Archive for July, 2011
Of course I had to go and see Transformers III. There is no escape from a technoweenie blockbuster this big featuring talking machines which begins with a lingering 3D close-up of former Abercrombie and Fitch model Rosie Huntington-Whitely long luscious legs and bottom. I could hear the sighs in the crowded theater as the camera lingered on the postierior
Michael Bay and everyone
Well, it’s finally here and it’s kind of a bitter pill to swallow. No more Harry Potter movies to look forward to. On one hand, that’s a real drag as it’s been one of my favorite series from the very first movie to this last, brilliant installment that completes the circle.
On the other hand, part of me is happy about it, I’m kind of sick of seeing Harry suffer through life with the dark lord on his trail. And yes, this movie brings it all together, answers many questions, creates just a few in the process and makes you feel glad that you invested the time into the series. Brilliantly written, JK Rowling crafted an amazing, rich world, compelling characters and an engaging story that sets the bar up there with writers like Tolkien (for me anyway). I don’t want to say too much about it as you just have to see it and if you’re into it enough to read this review, you probably planned to see it way before you got to this website.
If you haven’t seen it, or any of them for that matter…You’re really missing out, if not for the craftsmanship alone. Besides my previous accolades, the directing is top notch with David Yates back at the helm bringing to life from the pages his usual detailed, visually stunning world of magic. The performances the actors all put on is at their peak, they “bring it” as it were. Not a weak link in the chain. Daniel Radcliffe and Alan Rickman were the stand outs for me. It was nice to see Emma Watson and Rupert Grint as mature young adults, it’s amazing how young they were when they started this. One criticism – I could’ve used more of the other side of the story just because I love watching Ralph Fiennes as you-know-who. Big fan. However, I do realize that it’s mostly about Harry and answering some major questions.
I can’t say enough good things about this series and it’s finale. I could keep going but my compliments would only continue to be, well, complimentary, so you get it. Go see it in the theater, at least once. I’m going for round 2 IMAX soon…
reviewed by Sean McKnight
Based on a graphic novel, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World tells the story of girl breaks up with boy, boy dates younger girl as a rebound, boy falls for other girl, other girl has 7 evil exes that boy must fight for her love. Your typical love triangle, sort of.
Michael Cera stars at Scott Pilgrim who is recovering
Much fun! Wish I had seen this one in the theater…
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is loosely inspired by Disney’s masterpiece Fantasia. Nicholas Cage’s Balthazar is a master sorcerer, a former apprentice of the legendary Merlin, in search of the heir to Merlin’s power. During his search, his arch nemesis (and former best friend) Maxim Horvath (played by the excellent Alfred Molina) seeks the prison of the witch he worships, Morgana Le Fay who wants to take over the world.
Jay Baruchel is caught in the middle as the Prime Merliner, the heir to Merlin’s power, the only one who can vanquish Morgana. The story follows a familiar story, but one that is always fun to watch. There’s some enjoyable backstory thrown into the beginning that’s a slight left turn and interesting. Ultimately, it will end probably how you’ll expect, but again, you probably won’t care and just enjoy the ride.
This is the perfect vehicle for Jerry Bruckheimer. It’s grandiose, full of effects and has a fun undertone but doesn’t hit cheesy. I usually bitch and moan about the holes in some of his other work but with this, if there’s a hole, just fill it with magic. Which is one of the things that makes this work, the magic is fun to watch, as well as the battles, the sorcerer-in-training segments, the awkward young adult love story going on in the background, it’s all good. I also noticed some consistencies with Bruckheimer’s productions: high end effects, grandiose plotlines, and dog fart gags. As I said, this film is a great vehicle for his style.
The acting is pretty good although Nick Cage gets a little over the top at times and Baruchel’s awkward geek guy almost gets a little too self-effacing to the point of annoyance but manages to keep it within an acceptable range. Alfred Molina is consistently good in pretty much anything he does, his Horvath is not afraid to try to kill those who get in his way but does it in a charming kind of way. Teresa Palmer as Becky Barnes the love interest has a nice demeanor, Monica Bellucci seems a bit under-used.
Bottom line here is see it. It’s fun, great visuals, good story, solid cast. Look for the nods to Fantasia and Mickey, they’re in there, just let the credits roll…
reviewed by Sean McKnight
Is it June 2011 already? Lord-a-mercy! Coming attractions, previews, teaser reels, buzz generating sizzle vids, etc
This time it’s DC’s turn to throw down in the comic book movie summer schedule. Surprisingly, they chose one of the more unknowns in the roster with Green Lantern. I like this comic and used to collect it as a kid, I’ve thought for awhile that this would be a cool movie especially from an effects standpoint.
Unfortunately it didn’t quite turn out to be what I had hoped for…
You can see that they really went for it with this film. It’s grandiose as far as design and story as it’s set in 2 worlds, Earth and the home of the Green Lanterns – Oa. Part Top Gun, Star Wars, and super-hero movie, you’d think this would’ve been huge but somehow it manages to be underwhelming.
The storyline is ok, your average reluctant hero that has to face great responsibility. But maybe that’s it… It was just kind of an average origins story. We’ve seen it before, but it’s just another variation to the same theme. While not original, these set ups can still be done in an original way, be it emotional or informative or whatever. Spiderman is a good example of a character going on an emotional ride at the age of 18 (played passionately by Tobey Maguire). Ryan Reynolds’ Hal Jordan character is on such a journey, with his big emotional challenge being fear alongside an additional albatross of responsibility. The problem with this for me was that Reynolds got locked into a fear vibe for too much throughout the movie, he didn’t go much out of that unless it was the occasional cockie dude he does (he does this well). I think some more anger and intensity would’ve been good. His fear presentation is kind of wooden.
The effects are interesting. There are times when they look right on the money, the suit (while it’s a bit cartoony color-wise) is impressively designed and animated, although I could’ve done without the glowy, happy, pulse energy thing that courses throughout. At other times, the effects look very “CG”, especially with Parallax. I’m not saying it’s not well done, it is very nicely done, but it still looks CG and has trouble keeping you in the moment of the terrible destruction he’s supposed to be reigning down.
Hal Jordan does to have a bit of a character arc towards the end, and you welcome it so he takes that weepy look off his face and grows a pair. Overall it was a good character to pick to put on the big screen but it was carried out in an average/bland kind of way.
Some good performances by Blake Lively as Hal’s love interest, Peter Sarsgaard (does a great job here as the demented Hector Hammond), Mark Strong as Sinestro, alongside Angela Bassett and Tim Robbins. A very strong cast across the board. The weak link unfortunately here was Ryan Reynolds. I hate to say that, I’ve seen him do better. I can see he tried but just wasn’t hitting the mark, like he was trying too hard (or worrying about the weight of a 300 million dollar film on his back. Yes, with production and marketing, it was that much.)
Worth seeing in a theater to make up your own mind as enough people liked it that there’s already a sequel that’s been (pun fully intended) green lit. And make sure you stay through the credits (again, the same thing every other super hero movie is doing).
reviewed by Sean McKnight