Archive for May, 2012

Battleship

I initially thought that the pool of originality must be running pretty dry if a filmmakers chooses a game like BATTLESHIP to base a movie on. It worked with Clue, but that game is at least character-driven. So I was skeptical.

The movie, however, only really has one scene that can be directly related to the game. And the movie as a whole–if viewers can suspend their disbelief–was surprisingly good. Battleship is a classic example of good versus evil, David versus Goliath. There are parts of the plot that are very predictable, but that happens with most movies.

The secondary characters in Battleship were particularly effective, even if some of them were a little too stereotypical. It was an enjoyable and entertaining movie. You won’t be bored if you go watch it!

Quote Quiz 5.25.12 – ANSWERS

1. “That’s confiscated. All of it. And I want you on the next transport off this rock or I’m gonna shoot you where it don’t grow back.” – Kay, Men in Black

2. “I met my father for the first time when I was 28 years old. I made up my mind that when I had children, my children were going to know who their father was.” – Chris, The Pursuit of Happyness

3. “You know, you have a car in your living room, Mr. Han.” – Dre Parker, The Karate Kid (2010)

4. “If you’re half Chinese, I’m half black. I’m your brother and I’m fly. You down with that, Snoopy? That’s dope, innit?” – Lee, Rush Hour 3

What to Expect

What to Expect When You’re Expecting is another movie in the line of movies trying to be like Love Actually, which was one of the first movies to successfully use the concept of a collection of characters whose lives all end up at least loosely connected. As such movies go, What to Expect is better than most, but still not as good as Love Actually.

The title covers the main plot points, but there are enough details for the story to remain interesting. In fact, they manage to fit a lot of other family-related issues into the movie, and not just child-related ones.

It’s an entertaining movie, but it’s probably not for everyone. Many guys could probably skip the movie, and would be happier watching The Avengers.

Quote Quiz 5.18.12 – ANSWERS

1. “I’m Ben Yahzee, I guess the corps paired us up, may I join you?” — “You’re blocking my view.” – Yahzee and Enders, Windtalkers

2. “If I don’t go, we gotta pack up and leave. Now I’m tired, Alice. I’m tired of watching my boys go hungry. I’m tired of the way that they look at me. I’m tired of the way that you don’t.” – Dan Evans, 3:10 to Yuma

3. “What is it?” — “A banded, bulbous snarfblatt.” – Ariel and Scuttle, The Little Mermaid

4. “I did a lot of jobs in Germany. More than were really good for me. Too many really. I get so bloody tired now.” – Albert Pierrepoint, Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman

5. “Never send an adult to do a kid’s job.” – Carmen, Spy Kids

The importance of humor

I keep thinking about The Avengers, thinking that I should really see it in the theater again. I really enjoyed the humor of the movie. I like it when action movies, even (especially?) when they’re dealing with serious subjects, use humor when. There are many people who use humor to lighten the mood, even in dangerous situations.

Humor can be the glue that holds something together if it’s done right, or the wedge that drives it apart if it isn’t done well. I think Joss Whedon understands humor and comedic timing. It’s refreshing in an era when so many of our comedies are bogged down in crass jokes or vulgarity.

Dark Shadows

If you’ve been reading my posts long enough, you might have guessed by now that I’m not a huge fan of vampire movies, mostly because so many of the recent ones mess with the original vampire “mythology” and seek simply to glamorize them.

Dark Shadows is a vampire movie, but it returns more to the original ideas about vampires (they can’t be in the sunlight, they have no reflection, they are soulless creatures). It is also rather campy, since it is a remake of the TV show from the 60s. This remake of Dark Shadows certainly has the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp quirkiness (especially in the visual effects), but it wasn’t quite as funny as I thought it would be. It was still funny, though, which is a giant step forward from most recent vampire movies.

The story is predictable, but that’s okay. Most Burton movies are, despite their quirks. Dark Shadows, as other Burton movies, also has a tortured love story, a central character who is at least partially misunderstood, and a lot of bizarre characters. However, it does have a hilarious depiction of 70s-era hippies. And the way the risen vampire has to learn to live in “modern” times is funny.

Despite some flaws, Dark Shadows was an enjoyable movie. And it isn’t a typical vampire movie, which is a good thing.

Quote Quiz 5.11.12 – ANSWERS

1. “Great. Now you’ve gotten me kicked out of a funeral. Just add it to the list: kicked out of Petsmart, kicked out of Santa’s Village, kicked out of the Salvation Army…”  — “Dishonorably discharged!” – Gus and Shawn, Psych

2. “I’ve heard you help people with horse problems.” – ”Truth is, I help horses with people problems.” – Annie MacLean and Tom Booker, The Horse Whisperer

3. “I was feeling tight in the shoulders and neck, so I called down and had a Shiatsu massage in my room…”  –  “Mmh, that’s nice!”  –  “And the tightness has completely disappeared and been replaced by unbelievable pain.” –  Bob and Charlotte, Lost in Translation

4. “You know what they say, you’re either SWAT or you’re not.” – Hondo, S.W.A.T.

5. “It’s time we tried my latest invention, the Mind Manipulation-omatic. It extracts unwanted thoughts and desires. I haven’t tested it yet, but it should be perfectly safe. Just a bit of harmless brain alteration, that’s all.” – Wallace, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

Pirates: Band of Misfits

Claymation was probably made popular by Wallace & Gromit, the cheese-obsessed man and his dog. Someone will periodically come out with a claymation movie, but it never seems to quite match up to Wallace & Gromit.

Pirates: Band of Misfits is the newest claymation movie, and it focuses on a pirate who’s obsessed with winning a pirate award. He and his crew aren’t even very good pirates, but he wants to win anyway.

The main conflict of the story deals with how far the Captain will go to become famous. It’s a story about loyalty and priorities, and would not a bad message for children. The movie is perhaps a little corny in spots for some adults; however, it’s not a bad movie.

The Avengers

One of the main questions about The Avengers is whether or not it would live up to the previous movies (Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, etc.) and if it would live up to its own hype. I would say the answer to both parts of that question are a resounding yes.

Even though the movie is going to be known for the action sequences, the story line manages to fit all of the characters into the plot in a believable way. They seemed to have relatively equal “face time” as well. However, Captain America, Tony Stark, and the Hulk had some of the best lines. (I use the term “lines” loosely because the Hulk doesn’t use too many words.)

The Avengers is a rousing action movie, with good use of slower, emotional moments. It has a grand scale, yet doesn’t get overwhelmed by it. It’s a thoroughly enjoyable movie, and relatively clean as movies today go. I would recommend The Avengers to anyone who enjoyed any of the previous movies, or to anyone who wanted to see an action movie that emphasizes bravery in the face of ridiculous odds.

Quote Quiz 5.4.12 – ANSWERS

It’s the first quiz of May, so guess away!

1. “I made that up myself.” – Little John, Robin Hood: Men in Tights

2. “Nepotism belongs in the arts, not in plumbing.” Queen Clarisse, Princess Diaries 2 

3. “There’s a hundred-thousand streets in this city. You don’t need to know the route. You give me a time and a place, I give you a five minute window. Anything happens in that five minutes and I’m yours. No matter what. Anything happens a minute either side of that and you’re on your own. Do you understand?” – Driver, Drive

4. “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” – Eric Liddell, Chariots of Fire