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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Home Alone in Skyfall! "Skyfall" Review


“Skyfall” is the sort of film that any Bond fan can watch and give a sigh of relief. After the relatively disappointing “Quantum of Solace” people were skeptical about the next entry despite the fact that “Casino Royale” was, for many, worthy of standing up against the Connery era. I must confess that I was actually one of the few people that enjoyed “Quantum of Solace” even though I acknowledge it was far inferior to its predecessor and quite unmemorable. My expectations were fairly high for Daniel Craig’s third outing as the sometimes shaken but never stirred agent 007 and I was not disappointed. It is a great movie that fires on all cylinders and really packs a punch dynamically.

After an intense opening sequence in Turkey (And a terrific credit song by Adele), Bond takes a leave of absence from MI6, and of course everything goes to shit when he does, so he has to come back. Raoul Silva is behind the big plot and he is played terrifyingly by Javier Bardem with probably the most homosexual innuendos in a Bond villain since Connery’s “Diamonds are Forever”. That is basically all I can tell you without spoiling the interesting parts. The plot is balanced nicely by the director Sam Mendes, director of “American Beauty” “Road to Perdition” and “Revolutionary Road”. He is the first director to helm a Bond film who has previously won an academy award but to me that is completely irrelevant because the two stars of the film are the script and the director of photography Roger Deakins. The Cinematography is without a doubt the best of any Bond film, giving us amazing shots such as Bond’s shadow fighting another shadow in a tall building in the dark, or the shot seen in the trailer of Bond falling through some ice into a pond with a henchman.

I must confess that the ending, the very ending, gave me a Bondgasm. If the ending doesn’t make you smile then you are not a true fan of the series. I won’t tell you what the scene entails but I can tell you that it will get you excited for the next Bond film in a way you wouldn’t expect. However my favorite scene must be one that is somewhere in the middle; look out for the part where Bond has to try and shoot a shot –glass. I still like “Casino Royale” the best out of the Craig movies but this one holds up perfectly against some of my favorite bond movies like “From Russia with Love”, “Live and Let Die”, and my all-time favorite “Goldfinger”.

The film reminded me a lot of “The Dark Knight” even going as far as to have similar plot points (Or maybe “The Dark Knight” is similar to Bond movies?). There was also a fairly lengthy scene towards the end that played out like “Home Alone” and it that sense it strayed a bit from the Bond formula and that distracted me a bit but nevertheless it was enjoyable to watch.

If you are a Bond fan, do yourself a favor and watch this movie because to tell the truth this is the one you have probably been waiting for for over 20 years.

9/10

Tell me in the comments what your favorite Bond film is and what your least favorite one is as well. You know my favorite one but my least favorite is “View to a Kill” aka James Bond fights a villain who threatens his social security.

Monday, November 5, 2012

New Star Wars film announced! Disney buys LucasFilm for 4.05 Billion


Yes the time has finally arrived for all nerds around the world to rejoice. LucasFilm has been purchased by Disney and is no longer under the hands of George “I only had 2 great films in me” Lucas. Let me break down what this means for us fans by giving you a bit of history on the subject.

George Lucas Directed “Star Wars” the movie that changed cinema forever. It became the highest grossing film of 1977 and the highest grossing film ever at the time, making 530 million dollars by 1982 Setting George for life. Not only was it a financial success but it was an immense critical success as well, having been nominated for 10 Academy awards including best picture and best director for Lucas, but ended up winning only 6 of them. The legacy that the film left behind was so massive it influenced pretty much every science fiction and fantasy film to come after it.

Then came the 2 sequels. The first hint to audiences that something was fishy about the situation should have been that Lucas didn’t want to direct. Fans ignored that red flag because as it turned out “The Empire Strikes Back” and ‘Return of the Jedi” where arguably even better than “Star Wars” itself.

The series ended and all seemed well; Lucas was a billionaire, we had 3 great movies, there was nothing but a legacy of great memories, action figures, and the highest esteem for a great trilogy. And then George decided that he wanted to make a bit of extra cash. “Let’s improve the special effects in the trilogy with computers and then make significant alterations to the story, the dialogue and the characters” (Han shot first dammit!) he said and so the “Special Edition” was born.

And then George decided that the money from the “improved” home video releases weren’t enough so he went and made the prequels. “The Phantom Menace” was to many (including yours truly) the John Wilkes Booth to “Star Wars” Lincoln. It disappointed fans and critics, but not Lucas’ wallet. “Attack of the Clones” was to many (Including me) the Lee Harvey Oswald to “The Empire Strikes Back” JFK; similar reaction as in “The Phantom menace” but solid box office performance nonetheless. Now I have to admit to myself that “Revenge of the Sith” was a decent movie and a lot of audiences and critics agree, however it was nowhere near as good as the original trilogy and didn’t evoke that nostalgia that the prequels where meant to evoke.

“The Clone Wars” was a truly abysmal film. Many people complained about the prequels being horrible but at the end of the day they where at least watchable. This movie though was a complete waste of time! The characters looked like they were made out of clay dough, if was full of plot holes and stupid additions that didn’t make any sense, and worst of all they removed the iconic music from it and replaced it with some crappy Middle Eastern sounding noise.

OK George you have done it; you have destroyed our memories, you have ruined the legacy that you helped create and you have turned a massive amount of fans against you, what do you have to say about that? “I am selling LucasFilm to Disney for 4.05 billion dollars.”

So what now? We all ask ourselves. Well first of all the first sequel to the Star Wars universe is confirmed with a release date in 2015. Aside from that there is little to no information and everyone is scratching their heads as to what they think about it. I myself have mixed feelings because it could go either way. We could get sequels that are a made by someone that thinks with his or her brain instead of their wallet, or we can get another stinker like “The Clone Wars”.

I know that getting your hopes up about a movie is dangerous but I am inclined to give Disney my full confidence because they understand what it is like to create memories (“Beauty and the Beast” “The Lion King” “Aladdin” “Iron Man” “The Avengers”) they should be able to handle the material well. I think the best director to take over for the series is James Cameron; when I saw “Avatar” I immediately thought of “Star Wars” because of how much imagination the film had and how much of a fictional world Cameron created with the picture. James Cameron is a man who knows how to handle his special effects without forgetting his characters and who will do the best job directing the next in the series. But that happening is about as likely as me pulling a hundred dollar bill out of my but, so my next choices would be J.J. Abrams (“Mission Impossible III”, “Star Trek” 2009, “Super 8”) or the Wachowskis (“Bound”, “The Matrix”, “Speed Racer”).

But who do you think should direct the next Star Wars? Tell me who you would like to see even if it is unlikely. Also tell me if there is anything else that you would like to see from Disney now like a new Indiana Jones film.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Kurt Russel is an Alien!!! "The Thing" Review.


We have had a string of bad movies haven’t we? “Troll 2” “Twilight” “Transformers” “Blade Runner” and “Batman and Robin” make 5 in a row! I think it’s time I reviewed a good movie.

 John Carpenter has a talent for making films that look and feel like B movies but just happen to be entertaining and clever. “The Thing” is a well written film that works because despite its goriness and explicit alien violence, it relies more on suspenseful speculative dialogue between the characters to be thrilling and interesting.

Kurt Russell and David Keith give some truly fun to watch performances that carry the film nicely. The idea is that some sort of alien type creature has the ability to kill someone and then transform into the victim fooling everyone else. So the film works out as a sort of “Reservoir Dogs” style mystery where the question is “who is an alien and who is a human”. That is where the success of the film lies.

Carpenter has a great imagination and is a true man’s director. If you are a woman and like his films then I can tell you that you are beyond my comprehension. His films are tailored for men and I am ok with that. Another film of his, also starring David Keith, “They Live”, which is probably his most famous film, is I think a quintessential guy film, and “The Thing” follows the same formula.

The movie never gets boring and you never have to look at your watch, but it is a bit short of a 10 for me because I wasn’t blown away by it, and some stuff seemed a bit cheesy for me to get past. I’m sure most would agree with me not giving it the full 10 because it just seems like one of those movies that are good but fairly unremarkable, meaning that you will either dislike it or you will think it’s fun but not great. There might yet be a small group of people that are really into these types of flicks and for those few I can tell you now it is at the top of its niche.

9/10

Tell me what you thought of the film in the comments below. Soon I am going to start a new system where I tell you what movie I am reviewing next time so you can vote on it. That will probably start next year when I make a bunch of improvements to the blog so for now let’s stay the way we are shall we? Come back here tomorrow for my thoughts on the deal between Disney and LucasFilm.
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