2014 Films

Jan. 19th, 2014 11:57 am
Below is a list of the films I've seen in the theater during 2014, put into categories of how much I liked them.

List and discussion )

10 films total

2013 films | 2015 films

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.

Thor 2

Nov. 9th, 2013 08:26 pm
Short version: Thor 2 is now my favorite film of the year, complete list of what I've seen here.

Spoilers! )

Okay, I think I'm done gushing for now.

There's both a mid-credits scene, and a post-credits scene, so stick around for both.

This's now firmly at the top of my list of films this year (though Ender's Game had a half life of about a week, so we'll see if this drops in retrospect too - Riddick's half life was like 3 hours though). I would see it in the theater again, which is really rare for me, I see like one movie in the theaters twice every five years, if that.

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.

2013 Films

Nov. 3rd, 2013 01:46 pm
Below is a list of the films I've seen in the theater during 2013, put into categories of how much I liked them.

List and discussion )

13 films total

[no previous year] | 2014 films

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
Screen Shot 2013-09-06 at 7.39.58 AM

2013-09-06 08.02.24

2013-09-06 08.00.16

So I saw Riddick today, and I have quite a few thoughts. The first one, outside the cut, is that at a minimum you should re-read the Wikipedia pages on all the previous films before you go see it, as there are lots of references to them. I didn't. I should've.

Cut for spoilers and discussions of problematic gender issues )

*shrug* Going to think on it more. Anyone else seen it and have thoughts?

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.
Watched Star Trek: Into Darkness in a packed theater last night.

The un-spoilery version:
This movie is a lot of fun action, funny one-liners, and also reveals a lot more about the Kirk and Spock characters, giving them more depth than they had before. I'd recommend seeing it in the theaters. I'm torn about whether I liked this or Oblivion better. Oblivion was prettier and more thinky, this was more action and fun.

The spoilery version: )

So yeah, I really enjoyed it. :) Go see it.

Originally posted on Dreamwidth. comment count unavailable comments there. Comment here or there.

Inception

Jul. 22nd, 2011 03:03 pm
I can't decide whether the character of Ariadne in Inception is great vis-a-vis feminism and women characters in movies, or is horrible token-ism.

I expect spoilers in the comments.
My favorite X-Men: First Class trailer.



I may just need to go watch this movie in the theaters again.
For a film that opens with a heavy-handed exposition about how society has moved past all racism and sexism, the makers of the movie sure display a lot of stereotypes and biases. Don't watch this movie if you're looking for a world free of sexism (all the female surrogates wear heels all the time!), racism (there are two characters that are black only to make a statement, and a third dark-skinned individual because the actor happens to be so himself), bias against particular religious groups (there is a group that has aspects of evangelism, and they're not the good guys), age-ism (many characters use younger appearing surrogates), fat-ism (one of the more beautiful surrogate is revealed to have a fat operator, and when the characters meet a fat person they immediately ask him why he's not using a surrogate), or socio-economic/US-centric bias (the intro exposition says that in 19 years from now, 98% of the world is using surrogates, totally ignoring the fact that there are nations other than the US, or that they are poorer than the US). Do watch it if you're looking for an action flick that pretends to be intellectual. I wouldn't say I *liked* the movie, but I didn't regret watching it.
asterroc: (xkcd - Binary Heart)
I seem to recall reading in someone's LJ, most likely [livejournal.com profile] datan0de's, the possibility that the Terminator and Matrix series could theoretically be the same universe / continuity. Anyone care to discuss further or have places to point me to read about others discussing it further?

I just watched the original Terminator, and it's got me wanting to write fanfic - I haven't done creative writing in forever.
I just watched "Sunshine". This isn't about that.

I know there was another film, maybe 8 years ago, that involved going to the Sun and dropping stages of the spaceship into the Sun with nuclear bombs on them to trigger ... who knows what. Maybe restart the Sun spinning? or restart its nuclear reactions? I'm not sure. One of the characters was a jackass writer (no clue how he got to be an astronaut) who kept making notes to himself on a voice recorder; of course he's one of the ones to die in the end, though not the first.

The film is in the grand tradition of sci-fi based B movies upon horrible science, such as Sunshine (and the plot is laughably similar though the feel is drastically different) and The Core. It's not Solaris.

Anyone got ideas?

Star Trek

May. 25th, 2009 10:16 pm
I don't think this is really spoilery, but just in case )

You know you're tired when you type "lj-cute". Have I mentioned I'm sick? I might even have pink eye, yay.
I finally got around to reading the 1954 post-apocalyptic novel by Richard Matheson upon which the 2007 film starring Will Smith was loosely based.

If you didn't want to read the spoilers below, my summary is that the novel's good in an entirely different way from the film.

Spoilers for both the novel and movie herein )

Okay, that came out really lengthy. If you don't want to read the novel eventually, at least give the film's alternate ending a gander.
I watched this in two chunks while trying out my new borrowed bicycle stand thingit so I can "bike" indoors. It was definitely funny, in a Monty Python manner, and would've been funnier in a group. I see why all my HS friends were so fond of it. Don't bother watching it if you haven't read (and at least tolerated) Hamlet.
Juno (Wikipedia) is a "dramedy" about a 16-year-old high school girl who discovers herself pregnant, and what she does about it. The title character, Juno is witty, irreverent, intelligent, and still an insecure teenager at the same time - reminds me somewhat of my CTY kids. She deals with issues that many adults cannot deal with - as shown by what happens to the adoptive family she selects.

It's definitely worth seeing; makes you think about people and life and what you might do if you were her or one of the other characters. They're all very real people muddling along the best they can - which often isn't very good, but still very real.
First off, if you haven't watched the first one (Day Watch) recently, be sure to at least read its Wikipedia page before watching this sequel. Unlike domestic movies, there was no handy-dandy summary at the beginning reminding you of relevant parts of the first movie, and instead it jumps right in expecting you to remember all the characters.

Second, this movie seemed like a low-budget sequel to its predecessor, Night Watch. The special effects of the Gloom were very toned down from the first movie, and there weren't any of the cool subtitles effects from the first.

The plot is good, though a little hard to follow if you've forgotten the first, so it's definitely worth seeing. The Chalk of Fate is a bit cliche, but it works well enough as a plot device in the movie. It's interesting how the penultimate fight of Evil vs. Good boils down to the oh-so-human fight of two Others, supernaturally empowered former-humans, for the love and affection of one flawed man. In the end he makes his choice and redeems himself.

Edit: It's worth noting, that Day Watch ends so that it seems the series is over - except that the answer of how the Great Other choosing one side or the other will win the war for Light or Dark. Perhaps that is to be answered in the upcoming third movie of the series, titled either Dusk Watch or Twilight Watch.
So get this: it's the Wild West and every generation some stupid fuck makes a deal with the devil and in exchange becomes an avenging spirit whose entire body bursts into flame, along with his horse, and leaves these flaming footprints and hoofprints behind, and goes around collecting on the devil's outstanding contracts because he's suck an evil fuck in addition to being a stupid one. Only now it's today, the stupid fuck is Nicholas Cage, it's a motorcycle with flaming treads, and he's a good agent of the devil.

No, I don't get it either. The movie (Wikipedia, IMDB) was okay, just like I'd expected. Cage wasn't quite the pathetic puppydog he usually is in movies, but he wasn't as badass as the character required. I didn't follow the whole contract thing in the plot, but Wikipedia of course made it clear to me. The "pennance stare" is kinda silly. There's this whole thing going on about how doing the work of the devil is really doing good by making evil people suffer and all that, but it's not explored all that well, and even when Johnny Blaze defies the devil at the end, things aren't quite clear - it appears the devil can't break a contract, but the mortal can to some extent?

(And before you chew me out that Mephisto isn't the devil, try telling me where in the movie it says that.)

To sum up: Glad I didn't see it in the theater. Could've done w/o it at home too.

Edit: Oh, and it's got the worst choice of child-version actor ever. I found myself cracking up when it was revealed that he was the main character of the movie as they look NOTHING alike at all. I thought it was going to be Cage's character's father or something. Not at ALL like him.
Wikipedia, IMDB

I hate Johnny Cash. I didn't before the movie, then I found his music to be typical folk/country that I didn't mind except when my father insisted on playing CDs of it over and over again on road trips. Just the one CD. Over and over again. I didn't hate Johnny Cash even then, just some of his music. But now I hate Johnny Cash, the person.

Okay, maybe "hate" is too strong a word, but he definitely is NOT a sympathetic character. Joaquin Phoenix makes a really good villain, but his Cash wasn't a villain either. He was a stupid loser who could only see the bad in his life and "self-medicated" with an addiction to prescription drugs - a path which he was set upon by Elvis and Johnny Lee Lewis (so bizarre it must be true). I like to say that everyone has hardships in life, what marks a person's character is how they react them. Cash throws away his perfect wife and adorable daughters and starts screwing roadies - not because he doesn't love his wife and family, but because he loves another woman (June Carter, played by Reese Witherspoon) and cannot have her. You know why he can't have her? Because she's too good for him and knows it! June's married and unlike Cash she doesn't cheat on her husband. When they divorce she actually feels sorry about it, and remarries rather than letting Cash cheat on his wife. God, he's such an ass!

You know how he finally proposes to her? He *orders* her to marry him, not asks, and does it on fucking *stage* because she told him she didn't want to talk to his sorry addict ass anymore. I was severely disappointed when she said yes.

Two closing and less bitchy thoughts: I wish they'd developed the characters of his backup band more. It's the same individuals throughout the movie, but the most we ever learn about them is they like to play gospels, and they buy him a plane ticket home when he hits rock bottom and then leave him there. Second: Man, they can sing! I really like it when actors sing their own parts. Phoenix does a remarkable job of Cash's voice too.
(Can you tell I'm on Spring Break?)

Déjà Vu (Wikipedia, IMDB) starring Denzel Washington with Val Kilmer as a major supporting character is what I would call a stealth Sci-Fi movie. Based upon what I recalled of the trailers and such, I was expecting the movie to be a Denzel Washington action drama, with touches of thriller and some sort of supernatural/ghosts/New-Agey crap. And then they slammed us with Kilmer explaining about Einstein-Rosen bridges and wormholes while Washington throws chairs at monitors and yells something to the effect of "stop talking science and tell me the truth!" Had me in a giggling fit and rewinding to hear it another two times as I totally don't picture Kilmer as a scientist-type, and Washington strikes me as more intelligent and likely to understand time travel.

They did a decent job of explaining the physics of wormholes, and also the sci-fi aspects of time travel, causality, and alternate universes. I like how they resolved his death in the end, and explained a bunch of the small inexplicable things (though I was expecting they would all be explained via messages, not bodily travel). The chase scene is entirely gratuitous, and I admit I zoned out a bit during it, but it doesn't detract overall.

If you're a fan of Sci-Fi, action, and/or Denzel Washington, this one's a must-see. I'm a fan of all of the above, so I definitely enjoyed it.

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