22 October 2011

Take Me Home Tonight (2011)

From the moment I saw the trailer for this film, I knew it would be for me.  A movie set in the 80's?  With awesome 80's music?  Yes please!

So to start with, the main characters all went to Shermer High.  Yes children, that is the same high school attended by such luminaries as the Breakfast Club.

The cast.  Ahh, the cast.  We have Topher Grace playing MIT grad and stuck in neutral Suncoast Video (yay Suncoast!) attendant Matt Franklin.  His twin Wendy is played by Anna Farris.  The there is Dan Fogler who plays car salesmen extreme, and Matt's best friend Barry Nathan.

So, now that the main characters are lined up, we come to the plot.  Wendy's ass hat boyfriend is holding some annual 'lets all get stupid drunk on Labor Day' party.  The scene is set.  At this party, Matt is carrying on the lie he told his un-requited love Tori Fredriking (Teresa Palmer) that he is a hot shot banker at Goldman Sachs.  Spoiler: he isn't.  Right, should have mentioned that Matt ran into Tori at Suncoast where he pretended he did not work at Suncoast.

So at the part, mass chaos ensues, as it does at parties such as these.  There is even a scene near and dear to my heart as Barry wraps a tie around his head and cuts loose... footloose.  Close personal friends of Lord Zupka, and probably some not as close will know I have done this in my rather checked past.

In the end, you can all kinda figure out what happens next.  Matt woos the girl, takes a jump on a trampoline with her, the lie is discovered and he does crazy shit to prove his good intentions.  Oh, and since this is the 80's there was cocaine involved.

I really liked this movie.  I thought all the characters were well written, it captured what I imagine the 80's to feel like, and the music was awesome.  

One last note...I do think this movie must have set some sort of cinematic record, as Michael Biehn (Matt's dad) DOES NOT DIE.  Weird, I know!  Most (if not all movies) I have that star Mr. Biehn, Mr. Biehn ends up dead.

*yes, I was playing 'Take Me Home Tonight by Eddie Money while writing this.  I know you were wondering.

14 October 2011

Star Trek (2009)

So, in a move that could have been either the greatest move known to man, or the biggest flop known to man, a director by the name of JJ Abrams (you know, LOST, Alias, etc) was tapped to bring fresh life to the franchise known as Star Trek.

I remember first hearing about this, and being slightly less than enthused.  A prequel?  Well, ok, but we just had that with Enterprise.  And we all know how that worked out.

But as time went on and more and more details of the movie came to light, the more (cautiously) excited I became.

And then I saw the first teaser.  You know, the one that showed shots of the Enterprise being built, the one with the original December 2008 release date? At that point, I started to feel ok with it. Then the first full trailer came out.

I was hooked.

I've always been a fan of the darker side of Star Trek. I always had a problem with the shiny happy, TOS and TNG, and to a point DS9, but once the Dominion War started, I was loving every moment of it. But this is not a discussion of those shows.

So as time goes on, and the trailers get more and more awesome, I could not wait for the release.

And now the time has arrived. From the first shot I was hooked. I was really digging the way the film was shot, the way space was space. Up was not up, and down was not down. When an unfortunate crewman was sucked into the vacuum of space, sound stopped. The lens flares got to be a bit much, but its a trifling.

So, we see the birth of Kirk as Kirk's dad pilot's the Kelvin into Shinzon's ship, then we fast forward a couple of years and see young Kirk driving a 60's muscle car and listening to...Beastie Boys. To me that was probably the most jarring bit of the film. It just did not fit. So this part establishes Kirk as a rebel, do his own thing type person.

But lets not forget young Spock. On Vulcan he is busy getting teased by his fellow classmates. A very logical choice of course. Smacks a bit of emotion, teasing a fellow student. But they are students, so we let it pass.

Eventually we see two life changing moments for our two stalward heroes. Pike recruits Kirk to Starfleet, and Spock gives a emotionless middle finger to the Vuclan Science Academy, and goes to join Starfleet.

So the stage is set.  I'm not going to go into too much greater detail, as I don't want to spoil anything.  Kirk and Spock have finally assembled the crew that we know and love so much.  In the end, the good guys win and the bad guys loose.  And I loved every moment of it.

A few gentle criticisms...

Lens flares - a bit much, but not that big of a deal as I managed to ignore the majority of them

Size - As bad ass as the newest design of the Enterprise looked, there were some size and scale issues.  Shuttle bay to bridge in only a few bars of the score?  I think not.

Layout - Where was Uhuru working with those giant steam pipe things?  Kind of a random place for a comms officer.  Med bay and bridge, etc seemed really close to.

Fan boy praise...

Visuals - loved them all.  The movie was shot epically and that only helped the power of the film.

Music - Bloody hell.  Some of the best film music I've ever heard.

So, if you like Star Trek, see this movie.  If you don't like Star Trek, see this movie.  This is more than a Star Trek movie, its a good sci-fi movie.

11 October 2011

The Avengers (2012) Trailer

Oh my good gravy.  The Avengers trailer was released today.  In case you missed it, (which I'm sure you haven't), I've included it below.  Go watch it.  Once or twice, its up to you.

What do I think?  Short form: holy hell that movie is going to be amazing.  I was a touch worried about how Joss would handle it, but stylistically it looks like Iron Man, which is a plus.  In talking with a co-worker, we figure there will be some Kree/Skrull action possibly directed by Loki?  Who cares!  I love the interplay between Stark and Cap, and then Stark and Banner.

All I know, is that I can't wait for May.

06 October 2011

Blazing Saddles (1974)

Mel Brooks is a genius.  Here he tells the story of Bart (Cleavon Little), the sheriff hired to run Rock Ridge.  And by hired to run, I mean force the residents to leave Rock Ridge so the railroad can be run through the town.

Look at me trying to be all professional sounding with this movie.  Not gonna happen.  This is a Mel Brooks send up of the western movie genre.  Also starring Gene Wilder as the washed (in booze) up former gunslinger The Waco Kid and Harvey Korman and Hedley Lamarr.  Mel Brooks plays the govenor, a man with... other things on his mind.

Spawning a famous scene including beans, horse assault, and a collection of the most vile villains ever to be collected on screen, and numerous one liners, it also earned an Oscar nomination for Madeline Kahn.  Eventually all hell breaks loose, the movie smashes right through the fourth wall and comes to an epic conclusion.

A collection of my favorite lines:

Bart: Stampeding cattle
Lamarr: That's not much of a crime
Bart: Through the Vatican?
Lamarr: Kinky...

Reverend Johnson: We will now read from the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke (enter brick) and duck.

Reverend Johnson: Now I don't have to tell you good folks what's been happening in our beloved little town. Sheriff murdered, crops burned, stores looted, people stampeded, and cattle raped. The time has come to act, and act fast. I'm leaving. 

And that's all I've got folks.  Check it out if you've never seen it, and if you have, watch it again.

01 October 2011

Initial Thoughts - Person of Interest

Well, I've cranked through two episodes of 'Person of Interest', and so far this person is lacking interest.

Don't get me wrong, the show has some interesting premises.  The idea of a computer system that is collecting information on everybody?  Michael Emerson reprising his role as Ben Linus playing a enigmatic rich dude in control of said system?  Mint.

There's just something... procedural about it so far.  Granted, two episodes in so I need to give it time.  It has great promise and potential.  I would like to see some more conspiracy level plot lines, but I hope that comes as the season progresses.