Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Ever work so hard

that you don't have time for the simple pleasures in life? It's been a VERY hectic couple of weeks for me, and I haven't had much time to see any movies. I tried to catch up, and saw 2.. so here's my first attempt at short reviews:

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory:
Johnny Depp plays Willy Wonka, and Tim Burton violently RAPES the memories of ANYONE who's seen the 1971 movie version starring Gene Wilder. Burton tosses in trademark over the top look and feel, with a score by Danny Elfman thrown in for good measure.

March Of The Penguins:
This production from National Geographic Films follows the Emperor Penguin on its 70 MILE trek to their breeding grounds. I don't know what's more INCREDIBLE about this film: The story about the penguins 70 mile trek from where they feed to their breeding grounds, or knowing that in the -50F weather THEY endure, knowing that a camera crew was FOLLOWING them. If you don't know the basic plot of the documentary.. Emperor Penguins march 20 days and night to get to their breeding grounds. There, they pick a mate, lay eggs, and life continues. This 80 minute documentary follws them on their march.
Now, I know that eventually March Of The Penguins will end up on TV, but for now this makes for an amazing 80 minute diversion from the hectic pace known as my life.

so to Summarize:

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory: D+, unless you LIKE having your Childhood memories of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory RAPED over and over again, then this is a C

March Of The Penguins: B, Yes, this is pretty much a National Geographic special on the Big Screen, and it WILL be on the National Geographic Channel in a few months, however, the camerawork and the great narration by Morgan Freeman makes this a fascinating look into something that most people wouldn't normally go see.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

"What do you MEAN you aren't going to see

The FANTASTIC FOUR this weekend?

Believe it or not, I HAVE been asked this question a couple of times already. I've sort of been taken aback by it.

I'm a realist. I know that there aren't MILLIONS of people reading this, clinging on my every word, and taking my comments as gospel. If there were, I'd have my own column in the paper, and getting PAID for what I love doing, watching film. There are a few people, that I have told about this blog that know me personally, that do ask my opinion on film. When I'm asked, I will give it, but I make sure that it's short and to the point. I enjoy discussing film as much as I enjoy seeing film.

The last sentence explains in a nutshell why I won't see The FANTASTIC FOUR this weekend, or next weekend, or when it ends up being on TBS in a couple of years from now. I don't think of The FANTASTIC FOUR as a FILM, I think of it as a movie. FILM is something that provokes discussion, or makes an impression on you, something MORE is left with you when you see a FILM besides the taste of stale popcorn when you leave the theatre. Now some of you may say "He won't go see The FANTASTIC FOUR, but you RUSHED to see REVENGE OF THE SITH, and BATMAN BEGINS, what gives, what's the difference?

REVENGE OF THE SITH was the CONCLUSION (Albiet a sad one) to a movie series that DEFINED my childhood, and the childhoods of a LOT of other people. I like to see things through, no matter how painful they may be. SITH also stimulated discussion about Star Wars on a whole. Everyone could talk about how Star Wars affected their lives at one point or another. I remember as a kid going blindly numerous times to the theatre to see EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, and seeing people get floored with the Father revelation. SITH was the final chapter in a lot of people's childhood memories. BATMAN BEGINS, we I went to see it because I have been a fan of Christopher Nolan's other movies, and the thought of what he could do with this tale of the Dark Knight intrigued me.

The FANTASTIC FOUR has none of this for me. The marketing campaign makes the movie look like it would be of NO interest to me whatsoever. Jessica Alba, although cute, isn't really a deciding factor in whether or not I go to a movie.

The FANTASTIC FOUR in my mind, represents everything I HATE about present day Hollywood - jump on the bandwagon, and try and push something through the pipeline, because MARKETING says it's the thing to do. It represents the CORPORATE Hollywood, the Suits and Beancounters that are AFRAID to take a chance, and just watch boxoffice receipts to see what they can rip-off next.

Like everyone who reads this, I don't get PAID to see movies, so I think I can pick and choose the ones I will (or won't) see. I took a bullet for this BLOG to write about BEWITCHED, I think I have to let the wounds (and, yea, the nightmares) from that one heal before I do THAT again.

There are FILMS that are going to be released soon that are piquing my interest, and I will write about them when the time comes. One of them comes out next Friday, and I'll be sure to see it, and make a comment on here. As for The FANTASTIC FOUR, they don't seem fantastic enough for me to spend time in a theatre, especially when there are socks and underwear to be sorted in my dresser.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Since Hollywood is pilin'

disappointing movies disguised as "entertainment" higher than House of Pancakes stacks their mega-Breakfast, I thought this time I would throw something out there for everyone to discuss in the comments section.

By now, everyone's heard that Boxoffice is down, and movie theaters are experiencing low attendance. I've talked about it in an earlier post. Now, it's your turn.

What do you think would bring people BACK into theatres? What's your WORST experience in a movie theatre lately?

Let's Say you were opening a theatre.. how would you bring people in?

The comments are open, and please, keep it civil


Friday, July 01, 2005

Not so much a WAR of the Worlds,

as much as the people of earth having their collective ASSES being handed to them on a silver platter, but yet having things end with a healthy dose of Sugary Sweetness.

Steven Spielberg returns to the Genre he single-handedly defined in 1975 with the release of Jaws in War Of The Worlds, undoubtedly one of the anxiously awaited summer flicks this year, next to Batman, and Revenge of the Sith.

In this, the second big screen adaptation of the 1898 HG Wells novel, Spielberg centres the focus of the story around a family with Tom Cruise as the Father of that precocious Dakota Fanning, and Justin Chatwin. This is the story of their survival of the aliens attack, which, bearas striking similarities to the terrorist attack on Sept. 11. The world, much like America back then is arrogant in their domination of their planet, and are in a false sense of security as the aliens begin the extermination of the human race.

Spielberg pulls out ALL the tricks in his bag of filmmaking techniques - This movie has elements of JAWS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THRID KIND, and a LOT of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN in it. You are wrapped up in the savagery of the attack, and the horror. You actually feel helpless.

War Of The Worlds is a very tightly directed 100 minute movie. Unfortuantely, the movie runs 117 minutes, and Spielberg completely blows the ending by bringing in his trademark sugary ending, which ruined the experience for me. Why does he do that?

Overall, War Of The Worlds delivers, but falls short on the ending for me, It's good, but not some of Spielberg's best work.