This was a great book and a breakout YA hit. And, of course, this is one of the most anticipated movies of the year, particularly for book lovers. I take a look at the pros and cons of both mediums.
The concept for Sucker Punch, whacked as it is, is actually pretty decent. The movie is also gorgeous and stylized. Yet… it just doesn’t really work at any rational level. Part Kill Bill, part Pan’s Labyrinth, part Inception, part Sin City, part video game cut scene, this film is all CGI glitz and fetishistic style.
This is a very dark road horror movie shot in the days before anything was digital. Still, it’s more watchable even now than many a newer film. It has excellent direction, stylish cinematography by Cameron alum Adam Greenberg and an awesome moody Tangerine Dream score.
Besides the shameless grab at our wallets BDP1 is certainly the most cringeworthy episode yet. First of all, from a structural point of view, the first half has no conflict. Therefore no plot. But I enjoyed myself during the film. I laughed a lot. A real lot. But it was “at” not “with.”
Eclipse is clearly the lame duck of the three pre-Breaking-Dawn Twilight films. It’s so cheesy that it makes the original and New Moon seem high art. First of all, the A-story is about as weighty as a sesame seed. It’s the B-story (romance) that holds the focus this this film.
In honor of the upcoming return of everyone’s favorite sparkly vampires, I rewatched the earlier offerings. Oh, where to begin. The cheese is so thick in this series that it might as well be set in a Paris fromagerie. But it does have a certain charm. Hands down the best part of the whole series is Kristen Stewart. I have to admit, I do kind of like her. Here she’s severely hampered by the script, but she still makes the best of it. In better movies, like the brilliant Adventureland, she shines (and I’m not talking the CGI sparkle kind of shine).
The trailer actually looks pretty good. A hair cheesy, but not all Twilighted out or anything. For those of you who haven’t read it, the book (at least the first of the three) is pretty darn excellent. The second two devolve into pseudo-political nonsense reminiscent of the Zion scenes in the later Matrix movies. But the first is a fantastic and intense read.
The new Conan is surely a guilty pleasure for the fantasy hound like myself. Yeah, the plot and characterization is a little weak, but it is gorgeous, and the action is comprehensible. I have to admit, I enjoyed it. It’s certainly faster paced than the awesome although slightly dated and admittedly cheesy original.
During the long long dark ages of fantasy filmmaking, before the wonder that is Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings, or the epic new HBO Game of Thrones, we fantasy fans had to be content with a sorry set of films indeed. Above the pathetic likes of Willow and Krull, the 1982 Dino De Laurentiis epic starring the pre-Terminator Mr. Universe was high art indeed.
It’s interesting that in the last year or so there have been two movies about the Roman legion “lost” in North Britain during the Hadrianic period. It just goes to prove that Hollywood loves to copy. Two volcano movies? Two Wyatt Earp films? Two Lambada films? And, to boot, it’s unlikely the legion was actually “lost” (as in militarily). More likely it was just disbanded and the sketchy historical record makes it seem to have disappeared.
This post isn’t so much a review of the 4th Pirates installment, but an little digression on its amusing relationship to one of my favorite books. What’s interesting here is that Disney put “suggested by the novel On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers” in the credits and felt it needed to option the novel just to include the two basic elements of Blackbeard and the Fountain. Nothing else. Still, it’s a fun movie, better and more self contained than either Pirates 2 or 3.
Directory Darren Aronofsky fuses stylistic traits from his ultra surreal films (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain) with the more documentary style The Wrestler into this psychological thriller. While oblique in terms of what’s actually happening, it’s positively crystal clear in comparison to that earlier trio.
Other than Marvel’s apparent desire to pull a kind of cinematic equivalent of the 1980s “Secret Wars” there really aren’t a lot of reasons why this movie needed making. It’s actually kind of bizarre, and I can’t really imagine that the Thor (as in comic) audience is immense. Although maybe I’m wrong.