Monday, April 26, 2010

Clash of the Titans

This film could have easily been  tittled Clash of Every Big Action Film that Last Decade Had to Offer. Now even though most of this storyline originates from its own original mythology, I could not help but pick up on a few things from other action films such as 300, Pirates of the Caribbean, Transformers, Batman Begins, and even a few elements of it reminded me of Star Wars, and of course two of the most prominant roles in this film are played by fammed action stars Liam Neeson from Taken and Sam Worthington from Avatar and the newer Terminator film. Despite elements from previous popular action movies, this film still falls short of any high expectation.

Seeing is how this film hardly has any good aspects to it, let's start off with the really bad stuff and work our way up from there. For me the worst part about this film was the fact that the whole first half of it was just soo boring. After our hero, Perseus, is introduced, the film spends the next 45 minutes lulling you to sleep with boring banter between characters who's uninspired actors are obviously just in it for the money. The script is not that creative but even worse still was sitting there for almost two hours trying to make it through these actors' snoozeworthy preformances. Sam Worthington, who plays our hero in this film, gives his most boring preformance as an actor yet, literally spending the entire quarter of the film staring at the gound, mumbling his lines. Liam Neeson on the other hand... Well, he's Liam Neeson.

The direction in this film is not a total blowout. With camera sweeps and motions that are obviously inspired by Peter Jackson for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, director Louis Leterrier succeeds in showing us the beautiful landscape in the story. If only he had focused half as hard on actually telling the story (but I guess, what are you going to do? I mean he did direct the first two Transporter films).

Last, but not least, we finally reach the "good" aspect about this film- the CGI (computer generated imagery). I do have to give the guys who worked on this film's CGI credit because it is some of the best I have ever seen. From the ghastly gorgon to the killer kracken this film is beautifully crafted and it actually turned out to be some pretty nice eyecandy (for those of you strong enough to stay awake past the first half of the movie). Another decent aspect of this film were the action scenes. Now, besides the fact that they do not start to happen until the last half of the film, the action department was not lacking; however, most of it was choppy and hard to follow. I could not fathom trying to take all that in at once in 3D.

Overall I was not disappointed with this film because, honestly, I was not expecting much. I went into this movie because I wanted to see a couple of guys fight and that is exactly what I got. It is the combination of the action and the CGI that really saves this film from beeing a total disaster and that is why I give this film only 2 stars out of 4. I think you can wait for the DVD for this one.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Extraordinary Measures

I have not seen a movie in theaters for a long while that has pulled at my heartstrings as much as Extraordinary Measures has (the last one being Seven Pounds with Will Smith).

This drama, based off a true story, stars fammed mummy hunter Brendan Fraser as real-life businessman John Crowley who is willing to do anything to save the lives of two of his children who are dying of a muscle dystraphy disease called Pompe. Mr. Crowley (an Ozzy Osbourne reference) really does go to "extraordinary measures" as he recruits an eccentric researcher and college professor named Robert Stonehill, played outstandingly by Harrison Ford, who may be able to help save the lives of his children.

The not so good part: I was a little sceptical about this film when I found out that Tom Vaughan was going to direct it. For those of you who may not know, Vaughan directed the not-so-extraordinary What Happens In Vegas with Cameron Diaz and Ashton Cutcher (you only need to know that to understand my skepticism). However, I was suprised to see that the "Vaughan factor" did not take anything away from this film, however, it did not add anything to it either. It kind of felt like Vaughan knew the concept that camera motion adds drama, sadly he applied it in every scene except the ones that needed it the most.

The good part: I really enjoyed the preformances by all the actors. Brendan Fraser can do dramas just as well as he can do action and we all know that he can do action. I really was suprised at Fraser's character's ability to stay strong in the face of adversity and when he finally does let it all out in the end, it just makes you feel even more sympathetic for the character and I think that's awesome. Executive Producer Harrison Ford really adds something to the film; he makes it seem more realistic because his character is so down to Earth and he plays it really well. Ironically it is Ford's character who brings the most drama and comic relief to this film.

Extraordinary Measures is an uplifting film with a great blend of humor and drama. The actors really know their characters, bringing them to life in such a realistic way that you cannot but feel for the real life people who went through this. However, I feel as if the director needs more experience in the drama genre. Thus I give this fim 3 stars out of 4. Do not let this stop you from seeing it because it is a good film and most people would not complain, I am just picky. Go see it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon

You know that movie that comes along every once in a while and just totally takes you by suprise and surpasses all your previous expectations? Well How to Train Your Dragon did that for me.

It is easier to write a review about a movie when you go in with a preemptive idea about the movie and that idea holds true; however, it is much more difficult to do so when the movie is waaaay better than you thought, but I will do me best.

Okay first let's talk a little about the movie itself. How to Train Your Dragon follows the story of a young viking teen named Hiccup who is well-voiced by actor Jay Baruchel (of recent She's Out of My League fame) and his grand adventure to discover who he really is. Ultimately our hero befriends a wild dragon and things take off from there (pun intended, no matter how unfunny or unoriginal it was). Sigmund Freud once said that the teen phase is a search for identity but I don't think he intended on it going this far.

Now, this is not the most original concept for a film. We have seen it in almost every other animated film brought to life on the big screen; however, this does not take away from the overall story and should not be a reason for anybody to not see this film. As a matter of fact, this film takes the whole "teen search for identity" thing and rolls with it, bringing it to life in a fresh, new, unpredictable story with fantastic 3D .

Okay. Now that we have covered the story line, let me lul you to sleep with my rant on this movie's 3D. IT'S AWESOME! Lots of the 3D movies today were not originally intended for 3D and were so sloppily edited for it during post-production. This effectively can become destracting and take away from the story. However, in How to Train Your Dragon the 3D is used in a much more sleek way- it just adds more depth. This 3D is not distracting and does not take away from the movie, in fact, it adds much more to this film and if you're going to go see it, see it in 3D, and you should see it.

This movie is very good and it is a good family film as well. I give this film a solid 3/4 stars and it is a definite see in 3D! It is about time Dreamworks learned something from Pixar.

Gerard Butler's best movie ever!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Garden State

As funny as Zach Braff may be, it may suprise you to know that he does, indeed, have a sensitive side. Now I have only seen a couple full episodes of Scrubs and a couple clips of a couple other episodes, but from what I have see Garden State far exceeds anything that Zach could have every brought to his television show.

If you are looking for the screwball Braff and an hour and a half of nonstop laughs, then this is not the movie for you. In this gentle dramedy, Braff plays one of his own characters comically named Andrew Largeman (of course what would a Zach Braff film be without a little comic relief?) who returns to his hometown as a dried up actor after the death of his mother. Of course, what would any return home be like if you didn't meet somebody who made you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside?

Natalie Portman co-stars with Zach Braff as his quarky love interest. Now, this is not (by far) Portman's most memorable role in her career; however, she does add something to the story. Portman plays Sam, a mother's little girl character who has not had a mature role model in her life; however, Sam still feels like she is missing something and her fragile spirit attracts Largeman's interest; after all, his life has not been the best. Sadly, Portman's character is obviously has some quarks, and in that aspect Portman did a wonderful job at bringing her character to life; however, she can (and does) get a little annoying at times.

Zach Braff also does a very good job at bringing his character out of the pages and on to the screen. When I first rented this film I was not expecting as good of a preformance out of him as I saw and obviously this was not a fluke because I have seen this movie three times since then, and I still love it every time; who knew that he had a soft side?

Director, writer, producer, and star, Zach Braff shines in this film and in my opinion, it is by far his greatest achievement and I really want to see more films like this from him. Once again, I definitely reccommend this film to anybody who loves movies!