Archive for the Previews or Reviews Category

The Twilight Series

Posted in Previews or Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on November 9, 2008 by fourshots

So, about a week ago I finished the fourth installment in the Twilight series.  Chances are you might have heard of this in some form.  Whether it be the books which have been huge hits, predominantly the female market, or the movie which premieres later this month.  Having read the books, I can understand the hype, the movie has been slowly generating buzz being called the next Harry Potter.

The books are written by Stephenie Meyer, a mormon mom from…Washington I think?  And to be honest they really are awesome.  I could hardly put them down, though truth be told that tends to be the same with a majority of the books I read.  I can say however that the story is the best that features vampires that I have ever heard, read or seen.  The author brings fresh and original ideas to this genre.

The books greatest strength in its portrayal of relationships, most notably the love triangle between Edward, Bella and Jacob.  However it also resonates in the Cullen family, relationships between vampires and werewolves and between the “vegetarian” Cullens and the rest of the vamp population.  This focus on relationships probably explains why the books are so popular with women.  In some places the books dragged a bit and were slightly cheesy and overly mushy, though it obviously wasn’t enough to deter me.

The most disappointing aspect was the lack of real action.  Meyer has a knack for building suspense and setting the stage for a great showdown but falls short of delivering a satisfying climax.  There is one great fight/action sequence in the third book that I loved and numerous points where the suspense gets amped up and drew me in, on the whole I was somewhat let down though.

The movie….I have quite a few problems with it already.  For one it feels rushed, which is understandable since the book series doesn’t seem like it will continue for the moment and the studio wants to capitalize on the hype following the release of Breaking Dawn (the fourth book).  The casting has a few selections I’m not crazy about, but the primary characters of Edward, Bella, Jacob and most of the Cullen family seem fine, with the exception of Carlisle.  I’ll reserve judgement for now though.  The filmmaker, I forget her name, she did Thirteen and Lords of Dogtown, I honestly feel like shes going to fuck the movie up with trying to put more action into it.  First off it’s tasteless and fake looking, from the way Edward runs (he’s fast), scampers up trees (seriously wtf?) and fights (the absolute fucking cheesiest crap).  Its clear that she threw these in there to try to attract a male audience, which is something I totally get behind since the films need more action than the books provide.  But damn if you’re gonna do something you have to do it right.  Take a look around, its the comic book movie age, fight scenes are cooler, more stylish and better done than ever.  These vampires should be the epitome of stylish movements, in the book they are.  They’re fast, strong, nible and dexterous, in the movie they look like humans on wires.  Ultimately I’m just afraid that this aspect will kill the movie’s credibility.  If you’re gonna put all that action in either do it right, or don’t do it at all.

That being said, teen girls are going to make this a hit because they all want their own obsessed vampire to fuck them roughly and cover their body in bruises. (That got your attention eh?)

I can see the film pulling in $130 mil.

Dark Knight Anyone?

Posted in General, Previews or Reviews with tags , , , , , on July 18, 2008 by fourshots

So for all you losers who don’t care to follow films, The Dark Knight came out overnight.  Its apparently the second coming of christ.  I probably won’t get the opportunity to check it out until Sunday so for anyone who sees it let me know what you think.

Also make sure you’re in time for the previews, theres a trippy trailer for Watchmen (a graphic novel I know nothing about) on there…. or you can just watch it here:

http://www.apple.com/trailers/wb/watchmen/hd/

It looks pretty ridiculous and is that song awesomely haunting or what.  Its apparently The Beginning is the End is the Beginning by Smashing Pumpkins.  Though I downloaded it and the version I got sounds much different, could be a remix or whatever.  If anyone knows let me know so I can listen to it over and over again until I get sick of it.

I’m heading to Boston tonight to get in touch with some of the coolest people in the world, deaf people.

Tomorrow is Manic’s grad party which should be silly fun.

I Found It Fun but WANTED More!!!!!!

Posted in Previews or Reviews with tags , , , on July 3, 2008 by fourshots

I finally saw ‘Wanted’ yesterday and as the title of the post implies I was slightly let down.  That’s not to say I didn’t thoroughly enjoy the film, don’t get me wrong there were several sequences that I just loved.  But as a whole the film just wasn’t what I wanted it to be.  If I had to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10 I’d give it a six, and here’s why.

  • Pacing, the start of the movie feels perfectly paced as Wesley barely contains his pulsing rage and teeters on the edge of losing all control.  From the moment he joins the Fraternity the film flips into high gear and doesn’t take a second to stop and let the viewer enjoy what they’re seeing.  It went too fast and packed in too much in too little time.
  • Spoiler here, skip this if you want to be surprised by the ending. The story itself, at least the way it played out, any film that leaves every single character except for the main character dead is tough to pull off.  I just found myself really disappointed by this but maybe that’s just me being upset that Fox dies.
  • Casting, I honestly feel like they got this all wrong.  Now before I go further I should note that I have never read the source material so I have no idea what kind of characters these were in the comic.  With that said, as much as I love McAvoy, I feel like he was all wrong for the part.  He’s the kind of actor who shines when he’s holding things in, emotion, rage, love etc… The moment the part demands that he lets these things out is when he started not to work for me.  Actually let me take that back, the moment where we’re supposed to believe he becomes the greatest assassin ever over the course of what, a month?  Is where the film lost me, he just doesn’t look like he fits the part.  I also have a problem with Morgan Freeman, I just didn’t like him as Sloan.
  • Lastly, I didn’t like that this movie just felt like a joyride instead of getting deeper into it’s stories and characters.  When you’ve got two main actors like McAvoy and Freeman you really should take advantage of what they have to offer rather than just glazing the surface of their acting skills and riding out their names.
  • Take one point off for each bullet there and you’ll see how I came to 6 out of 10.  The movie got a huge bonus point for a shot of Angelina’s pristine ass which stands as my third favorite scene.  My top two are when Wesley returns to his apartment to retrieve his father’s gun, the chemistry between him and Jolie is electric.  And the number one scene in the film is when Wesley finally lets out the wolf in him, best use of a keyboard prop ever and the best delivered line in the film…

    “I’m the Man”

    Atonement

    Posted in Previews or Reviews with tags , , on June 25, 2008 by fourshots

    I got this film a short while ago and found myself sitting down to watch it today.  My main reason for doing so was because I wanted to see James McAvoy in action before checking out Wanted this weekend.  It’s a movie that has been very well recieved by audiences and critics alike.  Based off of Ian McEwan’s novel of the same name, Atonement is quite the captivating film.  Two aspects of this film stood out to me, the first and most important is the performances the film gets out of it’s three lead actors.  Keira Knightly and McAvoy both turn in powerful performances, McAvoy most notably.  He performs with such passion that it becomes evident in every expression on his face, thats where most of his acting is in any case.  I said three lead actors because there’s another character who drives the story, the role is split between two actresses (well three if you count the last two minutes of the movie.)  The actress who plays the young girl totally nails it, when we see her five years later I wasn’t so sold on that actress who steps in the part.  That’s not to say the older actress does a bad job, it’s easy to think so in the company of such great performances.  So the second aspect of this film is its cinematography.  There are sequences that are amazingly done to capture the vibe of moments, that rush of emotion that surrounds regret, excitement or love.  It’s a tough thing to do with a camera which makes it all the more enjoyable when someone gets it right.

    Speaking of camerawork, before I mentioned I was watching Atonement because I wanted to see McAvoy before checking him out in Wanted, which comes out this weekend.  You should all go see Wanted, for a number of reasons.

    1. After seeing Atonement I’m sold on McAvoy, anyone who can express so much without saying a word deserves the benefit of the doubt.  I have no doubt his performance in Wanted will rock, as long as it’s in the hands of capable people…which brings me to point two.
    2. Timur Bekmambetov, Russia’s greatest export since…well vodka or something I don’t know.  This guy can handle actors, he gets great performances and he can structure his films very well.  He also can produce stunning visual sequences that will make your jaw drop.
    3. Angelina Jolie, come on….those tattoos are friggen hot.

    I’m banking alot of my credibility as a critic on this movie delievering.  In all fairness though, Wanted won’t be for everyone.  However if you’re the kind of person who approaches films with an open mind, I doubt you’d walk away from it disappointed.

    I finally updated my about page and expect a change in this design soon.

    **Also, I meant to mention that McAvoy is rumored to be playing Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit.  It fits, he can do fantasy characters, the only role I knew him in was in the first Chronicles of Narnia, he played the Faun…which for some reason makes me lol all ovar.

    5 Movies You Probably Haven’t Seen But Should See As Soon As Humanly Possible

    Posted in Previews or Reviews with tags , on June 19, 2008 by fourshots

    I figured the best way to get this section off to a good start was to give a list of some of the movies that have flown under most audiences radars despite being great films that deserved much more attention.  Bear in mind this list is in no way comprehensive as there’s just no way I could remember every great movie I’ve seen and simply haven’t seen every movie.  As well as there being plenty of great films that have flown under my extra large radar, feel free to comment and point out great ones I’ve missed or disagree and call me an incomprehensible idiot for ever suggesting these.

    Dirty Love DVD

    5. Dirty Love

    Starring – Jenny McCarthy, Eddie Kaye Thomas and Carmen Electra

    I know, I know and I get it, but for one second forget every attempt at humor Miss McCarthy has ever made.  Forget Singled Out, forget The Jenny McCarthy Show and forget all those spreads in Playboy, well not those actually.  Dirty Love despite being panned across the board by most reviewers is one of the funnier films that I have seen.  I think the humor caters a lot towards a younger audience and you definitely have to approach this film with an open mind.  I actually started out watching it expecting to hate it but halfway through the film I was in tears…tears from laughter that is.  Its got such a unique swagger to its humor that you can tell it was written by a female (McCarthy wrote it for anyone who didn’t pick that up) and it really is genuinely silly fun.  All I can say is everyone who was present when I watched it thoroughly enjoyed it as well, you probably will too if you give it the chance.

    Little Miss Sunshine

    4. Little Miss Sunshine

    Starring – Abigale Breslin, Greg Kinnear and Steve Carell

    I’m very conflicted in putting this on my list simply because I’m not so sure its flown under anyone’s radar.  I mean we all know it did at first but then everyone and their mother was all SEE THIS FILM, and I think a lot those people actually did go out and see it, and loved it of course.  So for the few of you who haven’t seen this film, do so as soon as possible.

    Thank You for Smoking

    3. Thank You For Smoking

    Starring – Aaron Eckhart, Eric Haberman and J.K. Simmons

    What Jerry Maguire was for Tom Cruise, Thank You For Smoking is for Aaron Eckhart, only without ya’know the kind of instant celebrity that came to Tom afterward.  Though wait a minute, in all fairness Tom Cruise was already a very established star before Jerry Maguire and the appeal of Jerry Maguire was one that catered to a much larger audience.  Jerry Maguire was a feel good movie with a lot of heart, Thank You For Smoking is a satirical comedy with just as much heart.  Aaron Eckhart owns this movie from start to finish and really delivers a quality film that is both funny, insightful and touching.  It absolutely amazes me that more people have not seen this film.

    Daywatch

    2. Nightwatch/Daywatch

    Starring – No one you know

    These two movies if given the chance, time and focus they require for you to completely understand what is happening, will blow your mind.  The only reason these are not higher on this list is because I don’t have enough confidence in my readers to fully appreciate these for what they are.  Think sci-fi and fantasy brought completely modern in ways you have never imagined.  This series is frightening and inspired and amazingly original in its ideas.  Granted its all based off of books yes but I’ve never read those so its all new to me here on film.  Timur Bekmambetov, the director, is a master of visual arts.  If you can’t bring yourself around to watch these at least check out his American debut this summer with Wanted (which I pretty much guarantee will kick some serious ass).  Also for those of you who do actually enjoy these films, the third and final chapter, Duskwatch is coming up.  Don’t worry, I’ll be on top of it right here.

    Brick

    1. Brick

    Starring – Jason Gordon-Levitt, Nora Zehetner and Luke Haas

    “Film noir meets high school” That’s the tag line for this film or “A Detective Story” and either one works.  This film for lack of better description is just so damn cool!! For an indie film to pull of a masterpiece like this is so rare and an amazing accomplishment for rookie director Rian Johnson.  Jason Gordon-Levitt shines and plays his part to perfection.  He’s funny, likable and keeps us on the edge about what exactly drives him through this story.  The pacing of the film is probably a bit fast for most people but if you can keep up with the dialogue you’ll love it.  Never before have high school kids been this smart or sharp.  And ultimately it keeps you guessing til the very end.  These guys knocked this film out of the park.

    I started this list with the intention of giving you 10 movies, but that was looking a bit challenging so I cut it down to five which I think works better for all means and purposes.  There’s something for everyone in this list, (okay so theres no romantic comedy chick flick, but ladies trust me you’ll love the humor of Dirty Love, I’ll work on the chick flick part).  So the next time you’re at Blockbuster walk right by the run of the mill Hollywood flick and check out some of these, they’re all fairly recent so you shouldn’t have trouble finding them and I guarantee you’ll be glad you picked them up.