off lackluster at best.

It amazes me that this movie cost over 200 million and I have great doubts that Disney will see their money back and I will be even more surprised if we see a sequel, which is a shame since there is a lot to like in the original material.

The Secret World of Arrietty

Another piece of art from Studio Ghibli, TSWOA tells the story of Arrietty and her family as they live their lives as "Borrowers". Borrowers you see are little people who live in the secret places of your home. They only take what won't be missed and try their best to avoid the dangers that are numerous and waiting in the larger world.

Like many stories from this studio, the story is quiet yet has its share of excitment and peril. The attention to detail, be it visual, auditory or some nuanced behavior on the part of the story particpants is top calibre.

If TSWOA has a flaw its in the Human character Shawn. Shawns fatalistic view of the world as he awaits his surgery makes him come across as a "Debbie Downer". Still the quibble is minor and not worth missing the show.

In the end, TSWOA is another classic that should be in the collection of anyone who has children or has children visit their home.

Chronicle
Chronicle(2012)
½

Chronicle is a cautionary tale of what happens when power falls into the hands of those who cannot handle it.

When three teens discover a mysterious object that grants them telekinetic powers, the fun to dangerous curve swings as their level of prowess grows.

Andrew, outcast and abused is a powder keg waiting to explode. Matt, handsome and intellectual is the voice of reason. Steve, charismatic class president is the cool kid who is not afraid to include friends from other circles of life.

The story is told mostly from the point of view of Andrews hand held camera. Honestly though I think the story would of been better served without this modern realism troupe. The plot elements of Chronicle are fairly easy to predict, I wasn't surprised by anything in the plots progression. However that being said I was entertained throughout.

In the end we get a rumble that trashes a large portion of Seattle and only one telekinetic will be left standing.

Where is Professor X when you need him?

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Well its better then the total garbage that was Revenge but that isn't saying a whole lot. Uneven action porn at its finest, Transformers is complex where it should be simple and simple where it should be complex. However all that being said my main issue is that the characters do not grow. You know that thing called "character development"? Transformer skips that (and in some cases regresses).

I just imagine the studio execs had a check off list of things that had to be in the Transformer franchise because they worked in the first movie...

Item 1: Sam must be dating a hot chick that is totally out of his league. His parents must also harp on him about snagging said hot chick as he is unlikely to do better.

Item 2: Bubblebee must talk in radio speak (this is the character regression I spoke of before).

Item 3: Everyone must give Sam a hard time even though he has proven himself in two previous films (The best job he can get is copy boy? really? really??).

Item 4: Even though they work together the Humans and Transformers must learn nothing from each other.


Thing is I could just go on and on.

Also may I add the only reason I watched this movie is because I got it from a family member who won it in a raffle, I swore after Revenge I would give no more money to this franchise and I have kept my promise.

Puss in Boots

Puss in Boots...

Such a bad kitty...

He showed up in Shrek 2, gave us sad kitty eyes and a thick Spanish accent and my heart was stolen.

Now he is back to tell his own story and what a story it is! I went into Puss in Boots with my nieces expecting to be mildly entertained, instead I was completely entertained. Every character was deep and true to their story, the story itself was filled with top action and was just a plain old good fun ride!

Ok so the story goes something like this...

Poor Puss was an Orphan, yes, sad but true and he was taken in by a sweet woman who...umm...collects orphans. In the orphanage his one true friend was a real egghead (sorry could not help myself) named...umm...ok... Humpty Dumpty. Problem was though Humpty for all his brains could not think of anything but getting free of his low class orgins. So he became something of a ...umm... bad egg. This drove a deep wedge between the Egg and the Cat and they bitterly went down seperate paths.

It is in the reunion of the two friends that the movie finds its drive. Is Humpty a good egg or a bad egg? How will Puss manage to put right what went wrong? Its all so, dramatic! and silly! The movies writers might of left well enough alone right there but no, they just had to go and introduce another fun player who goes by the name of Kitty Softpaws. Kitty is a thief, scoundrel and one damn fine dancer (The dance to the death scene between Puss and Kitty in hysterical, especially if you have ever owned a cat). She is the perfect addition to the team, Humpty is the Brains, Puss the bravado and Kitty the sleight of paw to pull off a heist.

In the end Puss is just good fun, the voice acting is spot on, the story fun, the animation clear and bright. Go out and enjoy!

"How dare you do the litterbox at me!" (hehe)

Hugo
Hugo(2011)
½

Hugo, Hugo, Hugo...

Hugo has left me somewhat confused for several days. Why? because I was not sure how I would rate the movie. 70% seemed low, 80% seemed high. Why?

Well....

I guess I will start with what I feel is the gist of my opinion. Hugo is not a movie for everyone. Most children under the age of 9 and many viewers of a less 'cerebral" nature will be bored to tears. At its heart Hugo is a movie for those who love the movies.

In the end I went with the 70% rating because for all its visual beauty (superb use of 3d, from a visual aspect the move is 100%), the movie failed to engage me on an emotional level. Given that movie deals with the loss of a beloved parent, Adult depression, Love, being orphaned etc. etc. I feel like I should of had a stronger connection to the characters and sadly I did not.

What is even sadder is that when I went home, I watched a silly Phineas and Ferb movie with the same niece who went with me to Hugo. I laughed and gasped more during an animated movie about a secret agent platypus then I did during the whole of Hugo.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Hellboy 2)

Much in the spirit with the first movie, Hellboy II was fun. My only complaint was that the movie was not playing on a digital projector and the theatre I saw it at played it just didn't do the visuals justice (low projector bulb setting). The story moves at a good pace and the characters are well developed. Underneath the adventure story is a actually a very deep message about how mankinds actions are making the world a poorer place for everyone...

Real Steel
Real Steel(2011)
½

Let me lay my cards on the table.

I like Robots and I like Hugh Jackman.

Taken in that light I guess you could say Real Steel was a sure bet for me, however all that being said I have been disappointed in the past by other "sure things"-insert Wolverine here-.

Anyway the world of Real Steel is not far removed from our own. In the near future Human boxing has been replaced by the brutal violence and showy smackdown of Robot vs Robot boxing (Has anyone out there watched Robot Wars? you know where people face off with real homemade bots? if not you are missing a good time). Anyway Charlie (Hugh Jackman) was one of the last flesh and blood boxers of some renowned but has now thrown his hat into the ring of guiding robot fighters.

This would be all good and well except for the fact Charlie is down on his luck and is the poster child for irresponsibility and impulsiveness. Things take a turn for Charlie when he gets custody of his 11 year old son for the summer and so begins the heroes journey.

Is Real Steel predictable? Yep, you can see that train coming way down the tracks.

Is Real Steel uneven? Yep, I wished the human element had been as smooth as the Robotic action.

Did Real Steel have me clapping and cheering? Yep, As Charlie, his son and their Robot 'Atom" begin to fight I found myself totally immersed in the action in a way I have not felt in a long time at the theater. Rousing is a good word.

In the end Real Steel is a great "Father Son" movie, so Dads out there, do you need to earn points with the little guy in your life? go see Real Steel and go to Dairy Queen afterward and have a conversation about how cool it would be to watch robots knock the pistons out of each other.

My Neighbor Totoro
½

There is a secret place of the mind that exists for children, where the simple objects of the world take on a wonderous glow. Do you remember them? it was that stick that became a space ship, it was the tallest tree that became your fort, it was the first time you see a hundred tadpoles, a hundred living quotation marks that would grow legs and sing.

This is the world of "My Neighbor Totoro".

You see a Totoro is a forest spirit, varied in form and visible only to children. A deeply engaging and moving film, MNT follows the adventure of two young sisters as they move to a new home with their Father, all to be closer to their mother who has taken ill. Along the way though they make the friend of and keep company with the spirits that live in the surrounding woods.

MNT is filled with visuals that will stay with you for a lifetime. A little girl standing in the rain as her giant spirit friend holds an umbrella, Spirits in the moonlight sharing the beauty of night sky. As you watch MNT, you too may remember what it was like to have the spirit of a child.

Totoro is a classic of animation and film for good reason, share it with anyone who has a "spark" for life, young or old.

Cowboys & Aliens
½

2011 appears to be the summer of "good but not great" movies as Cowboys and Aliens falls squarely into that niche.

So with a name like Cowboys and Aliens you are flooded with the number of cliches that could possibly appear in this movie, however like any tried and true movie genre it is the script and performances that will allow a movie to float above its shortcomings.

Sooo with that being said C&A does have some rock solid performances. Daniel Craig as a hardened Cowboy who has lost his memories but not his fighting skills provides a pitch perfect performance. I'm not a fan of westerns but DC could get me to change my mind in that regard. The other strong performance is Harrison Ford as a soured civil war vet, now successful rancher who has learned that life is tough so you better be tougher.

The movie moves along smoothly through the standard western stereotypes, you know them well, the dusty town down on its luck, bandits, the guy named Doc, the crusty no nonsense preacher etc.

The something not in genre occurs. Flying machines in the night appear and like the ultimate strangers from out town, shoot up the place and make off with a number of the townspeople. Everyone has a big WTF moment and then the question becomes 'what are we going to do?".

Thus begins the movies journey into the west. As the movie progresses we pick up several allies along the way. Olivia Wilde as the mysterious out of towner, A tribe of Indians who have also lost some people and a gang of Bandits who owe Craig their loyalty.

The Aliens themselves are scouts and rare resource gatherers. The alien design is nothing clever but suitably ugly and dangerous to our Human sensibilities (Just once I want a squadron of doe eyed Panda cubs show up and kick Human butt... "awww look, they are sooooo cute...ZAP!).

In the end, all the Western stereotypes (Cowboys, Indians, Cattlemen, Gunfighters etc. etc.) have to team up to repel the invaders of their genre and in the end its pretty fun time!

Oh and I wish to give a 100% score to one aspect of this movie... Daniel Craig in a Black Cowboy hat and chaps, LORD HAVE MERCY!

Captain America: The First Avenger
½

America.

That word can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

However Captain America resides in a comic book world that is not all that different then many Hollywood worlds. America is a land of the brave and there is no better bad guy then a Nazi. Captain America is a book I have read off and on for a few years. 'Cap' is the leader of heroes in the Marvel universe. When it comes to a fight, even the mighty Thor defers to the leadership of courageous Captain America.

However for me Captain America is only good in small doses, after awhile his charm begins to wear off. So when I heard Cap was going to the big screen I was somewhat skeptical, if not handled correctly Cap A. could fall so far into camp it might never crawl out.

So well you can imagine my delighted surprise when the movie turned out to be pretty darn good!

The movie starts with Steve Rogers as something less then the perfect specimen of maleness. His picture would be in the urban dictionary next to 90lb weakling. However while Steve lacks in muscletone, he has courage and conviction in spades. This catches the eye of a escaped German scientist now working for America in the WWII. A few vita rays and exploded diodes later Steve is reborn as a perfect human specimen and is now ready to show the Nazis just was a little American heroism can do.

Every hero must have his opposite and in this case we have a villain known as the Red Skull. Played by Hugo Weaving, Red Skull is not as over the top as I would of expected. He's intelligent, driven and ruthless. He is also very eager to show Hitler how its done and take over the world for himself.

So begins the main motivations of the movie. Red Skull wants to take over the world, Captain America says "Not on my watch".

The movie itself moves along briskly, there is plenty of dialog to balance out the action and Captain America turns out to be a really good summer Matinee. I found myself thinking Captain America would fit perfectly into "Sky Captain and the World of tomorrow" and vise versa.

Where Cap falls a little short for me is the Captain America characterization itself. What bothers me is...well... He comes across to me as so wholesome as to be almost neuter. Cap has a smoking hot body and the agility and speed of a world class athlete. Top that off with a "Boy scout" "can do" attitude, the ladies should be lining up to take a number. Yet during the course of the movie Cap only gets one kiss from a rather forward young lady and never is confident enough with the movies real romantic interest to do more then ask for a dancing date. I don't know, he will strike behind enemy lines without permission and will endanger his life without question, yet he lacks the confidence to plant a wet one on his lady. Maybe those vita rays missed a spot or two?

Oh well, anyway if you are a fan of Marvel movies, Hollywood fantasy world war II or just looking to go see a movie that won't offend subtler sensibilites go ahed and check out Captain America.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2
½

All good things must come to an end.

Part 2 of the Deathly Hallows is better the part 1, at least something happens in this movie, yet still the movie starts slowly. DH2 is all about revelations. Where are the horcruxes? What secrets have Snape and Dumbledore kept? and how does that all relate to Harry?

and lets also throw in some confusing wand ownership rules too.

Where does DH2 shine? The revelations of Snape and Dumbledore were a high point for myself. We finally got to see what all the grownups at Hogwarts were talking about behind closed doors while the kids were risking their lives. Another shining star is that some of the action is very good and when not "very good" at least serviceable.

In the end the bad guy meets his doom (though no baddie has yet to top the explosion of Sauron in the prologue of Fellowship of the ring for my taste.) And the movie ends on a sweet moment as the main characters see their own kids off to Hogwarts in the fullness of time.

Where does DH2 not shine? There is some feeling of being disjointed as the story moves along and at times leaves those who are unfamiliar with the books going "wha? really?" ( a very bad flaw in part 1). The rules of ownership of wands was obviously a class that "he who shall not be named" must of skipped.

Also I saw it in 3d. which was "ok" but 2d would of been just fine.

Them!
Them!(1954)
½

Them!

Simply put, Them! is a classic and a perfect movie to sit down with the kids on a rainy Sunday or a Date on the couch with some popcorn on a cool autumn eve.

Starting in the deserts of the American west a little girl walks alone, dirty, lost and obviously in shock, she is found by some local Police. When they find her families camper it has been ripped open and no sign of her parents is to be found.

And then a wierd sound carries on the desert wind...

Before long the heroes of the story have gathered and the fruits of mans exploration into nuclear science are looming large and menacing. If Humans don't act quickly we will be supplanted as rulers of Earth by "Them".

This black and white classic never fails to thrill. Strong performaces by all the actors, set at first in the dusty desert and then the sewers of Los Angeles, be prepared for a rather silly premise to be treated with respect and intelligence.

The only thing Them! loses over time is the special effects but for the time they are pretty good.

The sound they make still creeps me out to this day and when the heroine is standing at the base of a sanddune and one of "Them!" crests over the top of the dune? pure terror!

Megamind
Megamind(2010)

Megamind is that classic story... "Who do you want to be?". Always beat out at the last minute by his counterpart Metroman, Megamind decides its easier to be bad and why not, Metroman is everything he is not, Metroman has the looks, skills and powers to fit in with the people of Earth. Megamind has his intellect, a minion in a fish bowl and a giant blue noggin that marks him as an outsider.

Metroman is Megaminds muse if you will and when Metroman appears to be defeated, suddenly Megamind is without purpose. Its in finding his purpose again that Megamind learns who he really is, a hero who longs for acceptance.

The visual style of Megamind is excellent and the action fast paced. If Megamind has a down side its that the characters deserve better dialog because while there are some good scenes and funny moments, you get the impression it could of been great if only the dialog has been tweaked a little more.

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole

Legend of the Guardians is something of a split personality. On one hand you have stunning visuals. As I watched the movie I was amazed at the quality of the animation, it is simply a work of art, I would be honored to hang just about any still from this movie on the walls of my home.

And then there is the pacing. This movie is a 33 1/3 speed plot played at 78 speed. The story is certainly not a revelation, its that classic good brother/bad brother scenario. That in of itself is not the problem, the movie just moves at breakneck speed from one major plot point to the next.

In the end LOTG needed to spend a little less time lingering on the visuals and more time lingering on story and pacing. Still in the end I would watch it again on some rainy Sunday afternoon.

Green Lantern

While I am not a big fan of DC comics I have to say that the mythos of the Green lantern has always intrigued me. Space cops, aliens, a power that brings imagination to life. The trailers had me totally stoked.

and then the reviews came in -insert unhappy face here-.

Since there was no way I was going to see Transformers this weekend I thought I would give Green Lantern a try. I have to say on the whole I was pleasantly surprised.

Green Lantern has some tight action (and a tight body in the form of Ryan Reynolds), intelligent scripting and makes excellent use of 3D. Where GL fell down for me was its see saw pacing and a villain that just didn't feel right.

So heres the deal.


In the deep past a race of wise aliens set up a police force to keep the peace across the known universe. Said police force is called "The Green Lantern corps" because they each are given a ring that via the green energy of willpower (yes that does sound kind of whacky) will allow the bearer to manifest temporary constructs of energy. Need a hammer? its there, need a shield? its there, I think you get the drift here.

Well along the way some brainiac (get it! LOL) decided to that the yellow energy of fear was the way to go instead of green and the villain/monster parallax was born. Parallax feeds on fear, literally ripping the life force energy out of his victims. Like all villains Parallax is imprisoned, then escapes and sets about seeking vengeance.

Oh my gosh the back story is exhausting!

Anyway when Parallax mortally injures the Green Lantern who imprisoned him, said Green Lantern has to find a replacement. Well it turns out Hal Jordan of earth (played by Ryan Reynolds) is just the being to wield the ring. Well at least the ring thinks so because nobody else in the Corps does.

So in short order Hal is whisked away to OA (homeworld of the aliens who created the ring and headquarters of the Corps), gets soundly thrashed about during training and returns back to Earth sure he cannot cut the mustard.

That is till Parallax decided to come to Earth.

In the end, I felt the movie was somewhat of a tease. It would always get exciting and then cut to the mundane. Like for instance when Hal is training on OA, this is really cool, you meeting some interesting characters, you begin to see just what the ring can do.

and then you are back on Earth listening to the hero moan about how he can't cut it while his supporters go "Oh, Hal, you can do it!". Cool action, mundane, Cool action, mundane.

Let me also say there are some odd casting choices as well. While Ryan is great as Hal, the rest of the human cast may have you scratching your head going "Really?" as you begin to learn just who is related to whom.

In the end you are left with a decent summer matinee movie. Handsome hero, great special effects (space shots in 3d are gorgeous) and decent action.

How to Train Your Dragon

There is a place in the far north of animation land, it is called Berk. Berk is populated with Vikings who speak with scottish accents and are in general are very "rough and tumble". One other thing about Berk, Dragons raid there often.

In general its a tough life and its made all the tougher for the hero "Hiccup" because he is something of the runt of the litter as far as Vikings go. Heck his teenage head barely fits into one cup of his mothers breastplate! However our hero has more brains then brawn and intends to show he can slay a dragon too.

In short order our hero has tagged himself a dragon in battle and not just any dragon, he clipped a Nightfury, the meanest, fastest dragon species of them all. This is where things begin to go awry. Turns out dragons are not just mindless eating machines. They think, feel and in general are "people".

More inclined to make friends then slay dragons, Hiccup now finds himself between a rock and hardplace, how can he tell his father (a Vikings, Viking) and his teenage friends what has happened? Well, lets just say that one very large, mean, Queen dragon will end up forcing the issue.

HTTYD, is a visual treat with lots of action and humor. If you didn't see it in the theatre then get yourself the Blue ray and on your next rainy Sunday sit back and treat yourself to a fine adventure.

-under construction-

Cars 2
Cars 2(2011)

When I saw that Cars 2 was in the 30 percentile on RT I was like "no way", its impossible that Pixar could turn out a bad picture. However I still went into the theatre with some trepidation, just what was I going to see?? Well the lights went down and I settled back to watch...

-First things first, saw a trailer for the next Pixar flick "Brave", the trailer was sublime, jaw dropping in its beauty.

-Next was the toy story short. Ken and Barbie were planning on going on a tropical vacation but get left at home. What happens next is a funny and sweet "pseudo" vacation put on by their other toy friends.

Ok so things are going well so far...

So the movie begins and I begin to understand what some of the critics have said.

Let me start with a positive. The visuals are just amazing, clear, bright and colorful. The attention to detail is Pixar quality (superb). Everything is moving along at a brisk pace and I kept wondering "why am I not as-involved-in this movie as I am in other Pixar films"? by then end I was pretty sure I had the reasons.

1: Too much. Cars 2 is too fast paced for its own good. You never get to linger on anything for to long. Its like being rushed through an art museum, you think you saw the Mona Lisa and the David, for the second you saw them you gasped but then you were onto the next painting.

2: Character design. Cars is full of ummm Cars...and boats and planes that are "alive". Its hard to get emotionally attached to these characters even though they have eyes and mouths. An American spy car is tortured and killed, yet you really don't care, its a car, if the character had been a human? well you could imagine a whole different reaction.

So here we are rushing through an amazing landscape following characters that we never really connect with.

In the end though I totally disagree with the 30 odd percent score on RT, I would never recommend a movie that low to see or ever purchase. Cars 2 however is worth the purchase if you never see it in the theatre, honestly though I could of waited for the blu ray.

Cars
Cars(2006)
½

Well with Cars 2 just around the corner I thought I would review Cars...

Did you have Matchbox cars or Hot Wheels as a child? I know I did. I would play with them and pretend to drive all over the world or even the far reaches of space. Friends would bring their cars over and the fun would only multiply...

I can't help but think that Pixar took some of their inspiration for Cars from such Childhood exploits. Cars is a well spun tale, central to the story is Lightening Mcqueen who is more then a bit self absorbed with his fame. In true Pixar fashion the hero of the story gets knocked off course to learn some life lessons in Radiator springs. This off the beaten path town is full of colorful characters who are down to earth and yearn for better days. In the end Lightening learns his lessons and everyone is the better off for it.

Visually Cars can be very beautiful with lots to see and experience. If Cars has one fault, its the character design. The vehicles themselves just don't seem to convey the emotional weight as other Pixar characters. Windshield eyes? grill mouths? I just can't put my finger on exactly what the issue here is.

Anyway Cars is certainly a fine member of the Pixar family and is a "classic" despite its faults.

Oh and one more thing, Cars has one of the true LOL moments in moviedom for me. All I will say is 'Tractor tipping".

X2: X-Men United

First off let me say I am totally biased for this movie.

Why?

Nightcrawler is my favorite super hero!! YAY!

Ahem, now that that is out of the way onto the review. X2 is a sound sequel that offers much to enjoy for both the casual and fanboy viewer. The original cast is still together and gel well and are joined by Alan Cummings as Nightcrawler. This time the Uncanny mutants are tasked with stopping a plot designed to plunge mutants and humanity into war.

The villain is a man named "Stryker" who has a grudge against mutants so big he would sacrifice his own son to see their downfall. Stryker has become an expert at manipulating mutants and sends a teleporting assassin to kill the President of the United states. The opening sequence where Nightcrawler takes down the secret service in and around the oval office is a perfectly executed action sequence that captures the powers and abilities of the would be killer to a tee. Needless to say the newest X-Man to be doesn't succeed.

What follows next is a race by both the X-Men and Magneto's crew to stop Stryker. The viewer is rewarded with exciting action and tight dialog as the story reaches a tragic and triumphant conclusion.

Why not 100%? Just my minor Fanboy quibbles about character nuances that happened in the translation from comics to big screen. I won't bore you with that stuff :P

The King's Speech

The Kings Speech is simply a great film. All the roles are well acted and filmed. Whats even better is that its a true story. I've had a real soft spot for Colin Firth ever since I saw him in Pride and Predjudice as Mr. Darcey. Colin gives an excellent performance as the would be King with a problem that could undermine the masses perception of him.

Surrounded by other great performers like Rush and Carter, this movie just never fails to please and I cannot reccomend it enough!

Super 8
Super 8(2011)
½

Super 8 is a rare gift...

A movie with high expectations that rewards the viewer with everything they could want and then some.

Taking its queues from such movies as "E.T.", "The Goonies" and "Stand by me". Super 8 creates a world where the movie goer is included in a high stakes adventure populated with realistic characters that make you feel like you are part of their inner circle. You laugh, gasp and go "OH NO!" right along with the main players, in essence it what I love most about the movies.

The emotional center of the story is Joe Lamb. Joe recently lost his mother in an work accident and now he and his father are trying to pick up the pieces. Lucky for Joe he has a motley assortment of good friends who offer distraction in the filming of movie for a local film festival. Armed with a super 8 camera the friends, including their newest member a pretty girl named Alice go to film a scene late at night at the local train station.

What happens next is a train accident that leaves you gasping as the children run for cover. What escapes from the train though is something that drives the young heroes on a quest to learn what happened to lost dogs, scavanged material of all sorts and people who disappear without a trace. When the Air Force begins to take a heavy hand to keep their secret, the danger and suspence go right through the roof.

In the end the movie rewards the viewer with an emotionally satisfing ending and make sure you stay through at least the first few minutes of the credits for a different "payoff" that is quite funny.

I look forward to seeing this movie again and adding it to my collection once on DVD. Big thumbs up!!!!

X-Men: First Class

After the debacle that was X3 I was very skeptical of 1st class. I was never a fan of the early X-men books, the characters all felt very flat, thus you can imagine my suprise that 1st is a very good X-men movie!

One of the main plot points of the 'X' books is that at one point Magneto and Professor X used to be friends. Its the conflict of the two self appointed leaders of Mutantkind that drives much of the conflict. Magneto, a concentration camp survivor has seen mankind at its very worst and has sworn to never let such horror happen again. Charles Xavier is a humanitarian and wants to see all of mankind, mutant and normal living and working together.

If only they could meet each other half way they would see their respective ideals come to fruition, but that is not to be.

Fassbender plays Magneto and he exudes all the power and charisma anyone could want from the character. Attractive, intelligent, powerful and driven you can understand why so many mutants would flock to his banner. He certainly understands the reality of the mutant condition better then Xavier.

McAvoys Xavier is a dreamer, he is so excited to be a mutant and meet mutants you can't help but like him. He wants to help people be their best and freely uses his telepathic gifts to help others reach their goals. However at this point Xavier is simply to unworldly to the realities of life to match Magnetos powerful persona. When the combined Amerian and Russian navies have launched a missle strike against the mutants who just saved the world from nuclear war you have to say "Magneto is right".

Kevin Bacon,playing the leader of the Hellfire club (a group of villains using their wealth and power to run the world) does an acceptable job with the character. My two complaints are first he lacks the physical presence of the character. When you see the Sebastion Shaw of the X books he has some physical intimidation to him, Bacon is much to skinny to scare anyone. Lastly the revisionist history that makes him a Nazi deviates to far from the actual characters origin win my fanboy approval.

The rest of the cast does a fine job and you get nice insight into each of their characters, only "Darwin" feels like a throw away, which is ashame since the character had a unique ability and the actor stood out from the rest cast. The movie overall has a 60s Bond vibe and offers its share of laughs and action. So feel free to forget X3 and see First class!

X-Men: The Last Stand

Ughh, where to begin...

I guess with the core of what I felt about this movie

-I hated it-

I will freely admit I'm a huge "X" fan. I've read the comics without fail since 84 and have my favorite characters etc. etc.

X and X2 I really enjoyed, so what went so wrong?

Mainly a story that was not true to the core characters. The biggest sin in that regard was Jean killing Scott. Never in a million years would this happen in the X books. Jean would kill herself before she would harm Scott.

Aside from any other character issues I will comment on a -huge- missed opportunity. This opportunity was so huge that is shows the writers were not "X" fans and would of changed the dynamic of the movie in such a way that it could of saved the whole thing...

When Xavier lay dieing, he should of asked Magneto to step into his place at the school! and Magento agreeing!

There is a huge precident for this in the X books. Imagine that scene, the X men and the evil mutants going "WHAAA!!!!". The conflicts of everyone as they try to come to terms with their mentors suprise would of been priceless. In light of "First Class" this would be seen to have even greater depth...

Anyway so much for wishes.

As you can see, after all these years I'm still trying to scrub this movie from my brain.

Kung Fu Panda 2

Po is pretty awesome, kind of the ultimate fanboy living his ultimate dream. I can well imagine Po pinching himself all the time to make sure his world is real.KFP 2 picks up pretty much where the original left off. Po is a Kung Fu master, yet the life of the hero has not changed his outlook on life. Po still loves to eat and is in awe of his furious 5 peers but now he can throw his weight around with the best of them.

So anyway Po and the gang set off to face a new threat. An albino peacock with a superiority complex and a lust for power has set his sights on domination of anyone and anything that stands in his way of conquest. Lord Chen believes in overkill and well, lets just say his weapon of choice packs a big punch.

As Po confronts this new menace he must also come to terms with his own murky past. Lord Chen's lust for power plays an important role in Po's revelations. When Po finds his inner peace and resolves the conflict within himself he is of course destined to set things right.

Much like the first story, the humor is close to the surface and most of the characters have their moment to shine. The action is tight and the story moves along at a brisk pace. What I was not prepared for was the deep emotional touches that come as Po learns what really happens to his parents.

If you enjoyed the first Kung Fu Panda the second is a no brainer. Go out and ride along with this crazy gang of "hard core" Kung fu-masters and the vibrant world they inhabit.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
½

The movie poster should be next to the dictionary def. for "Tedious".

Not sure what they were thinking here. OST has the same issues as the last two Pirates movies. The plot is -way- to complex and the movie is overlong (say about by about 45 minutes). Is Depp good? Sure, is Rush good? sure and they should of been the heart of the movi...e. I would of loved to see a movie where Sparrow and Barbossa are in a race to the objective, just the two of them and their crews but thats not what we got.

Instead we have way to many Characters and their plots, to many weak motivations and well

just too much everything!

I would tell you not to waste your money at the theatre but you will probably go anyway but don't say I didn't warn you!

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
½

70% Positive 30% Negative

Postive:

Jake is nowhere is site and Jar-Jar is a cameo. The action is great. Natalie and Ewan can deliver the cheesy dialog with enough weight to make scenes work.

Negative:

Uhhh the dialog, its just bad and the story? it feels hobbled together.

Starship Troopers

This movie is really bad.

And its all my fault.

You see when I saw the trailers I thought "That looks cool and isn't it based on a sci-fi classic?"

So I went out and got the novel.

I hated it.

I thought it was long winded and boring.

I said to myself "I hope the movie is nothing like the book!"

Then I saw the movie. The bad acting, the gore, the "90210" in space vibe.

I walked out of the movie and said...

"I wish the movie was more like the book."

I felt really bad.

I tried watching it again a few months ago and I just couldn't do it.

Black Swan
Black Swan(2010)

Natalie Portman is good and deserves an Oscar but the movie itself left me underwhelmed. What was real? what was not? does it matter?

Clash of the Titans

20% Good-80% bad

The Good: Cast is easy on the eye with a mix of veterans that one would expect a lot from. Special effects and visuals in general are loving your eyes. The action is tight and often pretty exciting.

The Bad: The screenplay of Clash is a poop storm assault upon your intelligence. The campy but loved original is high art compared to this nonsensical mess. First problem is the story itself, you see Humans are rebelling against the gods, it would seem the gods are not doing anyone any favors. However the Humans as depicted in the story are not worthy of saving. Fickle, faithless, greedy and vainglorious you wonder why Zeus and the gang just don't move instead of trying to earn the "love" of Earths denizens.

There is a strong "anti-hero" theme running through the story. The hero, a son of Zeus doesn't want to be a Demi-God, "he hates them bad gods!", instead of riding a white horse, he rides a black one, when offered cool gifts by the gods he instead says "don't need no help from no stinking gods!". It gets old real fast, in the end he can deny it all he likes but its all a facade, he cannot deny who he is! I say come out of the Demi-God closet, Pick up the shiny sword, grab the girl(s) or boy(s) (this is Greece afterall)and kick the adventure into high gear! but no, its not to be.

Ok so after the story the next uppercut of ugly to the viewers jaw is the editing. Characters run on and off screen at breakneck speed and the viewer is left wondering why the hero even cares. Argos is going to be destroyed!-so what!- I mean the hero spends maybe 2 hours there, the rulers live in extreme wealth and the average person appears to be barely above the social postion of a caveman (but oh, that must be the gods fault LOL). Characters are introduced that we are supposed to care about (I think) but they barely rise above the state of cameos!

In the original at least the hero was in love with daughter, he had a reason to go on his quest, not here though, its all just a general "I tell you I hate the gods!" attitude and thats enough or supposed to be enough for the audience.

Oh and why the bald eagle? there are no bald eagles in Greece!

My advice, steer clear! watch the original and enjoy a simpler time.

The Kids Are All Right
½

Have you ever had a great piece of pie? one where the topping and middle just made your mouth water? but then on the last bite you realize the bottom crust was under cooked? Well thats how I feel about TKAAR.

The movie starts off with great dialog and an excellent premise. You see Jules and Nic are a Lesbian couple who have two children by the same sperm donor, now that the kids are getting ready to leave the nest they take steps to meet dad, a dad none of the four have ever met outside of paperwork.

Well it turns out Dad is something of a charismatic earth spirit. He owns a resturant and grows his own organic foods and in general lives an easy life. When the call comes from Joni (the eldest daughter) that she and her brother (Laser) would like to meet Paul (the father), he is instantly intrigued.

The relationships that are formed as Paul adds a new spoke to the wheel of family life are very interesting and feel authentic. Suddenly it becomes easier to see what each child got from the mother and what from the father. Thing is there there is one problem.

Nic is so uptight her head could explode at any moment. Annnette Benning does a good job with the character but in the end I just didn't like Nic and was hard pressed to see how Jules could of ever fallen in love with her. Nics uptight demeanor turns to cat marking her territory behavior when Paul enters the picture.

So with Nic being a screeching she cat, spraying everywhere and being passive aggressive to Jules, Jules suddenly finds solice in Pauls bed. Paul and Jules have a natural attraction, they are both earth spirits, in touch with their feelings but instead of the "I love you but" attitude of Nic, Paul has a more supportive and sincere nature.

Then Nic finds out. This is where the crust of that great pie turns out to be undercooked.

A movie with great dialog and insight into relationships (and in fact very funny), goes rushing down this path of silence followed by speeches. Paul who added so much flavor to the middle of the pie has a minor speech and last we see him he has thrown his helmet at his motorcycle. His character is the catalyst of everyones growth, I think he deserved better.

I think the audience did too.

In the end watch this movie for the first 95% and try to forget the bad taste the soggy crust leaves at the end.

Despicable Me
½

Children and pets know a very important fact.

Bad attention is better then no attention at all.

You see Grue, the focus of D.M. is a villian. He uses a freeze ray to cut to the front of the line at the local coffee shop, parks anywhere he pleases in his giant chrome, umm... villianmobile? and certainly doesn't water his lawn. Where did this drive to be bad come from? I'm not 100% sure but I think his mother is partially to blame.

You see as a child Grue just loved the moon. Astronauts and the whole space race captured his imagination. However Mom with her old country attitude was something less then impressed with Grue's ever more complicated plans to reach his goal. Thus he turned to villian as a means to further his plans and perhaps gain his mothers approval.

Surrounded by all the standard trappings of villiany and goal in hand Grue suddenly is cast down from the #1 bad guy spot by a new villian by the name of Vector. This is when D.M. shifts gears, Grue learns that Vector has a weakness for...cookies and the ultimate operatives to get into Vectors lair? are young girls selling said cookies.

Grue then gathers his orphan girls with the intent of continuing his plans. However children have their own goals and are not known for being the most cooperative beings on the planet. In short order Grue finds himself at dance recitals, amusement parks and reading bedtime stories. Turns out Grues real talent is parenting...

So in the end Grue finds new goals and wins his mothers approval. Whats not to like? anyway a review of D.M. would not be complete without mention of the scene stealing Minions. Bravo to the design team who came up with these little guys(?) with just minor variations in design they manage to create a comedic army who are ready to react to Grues every whim.

Well animated and acted but predictable, D.M. is worth the rental if you have not seen it. If you are a parent just accept that you will have to buy it and hope you have a blu ray player in the basement, the little ones will be watching this and quoting lines for awhile.

Also, I want a fart gun

The Sorcerer's Apprentice
½

I was originally going to see TSA is the theatres but then the reviews came and in general it was poo-pooed and given the price of a trip to the movies these days I thought I would pass until its DVD release.

Well long story short this is a fun movie! An interesting story (especially for those of you who might be tired of the Hogwarts universe), Excellent effects and a generally well selected cast. Where TSA failed for me is the male lead Jay Baruchel, while I certainly identify with geeky heroes the apprentice role as written is very one note and that note is Nerd. However Nicolas Cage and Alfred Molina go a long way in overcoming any other weakness in the story.

So sit back with the kids and some popcorn on a rainy afternoon sometime soon and watch TSA, you won't be disappointed.

Tangled
Tangled(2010)

Tangled has a lot going for it.

-Spunky Princess:Check
-Handsome rogue hero: Check
-Vain witch: Check

Combine those elements with wonderous visuals and some solid adventure and laughs, Tangled becomes a classic. Tangled starts off with some quick backstory and then takes off from there. Rapunzel is kidnapped and kept in a tower by a vain and selfish woman who uses Rapunzel to maintain her youth. Turns out Rapunzels golden tresses are more then meets the eye. However to stay in Rapunzels good graces the villain must adopt the role of over protective/loving mom.

Well before long Rapunzel wants to see the world beyond her tower and when a handsome rogue enters her tower while trying to escape the law, events are set in motion that lead our charismatic couple on a grand quest. Oh and lets not forget the sidekicks, a small chameleon who is Rapunzels only friend in the tower and a horse named Maximus who will do anything to "get his man". These two characters add to the magic of the story without taking anything away from Rapunzel and Flynn.

Have you seen this before? sure, a dozen times over, but if there is a little romance in your heart and you like a happy ending, I can certainly recommend Tangled.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1

Gosh I have spent a lot of time with Harry and the gang. Through all the movies I have enjoyed the wonder and the colorful characters. I will be honest and say I didn't read the books and only had the plot summarized for me by friends who did.

Anyway I sat down in the digital theatre last night and was excited to witness the next installment...

I have to say I was disappointed. I felt like I had entered some alternate universe of the Potter films. Nearly all the joy and "magic" to be found in the previous films had been sucked out by the very dark content and the slow pacing. I also found the plot elements to be very disjointed with character names not heard or seen in previous movies suddenly being flung about. I was thinking "wha? who?" at numerous points during the film. The concept of the deathly hollows themselves also felt forced, Hermoine and Ron had heard this tale before and never put it all together?

Also I have to say that I found Hermoines bag of Deus ex machina to be such a weak plot element as to be laughable. She has everything she needs...unless the plot needs to move forward and then she doesn't... /sigh.

In the end I can only recommend this movie for Potter fans who have read the books. I can only hope the last installment has something more to show us.

District 9
District 9(2009)

A very original twist on the Alien invader pic. District 9 brings a interesting civilization to life. The "Prawns" are certainly more advanced then Humans, yet they are at the mercy of Humans and the Humans are not very humane. The movie takes the viewer on a trek that starts from one point of view and then ends in a very different one. Warning: the violence is "visceral" and has that disturbing quality that of comes when the violence is to close to "real". This is my only real issue with Distritct 9, in that the violence has put it into the "I don't want to watch this again." category.

The Secret of Kells
½

I had not heard about this film until the academy awards came out last year but in the short clips I saw I was intrigued. Well when SOK landed in my movie queue I sat down and to say the least the wait was well worth it! Stunning animation, a rich story, and memorable characters. A "keeper" for sure.

Set during a time when Ireland was being ravaged by vikings the young hero of the story begins a journey of personal growth that leads him beyond the massive walls gaurding his village and into the deep forests where ancient spirits dwell. Armed with an inquisitve nature he will befriend a mercurial forest sprite and a kindly scribe, while at the same time learning to stand up to his staunchly overprotective uncle and battle an malevolent serpent of darkness.

Why not 100%? well my only gripe is small in that the Irish accents can be a bit hard to understand at times. Oh and I would not recommend this for children under the age of 6, some of the visuals could scare the little ones.

The Lovely Bones
½

The Lovely Bones yearns to be more but falls short of the mark. When the movie was over I didn't feel as emotionally attached to the characters as I wanted to. Additionally there was way to much voice over narration. The main character was, nice and certainly didn't deserve her fate, yet it didn't inspire the overwhelming anger that it should of. Why? maybe because we had no sence of what really happened to her, which certainly was horrific. The movement of time seems out of place in the movie as well, I had a hard time judging, was it months? years? since the murder to the end?

What the movie does have going for it are the images that occur in the "in-between" which are lovely. The other plus is S.T., he comes across as very creepy.

In the end we are left with a movie the pleases the eye at times but does not fill the soul, which is strange for a movie about the journey to heaven.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Video games, there are not to many people out there who have not dabbled in them. Heck even those who might not otherwise encounter them find "Farmville" and its ilk on Facbook (it was a surreal moment when my Mother started talking about EXP and leveling up). Anyway SPvW is like a magic window into the mind of a video game player. Fast paced with lots of humor and a few life lessons along the way SPvW picks you up and throws you headfirst into its frenetic world. The acting is solid, though MC as the nerd/everyman is becoming tiresome. If you've ever played a video game way past your bedtime and or enjoy Rock n Roll, go see SPvW, you won't be disappointed.

James and the Giant Peach
½

A fun movie for all ages, that still manages to ask some big questions. Poor James, his Mom and Dad lost to a metaphor of the big scarey grown up world is left to live with his two not so nice aunts. However a little magic shows up to save the day and everyone gets a lesson in family. The visuals are always a treat and sometimes downright beautiful. A well done adaptation of the original story.

A Town Called Panic (Panique au village)
½

Ok, what happens when a Cowboy and a Indian go to make a barbaque grill for their friend "Horse"? Well several million misordered bricks, missed music lessons, a false arrest and an undersea adventure later you will find out. Many good laughs are to be had and the overall writing is witty but I found the animation just a bit to quirky for my taste. If you don't mind subtitles and like South Park, Robot Chicken or Toy Story check this out.

Iron Man 2
Iron Man 2(2010)
½

Iron man 2 brings all the elements of a good summer movie together and scores a hit but is not a homerun. The opening is solid with lots of action and good story telling. RDJ as Tony Stark is spot on and GP lights up the screen. SJ's role as Black Widow is -eh-seen it all before. The middle third of the movie fell off the rails for me. The party scene just seemed to yank me out of the movie SLJ's role had some awkwardness, like it was stuck into the movie as glue for the future Avengers movie. The last third of the movie got back on the rails as the heroes deal with the badguys. Overall a good time but not quite as good as the original for me.

Inception
Inception(2010)
½

Ok, Who let M. C. Escher write and direct a movie? Inception starts off a bit awkward in its confusing premise. However before you know it, you find yourself out of confused and into "hooked". The action is solid all around and some of the seqences, like the fight in the spinning hallway? legendary. The movie moves across 3 (or more) "planes of action" at the same time and none of them are dull. The only drawbacks are the inital confusion and some underdeveloped secondary characters, other then that, strap yourself in and don't blink! (I can't wait to watch this movie again on DVD to look for missed clues.)

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
½

Much better then I expected. The action, acting, story was solid (but not stellar) and the special effects were actually very nice! I saw this after "The Last Airbender" and this had all the spirit and fun that was missing the TLA. To bad Chris Columbus didn't get TLA...

The Last Airbender

Ok right up front I will admit I am a ATLAB fanboy. Watched all three seasons first run and still watch it all the time. So I of course had big expectations for the movie, so where to begin...

First someone should take MNS word processor away from him right now because he can't write worth a darn. The movie races from begining till end with no character development. Example, watch an episode of the animated series and you will see how integral Katara and Sokka are to the plot, in the movie they have next to no screen time (in all honesty hardly anyone does). Next major torpedo in the movie is the editing, sloppy and uneven it jerks the viewer around leaving your head spinning. It has been suggested that the acting is bad and while they might not be "greats" of the cinema, the writing and editing did not do them any favors.

Now for the fanboy complaints. Appa and Momo, such fantastic creatures in the Animated series were side attractions, obvious slaves to the special effects budget they are ushered on and off screen as quickly as possible. Loveable Appa looks simply aweful, playful Momo just flits around. The pronunciation of names, ok for three seasons the names were pronounced one way but were altered for the movie. Everytime a name was spoken not as it was in the series it yanked me out of the movie. Such a bad decision, I really have to question MNS judgement here. Next is the element bending. In the series the element bending forms are elegant, directly broadcasting and in concert with the "bending" that occurs, in the movie every character adds a bunch of extra flourishes that make them seem like they are warming up before each move. Next in the series Firebenders summon fire directly from their Chi, they do not need fire to make fire as they do in the movie, it feels silly and while MNS said he did it to make firebending like the other bending, it came across to me as another budget saving move as they didn't have to pay for more CGI.Oh and add to the budget issues, the spirit world, what a joke.

There are tiny glimpses of what this movie could of been. The Scenes as Aang remembers the other Airbenders (which should of been part of the lead in to the movie, not the end!!!), A moment when Katara looks so much like her animated counterpart, Iroh showing reverence for the spirits.

If this movie somehow makes enough to warrent a sequel, lets pray MNS is kept far, far away from the project.

Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3(2010)

A worthy addition to the Toy Story universe. Heartfelt and some of the funniest stuff I have seen on screen in a long time. Warning there is a few scenes that will bring tears to your eyes. Bravo Pixar, Bravo!

Splice
Splice(2010)
½

Seeing all the postive reviews I was intrigued however upon viewing the movie fell flat. Way to many instances of "Lets not do this" then "Lets do this" then "Ok you convinced me". Then the movie falls off the rails when they go to the farm house. Well ok the female scientist is a bit off her rocker. Then it all comes crashing down.

End question: Since Dren is made from her own DNA does that not make the ending even more bizarre? Ok lets go ahead with this. HAHA right, the movie ends with people STILL making bad decisions. Suspension of disbielf ended 45 ago...

Avatar
Avatar(2009)

Best movie I have seen... well... since I've been watching movies!

Saw this in digital 3d and it was stunning. An engaging story set in a sublime alien ecology.

I can't wait to see it again!

Star Trek
Star Trek(2009)

A very fun movie even if they did get the machanics of the Star Trek Universe wrong. Sorry my nerd is showing but by traditional Trek "laws" what happened in this movie did not create an "alternate Universe" it erased the exisiting one.

Ahem.

Aside from that the movie was action packed and the actors were great!

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Simply -aweful. I felt like I was watching a first draft of the script. Glaring holes in the plot (Hello crash through back of air and space museum in DC and end in the Arizona desert!). The action is long, loud and non sensical, many times it felt like a military recruitment film. Obviously they were way to rushed to get something onto film after the success of the first film.

If I had been involved in this film I would not want my name on this trash.

WALL-E
WALL-E(2008)

Well I saw Wall-E and while I enjoyed it and thought it was a good movie I have to honestly say I did not enjoy it as much as Kung-Fu Panda. Why? Mostly because I found the backdrop to the entire movie to be depressing. Humans, unable to control their consumption of everything have turned the planet into a giant cesspool and now live like giant babies plugged into a giant merchandising machine as they float through space waiting for Robots to clean up after them.

That aside Wall-E and the rest of the robots in the movie (the real stars are the robots) are the real soul of the story. Touching, funny and emotional, I found myself hoping the robots were going to leave the Humans behind and fix up the Earth for themselves.

As a side note I would not recommend this movie for children under the age of 8. While some will "get it" many will not. My six year old niece who is very bright was very confused at times and my 3 year old niece (a bit of a Sprite) was "can I go outside and play?"

Kung Fu Panda

So far this summer I have seen Forbidden Kingdom, Iron Man, Speed Racer and Indiana Jones and I have to say that Kung Fu Panda blows them all out of the water.

Visually stunning and perfectly executed I cannot recommend this movie enough. See it in DLP if you can.