Monthly Archives: December 2011
Lately I’ve been yearning for some good sword and sorcery fantasy kind of stuff. Plenty of books out there, but for whatever reason I’ve been having a hard time finding films or shows to watch, especially ones I haven’t seen already.
I remember seeing ads for Legend of the Seeker and dismissed it. Well, just ignored it because I don’t watch to many shows as they air anymore due to lack of time. Netflix has it and it was suggested somewhere. I’m on winter break so I have time to sit down and give it a shot.
The show is interesting. It’s based off of a series of books by Terry Goodkind and apparently he approves and had involvement with the shows production. That doesn’t mean much to me because I’ve never read anything by him. Anyways, as much as this is a fantasy show, it’s differentish. It’s not LOTRD fantasy, it’s more there are some people with magic and some weird creatures, but mostly just peasants or people fighting with swords. We of course see a lot of magic and weird stuff because we’re following a special group he gets involved with that sort of thing. It’s sort of simple. The stories are very much good vs. evil and it’s pretty clear which is which.
The story though. It takes place in a land ruled by a dude named Darken Rahl who I’m not sure how to describe. He’s the villain and rules pretty much everything and is a prick. Nothing new. There is a prophecy out there however about a Seeker (not the Quidditch kind) who will defeat Darken Rahl. The first two episodes basically give you all of this background information and set everything up. We find the Seeker and his little band of friends form and set off to kill the evil tyrant Darken Rahl. Season two finds us doing the same kind of thing except they’re fighting the Keeper. Again things are set up pretty much in the first episode or two of that season as well.
The show has its own environment with names for different things and people. They all get explained. Some are good, other’s bad. There are some kick-ass ladies known as Mord-Sith that bug me because I’m a huge Star Wars nerd and I only think of Mr. Lucas’s Sith every time and I question how similar they are.
Initially I was displeased with the show. After finishing both seasons, I still sort of am. I got past the exposition heavy first two episodes. They really are tough to get through because of that. What bugs me is that I still haven’t decided what the intention of the show was. It seems quite campy at times, mainly season one. Yet, it’s not nearly enough for me to believe that it was intentional. The humor isn’t that good and part way through season two it kind of dies all together. I just haven’t grasped how seriously the show was taking itself. If it was Terry Pratchett I would’ve bought into it a bit more.
The romance was another issue. Richard and Kahlen’s romance plot made me want to rip my hair out. It was excessive and worse yet it wasn’t new. They never had it evolved. They just kept remarking on how hard it was and everyone and them taunt them about doing it anyways. I’m also kind of disturbed that women apparently are getting pregnant from having intercourse once. Not sure what message that’s supposed to be about. Even once Cara get’s some romance thrown out her, it’s half assed. No one cares. Even Zed is kinda ignored. It just wasn’t needed for me to have these crappy romance plots that were very static and never toyed with.
I also was sort of upset with the character actions and development or lack there of. I honestly don’t feel like any of them have change too much by the end. They even kinda remark on this in the show. At a point it just becomes way to predictable as to who is going to do or say what. Even some of the plots started to get rehashed a bit much. I mean there’s this large overarching story as to what they are supposed to be setting out to do, yet most of the show has nothing to do with that problem. It’s all of the little random side quests. I mean if the end of the world is at stake you don’t fart around.
I don’t know. There’s a lot of little things that bugged the hell out of me and were wholly unrealistic in the context of the show. I feel like the books are probably pretty good, but they ended up with some shitty filler stuff to fill a tv show. Yet I kept watching. I was oddly hooked on it, despite how frustrated I got. Season two was just miserable really. I kept watching that to find out the ending. In reality I could’ve just skipped to the last two episodes. They put in these “lessons” for the characters, but they never show up again or utilize them.
The action sequences bugged the hell out of me as well. At first they were cool and sort of remained that way, but in the end there was way too much use of slow motion and pausing in the fight scenes. That and it soon dawned on me that the showed basically the same shots of every character fighting. And Kahnlen’s confession shit was annoying to see. I understood how it worked after they showed it the first time. I don’t need to see in slow motion and close-up the eyes changing and shit. It was a waste of time.
It sort of satisfied my desire for the genre, but not enough. The show was decent, especially since I’ve seen some really shitty fantasy stuff out there. Still, season two isn’t really worth it. It’s just a cluster-fuck to me, but if you start it you may get hooked enough to want to find out how it ends, which I must admit was lame. The season finale made me wonder whether they knew if the show would continue or not, because the ending is rushed and kinda anticlimactic to me.
So, check it out if you’re looking for some sword and sorcery, fantasy kinda stuff. It’s decent enough and you’ll either turn it off relatively soon or keep watching and either enjoy it or wonder why you kept watching it like I did.
I’m a fan of the Mission Impossible film franchise (have yet to see the old TV show).They’ve always been good action flicks and are usually at least moderately funny. Always been a food enough reason for me to watch a movie.
Like all MI films the plot to Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is kinda, wtf? They never seem to make too much sense and tend to be a bit vague. That’s never been the point fo the films. They aren’t intended to be smart detailed stories with deep twists and turns for us to analyze and follow. They’re action flicks focused at nice visuals and big explosions. That’s my interpretation at least.
Anyways, I didn’t really grasp the story. Now that I think of it though, I didn’t really bother trying to follow what the hell was going on. Eventually you figure out ti has something to do with nuclear missiles and that’s about it. Kind of a rehashing of cold war tension stuff. The thing that was going to bother me however, was Ethan Hunt got married in the last film. Did his wife just up and die randomly or leave him? Is that going to be the excuse so that the can run around and blow shit up and jump out of buildings? Sort of. Initially there isn’t much explanation. There’s supposed to be a lot of “a lot of shit has happened between now and the last movie and no one knows what that was.” Eventually the wife thing gets fully explained and it worked well enough for me. Initially though, it was a bit annoying. So yeah, the story again. Kinda starts out with you wondering what the hell is going on and takes a while for any details to be given.
Who cares though? Good triumphs over evil (sorry if I spoiled that for you) and Ethan Hunt lives to fight back in the next movie, since they do clearly set it up for another to follow, which considering how good this one is doing, will probably happen quite soon.
The visuals are great. Nuff said. MI always has some pretty sweet shots, and this fourth installment is probably the best in that department. Part of that is the locations they chose to use, but still. Some great looking shots throughout the entire movie. Especially when they are in Dubai. I’d actually like to go see this in IMAX because it would no doubt be pretty fucking sweet there, especially since they filmed using those cameras.
The action sequences all worked well. None of the fighting seems to stand out too much in my mind, but again the Dubai stuff is just freaking amazing. The only thing that I’m struggling with a bit is that a lot of the “action” sequences seemed to be long. I keep remembering all of these long chase scenes and very few smaller ones in between. One scene in particular made me kinda wonder how long they were going to milk it because at that point I was like, “ok this is Mission Impossible, he’s gotten away by now.” So yeah, Dubai shit rocked.
The comedy is still here. Simon Pegg does a lot, but that’s sort of expected. It’s nice he got a beefed up role. Actually this movie seemed to be the funniest out of the franchise. The comedy worked well to. They did a good job of mixing it in with everything. The film had its emotional moments and they weren’t always broken by putting in a laugh. My theater was laughing pretty much constantly through the movie (though some of them were laughing by themselves because they were those kind of people who laugh at every single thing very loudly).
One of my gripes about the franchise is how much it reuses stuff, mostly tech. Some of it’s nice to see reoccurring, but it gets tot he point where it’s just overdone. The masks basically. They’ve become something of a joke because they constantly get used. There’s some slight meta joking about the use of the masks in this film, which I loved. In fact, while the masks are used, they aren’t used that often. Really at all. There are some other gadgets that get recycled, but again they make light of the fact that they’re being reused or tweak it some how. That and there’s plenty of new shit to go around. And as much as the MI franchise is known for it’s Bond-like gadgets, they pretty much all malfunction to some extent in the film. It puts more pressure on the actual skills of the characters, which again was refreshing.
Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, and Paula Patton, are you’re spectacular team here and really they’re the only people you see much of. Even the other “players” only appear in small pieces here and here. I thought everyone did a good job, including Mr. Cruise. I stand by him being a good actor still. You can make fun of his real life shenanigans all you want, but he still can act, especially in more comedic roles. Actually one of the things I like about the “team” is how they all have some personal shit to deal with. Not so much with Pegg, but instead of having one character brooding the whole time, they pretty much all have their moments.
I hope Brad Bird comes back to direct the next film. I think he did a great job and I think Cruise, Abrams, and Bird working together seems to be a pretty good fit. The two film before Abrams were different from the two he’s been involved with and while I like all of them, I think what they’ve managed to create in the fourth film will probably help them keep the franchise moving if the so choose. I mean Tom Cruise is almost fifty I think and he doesn’t look it. He can still play Ethan Hunt for a while if he wants.
So yeah, pretty solid film, especially for the franchise. Pretty fast paced with plenty of action and humor. Definitely worth the watching, and more so in theaters. I base part of my decision to see movies on the visual aspect. I want to watch action flicks in theaters because they rely on those big screens. I can watch a comedy at home.
So this is a bit of a long post.
I actually enjoy rom-coms. I know I’m forbidden to say that as a man, but I’ve seen a fair number of them. There are those that are crap and those that I genuinely like. Some are just ok. I’m not being dragged to watch all of these movies either. And the excuse that they’re all generic is kinda bull. All genres are “generic.” Kinda why they’re a genre. That’s not the point though. That’s a whole separate post I may get into some day.
So Love Actually, is a Richard Curtis film. The man behind works like Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’s Diary and of course the amazing Blackadder. I like all of those (I feel like Blackadder shouldn’t be included though. Too different). They’re rom-coms and they’re good. To me at least. Love Actually is amazingly enough, another one. The title gives it away, and in a sense kind of gives away the whole film.
I both like and dislike Love Actually. It’s complicated. The original cut (one of them at least) was over three hours. The runtime now, is 135 minutes. That’s still a long movie, especially for the genre. Love Actually is one of those movies that involves separate story-lines that all interconnect in the end, though you can see the connections easily enough as the film progresses. The character connections are really anything to worry over. My experience with these kind of films is that they never seem to be that good. To me they always come across as to overly complex for what they are and Love Actually is no exception. It’s long and has a number of pretty complex stories that don’t fully work because they’ve been cut down to fit in the film. They’d work better as a miniseries TV movie where we could see the full stories.
Beyond that though, the movie has another fault with me. It’s kind of… schmaltzy? Some of it just seems horribly gushy to me and cliché. I know that’s excepted from some films in the genre, but it still seems a bit excessive at times. That and I guess I’m expecting more from Curtis. Still, the romance part of the movie still works. That and it is supposed to be somewhat fairy-taleish. Rowan Atkinson’s character was initially/still is supposed to be an angel, but it kinda got cut from explanation.
The comedy aspect is what does it for me. It’s why I enjoy rom-coms because they can amazingly enough be good comedies. That’s where this movie shines because despite how unfunny it can be (moments where it isn’t supposed to be anyways) the movie has some great comedic moments. At least I thought so. It’s not like it’s going to be on anyone’s top comedy lists, but it’s still really good there.
The cast is another one of of those aspects that helps make the film work. Ensemble casts generally seem to be less than what you want, but the ones that work are usually really good. So let’s start with Bill Nighy. He’s a great actor. Love him. Does a great job here. Wish he had more screen time. Shit, they could make a whole movie for his character, which I guess they could do for most of the characters really.
Colin Firth has his own little storyline as well. It’s not really that brilliant. It’s Colin Firth playing the kind of role he’s known for and he does a good job at it. In this case he’s kind of exaggerating it even more.
Liam Neeson and Thomas Brodie-Sangster play stepfather and son. Both are really good. I actually want to go back and see how many scenes have Neeson standing at full height and not bent over. The kid is little to begin with and of course Neeson is huge, so it’s entertaining to watch that interaction just because of that. I also loved how blunt there part was. It was a very open relationship that I’m sure plenty of people would disapprove of (at least in the US), which is kind of bull. Kind of wish some of their deleted scenes stayed in.
Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman play husband and wife. Thompson is great. She actually probably appears the most in the film since she seems to be the one most of the characters all know. Rickman unfortunately get’s les screen time, which is a shame. He’s a great comedic actor. Has the timing down wonderfully. He needs more of those roles. There’s also a deleted scene with Thompson and her son (who never appears really) about writing a school essay about their christmas wish. His is to see everyone’s farts, which would be great. This also leads to cutting out the headmistress’ little story, which was good as well. Anyways, both do a good job, though I feel like their story get’s cut up a bit. Both of their characters have more scenes to work with other characters than their own marriage troubles. Maybe not. Kind of feels like it though.
Now is as good as any to mention Rowan Atkinson I guess. He is supposed to be an angel, though lacking the wings and whatnot. One of the deleted scenes with Emma Thompson and her children actually alludes to this even. The whole thing of his holiness was cut out because it complicated things to much. That makes sense. The movies already to complicated. Still, Atkinson still appears and the best one is with Rickman in a shopping center. It’s a great scene to begin with, but if you go and watch the movie, knowing he’s supposed to be an angel, his appearances make more sense.
Martin Freeman has a nice little bit. Plays a stand in doing nude sex scenes. Nice little bits.
Kris Marshall has a couple of nice lines as well and I do like the portrayal of Wisconsin.
Laura Linney has a bit part. I didn’t care for it, mostly because it felt so stripped down.
Keira Knightly and Chiwetel Ejiofor are newlyweds. We get to see their wedding. Andrew Lincoln (Walking Dead) is Ejiofor’s best friend. I think they probably have the least funny story. I really can’t think of much with their plot that was funny. Probably the one I liked least.
And finally (I think) is Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon. Grant is Grant. He does his normal thing. He also has a number of great lines in addition to his nice little dance (which was to short) and his speech about the “special relationship” between Britain and the US.
I’m tired and need to stop. Basically the movie has plenty of problems, mostly because it tries to accomplish way to much. Still, it has some great bits. It’s a good comedy at least.
Spoilerish things below probably.
So no that series six is over most of us end up waiting for the Christmas special to get our last fix for a while. I never expect much from the Christmas specials. The ones I can recall have either been pretty bad or ok. Never one of my favorite shows. The plus side is that it’s the Doctor without the traditional companions so that’s always nice to see.
Initially I really enjoyed this. I was really looking forward to seeing some new Doctor Who so I didn’t really care how good or bad it was. Now that I’ve thought about it, it was kind of disappointing. Still, it was hardly the worse Christmas special they’ve put out and there are episodes out there that I liked less than this. First though, for anyone who hasn’t seen it, let me correct something. The title, is kind of a throw away thing. It is not a Doctor Who take on the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. There isn’t really even a wardrobe. Apart from making a few references to the story, they only use kids crawling into “another world” as the biggest link.
Back to the show though. I didn’t get the opening. Apparently I missed the little prequel they did. I’ve since watched and I still have to say that’s one of the things that bugs me. As far as I know the Doctor is still assumed dead. River, Amy, and Rory all know otherwise, but unless I missed something the series ended with the Doctor not being present. So why he’s calling Amy or blowing things up seems odd. That and the way the special ended with him showing up seems a bit odd as well. I understand it as far as setting up that he’s “back,” but it seems like it negates the point of saying that he has to keep a low profile.
Anyways, the episode itself was decent. Sort of christmasy. It felt lacking to me though. It seemed to simple and there wasn’t an attempt to explain anything. It all just kind of happens and that’s perfectly ok. No need to explain. Kinda bugs me the more I think of it.
Still, it’s Doctor Who and I’ll take what I can get. Every episode can’t be stellar so, I’ll take the crappier ones to get the good ones.
Well this isn’t really a christmas tradition. I’d like it to be, but it still sort of is. Every year around christmas time I usually end up watching Die Hard again. Not every year and usually not on christmas eve like this year, but generally Die Hard gets a re-watch around the holiday. Personally, I’d like to make it more of a tradition.
Anyways as odd a choice as Die Hard maybe be to watch on Christmas Eve, it is set on that day. It technically takes place during the holiday. It’s sort of hard to tell. McClane’s wife is at a Christmas party in Nakatomi tower and they do allude to it a couple of times.
Anyways Die Hard is a bout this cop from New York who comes out to visit his wife in LA (she also has their two children). He stops by the christmas party and shit hits the fan shortly after. Some Germans led by Hans Gruber hijack the party and get up to some nonsense. McClane hides and basically fuck shit up. Eventually the police get involved and things get worse. In the end good triumphs, but that’s hardly a surprise. Really describing the plot to Die Hard seems kind of pointless. In my mind it’s a well known movie, but there are plenty of people unaware of it.
Anyway, I’ve always liked Die Hard. It’s a nice shoot ’em up, blow shit sky-high extravaganza. That and the movie has some pretty sweet lines and is actually funny. It’s a great action movie or comedy by itself for the most part and the two elements combined really work.
The actors though are the reason why. I like Bruce Willis. He’s great as John McClane. I’m assuming it’s his most notable role. I also recall reading somewhere that like 90 percent of his dialogue was improvised, so if that’s true, even more kudos for the man, because he has some great lines. Yippee ki-yay, motherfucker. Alan Rickman is also great as Hans (I love that Jeremy Irons plays his brother in the third film). He’s a great actor and does a great job at villains (though he he has amazing comedic timing). The supporting cast is great to. Reginald VelJohnson (Family Matters is probably why you recognize him), does a great job as does Paul Gleason. They both kind of play character types they are well known for and they do such a good job at it. The terrorists are all pretty good small roles as well. Same for some of the office workers or police/FBI. Not big roles, but they do a good job for the jokes they’re put in there for.
I feel like I should say more, but I can’t think of a lot to add. The dated references are great, especially if you catch them. I wonder how many people know who Roy Rogers or Arafat are. The edited version for cable is interesting to watch, because the film has a fair amount of explicative so editing them for cable is fun to listen to. Especially Willis’s catchphrase.
So yeah. I love Die Hard. Great action-comedy. If you haven’t seen it you should and hell, maybe you’ll make it a holiday tradition as well. It’s a good enough movie for it and even if you ignore the holiday bit, it’s a great movie.
Now that I’ve watched the first one, I’ll probably be watching and reviewing the others soon.
So I always feel obligated to preface posts with these kind of warnings. Hook is a movie from my childhood. I loved it and still do. Part of that is because it is a good movie and part of it is because Robin Williams is in it, and I love him. He’s the comic that got me into comedy, because he was in these kinds of movies. That and I have a wonderful dad who introduced me to stand-up. I also have a soft spot for this film because it was directed by Spielberg, who I’ve professed my undying love for many a time. So, you’ve been forewarned about how this review is most likely going to go. Also know that in the there are sort of spoilers below. Some people get really up tight about what you reveal. Personally it’s not like I’m telling you Dumbledore dies (sorry for anyone who isn’t aware of that.)
Hook is not really an adaptation of the Peter Pan stories. It’s basically a “what happens of the stories?” The movie starts out by introducing a grown up Peter Pan, now Peter Banning. He’s married to Moira whose the granddaughter of some chick named Wendy Darling. The coincidence’s to the J.M. Barrie story are noted and addressed by the characters. They joke that Granny Wendy is the real Wendy. The “truth” however is that Mr. Barrie knew the Darling children and simply recorded their wonderful tales. We learn that Peter is suffering through the harsh realities of growing up and having a family. He’s actually a lot like Mr. Darling in my mind. Anyways his two children (yes he has children) are kidnapped by Hook (or his cronies – this is never really explained). A note is left telling Peter to return to get his children. the catch is that Peter has no recollection of anything before he was 12, which means Neverland is just a story to him. For whatever reason though Wendy can still remember it all as does Tootles (one of the Lost Boys now old and in England). Anyways Tinkerbell (or Stinkerbell as I prefer) appears and helps Pan to Neverland. Stuff ensues as Peter has to learn to become the boy wonder he used to be to save his children from Hook. A happy ending of course.
Again, my knowledge of Peter Pan is a bit iffy. Haven’t read it in a while, but I’m fairly certain a lot of liberties were taken with what they do bring up in here. I’m fine with that. I learned to not get my panties in a bunch over the translation from book to film. The Bourne series taught me that. What they did works to me.
I guess the casting needs addressed since it is quite an impressive cast. Dustin Hoffman plays Hook. If I had never seen this movie till now I would’ve wondered why Dustin Hoffman would be cast as Hook. I just don’t see it and even having seen the film multiple times, I still don’t see it. It just doesn’t seem like him, yet he does a brilliant job. It’s actually really hard for me to even think of Hook as Hoffman when watching it. Robin Williams plays Peter Pan (the adult version). I’m sort of torn on this. I love Robin. I think he’s a great actor and I think he did a good job in the movie. I can even see why he was cast. Robin Williams defiantly has that sort of man-child vibe to an extent (minus the excess body hair). Unfortunately I think Spielberg kept him on to tight of a leash. Part of what makes Williams great is his ability to just go out and do some insane shit and I feel like you don’t see that here and that really hurts the role. That and he does look a bit odd in tights. Julia Roberts is another one who seems to get some flack for her portrayal of Tinkerbell. I’ve never been able to see that. I have to admit, I had a crush on Roberts since at some point I saw this at that lovely age when hormones begin a brewing. That, unneeded fact aside, she was still good. Sure, she might not have been great, but considering what the role was I didn’t think it was bad. I mean, most of the time she would have been in a studio alone. When she “grows up/gets big” she does a great job.
You also have Bob Hoskins appear as an amazing Smee and I thought he was great. I still say “what about Smee!” sometimes. Maggie Smith is naturally great. Great lady who is always amazing and she does a nice job as Wendy. It would’ve been cool if she had more screen time. Charlie Korsmo plays Jack, one of Peter’s children and I thought he was good. His onscreen sister, Maggie, played by Amber Scott, was better. That may be partially because she was pretty darn cute. Unfortunately she is no longer acting (at least according to IMDB). Rufio, Rufio, Rufio! Everyone remembers Rufio. I think it’s the hair. Dante Basco will forever be remember as that kid. His acting wasn’t bad, but he was fortunate to have a character that for whatever reason just stood out and was fascinating. I would’ve liked to have seen a movie about Rufio and the Lost Boys. It can still happen since Basco looks pretty young and still plays teens sometimes.
So, what’s left? Visuals? Amazing. I mean it is Spielberg. I think he did a fantastic job with his version of Neverland.
The music though. Oh, I how I love the music. I’m listening to it right now and probably will keep listening to it for a while. Why is it amazing? Guess why? Who loves working with Spielberg? That’s right John Williams. If there’s a film composer people know it’s probably him, partly because of is work with Speilberg. He composes some great pieces, but I think his forte is creating themes. He does a fantastic job of finding the sound that fits the movie and sticks with you. A theme that you can listen to over and over and just the music brings the images from the film to mind.
The movie has flaws. It’s not perfect, but I chose to stay blissfully unaware of them. Nostalgia is allowing me to treasure this movie and I’m fine with it. That and even if I try to analyze it, I still don’t think it’s a crap film. Not Spielberg best, bust hey, even when the man isn’t scoring a huge hit it’s still better than a lot fo movies.
I’m resisting the urge to watch this movie again right now, but I advise anyone who hasn’t seen it to check it out. If you have and hated it, trying giving it another shot. Open your mind up a bit and try to enjoy it.
I know another Peter Pan related post. I don’t intend on watching every film version (though I may, doubt it though.) Actually I’m about to watch Hook again. I’ve been trying to resist the urge, but can’t. Screw finals.
I’m a fan of Peter Pan. It’s always interested me. It has, however, been some time since I’ve seen any film/tele version. It’s also been a while since I’ve read Peter and Wendy (the only one I’ve read).
Peter Pan to me was a good adaptation. As far as I remember the overall gist of the story, this movie seemed to get the highlights that stick in my mind. It may be the best adaptation as far as the story goes or it may not. For me, it was good. It didn’t seem to bizarre in its interpretation and seemed to at least try to stay faithful to the source material.
This version of Peter Pan is interesting. For all intents and purposes it is very much a family/children’s film. It is however a slightly dark portrayal though and I don’t just mean visually. Things are quite intense at some points and I liked it. In fact I’d actually like to see a sort of gritty Peter Pan (Neverland I suppose attempted to take a step in that direction). The problem for me at least was the sort of, for lack of a better word, “wacky” slapstick humor that was thrown in here and there. At times it was pretty mild, other times not so much. For kids it was probably great. To me, it jut threw off the darker mood they were setting up. This was supposed to be a family film though, so I understand the humor being put. And it’s not that it was bad, it just didn’t mesh to me.
I have to say the visuals were one of my favorite aspects of the film and I can’t quite find the words to describe it. It sort of mixes an attempt at realism and fantasy. It’s kind of weird, but more cool than weird. I liked it a lot, especially since there was a really good balance. The whole space trip to Neverland however was a bit out off place to me, but that’s the only thing I can think of.
Jason Issacs doubles as Mr. Darling and Hook and does a great job at both. I really like Issas and he does a great job here as usually, especially at Hook. He does villains well. Lynn Redgrave and Olivia Williams both have nice parts and do well and I liked the dog. Jeremy Sumpter plays Peter and I really liked him. He has a sort of odd charm and was really good at being the little boy running around, while still being able to pull off the more serious emotional bits. Rachel Hurd-Wood was also really good as Wendy.
It’s really a great adaptation that I’m guessing most people will like if their fans of Pan. Even if you’re not, it’s still a good fantasy family film.
PS: At this point Hook is replacing BF3 in my 360 so I’ll probably have a post for it later.
So I was in the mood for some hack and slash, sword and sorcery kinda movie. Particularly, one I haven’t seen yet. A recent discussion of Dungeons and Dragons got me in the mood (I don’t know anyone anymore who plays D&D – at least no one who’ll admit it unfortunately). In the end I decided to watch Conan the Barbarian, which I’ve never seen.
The movie draws from other sources, none of which I’m familiar with. The story is basically about how Conan comes from nothing to someday be king (though we don’t see that here). As a child his parents are killed, he grows up in some tough shit, becomes a gladiator, latter is set free and becomes a sort of thief. In the end he manages to start a quest to get revenge on the weird and honestly, quite lame, sorcerer that killed his parents. The story line wasn’t exactly riveting to me, but at the time I guess it might have seemed better, mostly because we’ve had a chance to reuse this kind of thing more now.
Let me just jump to one of the things I really did not like about the movie. The pacing. The movie is two hours and it felt longer. Why? Because they structure the film like it was an epic along the lines of Ben-Hur or Lawrence of Arabia. It isn’t. Movies like that can get away with the long montages of nothingness, because in-between shit happens. Not only that but it’s good shit. Conan however uses a number of those long montage type sequences and there is little filler in between, especially for the first half of the movie. It’s just a lot of build up to finally get to the part where Conan is going to hunt down Doom.
I don’t know what to think of the acting either. Arnold Schwarzenegger is okay I guess. He at least looks great in the role. I liked watching him stand and fiddle with his sword, which really should have been bigger. James Earl Jones surprised me. I was unaware that he was in the movie and I’m kind of surprised. I don’t want to say he’s bad because it’s James Earl Jones. The role is what I’m choosing to blame. That and the make up. They gave him some weird looking long hair. The rest of the cast is all ok for the movie. I’m not dying to find out who anyone is because they blew me away, but it’s hardly the worst I’ve seen, especially from similar types of films.
The special effects were actually pretty good, more so probably because of the time and the action sequences were good, if again slow. The narration bothered me though. It wasn’t consistent enough for one and it just didn’t fit. Another one of those weird things that irked me.
As negative as most of that sounds, it wasn’t bad. I was just kind of hoping for something a bit more gritty and action packed I guess. Maybe I’m just spoiled from some good modern hack and slash sword movies, but Conan’s biggest drawback was just slow everything. Slow moving story, action, and dialogue (thank you Arnold).
I can understand why it’s considered a classic and I’m not set against watching it again. I’d defiantly need to be in the mood for it and at least now I have some idea of what is going to bug me.
Been sort of a while since I posted. Been a bit busy with the end of the semester and while I’m continuing to watch movies (or TV shows), I’ve just been too lazy to write any posts about them (though I do have probably twenty draft posts waiting to be finished). At some point I’ll sit down and finish a bunch of these posts so that when I’m busy I can at least provide some content.
So SyFy released a miniseries called Neverland last week (I think it was last week). I only learned about it a few das before it aired because of a banner on SyFy. Normally I’m not a huge fan of SyFy, but I’ve enjoyed some of these miniseries that they produced, though two episodes isn’t much of a miniseries.
Anyways, Neverland is supposed to be an origin story fo sorts for the classic Peter Pan, though there’s a fair mix fo science fiction and fantasy in this incarnation. The story basically shows how Peter, the Lost Boys, and Hook went from our world to Neverland. Incidentally all of them “lived” together in our world. It was actually kind of neat seeing how they took that relationship and played it out towards the classic tale we all know. Unfortunately it did seem a bit too much like Oliver Twist and Fagin.
Overall it was interesting, especially if you’re a fan of Peter Pan stuff. It’s not the greatest, but it was a good effort. By biggest problem was probably some of the science fiction stuff. I understand what they tried with it, but it was unnecessary. It just made the show run longer. The whole fairy/mineral dust thing wasn’t needed. And while the orbs were kind of neat, again they weren’t needed. It just gave them something else to focus on, when I would have rather seen more of the characters development for other reasons or just in general.
The effects and everything technical was ok. None of the CGI was horrible, but for what it was it worked. I’m not sure about the whole snow forest thing. That just seemed a bit bizarre to me.
Rhys Ifans plays Hook, which I actually thought he was a good choice for the role. He was ok, but he’s done a lot better and could have done better. He was good at playing a Hook that wasn’t a cartoon villain. I just wish he would’ve had more development in the character. Bob Hoskins plays Smee, essentially reprising his role from the Spielberg Hook. His performance in Hook was a lot better, though he was given a larger role in that movie. Here is is basically wasted. Keira Knightly is another star name added to the. Anyone who got their hopes up for this, don’t. She plays the voice of Tinkerbell. I honestly didn’t recognize it and I only knew because I looked on IMDB before watching. That and Tinkerbell again is another wasted role here. Q’orianka Kilcher plays Aaya, the chieftains daughter (what else?). I’ve seen her in other movies and liked here, so I’m not entirely sure what the deal was with this movie. She played a pretty stiff character which I wasn’t fond of. That and for whatever reason, her character spoke very stunted english. Most of the time. You could hear Kilcher talking better every now and then which made it even more bizarre. That and the other’s talked perfectly normal. I’m not sure whose decision that was, but she didn’t pull it off, whatever way it was supposed to go. Charlie Rowe plays Peter. I don’t really have a lot of thoughts in this. He was okay.
SyFy built a nice premise, wasted money on some big names for either pointless roles or doing god knows what with them and just kind of lead the second episode down hill. The first part was better. It seemed to move faster. The second part was just kinda blergh.
Some may like it, others not so much. It wasn’t so bad that I would tell people to just avoid it. It’s mostly a matter of whether you’re a fan of Pan and/or SyFy.
My advisor told me to watch this at my last meeting, so I did. It’s nice being able to watch movie as research for senior thesis.
Heathers was an interesting movie. On one hand the movie is like a lot of 80s teen comedies. It’s all about the various clicks in high school manly the popular vs unpopular students. Nothing new on that set up. The movie twists that view quite a bit. The students and parents are very much exaggerations of what they are making fun of, but they still manage to keep some realism there. The other twist is that the movie is incredibly dark. The movie is sort of about teen suicide, but more so it’s about acting on those little dark impulses everybody has, but doesn’t want to admit to. I love this idea. I actually wrote a short story about it, though I got odd looks. It’s like admitting to talking to yourself. It’s not something you openly discuss or admit to. Back to the movie though, it looks at those little urges people have when you “wish was dead” or you have the urge to hit someone or act out if they’re frustrating to you, but of course (usually) you don’t act on those impulses.
Anyways, the movie is a dark comedy. I love dark comedies usually. This one, I was not so fond of. It was funny in places, but most of that wasn’t really dark humor. Again, maybe I’m just missing things, but it wasn’t much of a comedy to me. That and it seemed to run a little long by the end. Especially the boiler room stuff.
Regardless of how much you laugh during the movie, it is still a good movie, more so because of the content the film explores. I wouldn’t advise watching this if you wanted to just relax and have some laughs. For me it wasn’t that funny of movie. It was more of a drama with some humor in it. Worth checking out, but really only if your a fan of darker themed movies.