Showing posts from April, 2010

Yes Man

I loved it. It's almost 1:00 a.m. so I'm not entirely coherent about this film, but I really did love it. The music was brilliant, the themes were engaging and sophisticated, albeit unrealistic. The acting did nothing to detract from the script, and the script flowed smoothly. It wasn't particularly flowery, but it wasn't distracting either, except maybe that final scene. And it was funny.

The colors and filming were delightful. I enjoyed the jogging scenes especially, and the sunrise. And the motorcycle.

I'm surprised the critics thought so badly of it. General consensus is positive. The critics seem to like Jim Carey and not everything else, but Carey was only one positive thing among the several I've already mentioned. I appreciate how his acting has become more natural. He still has that gift for filling a character with life that he started with, but now he seems to fill them with soul too. I appreciate that in both this movie and his other more recent work.


I seem to be developing a thing about voice-acting. In this film, I continued my skepticism, but otherwise ADORED this movie. Acknowledging that Tim Burton wasn't the whole movie, despite the posters, I can cast aside my Tim Burton adoration and just focus on the movie. Shane Acker did a wonderful job, especially visually.

I must acknowledge moments where the micro nature of the world made the framing of the action shots a little disorienting. Suddenly the characters (very small), were swinging from something, or using a piece of technology or something mechanical that hadn't previously been in the audience's view. We knew there were things around (the audience had to assume), but the nature of those things surprised us.

The techno-post-apocalyptic thing really worked for me, especially when it became clear that the apocalypse has graduated from nuclear warfare to biological weapons. I loved the random, though well-disguised, corpses that littered the countryside. I liked th…

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

Hayao Miyazaki directs some wonderful images, although in a few brief moments, one is unsure if there is an excuse for bad framing in an animated feature.

Miyazaki continues several major themes through most of his works, and two of them present themselves in this work as well. Both environmentalism (post-apocalyptic) and anti-war propaganda sprout up now and again and flash their rotting fangs.
It's nearly impossible among the current political rhetoric to be either anti-environment or pro-war, but that fact simply makes subtlety more necessary. There's no need to get so heavily didactic to someone who already agrees, and really, I can't see anyone disagreeing with anything as beautiful as that mouldy forest.
Artistically, though, the images in this film are wonderful and terrifying. The color palette seems to have been more pastel than is typical of anime. Pastel orange, whole scenes in blues and greens, and skies populated by darkening clouds fill the whole experience. Th…

Tammy and the Bachelor

This film (not reviewed on apparently launched Debbie Reynolds's career. I've seen her in several great movies that came out previous to it, though, including Susan Slept Here and The Tender Trap. I certainly prefer the former of these to the latter, but both seemed in a similar vein with less attractive leading men.

Leslie Nielsen's a babe. I say that with the utmost respect for his extensive and widely varied career, and despite (maybe because of?) his amusing role in the Sci-Fi/Shakespearean Forbidden Planet (1957, a year AFTER Tammy and the Bachelor, according to IMDB, but 1956, same year, according to rottentomatoes (who, incidentally, give Forbidden Planet a shocking 95%)), seen unfortunately as a precursor to Star Trek's Captain Kirk. Oddly, both actors (Nielsen and Shatner) seem to have turned to comedy in their advancing years.
I think the only real smudge I must give this movie comes from its musical leanings. After having seen Songcatcher

Easy Living

Ray Milland became a rather more sinister figure in later movies than he played here. Easy Living, written by the brilliant Preston Sturges, featured one of his more adorable performances. Incidentally, this film scored a shocking 100% on the tomatometer.
These old, light comedies didn't exactly call for any deep acting, but the way Edward Arnold and Ray Milland exchanged some of the fastest lines since His Girl Friday (three years later, ironically) floored me. Mr. Sturges's lines could only have been pulled off by accomplished comics. These two did just fine.
Unfortunately, Jean Arthur landed the blondest of blonde roles. Not only does her character refuse to see the simplest reason in an argument of mathematics with a banker, but she actually makes a very basic social mistake in accepting an $58,000 sable coat (during the Great Depression) from a married man, and then compounds the mistake by accepting a matching hat. Perhaps movies were becoming more liberal, but even now th…

The Gnome-Mobile

A terrible movie. The children had already proven themselves in The Three Lives of Thomasina and Mary Poppins, so I must admit that they did quite well. Ed Wynn played an amusing character part. "Jasper" was cute. Really, though, that's all this movie has to recommend it.
Disney have created some delightfully imaginative and profound movies, including Thomasina, but these gnomes lacked a soul. It displayed the outward trappings of conscientious environmentalism, of humanistic optimism, but failed to achieve any emotional or philosophical depth. I'm certain that was as intended, but without that depth I see no reason to watch, unless you really like bubbles.
The plot leaked like a sieve with little or no coherence between elements. Major ending conflict appears within the last ten minutes, while other major conflicts reach a visual but not theoretical conclusion. The "bad guys" who want to put the old man who sees gnomes into a mental institution crash their c…

New Moon

This is going to be another rant.

My favorite thing about this movie are the jokes my little brother made about semi-Cullens and haggis. Seriously.

Jennifer said I should watch for the eye candy. She meant the yellow Porsche.
"Bella! Take your shirt off!" - hey, we were all thinking it. Even me, and I'm straight.
MST3K is just waiting for this one to ripen on the vine.
"Face Punch?" really? "Love Spelled Backwards is Love!?" I don't write this lightly. W. T. F. !?
The Nightmare Before Twilight. We were waiting for the holiday-shaped doors.
Oh, the psychoanalysis. This is a love story of profoundly maladjusted personalities.
John says it's the start of a new film genre called "awkward drama."
I'm not sure if the really bad acting is truly the actors' fault, since they really didn't have much of a script to work with. Seriously, though, when you're just looking around for someone to blame for the mess, it's time to stop blog…

Bounty Hunter

It impressed me. Okay, when the car rolled and not a single flame spouted anywhere I thought I was in love.

I'm NOT a Jennifer Aniston fan, but when she came out in that ultra-thin look, with the heels (well, except the wedges. I hate wedges) and the self-conscious business-woman/hardass thing going, I totally believed it. I watched her and I thought, "I know someone like that." I don't say that in romantic comedies very often. Ever, really. Movie writers seem to think that hardass business women have that soft underbelly. They even tried to say so in some dialogue in Bounty Hunter, but the audience isn't fooled for a second. She's a hardass, he's a hardass, and that's what works. Under all that emotional constipation, they seem to portray two people who just do what they do. Unusually realistic.
I saw the seedier, the more realistic side of New Jersey, and I felt something solid under everything, but there were still layers of fatty romance tissue, and…