We saw the third (and final?) film in the franchise you didn’t ask for (or didn’t know you wanted, depending on your point of view) in The Expendables 3 this weekend and I must say that, for what it’s worth, this is the best film yet in the franchise. Read the rest of this entry
Raiders of the Lost Ark seems to be the favorite Indiana Jones movie of anyone who’s in their forties or older – if you’re in your thirties, you tend to gravitate toward The Last Crusade, but such is life. I mention this because I myself am a Last Crusade man and therefore don’t worship at the altar of the Lost Ark. That’s not to say I don’t like the movie, but I thought it was worth mentioning that this one isn’t my favorite so you’ll understand where I’m coming from.
I go back on forth on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – lots of people love it, lots of people hate it. I used to fall solidly in the latter category, but now, the more times I watch it, the more I get split on the subject. Therefore, I’m prepared to speak on both the good and the bad: here are five things to love and five things to hate about Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.
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Harrison Ford and Sean Connery. In the same movie. On an adventure. What more could you ask for? Sure, Connery isn’t exactly playing James Bond in this movie, but then, Indiana Jones kinda is James Bond already, so we’re set on that front. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade has it all.
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Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is the worst movie in the franchise… (movie review)
I’ve seen a lot of bad movies. A lot of bad movies. But, there are subtle levels of terrible films. In the case of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, it’s certainly the worst movie in the franchise, but it’s hardly one of the worst movies ever. It’s not even the most disappointing movie ever. While it is fair to call it a bad movie, the reasons I hear are usually off base. They usually go something like this: Read the rest of this entry
42 does it’s best to tell the story of Jackie Robinson, and while all of it’s performances are wonderful, it comes up short in the story and character development department, which is nuts because… ya know, Jackie Robinson!
The movie gives us a glance at about three years in Robinson’s life: his last season with the Kansas City Monarchs, his year in the Brooklyn Dodger’s minor league system and his first season with the Dodgers proper. Read the rest of this entry
Today, I felt like dropping a little trailer jambalaya on ya.
Within a few days, I saw both The Green Lantern and Cowboys and Aliens movie trailers. After viewing both, I decided I need to get an unbiased opinion; as a comic book reading/movie junkie, my opinion didn’t seem like a fair appraisal, so I sat my girlfriend down and subjected her to flashing lights, people yelling and explosions.
First, we watched The Green Lantern trailer. After it was over, I asked her what she made of it, and she was able to gist of what the Green Lantern was all about. I asked her what she thought about the aliens and she only mentioned “the red guy he got the ring from,” so I put the trailer on again without sound so we could bask in the digital glory. Each crazy alien member of The Green Lantern Core is crazier looking than the next, so I thought I’d take a minute and explain what the Green Lantern Corps is, which led us to a brief discussion about Green Lantern attire. I’m not sure if people are going to buy this – I think a of people might see this trailer and think, “This looks stupid,” but nevertheless, the trailer gives you enough tools to make a decision. It’s a more effective trailer than I thought, though – a non-comic book person could deal with this.
Then we watched the Cowboys and Aliens trailer. When it finished and I saw that, “What the shiz was that?” look on her face, I immediately concurred: “I know, right?” Apparently, we weren’t wrong: the crowd at a midnight “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1” in Santa Monica thought it was hilarious. I think its fair to say that we were closer to confusion than laughter. Besides the weird thing on Daniel Craig’s arm, the trailer start’s off promisingly enough, but the rest is just a big genre mash-up that defies logic, or at least doesn’t gives an audience waiting to watch Harry Potter the ability to suspend disbelief. As the New York Times pointed out, Dreamworks and Company have a lot of marketing work to do before the movie comes out. I can’t imagine Cowboys and Aliens is as corny as Independence Day was, but then, that title is a step in that direction. It’s not that I didn’t understand what I was seeing, I just didn’t get it, if you will.
I’d say next summer doesn’t look very promising, but I’d be wrong – we’ve got Captain America coming out! I know we haven’t gotten any trailer yet, but I’m expecting Marvel to do this right; they haven’t screwed up in a while (unless it’s true they’ve making another Ghost Rider movie), and how hard is it to have Cap run around and punch Nazis/Hydra agents in the face? The trailer will tell…
NOTE: This review of Blade Runner contains spoilers.
When I say, “Blade Runner movie review,” it sounds as though I know exactly which movie I’m reviewing, but I don’t. Why is that? Because Blade Runner has been released and re-edited more times than Star Wars… I mean, “A New Hope.” Both Harrison Ford movies, that’s interesting… In any case, there are no less than 7 versions of Blade Runner.
Anyway, Ridley Scott directs a lose adaptation of the the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. That’s some title, huh? Can you imagine a punch of producers sitting around at able, having a conversation about the film’s title? “Hmm, if we keep the original title, maybe that will help bring in the audience from the novel,” on executive says. Then another says, “You think someone actually purchased and read a book called Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? And how are we going to fit that on a poster?” So yeah, they went with Blade Runner… that’s probably how it happened.
The movie feels a bit like a Stanley Kubrick film. There are long establishing shots of the locations as the camera moves toward a building, lots of wide shots, stark moments without music, and so on. I wouldn’t say the movie has a fast pace, but it moves along well enough, aided (especially during those long establishing shots) by a great soundtrack by Vangelis. It’s sort of a Noir movie, but the version I saw includes no narration, which I feel to be an essential requirement of Noir, although I understand there is a version with Noir.
The movie opened in what might be referred to as the ultimate sci-fi summer against The Thing, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and takes place in Los Angeles, circa 2019, which seemed far away in 1982. Harrison Ford stars as Rick Deckard, a retired cop who gets strong armed into going back to his old job; that is, tracking down biologically engineered humans who are banned from earth and killing them. Deckard must specifically find Leon (Brion James – trust me, if you’ve seen any action movies in the 80s, you know who this is), Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), Zhora (Joanna Cassidy) and Pris (Daryl Hannah – yep, bet you didn’t see that coming). To make a long story short, Zhora goes down pretty easily, Leon is only ‘retired’ (that’s what they call killing the ‘replicants’) when Deckard is assisted by Rachael (Sean Young), a replicant who believes she’s human until Deckard tells her the truth, and Pris and Roy’s final moments make up the climax of the movie. The detective angle to the story is a lot of fun, especially in the first act as Deckard tracks down Zhora. The futuristic version of LA is gritty and crowded, and extremely culturally diverse in both the ethnic population and the languages heard throughout the city. Rachael’s story is one of the more interesting parts of the film, as is Leon’s failure of the Voight-Kampff test, or a personality profile that distinguishes humans from replicants. Leon fails the test in just a few moments, but it takes Deckard over 100 questions to learn that Rachael is a replicant, meaning she is of a much more sophisticated generation of replicant than Leon, Roy, Zhora and Pris.
I have narrowed down the version I’ve seen to be either 6 or 7, given that it features the unicorn scene. Yep, the unicorn scene: because the movie just wasn’t trippy enough with J.F. Sebastian’s (William Sanderson) weird apartment full of little fake people walking around. If you’ve only seen the version without the unicorn scene, then Deckard is simply a gritty ex-detective with one last job to do (killing 4 replicants) before he runs away with a replicant. You see, Deckard’s old partner, Gaff (Edward James Olmos) gives him an origami unicorn, which could mean that Gaff is aware of Deckard’s dreams, because Deckard himself is a replicant. He dreams of a unicorn galloping in a field; is this because there are genetically engineered unicorns running around in 2019 and this is someone else’s memory implanted in Deckard (the movie does relay that it is common practice to implant human’s memories in replacants) OR would he only dream about unicorns because they’re not real and neither is Deckard? Or maybe because his old partner used to constantly gives him origami unicorns? Based on what information the movie provides, I have no idea what the answer is.
There it is – Blade Runner, in all it’s cult classic, 7 version glory. It’s an fun movie, despite anyone’s feelings on the pacing issues and subject matter. And you can’t go wrong with Harrison Ford and a strong supporting cast, so check it out if you haven’t already, and if you have, there’s bound to be a version of the film you’ve never seen that completely changes your perception of Ford’s character.
Solo shot first!