Archive for December, 2011

Quote Quiz 12.30.11 – ANSWERS

The last Quote Quiz of 2011!

1. “They are dangerous at both ends and crafty in the middle!” – Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

2. “You participate in the mass cultural delusion that the sun’s apparent position relative to arbitrarily defined constellations at the time of your birth somehow effects your personality.” – Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory

3. “Well I’m assuming the rabbit’s foot is some sort of a codename for a deadly weapon, otherwise it could just be some very expensive ‘bunny appendage.’” – Benji Dunn, MI3

4. “Riddle me this, what sort of a man has bats on the brain? Go ahead, you can say it.” – The Riddler, Batman Forever

5. “You can’t hold down angels.” – Nathaniel Ayers, The Soloist

MI 4

After watching Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol I have the feeling that I should watch the original movie again. I liked the first one, loathed the second, and didn’t mind the third. The fourth, Ghost Protocol is one of the better, perhaps even better than the original movie.

I enjoyed the fact that the plot was less serpentine than the third movie. The stakes are higher than ever, though, so don’t imagine that the suspense is lower. In fact, the scene involving the Burj Khalifa tower had me cowering in my seat and resisting the urge to cover my eyes.

Simon Pegg as Benji–now a field agent–and Jeremy Renner as Brandt–the new guy–add a lot to the humor and interest of the movie. In fact, I find Pegg to be a far more versatile actor than, say, Ricky Gervais. And Renner has proven his worth in movies like The Hurt Locker and The Town.

I was pleased with Ghost Protocol. For those that enjoy the series, this movie should be another bright example of people setting their minds to do the impossible.

Tintin

It might seem that The Adventures of Tintin should be a children’s movie, since it is animated, but it should be appealing across an age range. It is full of suspense, humor, and beautiful special effects. In fact, there were moments when it didn’t look animated.

Tintin is a mixture of intrepid reporter and Indiana Jones, and when he teams up with Captain Haddock, the adventures really begin. There are a few moments that bring to mind movies like Pirates of the Caribbean.

The movie is somewhat stylized, which works for the time period and for a movie adapted from a comic. And the secondary characters, such as Thomson and Thompson, add charm and humor. The vocal talent of Andy Serkis (voice of Haddock) certainly helps, too!

It’s a charming movie, and worth watching.

There and back again

This has been a long time in coming, but it looks to be worth the wait. I’m glad they didn’t go ahead with the project until Peter Jackson could be at the helm again.

It looks like the only bad thing about the upcoming Hobbit movie is that it’s not going to hit the theaters until next December. So until then, here’s a teaser for you!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0903624/

Quote Quiz 12.23.11- ANSWERS

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

1. “Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?” – Clarence, It’s A Wonderful Life

2. “If you can’t believe, if you can’t accept anything on faith, then you’re doomed for a life dominated by doubt.” – Kris Kringle, Miracle on 34th Street

3. “‘Now I have a machine gun. Ho ho ho.’” – Hans, Die Hard

4. “There was more than one lobster present at the birth of Jesus?” – Karen, Love Actually

Sherlock Holmes 2

Guy Ritchie’s second foray into the world of Sherlock Holmes, in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, opens with a bang. The first question one should ask about a sequel is if it lives up to the first one (actually, the first question should be whether or not to make a sequel). A Game of Shadows definitely lives up to the first Holmes movie, not the least because of Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law.

The villain is much realer and more sinister, in that he is a respected individual with a twisted soul. Moriarty is perhaps the most dangerous type of villain–the one who doesn’t dirty his own hands, but has minions to do his will.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is perhaps even more English than the first movie, and has even more intense fight sequences. The addition of Stephen Fry as Mycroft Holmes was brilliant, as well.

It’s a wonderful movie, made better by the excellent writing. One of my favorite quotes is, “Don’t be a dingy bird, bad people do bad things because they can!” The movie is full of lines like this, quotable outside the movie, yet even better in context.

Treat yourself to a Christmas present and watch A Game of Shadows.

Globes

I was reading the list of the Golden Globe nominations, and I realized that I have a lot of movies to watch if I want to “catch up” before the Oscars arrive.

I’m not sure how many of the nominations I agree with, but I will share the list so you can see what you think:

http://www.imdb.com/oscars/nominations/golden-globes

Quote Quiz 12.16.11 – ANSWERS

1. “Do you know what this family needs? A mute.” – Gus, The Ref

2. “Memories are like moonbeams, we do with them what we will.” – Bobby Darin, Beyond the Sea

3. “So I figured, if the entire world was one big machine, I couldn’t be an extra part. I had to be here for some reason.” – Hugo, Hugo

4. “When you get those feelings, insurance companies start to go bankrupt.” – Al, Die Hard 2

Breaking Dawn

Breaking Dawn: Part 1 is the newest film in the polarizing Twilight series. I’ve seen all the other movies, so I felt I should watch this one. I’ve also read the first book and part of the second.

I can’t get away from the feeling that the whole franchise is vacuous, feeding on a desire for immortality and “perfect” love. Life is not like that, and I thank God for that. Honestly, can you think of how boring life would be if everything was perfect? And would we really appreciate life if we knew we were going to live forever? Probably not.

But that’s not even my biggest problem with Twilight. I found the books to be shallow in the worst sense. They lack plot direction and character development, and the story hinges on the whims of a moody teenager. I’m not sure why they are so wildly popular, unless it is because some people like to indulge in narcissism and even nihilism. It is escapism in its worst form.

There were problems with Breaking Dawn cinematically, too. There was an over-indulgent use of long shots were nothing really happened, an attempt, I suppose, to show inner turmoil. It got boring. The movie could have been cut by half-an-hour, I would guess, just by shortening unnecessary shots.

Those who love Twilight will not be affected by my opinion, but will continue to follow the story with bated breath. But I wanted to share what I felt, since I watched the movie.

Hugo

Everyone is talking about how unusual it is for Martin Scorsese to have made a children’s movie, Hugo, based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.  I think it could be argued that Scorsese still hasn’t made a children’s movie.  Hugo is more of a movie for adults than it is for children.

Hugo is the story of a boy, Hugo, who lives in a train station and likes to fix machines.  But it’s really a story about a search for meaning, a search for one’s place in the world. It is a beautiful movie because of the splendid cinematography and the originality of the plot. It’s one of the few movies I’ve seen recently where I felt there were layers, both of color and camera shots, and of character development. The acting is also quite universally good. The children in particular are wonderful.

There are many things to like about Hugo but I particularly liked how the concepts and look of old films flowed through the movie and aided the plot. The movie might seem slow-moving at times, but I didn’t feel any of the moments were wasted. It’s a movie I would recommend everyone watch. It’s that good.