Rachel and I caught The Hunger Games last weekend. Neither of us had read the book, but I was pretty eager to see it regardless. I’d heard great things, and when we saw that it was playing on three screens at Empire Theatres in Charlottetown, we figured it wouldn’t be completely packed. Continue reading
Thor was the last of the Avengers films I got to see, thanks to it being added to Netflix Canada a couple of weeks ago.
The film was, at best, okay. Frankly, I didn’t much care what happened to Thor nor his pals back in his home world of Asgard. I didn’t really buy Natalie Portman’s falling in love with him after he ends up on Earth, and fish-out-of-water elements of the story never quite hit what they were going for. Continue reading
A couple of weeks ago, Rachel and I went to see The Grey. As with all films I’ve seen in the past few months, I intended to write up a little review. So, before going to bed, I tapped away on my phone making some notes.
Weeks went by, and I forgot to write it up. I finally decided that tonight I would draft it, though upon thinking about it, it’s been too long since I watched it, and my review really wouldn’t do it justice. So, I’ll just go ahead and post my notes and you can try to decipher (as I am doing) what I thought of the film:
Liam Neeson is tough. Movie about men, and in many ways, masculinity. What is masculinity?
Wolves are like monsters. Interestingly filmed flashback moments.
Few times where I felt like the actor was telling us what was going on. Not over the top, but not necessary.
Visual effects are mediocre by times. Distracting. Took me out of the moment.
Heard rumours of the film having an Oscar run in the fall. Can’t see it.
There we have it. If you’ve seen it, I’d be curious to know what you thought of it too. No spoilers, kids.
The war movies produced shortly after World War II interest me. I don’t watch many, but given that many were produced in the 50′s and 60′s, the war was still fresh in everyone’s mind and veterans and their families would have made up a significant number of movie goers. I can’t image what it would’ve been like to come back from Europe or the Pacific or Africa and see filmmakers telling stories—for entertainment—about the most horrific thing you’d ever seen.
Some of these movies take themselves seriously, while some (like The Great Escape) are very light and comedic. Most fly right down the middle.
That’s where Hell is for Heroes lives. It’s a simple, largely forgettable, story of a handful of soldiers charged with holding the line only a few hundred yards from the Nazis. What starts off as a promising character-driven war movie looses steam about halfway through.
The film’s star, however, is a one Steve McQueen. McQueen (possibly the coolest Hollywood star ever) is largely wasted here, but when we do get to see him, he steals the show.
There’s not much to say about this film. It’s hard to criticize it too much, given that it’s fifty years old, and our expectations of war movies have come a long way (especially after watching Band of Brothers and The Pacific). If you’re a fan of McQueen, and interested at all in what a mediocre war movie looked like 15 years after the war ended, it’s probably worth your 90 minutes. It’s available on Netflix Canada, if you’re interested.
When I first saw the trailer for The Adventures of Tintin, I anticipated the animation to be Polar Express-esque in its realism. It is not. Though incredibly detailed, the characters appear to be lifelike manifestations of their original-drawn selves. Tintin‘s hair retains its signature flip, Captain Haddock‘s beard is perfectly shaped, and Thomson and Thompson‘s noses and moustaches are comedically oversized.
The animation allows for Spielberg to do some interesting things on screen, such as have sleeping sailors slide from bunk to bunk on a rocking ship, have a stack of tires fall perfectly around a henchman, and feature an over-the-top single-shot chase sequence through the flooding streets of a fictional Moroccan city. I loved it.
That said, the 3D did nothing for me. I normally wouldn’t choose to see a movie in 3D over 2D, and in this case I had no choice, but I thought that it would have had more to offer, given that it’s animated. Save for a couple of scenes where something popped out a little more than normal (I’m guessing to remind me that I paid an extra three or four dollars for a 3D ticket) I never noticed it.
Tintin is a lot of fun. I’d never read any of the books, but I knew to expect some big cinematic adventure. The movie delivers, and is pure magic. I actually left the theatre thinking that it’s for films like this that people go to the movies. These characters are great, and made me wonder if I was too old to start reading the books.
My only complaint is a small one: I was hoping for this to be somewhat of an origin story. I think it’d have been interesting to see how Tintin lives on a day-to-day basis before going out on an adventure. The movie wastes no time dropping us into mystery and intrigue, and it almost felt like a sequel because of it.
Overall though, it was a fine movie. I’m looking forward to the sequels, and hope that Spielberg and Jackson make these so long as they stay fun.