Archive for July, 2012
There are some purists out there that thought it was too soon for a re-boot here but I don’t think that’s a reason not to see the film. This is obviously a new vision for the character and a new way to present Spidey on-screen. The short of it is that it’s fun to watch but for me didn’t hold up to Sam Raimi’s version (especially the first 2).
I looked into the director of this film (ironically, his name is Marc Webb); who seems to be best known for 500 Days of Summer and music video work. Unfortunately that sort of resonates here as the film is a little too slick looking and comes off kind of stiff and cookie-cutter at times. The problem is that is has a distinctly corporate/commercial feel to it tonally versus Raimi’s perspective of being an actual fan of the comic book.
The story traces the background of Peter Parker and how he came to be Spiderman along with some further illumination about his parents that we haven’t seen on film before. I thought some of the beginning was a little long and drawn out where other parts of the story later on should’ve been more extensive. There’s a hint about Curt Connor’s involvement with regard to Peter’s parents dropped into the dialog that never goes any further than just a hint. Seemed like a big plot point to gloss over…
Visually, the effects are really nicely done (they should be with a 230M budget). Although the colors, editing, music and visual style of Raimi’s vision have a much more organic and comic feel to them compared to the over-slickness of this version. The fight sequences between Spiderman and The Lizard are fun to watch as is Spidey’s slinging around NYC.
I like Andrew Garfield’s work; he brings great passion and enthusiasm to the Peter Parker role. He grew up reading the comic books and his immersion shows. Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy is a good choice as she’s also a very talented actor who knows how to work her emotions fluidly. The rest of the talent is up there as well, all top notch and includes: Rhys Ifans (as Curt Connors), Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Sally Field, Campbell Scott, and C. Thomas Howell.
Overall, the script isn’t as strong and the direction feels a bit commercial and slick, but it’s still fun to watch.
reviewed by Sean McKnight
With the story of the shootings that have been permeating the airwaves, I couldn’t really not mention this terrible event prior to doing this review. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families. Do not let this asshole win, don’t give him the attention he wants. See the film with your families and friends and don’t fear the theaters. If you want to give this incident any attention, focus on helping the victims and their loved ones.
Batman – The Dark Knight Rises
Wow, amazing, the almost 3 hours really flew by. There’s a lot to take in on this one and it’s not something you want to take a bathroom break during. I saw a family of 3 come in about 5 minutes late and they missed a HUGE opening, which is this incredible plane / jet sequence that kept me glued to the screen the whole time.
I don’t want to belabor this review with too many details, best to let the story do the talking. I felt that way about the last movie and the first one as they all have these great detective story aspects to them and great twists to boot. Fans that are well versed in the comic book’s universe will undoubtedly see certain things coming. But that’s also the cool part for me; seeing the things I’ve read about recreated and worked together in a really fluent, compelling way. I think there’s a lot to enjoy both for non-comic book fans and comic book fans alike.
Chris Nolan is back at the helm (he’s also producing the new Superman film coming out next year Man of Steel, very psyched about that one). He brings his style to this in spades creating a visually captivating piece combined with a well crafted story that sews things up nicely while even adding some interesting new tidbits at the end to get you thinking about the future. Overall this is a very fitting way to cap off the trilogy until the next reboot after the Justice League film (yes, they’re doing one).
The acting is great across the board. The only character I felt was a little cartoony was Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman. Sexy, yes, fun, yes, but also gently walking the fine line between cool and cheesy. Luckily she doesn’t get to dance around there too much and has some good anchoring moments to guide her in the right direction. Christian Bale plays Bruce Wayne / Batman as effectively as ever. I’ve always liked him in this role. For me though, I have to give the biggest props to Michael Caine who puts in a command performance as Alfred. Emotional, passionate, just pulled me right in, loved watching him.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Gary Oldman were both intense, especially Gordon-Levitt who holds his own with Oldman on screen, not an easy feat. Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman, and Matthew Modine are all top notch as well. And finally Tom Hardy plays the cold, calculating and brutal Bane with menacing ferocity.
Be sure to check this out in the theater, it’s a great film.
reviewed by Sean McKnight
Ted is all about the funny but with a solid story of growing older and how things change. It’s nice to see that too, sometime with films like this you expect just an onslaught of dick and fart jokes that turns to lameness after the first 10 minutes. Ted actually has heart to it and makes you feel sympathetic about Ted the bear and Mark Wahlberg’s John Bennett character and the dynamics of their relationship.
Ultimately, this is a really funny film. Outrageous at times but not overly done. Seth MacFarlane plays the voice of Ted (who does sound like a relative of Peter Griffin) brilliantly with his style of humor permeating the script. One interesting thing about the Ted character for me was that he didn’t try to hide him, he put Ted the bear out in front of everyone just as this acceptable thing that a live teddy bear lived and breathed and even became a defunct celebrity. I thought that was a fun aspect to the approach of this film.
The CG is great. Ted flows in and out of digital and organic pretty flawlessly. A fun use of the technology done well.
There’s a strong supporting cast in here too, including: Mila Kunis, Giovanni Ribisi, Patrick Warburton, Norah Jones, Sam Jones (from the Flash Gordon movie), Tom Skerrit and Patrick Stewart as the narrator. Everyone is a blast to watch and you can tell that this film had to have been a lot of fun to make.
If you’re a fan of Family Guy and don’t mind a bit more of an edgier version of MacFarlane’s humor, you’ll have a good time watching this movie.
It’s worth seeing just for watching Mark Wahlberg get his ass thoroughly kicked by an animated teddy bear.
reviewed by Sean McKnight
Ok. Generally, I do not return to a movie I have seen recently, even though my memory is nothing to celebrate. However, I had the opportunity to see a second showing of Prometheus. As a result, I need to clarify a couple of things. The production design of many holographic displays and the alien ship
There will be a gangster movie with a whopper cast. Josh Brolin, Nick Nolte, Sean Penn, and more will rid LA of nasty East Coast mafia types, some of whom evoke Jewish and Irish gangsters of decades past. This promises to be a dramatic shoot