Posts tagged film
Posts tagged film
I am not a James Bond fan. I’ve never been a James Bond fan. Prior to Daniel Craig, I had never seen a Bond movie in its entirety. However, I do think I have seen both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace on DVD at some point but I can not remember anything that happened in them. So that gives you an idea of my relationship with the James Bond franchise and how I went into Skyfall.
The only reason I saw Skyfall in theaters was to treat my father for his birthday. I love action movies and thrillers so I figured even though I’m not an avid Bond fan, I’d still find the film an enjoyable use of time. However, I was blown away by how good it actually was. I very much enjoyed it. There were a few points where I felt it dragged and I wanted to check the time, but as a whole it was far better than I expected.
When I first heard they were rebooting the Spider-man movie franchise, I was a bit skeptical. I know the original trilogy had its downfalls and the cast is probably too old now to return to their roles, but the movies are still fresh in many peoples minds which makes a reboot risky. I love Andrew Garfield as an actor. I think he is very talented, but going into the movie I was concerned with his ability to play a convincing Spider-man.
In the ten years since the Spider-man movie starring Tobey Maguire first debuted, technology has vastly improved as has the status of comic book films. Both of these aspects raised my interest in seeing the reboot. With the success of Marvel’s The Avengers earlier this summer, I had high hopes that The Amazing Spider-man would impress in a similar fashion.
While The Amazing Spider-man is a good movie, it failed to achieve greatness.
Upon the completion of the film, the first word that came to mind was “cute.” I know that isn’t what most film goers are going to want to hear of the film, but in actuality, Men In Black 3 is simply cute. I can’t think of a more appropriate word. It is very family and kid friendly. There isn’t too much fighting or action that would be inappropriate for even younger children. I’d say despite the PG 13 rating, it is appropriate for all ages.
The film as a whole seems to be getting mixed reviews. Either critics loved it, or hated it. I can see where both sides are coming from, but I do lean more toward enjoying it. However, I did enjoy the second Men In Black film, while most people prefer the original. In my opinion, the first is a classic, but the second is much lighter and entertaining than the first.
When I first heard the that the board game Battleship was being turned into a movie, I thought I must have heard it wrong. The game is not all that exciting. It combines some strategy and mental exercise, but mostly it’s a game of luck and chance. It never was a favorite of mine growing up, so the thought of it becoming a movie just seemed absurd. I couldn’t imagine actively playing the game for 2+ hours, let alone sit through a movie about it.
The previews did nothing to engage my interest further into the film. I liked how they went about making the energy field that acted as a barrier between ships, but other than that, the trailers just made it look like a Transformers-like film. The only part that intrigued me was Liam Neeson. He usually does good films, so I hoped if he were connected to it, it would be better than I expected.
Disclaimer: I am not an avid comic book fan, so my review is based solely on the films.
To say that Avengers has been years in the making is an understatement. Marvel first debuted Iron Man in 2008 with the plan to make its way to Avengers by first debuting a series of origin stories of the characters necessary for the Avengers film. While I loved the concept from its early stages, it always seemed too far away. Every film left me wanting more, and waiting for this highly anticipated film. Finally the wait is over. The Avengers have assembled, and it was worth every second of the wait.
Often times I find making fans and audiences wait too long for a film can backfire and end up hurting a film or franchise in the end. Hype is great to a certain extent, it pushes for a larger film opening. The problem is hype can be pushed too far and reach levels no film can match. Many movies just don’t live up to the hype and excitement proceeding them. Luckily for fans everywhere, that is not the case with Avengers. The movie met and exceeded all my expectations.
I had the pleasure of working as part of the Screening Crew for the 2012 TriBeCa Film Festival at the School of Visual Arts Theater in Chelsea, New York. My venue hosted three of the four screening’s of Struck By Lightning. Of the three, I worked two of them in which I met a lot of Struckers and Gleeks but I also met a lot of new/potential fans who didn’t know much about the film, which was quite enjoyable as well. The remaining show of the three, I did attend as a guest and was treated to a phenomenal screenwriting debut by Chris Colfer.
Struck By Lightning tells the story of misfit high schooler Carson Phillips, played by Chris Colfer, who’s only goal in life is to get out of his small town, graduate from Northwestern University, and then go on to have one of the most prestigious and successful journalism careers of all time. Unfortunately for Carson, graduating high school and surviving its trials is ultimately what he needs to focus on before he can begin his future.
I know American Reunion has been out for a few weeks, making my review now late, but after seeing it this weekend, I felt it was deserving of mention here.
I have not seen all the American Pie films, nor have I seen the original in several years. This being said, my perspective on the film may be different than most of the avid fans of the comedy franchise. I did like the first film, but am not a huge fan of “sex” comedies, as I find many of them trying too hard and never successfully finding the right groove. I’m also not typically a fan of this type of humor on its own. I need characters and plot too, to make the movie stand on its own apart from the jokes. This is where the American Pie franchise succeeds.
While the original American Pie can be categorized as a “sex comedy,” American Reunion, in my opinion, is much more toned down. Yes, there still are the exposed breasts and sexual references, but it didn’t seem as crude and in your face. It felt more grown up, which is fitting, as the film is 13 years into these characters futures. I very much enjoyed the comedy, and felt it was balanced very well with the story the movie told and with the character’s at this stage of their lives.
The characters and their life stories are what makes American Reunion a good movie. The characters from the original were, and still are, so captivating and interesting that people want to see what happens to them. While this can be ruined with a bad script or happening too soon, I think the length of time between the last film and this one was long enough to make people wonder what has happened. Fans become connected to the characters and it’s nice to be able to see how things turn out for them in the future.
The nostalgia of the film and the characters is also going to help viewers connect with this film. For many, like myself, this may be the first time in years that we’re seeing these people and their story again. It’s nice to see a new movie, with friendly faces. While the story itself is not new and relies on the successes of the previous films, the nostalgia of those moments make them relevant and funny.
Although I went into American Reunion not knowing if I would like it or if my lack of familiarity with all the films in the franchise would hurt my understanding of the story, I ended up really enjoying what I saw. Maybe it was the fact I had no expectations for the movie that allowed it to shine and succeed in my eyes. I did not expect to enjoy the movie as much as I did. The story was fun. The characters were still interesting and entertaining, and the acting was amazing. It is a reunion you won’t want to miss.
I first read The Hunger Games in the fall of 2008, shortly after the books release. I was immediately captivated by the story. I did not want to put it down. Growing up I loved reading, but there was a time that I grew out of it, and turned more toward movies, music and television. The Hunger Games brought reading back to me, and reminded me how truly amazing books can be. For an fans of the movie who have yet to read the book, I strongly urge you to do so; as is the case with almost all books turned movies, the book is far superior to the film.
This being said, initially I had mixed feelings about The Hunger Games being turned into a film. I still feel this way. While I love the story, I was afraid there was a lot film makers would not be able to do and a lot of brutal stuff that I did not understand how they could make the movie without an R rating, and still that seemed toned down from what I imagined when reading the books.
My major concern was using live actors to portray the story and what doing so would mean. Using cartoons or animation would have been cheesy and far less people would have supported it, yet using live actors has its own set of problems. While reading The Hunger Games, I (as well many readers, I would imagine) thought it was awful how the citizens of the capitol and even the districts watched the Hunger Games and celebrated the death of the children, how watching the games was a sort of entertainment for some people. Now, we film viewers, are doing the same thing. We are watching the Hunger Games unfold as well. Viewers of The Hunger Games film are not all that different than viewers of the Hunger Games in the book and movie. Both audiences want a good show. Both audiences root for their favorites and cry for fallen tributes that they may have liked. The only difference is, we see more sides of the story and root for the morally right side, despite enjoying the view of the story along the way. In the end, we are still watching it. (I believe this is a very detailed and interesting topic and plan to post a longer, more in depth look at this idea later this week.)
Moving past that whole argument, what the writers and filmmakers behind The Hunger Games (2012) did and how they presented the story was very delicately handled. The story and visuals were extremely toned down from the book. I have heard many complaints about this, as people wanted to see the violence, to which my only response is see my thoughts above and then send you a “Welcome to the Capital” care basket. I am truly grateful that they took this approach, I feel this was the only way to tell the story while also doing the book justice and not taking away that meaning of the story. While the extent of the story and the depiction of it is toned down for a younger audience as well as a more sympathetic audience, there is plenty that can be left to the imagination if one truly wishes to visualize it further.
I will be the first to admit that I have always had reservations regarding the acting choices for the film. While I do not know if the cast was the best it could have been, I did enjoy the majority of the cast’s performances in the film after seeing it. Many of my initial concerns were regarding the actors appearance. Although there were wigs, make up and dyed hair, some of the actors looked more of the part than others.
There are many things about Midnight in Paris that appealed to me prior to seeing the film. There was the stellar cast, the interesting storyline filled with art and literature of the past, and the poster for the film.
As an artist who loves the work of the later 19th and early 20th centuries, the idea of a film representing some of the great cultural work at the time was fascinating. Of all the artists throughout history, Vincent Van Gogh is my favorite. His night sky paintings are some of the most beautiful and breathtaking works of art I have had the pleasure of viewing. I was excited to see Starry Night alluded to in the poster for the film. I expected that Van Gogh and his work would have a place in the movie. However, I was very disappointed to see he was not in the film, nor was there any mention of him. This is a sad overstep as I believe Van Gogh was truly one of the most brilliant artists at the time and his work lead way to what would become modernism, the theme of the film. This is probably my most serious criticism of the film. I understand that Van Gogh was not alive in the 1920’s when most of the past scenes were from, but the use of his work in the promotional poster, lead me to believe his art would have some influence or mention in the story, and it did not. While I wish that his contributions to modernism were at least mentioned in the film, I think the films poster would have been better severed featuring work of artists depicted in the film.
Despite the lack of Van Gogh, the film did feature a number of artistic and literary legends including Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, F Scott Fitzgerald and wife Zelda, Picasso, Mattisse, Salvador Dali, Man Ray, Luis Brunel and even Degas, Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec. I enjoyed how the story flowed through the different artists and writers as Gil (Owen Wilson) came to terms with himself and the personal problems he was facing in life. The theme of modernism and nostalgia tied all the different elements of the film together.
Midnight in Paris was only enhanced by its fabulous star-studded cast. Each of the actors and actress’s in the film delivered genuine performances in their respective roles. They helped make the story come to life.
As a whole, the plot of Midnight in Paris was very interesting and creative. I enjoyed the way the story was told, and how various things were achieved. My only complaint comes when I look at the film for more than an artistic venture. As someone who enjoys science fiction and fantasy, time travel is a touchy subject. There are many films and series that attempt time travel, and very few of these feel authentic. I don’t mind Gil going back in time each night at midnight. I see this not as time travel, but more along the lines of the magic of the city of lights helping guide visitors in discovering what they need to grow in life. Gil learns from his experience in the past to accept the future. He eventually finds happiness in the time period where he belongs. All of which I am fine with, however, Adriana choosing to stay in the 1890s and the missing detective are what bothers me. There should some rules to how this magic/time travel works. The ramifications of her actions would alter the course of history. Despite this, I know very few people who see this film will be thinking about such things, making it a minuscule matter.
Midnight in Paris is certainly not for everyone. While the film is a romantic comedy of sorts, it’s not necessarily a “date movie,” unless of course, both parties were a fan of modernism and found that theme of interest. For the common movie patron, the movie won’t be appealing with out an interest in the culture of 1920’s Paris and the art surrounding the time.
Prior to seeing a trailer for Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol, my only familiarity with the MI franchise was the awesome theme music. Despite being a fan of action movies, I was too young to get into the franchise when it debuted, and as I got older I just never picked it up. However, once I saw the preview for Ghost Protocol I was instantly interested and couldn’t wait for it to come out. In preparation for the fourth installment, I figured it was about time I saw the first three films. While I enjoyed the original Mission Impossible trilogy, going into MI4 I had a very high expectation. The previews for the film were so captivating, I hoped it could live up to the hype.
The newest installment of the franchise follows Tom Cruise as IMF agent Ethan Hunt as he and his new team must save the world and clear the name of the IMF agency after they are shut down and blamed for the bombing at the Kremlin. With no one to trust but each other and no new equipment or technology, the rouge team must overcome a number of challenges along the way.
Ghost Protocol is a non-stop action thrill ride with well timed stunts and fight sequences. The plot is exciting despite being similar to the other three films. There is a certain formula to all spy movies, viewers who accept this and enjoy the acting and thrill of the film will be pleased; viewers who want a completely new format and story will be disappointed. It wouldn’t be a blockbuster spy movie if the world wasn’t in jeopardy of some major terrorist attack with only one man/team to save it all.
I was very impressed with Ghost Protocol. Tom Cruise definitely proved that he still has it. While it was obvious he had to work harder at the stunts, it fit well into the story and made his character more believable. I don’t know if its the writing or Tom Cruise’s acting but one of thing thing I like most about the MI movies is I don’t feel Ethan Hunt takes himself too seriously. The four Mission Impossible films seem playful and fun, while some spy movies seem too serious and pompous. There is a lightness to Ethan Hunt and Cruise’s portrayal of him.
Jeremy Renner was a perfect addition to the cast. His portrayal of IMF analyst William Brandt was fantastic. He perfectly balanced the badass field agent with the mysterious simple analyst. Renner and Cruise work really well together dynamically. I would love to see how the relationship between their two characters change and evolves in the fifth movie.
Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol is an excellent addition to the Mission Impossible Trilogy. It adds to an already great franchise. I appreciate that through all four films, the series has held its own and kept making movies with interesting stories that are worth being told and not relying solely on the franchise and actors names to carry the projects. In my opinion MI4 is just as good if not better than some of the previous films.