Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Sucker Punch (and further proof that Movie Critics have no idea what they’re saying. )

 

I was rather afraid that this blog would eventually turn into a movie review blog, and it appears that I may be right. 

However, I do feel that this post is necessary, for a few reasons. The people who know me personally are well aware that I treat movie critics with practically no respect. They say don’t go see something, I go and see it, they highly recommend something, I ignore it. Granted, there are always a few exceptions. My unusual taste in music, movies, literature and art leads me to have my doubts about many critics. 

So, Sucker Punch, the consensus of the critic community: Don’t bother, yes, it really is that absolutely terrible. Interestingly enough, I did not see this consensus before Jameson (a friend of mine) invited me to see it along with his sister. He had already seen it and had been majorly impressed. In retrospect I suspect that the impression was less to do with the film itself and more with the half naked women and the big guns. 

I went in, waited for the previews to pass, and proceeded to have my mind. . .essentially raped by the sheer beauty and mastery of the opening scene. A combination of extreme close-ups, sweeping pans and a impeccably timed soundtrack told me a story in just visuals and song. 

This sequence yielded background, covered all necessary exposition and provided conflict, as well as foreshadowed the importance of several aspects of the setting, and introduced me main antagonist. 

The first setting of the movie is in the Asylum, our main character is escorted though the bare and ugly halls of the Lennox House. The main antagonist then presents the protagonist and the audience with the the main and only obvious theme of the story: The Theatre.

The theatre is run by a heavily accented Polish psychotherapist, who uses music and the Theatre to attempt to heal her patients. Up to now, everything has been harsh, gross and dully painful. We have been in the realm of the Ego. 

The moment that we are fully on the stage, the scene and setting changes. The main character is now in a brothel run by a mobster, whose clients include the “High Roller” and the very Mayor of the City. Here, the protagonist “Babydoll” is instructed by the psychotherapist turned dance instructor to dance. It is her only means of survival in this world of lust, pain and anxiety. Welcome to Babydoll’s SuperEgo. 

Babydoll gets onto the dance floor, and does nothing. But the point is then made clear to her, dance, or die. She closes her eyes, the music changes, and we step deep inside her Id. The setting is once again different, the snowy, cold and unforgiving courtyard of a Japanese style temple. Here she meets an old man, who prepares her for her journey, and gives her two weapons, a sword and a gun, along with a list of things she will need to escape. An astute viewed can recognize the Animus. 

Here manifest both the greatest and most terrifying aspects of Babydoll’s mind. The Demonic Samurai warriors intent on killing her, but also her skill and power. 

Thus the film continues with its strong visuals and haunting soundtrack, leaping between the terrors of the SuperEgo in the brothel to the fantastical action packed missions in the id, all of them handed down by the Journey Man. 

At this point, the film has three points of tension, in the Asylum, the days before Babydoll is lobotomized is running out, in the brothel, the days before Babydoll is sold to the High Roller are likewise running out, and in the deepest part of her mind, the third setting, each scene is its own mini plot. 

In the end, we have the combination of the three parts of Babydoll’s mind, and with it the solution to the Wise Man’s Mystery “fifth part of the plan” to escape. 

Babydoll has integrated, although we do not see this onscreen, but when the plan is prepared, she, now a complete and fully realized person, willingly sacrifices herself to see the mission through and allow her companion to escape. As she is about to die in the SuperEgo (the Brothel World) we are ripped back to the real world where she is lobotomized. In that second of consciousness the doctor performing the “surgery” sees something in her eyes, her willingness and acceptance of her fate. 

It is not until after Babydoll is no longer a player in the story that we are then allowed to see that what happened in the SuperEgo manifested in the Ego as well. Her actions have transversed her own worlds. 

This is, of course, my own little philosopher/writer interpretation. Even without the background or interpretation, the cinematography, visuals, music, and the combination alone present a very nicely pieced and aesthetically pleasing film. 

 

Despicable Me

Many things about quite possibly my new favourite movie.
First off, the kid in the opening sequence (Justin) way too fat to actually run up the scaffolding of the pyramid, he is way too fat to outrun the Egyptian security, this is insanely amusing.

Another thing, The intro is perfect, Because it shows Gru as he is, he creates happiness, so he may take it away, a true Villain!

Then enter the Minions, hey are essentially highly trained children, with insane senses of humor. More about them later.
So, Miss Hatty, I totally called it! The moment I saw her, I knew that she was going to be a total bitch. Writer’s instinct I guess.

The Box of Shame is . . .incredible! I suppose that villains come in all sorts of forms, both those with Boxes of Shame and those with Shrink rays. . .

One thing that really put this movie together for me was the fact that we have hints at subplot form the very beginning, everything is foreshadowed at least once, and the characters actually have personalities, We see Edith’s annoyances from the beginning, as well as Agnes’ unicorn obsession and her willingness to see everything in a very positive light, unlike the aforementioned Edith tends to see the negative. The older sister, Margo, is caring and well rounded, although clearly vengeful.

The call from Gru’s mother also greatly helps the story, It sets up background info for later and also helps ground the story, in a world where Shrink Rays and Freeze rays exist, annoying mothers are also still a problem.
Of course, although Gru has a reason to be a villain, he is also villainous and evil because he can.His random acts of violence clearly portray this.

Enter Vector, Vector is a bored son of a Villain Banker. He is simply living up to expectations without even trying, able to actually do real villainy, he’s simply trying to impress someone. He is generally uncaring about the world, other than his image.

Of course, this makes the fight between them even better. After Gru and Dr. Nefario have their little disagreement, Gru decided to take on Vector for lying to him and kidnapping the girls.

Of course, the story follows a predictable pattern, Gru needs the girls, he grows to like them, they are taken from him, he recovers them, although in the process he also discovers his heroic side. A classic story, but it is the writing that makes it spectacular, particularly the dialogue.

In the end, all the strings are tied together, Vector is defeated, the mother is proud, Gru keeps the girls. and everyone is happy. Even the subplots with the floating minion is brought to a close in the end.

The Soloist.

After a disappointing Friday night, mainly after I found out that I was not getting two tickets for the Wolverine World Premiere, I decided to see a movie. So I went to the 12:20 am showing of The Soloist.

Right away I caught on to the whole schizophrenia thing right off. I really enjoyed Jamie Foxx’s role, and he pulled it off to perfection. He really did have the world on two strings!!

For me it was particularly nice because I know some of the homeless around ASU, we meet on the streets quite frequently, one of them for example has a PhD in anthropology, I learned a lot from him after sneaking into Jack in the Box to steal him a drink (technically it wasn’t stolen! I did nothing illegal!)

The idea of a genius homeless guy may seem strange to many, but its not to me. everywhere I go I see the homeless, and if I can, I learn their stories. Most of them don’t want to go back to “normal” society, they are quite content where they are. Often I wonder if they have stumbled upon a greater truth that i can’t see.

It reminds me of Madman from Hex and the City (Simon Green, wonderful author!) He was a genius who stumbled upon The Truth, the Truth were nothing can hide, and he went crazy and ended up on the street. That’s how most homeless are, they know something, and they’ve run away from all the madness and created their own.

Anyway, at one point in the film i got to laugh out loud at the audience. It was during a minute (possibly more) long period of synchronization between color and music that closely resembles the visualizations on Windows Media Player. Most of the audience scoffed and booed at the screen and their sad minute of shame, I laughed at them. I can recognize synesthesia when I see it. which made me gape, schizophrenia and synesthesia? poor guy, amazing guy, I mean, just WOW!!

For those of you who didn’t know, synesthesia is one of my favorite things in the world, while not synesthetic myself, I really appreciate a nice story with it. (Freddie Highmore, my favorite actor, is rumored to play a synesthtic boy in a film adaptation of Beautiful Miscellaneous)

Anyway, The soloist, the plot is a but weak, the acting is AMAZING, the going is slow and the movie is a tad long, but you must, MUST go and see it!!

Favorite Characters

Because I was bored.

In Books

1-Howard Roark, The Fountainhead
2-Anita Blake, The Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter Series.
3-Alice Cullen, Twilight Series
4-Wanderer, The Host
5-Warrick, Burnt Offerings
6-Jamie, The Host

In Movies

1-August Rush/Evan Taylor, August Rush
2-Jared and Simon Grace, The Spiderwick Chronicles
3-James Bourne, The Bourne Series
4-Edward R Murrow, goodnight and good luck
5-Flying Snow, Hero
6-Sivia Bromme, The Interpreter
7-Beatrix Kido, Kill Bill
8-The Phantom, The Phantom of the Opera
9-Violet, Ultraviolet.

In TV

1-Temperance Brennan, Bones
2-Gregory House, House
3-Allison DuBois, Medium
4-Jessica/Nikki Sanders, Heroes
5-Hiro Nakamura, Heroes
6-Dean Winchester, Supernatural

Long Time Gone.

Its seems that as soon as Heroes was over I stopped blogging and then, today, one day Before Fugitive’s starts, I come back.

Well, I have a reason for that, I’ve been busy, terribly terribly busy.

My life has been yanked out of its cyclical routine and I was completely dazed and lost, and forgot to come here. It’s a new semester you see, and it looks like, unlike last semester, this one is going to be GOOD!!

I am taking six classes, a full eighteen credit hours, and across three campuses too: One at Downtown, Two at West and three in Main. Which means that I’ve become very familiar with the new Light Rail and the Shuttles that ASU provides.

So this semester I’m taking:

STP 226: Elements of Statistics, which seems fun and I am enjoying, strange, because I usually hate math.

ASM 455: Primate Behavior Lab, which rocks!!! Because Dr. Nash is the instructor and its already a major challenge, making it my hardest class this semester.

ASB 102, because I got bored last semester and failed it. This semester I have a good teacher and the classroom is not full of idiots.

SPA 413: Advanced Spanish Grammar, and yes I very much like it.

SPA 426: Spanish Literature from 1700 to Present, which seems like it will be very interesting, plus the teacher is way smart, and a tad bitchy.

ENG 102: Composition, because I finally finished 101! Yay!!

I’ve also discovered that my much planned and expected trip to London may not work out, because I have no money, well, I have money, just not enough, Britain will have to wait for me, unless I can talk people into giving me money. And a lot of it, right now I’m a whole two thousand dollars short. I may have to find another way for getting the hell out of America. I will try and I swear I will go to London soon, maybe in the Summer if I can find those 2k’s or the Fall semester.

I went to see Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and loved it!! I also went to see Slumdog Millionaire, and I absolutely loved it (they will each get a post later on, after Heroes: Fugitives ep. 1)

The Borders closest to me closed about five hours ago, permanently. I am very, very sad and require coffee to cheer me up. 😦

I’ve read more of Le Guin’s Works, including The Tombs of Atuan, Very Far Away From Anywhere Else, Gifts, and I’m working on The Telling, Changing Planes and The Word for World is Forest.

Oh and January 20 was one of the HAPPIEST DAYS OF MY LIFE!! PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA!!!!

I was very pleased when he cut salaries and finally closed Gitmo! It looks as if America will finally grow a backbone and start respecting Human and Civil Rights. I was disappointed when Obama replied to Hugo Chavez’s congratulations by saying that he (Chavez) was impeding progress in South America, in fact, I’m still pissed at Obama for that, he really needs to stop making the same shitty mistakes that Bush made by pissing off Latin America.

For now, that’s all because it’s very late, or very early depends on how you look at it, either way i WANT COFFEE!!!!

Ciao.

Twilight (the Movie)

So last night i went to see Twilight, as it turns out, eleven PM on a Tuesday is a good time to go see a movie.

To me Twilight was deliciously comical and overall, a bit dragged down and slow. I actually enjoyed James, Laurent and Victoria’s screen time more than i enjoyed Edward’s screen time. True, he was incredibly cute in some scenes and in others he was not at all. Bella was great, the actress was awesome, but something was off in the character, i have no idea what it was, but it was odd. The best roles were the minor ones, by far.

Alice rocked the screen, and her happy demeanor was contagious. Emmet was amazing and definitely merited more screen time, Carlisle was creepy but likable, Rosalie was one adorable bitch, Jasper was lost, and Esme was almost non existent and should have had a little more interaction.

The best character overall had to be Charlie. His humor, hopelessly lost attitude and caring silent father role was played to perfection, he was also the source of a good number of laughs.

The Edward/Jacob dimension was played into and was wonderfully portrayed.

The best part aside from the humor was the fight. The worst part had to have been the slow and dragging attitude and the non-dramatic sparkling Edward, who was not at all like diamonds.

Go see it, and take something to snack on for the first half and then the last ten minutes, trust me, you’ll need it.