I think you should watch.

So last night i decided to throw on a movie while i did some work for some backgroung noise as i so often do. as i was skimming my movie titles deciding on what movie to watch i quickly stopped on a movie i really really like but always forget that it exists so i decided to watch it.

Now why when someone asks me for a good movie recommendation or something they should watch my mind never really goes to Ladder 49, in fact i generally don’t remember that movie exists most of the time. But every now and again something will spark my memory and i will sit back and watch it. and it is great. I don’t know what it is but there is just something really wonderful about this movie.

Lader 49 was released in 2004 and followers the journey of firefighter Jack Morrison (Joaquin Phoenix) as he matures into a seasoned veteran. Jack reaches a crossroads,  as the sacrifices he’s made have put him in harm’s way countless times and has harmed his relationship with his wife and kids. Responding to the worst blaze in his career, he becomes trapped inside a building. And is left to reflect on his life as he waits for rescue.

I nearly cry (I don’t because i am a man) every time i watch this movie. Joaquin’s performance is brilliant and you really feel the struggle he faces as he weighs the decisions in his life. As he sits and waits for rescue he has only the memories of his life. He sits in judgement of himself wondering if there was something he could have done better, and if he has done right by his family.

I’ve only actually watched this movie maybe 2 or 3 times because as i said i often forget about it. but every now and again I will be reminded of it or i will come across it in my library, toss it on the tv, grab a big bowl of buttery popcorn and sit back and enjoy. So I guess i’m going to call this my movie recommendation of the day. It is sure to not disappoint and it was a very riveting change (i have been talking about how movies haven’t been living up to hype these days). If you haven’t watched Ladder 49 your seriously missing out and should check it out.

 

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Transformers DOTM thoughts.

So you may have read a couple days ago me expressing my excitement and my fears about going to see Transformers 3 and the Daunting challenge I issued to Michael Bay about restoring my faith in him.

Well… I saw it. and have very mixed feelings about the movie. I’ve spent the last couple days reliving every action scene in my head and still can’t really decide what i think. It is easily better than the second. You’ll remember i complained about the second not focusing on the Transformers, the third corrected this issue. There are several really good scenes that include only transformers. but to help myself decide i’m going to just list some of my likes and dislikes in this post.

LIke – the new Witwicky love interest is easily as hot as Megan Fox.

Dislike – they removed the 2 bumbling moronic Autobots (the twins) from the second one only to replace them with a slew of equally annoying robots.

(now spoilers follow)

LIke – Leonard Nimoy

Dislike – Having Nimoy say “the needs of the many outway the needs of the few” – this was supposed to be a nice little shout out to startrek fans and people like me who were excited to have 2 of my favorite things combined (Spock and Transformers), but i found that it didn’t trigger my inner (and obvious outer) Trekkie, instead i thought it was almost to lazy and obvious to matter to me. and the line seemed rather tossed in and not well thought out.

Dislike – How I just wrote a big paragraph (that i then deleted) about how the plot in the DOTM is all to convenient. The plan in the third relies entirely on getting Optimus to use the matrix of leadership on Sentinel so that he may control the pillars to bring Cybertron to Earth (which kind of would have been useless had their plan succeeded in the second one killing their entire potential slave force). So the plot of this movie is that Sentinel Prime (frozen on the moon since the mid 1900’s.) came up with a plan with Megatron (frozen on earth since the early 1900’s. that would start to be put into place in the 1960’s that had counted on all of the plot points in the second and first movie to take place. It seems to me that trying to foil your own plan (the plot of the second one to destroy the earth) is the worst way to complete a covert operation. It would have made more sense for them to just quietly find the matrix of leadership (in Egypt where no-one can hear you transform) and then just sit tight until you were ready instead of trying to use it.

(on that note let me just state how much i hate forced sequels… remember when 1 movie was good enough…)

Now all that being said. the action scenes were very enjoyable. The Autobots kick serious ass. there are some great fights. some good jokes. most of the robots are enjoyable. and it focuses on the robots more than the humans.

So. all in all i would say enjoyable action movie. but a sequel that i really didn’t need. it suffered greatly from sequel syndrome and tried to be so much bigger that it just kind of trips over itself. I was not displeased, i enjoyed it, it was better than the second, its just not going to be my favorite movie of the summer (so far thats super 8 incase you were wondering). and I just did not leave the theatre with the same zeal i felt after the first.

Overlooking at Super 8

It’s been a week or so since I saw Super 8 in the theatre, and it’s given me a chance to really think about my feelings about it. I’d love to see it again to be sure, but living in nowheresville, Canada makes that premise a little bit more difficult. Driving an hour to see a film usually means I’m watching something new, but I digress.

Basically, I loved Super 8. I absolutely loved it. The kids were pitch perfect, the story was well paced and the action was consistently entertaining. The way JJ Abrams conveyed a complete love and reverence towards both the craft and medium of film was brilliant. Coming out of the theatre, I couldn’t see how I could possibly like any movie this year more than this one.

What I’ve realized since is that I may have turned a blind eye towards some of the major flaws of the film. I’ll try to be vague, but spoilers for Super 8 follow.

My primary problem came with the end of the film. I really felt like the characters had no real impact on the final act. On one hand, the kids have a direct impact within their own storyline (even when it crosses over with that of the alien), but ultimately fail to contribute in any way to the driving plotline of the entire film. While the discovery, and eventual liberation, of the alien/monster may only be a MacGuffin upon which the actual story is built, the way in which the alien storyline is resolved still felt forced.

Similarly, the resolutions of some of the relationships seemed forced. While the way in which they were portrayed (especially between the father and son) was still believable (and still managed to pull an emotional response out of me. That final, unabashedly Spielbergian, shot, looking into space, was pure magic), there was really no moment to me that the father really “got it” in regards to who his son really was. I guess I can believe that their relationship was strengthened due to the events of the film, and I can understand the desperation and unconditional love going into finding them at the end, it still seemed like nothing was really changed. The relationship between the two father characters seemed rushed, as well. Once again, I can buy the whole “shared experience” angle, but how Joe’s father can make a complete 180 that way seemed dubious, at best.

Despite this, and a few other small gripes (the way characters would be alluded to and introduced, seemingly only to be cannon fodder to create a false sense of danger towards the main characters, for example), none of these problems came up while I was watching the film. The things I absolutely loved (the relationships between the kids, the filmmaking aspect, the mystery, etc.) completely outnumber the minor issues (that are mostly nestled within things I loved).

I guess this sort of turned into a review, so I’ll end by saying that Super 8 is absolutely worth watching, watching again, buying, and watching again. It may end up being my favourite film of the year (though I haven’t seen Attack the Block yet). It does some things wrong, but it’s all wrapped within such a great package that it’s incredibly easy to overlook them. The scene near the end (to avoid spoilers as much as possible) when the kids are running through the town is enough, by itself, to recommend this movie.

I don’t want this to seem like a middling review, either. My intent is to demonstrate that a) Super 8 is not a perfect movie, but that b) the flaws don’t even begin to make me love it any less. I’m glad I waited to post this, because it let me get some sort of a perspective on my feelings, but I don’t think my enthusiasm has been tempered at all. If anything, I want to rewatch it even more. Please, drive-in, bring this to Perth soon.

It disapoints me, how disapointed I am

So although a lot of people have already seen it, Tomorrow I go and see Transformers 3 in theatres. I am really excited as transformers was and still remains one of my favorite franchises of all time.

I loved the cartoon as a kid, watched almost all of the spin offs (beast wars) so when i found out that Michael Bay was relaunching the franchise in 2007 I was pumped! and quite frankly he did not disappoint. Transformers was a great film. the explosions were awesome. the story was awesome. and the robots were awesome!. So when the second one was announced my first thought was AWESOME!

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed Giant Robots from outer space (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) as a movie about well giant Robots from outer space, but as a Transformers film I was disappointed. it didn’t focus on the Transformers (ya know… the movie isn’t called “Shia Lebeouf and Megan Fox in: My Boyfriend and his crazy robot friends’)

But more about my disappointment. Due to A lack of funds (broke student) and not a lot of time due to work (weird how I’m still broke) I have not gotten to see as many movies this summer as I would have liked. But out of the movies I have seen so far I can say the only one to NOT disappoint me was Super 8. Green lantern a movie I’ve been waiting my life to see left me walking out of the theatre ashamed to be wearing a green lantern T-shirt.

So as I enter transformers tomorrow night. I enter with high hopes and a barely mended heart. If Michael bay adds Transformers to the list of things that have disappointed me this summer I don’t know how I will ever be excited for a movie again. that being said It could be awesome! and I hope it is! I purposely have not been reading reviews because I don’t want to form an opinion before I see it.

All i know is Michael Bay has some faith to restore. hopefully he is up to the task.

Scream 4 Review

Scream 4

Just a quick impression of Scream 4 (Scre4m), not really a full review, but at least a relevant post.

Overall, I thought it was pretty good, an enjoyable, if only superficially so, way to spend a couple hours.

Scream 4 reunites the cast of the originals, with Courteney Cox, David Arquette and Neve Campbell reprising their roles, but it’s the newcomers that are forced to mostly carry the film. On the whole they do a serviceable job, hitting the horror beats, playing the victims and generally making us care about these doomed characters. While I felt the film nerd characters were enjoyable to watch, they felt too clichéd, and struck me as more of a way to explain the new rules to the audience than real people. The new additions did their jobs well, but it’s still the veterans stealing the show.

The whodunit aspect of the plot was well done, and I was genuinely surprised when the villain was revealed. I felt the first act dragged a bit, but the last half, and especially the last few scenes, more than redeemed it.

The main issue I have with the film is how much it simply coasts. While it continually makes reference to the ‘rules’ of horror films, and how Ghostface is updating them for the new generation of horror fans, it also falls into these tropes, ultimately failing to provide any real surprises or twists. There’s only so much a self-referential humour can do to save the films. The first Scream had it, this one doesn’t quite break even.

As someone who was relatively lukewarm towards the Scream series (and hasn’t seen the third one), and despite my complaints, I enjoyed the movie. It’s funny, it’s a worthy addition to the series, and it has some really good scenes once the movie gets going. If you like the Scream series, this is a strong showing, and you’ll certainly find a lot to like. If you aren’t a fan of the series, or horror films, I’d say wait for the DVD if you’re interested in checking it out. You won’t be disappointed.