You are viewing posts from August, 2009
  District 9
Posted by: Mike on Aug 16th, 2009 1 Comment »

District 9 Review

District 9

When the film first started, I was a bit turned off.  The first bit of it (half hour, maybe?) is very shakey cam ala Cloverfield.  Which I definitely didn’t care for.  However, overall, the way this movie is filmed is pretty amazing.  You almost forget you’re watching a motion picture for a while, and think you’re watching a documentary.  I think that’s the goal.

I was taken aback by some of the CGI in the film.  Where movies these days tend to shy away from over the top violence, District 9 embraces it.  Showing people’s heads explode, their bodies being torn apart, that’s definitely not shying away from anything.  District 9 has their CGI down pat. And it shows throughout the entire movie.

There were a few scenes where the prawns (the aliens that look like giant shrimp) didn’t look quite as real as scenes where you could tell they were actors in costumes.  Overall though, the aliens looked pretty amazing, and very well done.

The story of movie is one that you don’t realize until after it’s over.  And it’s a good one.  In the majority of alien movies of today, the aliens come to earth, and they’re immediately the bad guys. They’re here to kill us and take over.  That’s not the case with District 9.  In District 9 the humans are the bad guys.  We fear what we don’t understand, and I think that message gets through loud and clear.

Unknown actor Sharlto Copley plays Wicus, the lead guy in the film, and the relocation of the aliens project in the movie.  According to IMdB, he’s never acted before, and this is not only his first movie, but his first anything. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll be getting plenty of work after this. He’s simply amazing.  He steals the entire movie, and portrays an amazing character on screen.

I really liked the movie. It could have been a lot better, but it also could have been quite a lot worse.  I felt there were parts that could have been cut out, to get the runtime down to an hour and 45 minutes. But overall, I don’t have a lot of gripes about it.  If you had an inkling to see the movie, and haven’t yet, definitely go see it. It’s worth the price of admission, and I imagine it’s going to look amazing when it comes out on Blu-ray.

  Sharlto Copley
Posted by: Mike on Aug 16th, 2009 Leave a Comment »

  On DVD This Week – 08/11/2009
Posted by: Mike on Aug 11th, 2009 Leave a Comment »

I Love You, ManBlu-ray
17 AgainBlu-ray

  On DVD This Week 08/04/2009
Posted by: Mike on Aug 4th, 2009 Leave a Comment »

The SoloistBlu-ray
Race to Witch MoutainBlu-ray
My Cousin Vinny Blu-ray

  Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Posted by: Christine on Aug 1st, 2009 Leave a Comment »

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Review

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

There’s not much to be said about this movie that either hasn’t already been said or wouldn’t be assumed by Harry Potter fans. It’s a long movie. They leave stuff from the book out and add a couple of scenes in. The CGI is fantastic. It’s a lot darker than the movies before it. But you knew all that.

I enjoyed the movie, but not with the usual level of joy and excitement I have when seeing a Harry Potter film. This movie marks a very dark turn for the story, and it’s hard to get that tingly, magical feeling from it when terrible things are happening on screen.

(On a related note, this is not a movie to bring young children to see. If you’re considering bringing your five- and six-year olds, perhaps consider renting Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone instead.)

Half-Blood Prince finds Harry fresh out of battle with Voldemort’s Death Eaters. Bellatrix Lestrange has killed Harry’s only version of family, his godfather Sirius Black. Voldemort is returning to power and wreaking havoc on both the wizarding world and the Muggle one.

Harry’s greatest ally, Professor Dumbledore, asks Harry for help once again. Now, more than ever before, Dumbledore needs Harry to help defeat Voldemort. In the midst of all this, Harry, Ron, & Hermione are going through the usual teenage issues. Dating and jealousy feature more prominently than in past films. Some foreshadowing of their eventual romantic leanings occurs.

Harry learns more about Voldemort’s rise to power, including his start as a young orphan “different” from the others, being invited to Hogwarts. Harry has to learn more about Voldemort’s past in order to help Dumbledore defeat him.

The movie is well done, although it has been quite a while since I read the novel, so I might not be as picky about it as other Potter fans. It felt, more so than the other films, like a setup for the next one. I felt similarly about the novel – Half-Blood Prince is an interesting story, but has less of a solid resolution than the other installments. It feels less like a standalone story and more like a stepping stone. However, I expected that, having read the novels.

The highlight of the film, for me, was watching the young actors handle the darker material. In the first film, the trio of lead characters were cute kids, kind of precocious, and looked just right for the part. Over the years, however, they have truly grown into themselves as actors. Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Daniel Radcliffe, and Bonnie Wright (the actress who plays Ginny Weasley, who joins the lead characters to make it a quartet) show in this film that they can handle the dark, nuanced acting required of them in the final two films. I have a feeling they will have little trouble shedding their Harry Potter typecasts should they choose to do so. Also worth noting, Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) has also grown into his role nicely. He’s changed from the snot-nosed little brat that tries to steer Harry away from “the wrong sort” in Sorcerer’s Stone into a confused and manipulated young man.

I definitely recommend checking the movie out on the big screen. The special effects never disappoint. While it’s less of a cheery adventure tale than the previous films, it’s definitely worth seeing.

  The Uninvited
Posted by: Christine on Aug 1st, 2009 Leave a Comment »

The Uninvited Review

The Uninvited

I rented The Uninvited from Netflix for one reason, and one reason only: Elizabeth Banks. The woman is a comedic genius, so I was interested in seeing her play a (presumably) crazy/evil person. Judged solely on Banks’ performance, it was a great movie.

Unfortunately, movies are more than their stars, and this movie’s plot and other characters just didn’t live up to the immense talent of Banks. Not to mention David Strathairn, a former theater actor who has starred in movies like The Bourne Identity and A League of Their Own – why on earth would he do this little semi-horror flick?

If you’ve seen the trailer, you know that the movie is about two teenage girls who think Dad’s new girlfriend killed their Mom in a horrible explosion. Little sis also happens to have horrendous nightmares which she thinks contain clues to the potential murder.

Sounds interesting, right? Wrong. It’s cliched. The acting isn’t awful, but it’s also not great. I guess the best word for it would be tolerable. The story isn’t really interesting and doesn’t have any real drive to it. The “twist” isn’t all that surprising, which defeats the whole purpose of having a twist ending.

The one thing I will credit the movie with, other than Banks’ acting, is the scare factor. Despite not having a great story or great acting, the scares, thrills, and spooks were perfectly executed. The jump-out-of-your-seat factor is definitely here. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to keep the movie from sucking. Take it from me – don’t waste the hour and a half of your life on this.

  Maggie Smith
Posted by: Christine on Aug 1st, 2009 Leave a Comment »

  Bonnie Wright
Posted by: Christine on Aug 1st, 2009 Leave a Comment »

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