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Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

New blog!

Posted by austinburns on July 22, 2006

Hey, everybody!

Check out my new blog where I review movie trailers!

Hopefully, it will be a good read!

Movie Trailers Reviewed

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Superman Returns

Posted by austinburns on July 17, 2006

Superman Returns

What can I say about this movie? If I had to sum it up in two words, it would be “perfectly mediocre.” Everything about this movie was plain. Let’s start with the acting.

  • Brandon Routh as Clark Kent/Superman, thumbs up. I thought he was very believable as Superman. He barely was in there as Clark, but he did good in that role as well.
  • Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane, thumbs up. Ashley didn’t like her, but I thought she was fine.
  • Kevin Spacey as Lex Luthor, thumbs down. I didn’t care to much for him. He swayed between hamming it up and understating the performance. He really needed to either rein it in or overplay the whole thing. Uniformity would have been nice.
  • James Marsden as Richard White, thumbs up. He had a shitty role, but he did well with it. He plays editor Perry White’s nephew and Lois Lane’s 5 year romance and father of her 5 year old kid. Or is he? I really liked the Superman love triangle when it was between Supe, Lois, and Clark. It was intriguing to have a love triangle with only two people. To add a third person means that there’s not much else for Clark to do. That being said, the Richard character was all to predictable, but Marsden brought some empathy to the role, which is all he really could do. At least it wasn’t a cliched love triangle where one guy is a total douche, but the girl doesn’t realize it. Richard is truly a good guy, believes his son is his son, but how can he compete with Superman?
  • Some supporting characters: Parker Posey as Kittie Kowalski, thumbs up. Ashley seems to think that she and Lex were romantically involved, I’m under the impression that Lex likes the man-meat (prison will do that to you). If she and Lex weren’t an item, then her role in the movie is a little less clear. Basically, she’s a henchman (henchwoman? henchperson?), but she’s funny when she needs to be. Sam Huntington as Jimmy Olsen, thumbs up. It’s really hard to screw up Jimmy Olsen. Kal Penn as Stanford, thumbs up. Stanford is Lex’s main techie henchman, and the only one who is not an idiot. Kal did a great job with a role with no speaking parts. His role in the movie has a pretty shitty farewell, however.
  • Lastly, Frank Langella as Perry White and Eva Marie Saint as Martha Kent, thumbs up. Langella was a prefect Perry, even uttering the classic, “Great Caeser’s ghost!” at one point in the movie. A very different contrast to J. K. Simmons and his portrayal of J. Jonah Jameson from Spider-Man. And Eva Marie Saint was perfectly cast as Martha Kent. Hardly in the movie, but played a worried/grieving mother perfectly.

The direction was just there. Maybe I expected too much of Bryan Singer after his masterful directions of X-Men I and II. It seemed that just about any action director could have directed this movie.

The story was also pretty ludicrous. Superman has been gone for five years. No one knows where he went. One day, he just left. Turns out he went looking for Krypton. Lois is super pissed at him for not saying goodbye. Superman saves a bunch of people, including Lois. Lex’s plan involves the crystals from Supe’s fortress of solitude to build a new continent off the coast of New York City Metropolis. Wanna guess how it ends? After Singer turned the X-Men story into a thoughtful allegory of homosexual acceptance, I had high hopes that he would do something similar with the Superman story. There was only one mention of something more. Lois writes a piece titled, “Why the World Doesn’t Need Superman” while Supe was gone. When Superman asks Lois about it, she replies that the world doesn’t need a savior. It’s easy enough to draw a line between Superman and Jesus, and Singer could have used that a little better. He could have articulated the difference between the need of a savior and the want of a savior. Instead, there’s one line, a bunch of shots of Superman ascending into the clouds, and a shot of a fatigued Superman falling to earth with his arms outstretched in a cross-like fashion. Singer dropped the ball.

With the average acting, the directing needing work, and the story needing help, I give it a generous

C

Posted in Movies, Reviews | 3 Comments »

Take the Clerks Quiz!

Posted by austinburns on July 12, 2006

MSNBC has a cool Clerks quiz in preparation of the sequel soon to be released. I got 100%!! Woo-hoo!

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13807973/

(Via IMDb)

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Summer Blockbusters update …

Posted by austinburns on June 23, 2006

So, I figure we're halfway through the summer movie season, so it's time to evaluate mine and EW's predictions for summer movie dominance.

This list comes from Box Office Mojo. I'm only including the movies that were in mine and EW's predictions:

1. X-Men: The Last Stand $218,806,943
2. The Da Vinci Code $200,824,246
3. Over the Hedge $141,025,611
4. Mission Impossible: III $130,631,596
5. Cars $129,228,871
6. The Break-Up $96,286,810
7. Poseidon $56,796,610

So, I can feel confidant that Poseidon did indeed bomb. Cars stil has some gas (so to speak) to pass MI:III. Superman could run away with it all, depending on how good it ends up being. It doesn't seem that The Break-Up will overtake MI:III, though.

With Superman, Talladega Nights, Pirates, and Miami Vice still to come out, it's anyone's ballgame. Another update at the end of the summer, late September, maybe?

Another interesting table is one for Global grosses:

1. The Da Vinci Code $679,778,601
2. X-Men: The Last Stand $400,243,032
3. Mission Impossible: III $334,585,381
4. Over the Hedge $159,069,192
5. Cars $144,636,871
6. Poseidon $127,596,610
7. The Break-Up $102,927,013

So, Da Vinci rules globally, the Poseidon did much better overseas, and the rest of the world at least tolerates Tom Cruise more than we do. Stay tuned for further updates.

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The Break-Up

Posted by austinburns on June 7, 2006

The Break-Up

Wow. This movie is NOT a romantic comedy. Even though it is marketed as such, this movie will surprise you. I wouldn't really call it romantic, and a good part of the time is not comedic, either. This movie is brutally real. I have heard the conversations before from first-hand experience. The title of the movie is very appropriate. This movie is about a Break-Up. Plain and simple.

Vince Vaughn is hilarious. He is at his funniest (I'd say) since Swingers. Vincent D'Onofrio is inspired casting as Vaughn's brother. Jon Favreau is really good as his friend. Jason Bateman is good in the few scenes he's in as the couple's realtor. Jennifer Anniston is suprisingly strong in this movie. Joey Lauren Adams is her best friend and is either a psychologist or just someone who reads nothing but self-help books. Justin Long is great as a receptionist at Anniston's job.

The screenwriters did a good job, and I read that Vaughn had a story credit, so kudos to him. The director was Peyton Reed, who also directed Down With Love, another good "romantic comedy."

All in all, a pretty brutal movie, very funny, and very real.

B

Posted in Movies, Reviews | 2 Comments »

X-Men 3: The Last Stand

Posted by austinburns on May 26, 2006

X-Men: The Last Stand

Oh boy, I had forgotten how insane midnight showings can be. There wasn't a trailer that wasn't cheered and applauded before the movie. I never understood why people applaud at movie theaters. Unless the creators of the film are in attendance, who are you applauding for?

Anywho, the movie. I've tried to restrain myself from reading any reviews of the movie so as to not taint my outlook. I thought it was pretty good. Not as good as 1 or 2, and I think it had to do with Ratner as director. There were a few storylines that were never really fleshed out completely. A lot of things were just left alone. I will say this, a lot of mutants die in this movie. I won't spoil exactly who dies, but let's just say some pretty big names go.

The whole movie is about a "cure" for the mutants. Some of whom don't think there's anything wrong with them. It has obvious parallels with homosexuality, which some people claim to "cure" as well. I did read part of an interview with Sir Ian McKellen who said he channeled a lot of his rage through him being a homosexual and having people want to cure him. This movie hit home for him. I liked the message of the movie, but I felt that it could have been executed better.

C

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Da Vinci Code (the movie)

Posted by austinburns on May 22, 2006

Da Vinci Code

Oh boy, where to start. This movie was terrible. I hate to agree with so many critics, but it’s true. When I first read the book, I thought it was good, but not great. The story was intriguing, but the dialogue was bad. Unfortunately, this was carried over into the film. With the storyline stripped to its bare essentials, I never realized how lame it could be. Cheesy flashbacks, bad exposition, and wooden dialogue plagued this movie.

I heard a review from LA Times critic (I think) who said that it seemed the everybody was so afraid to mess up the story that it hampered their ability to act. I believe that.

Tom Hanks was OK. Definitely not his best, but definitely not his worst. Audrey Tautou was good. Her accent was a little thick, but I guess I’m too much of an Amelie fan to let that bother me. Ian McKellen saved the movie. He seemed to be the only one passionate enough about his lines to actually put some feeling into them, rather than just say them. Jean Reno was a waste of Jean Reno. Paul Bettany was Silas, and I think I had too high of hopes for his character. He was very one-dimensional. I guess he was supposed to represent the worst of religion with his blind devotion, not to God, but to a bishop who saved his life.

Unfortunately, I cannot recommend this movie. I’m anxious to see how someone who hasn’t read the book would like the movie.

D

Posted in Movies, Religion, Reviews | 1 Comment »

Over the Hedge

Posted by austinburns on May 22, 2006

Ashley and I went to see this movie since Da Vinci Code was sold out, and it was OK. Not good, not great, not bad, just OK. Steve Carell was the stand out as a hyperactive squirrel. Bruce Willis was fine. Garry Shandling is the only actor left to play a neuortic character after Billy Crystal and Albert Brooks were taken. William Shatner was pretty good, but I thought Adam West would have been better. Avril Lavigne did a terrible job. And real-life man-and-wife Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara were terrific as a married porcupine couple. Allison Janney did good as the crazed president of the homeowner's association. And Lowell, I mean Ned, I mean Thomas Haden Church was fine as the exterminator, although Patrick Warburton would have been better, but he's in too many cartoons already, I guess.

All in all, a decent flick. It had it's funny moments, but it tried to hard to shove the "people eat too much junk and destroy forests for subdivisions" theme down my throat.

C

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102 Movies You Must See

Posted by austinburns on May 18, 2006

From Roger Ebert's site is a list of 102 movies you must see before you can consider yourself movie literate. I'll reproduce the list with an asterisk next to the movie I've seen. Warning: This will suck for me.

* "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) Stanley Kubrick *
"The 400 Blows" (1959) Francois Truffaut
"8 1/2" (1963) Federico Fellini
"Aguirre, the Wrath of God" (1972) Werner Herzog
"Alien" (1979) Ridley Scott
"All About Eve" (1950) Joseph L. Mankiewicz
"Annie Hall" (1977) Woody Allen
"Apocalypse Now" (1979) Francis Ford Coppola
* "Bambi" (1942) Disney *
"The Battleship Potemkin" (1925) Sergei Eisenstein
"The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946) William Wyler
"The Big Red One" (1980) Samuel Fuller
"The Bicycle Thief" (1949) Vittorio De Sica
"The Big Sleep" (1946) Howard Hawks
"Blade Runner" (1982) Ridley Scott
"Blowup" (1966) Michelangelo Antonioni
"Blue Velvet" (1986) David Lynch
"Bonnie and Clyde" (1967) Arthur Penn
"Breathless" (1959) Jean-Luc Godard
"Bringing Up Baby" (1938) Howard Hawks
"Carrie" (1975) Brian DePalma
"Casablanca" (1942) Michael Curtiz
"Un Chien Andalou" (1928) Luis Bunuel & Salvador Dali
"Children of Paradise" / "Les Enfants du Paradis" (1945) Marcel Carne
"Chinatown" (1974) Roman Polanski
"Citizen Kane" (1941) Orson Welles
"A Clockwork Orange" (1971) Stanley Kubrick
"The Crying Game" (1992) Neil Jordan
"The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951) Robert Wise
"Days of Heaven" (1978) Terence Malick
"Dirty Harry" (1971) Don Siegel
"The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" (1972) Luis Bunuel
"Do the Right Thing" (1989) Spike Lee
"La Dolce Vita" (1960) Federico Fellini
"Double Indemnity" (1944) Billy Wilder
"Dr. Strangelove" (1964) Stanley Kubrick
"Duck Soup" (1933) Leo McCarey
* "E.T. — The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982) Steven Spielberg *
"Easy Rider" (1969) Dennis Hopper
* "The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) Irvin Kershner *
"The Exorcist" (1973) William Friedkin
* "Fargo" (1995) Joel & Ethan Coen *
* "Fight Club" (1999) David Fincher *
"Frankenstein" (1931) James Whale
"The General" (1927) Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman
"The Godfather," "The Godfather, Part II" (1972, 1974) Francis Ford Coppola
"Gone With the Wind" (1939) Victor Fleming
* "GoodFellas" (1990) Martin Scorsese *
"The Graduate" (1967) Mike Nichols
"Halloween" (1978) John Carpenter
"A Hard Day's Night" (1964) Richard Lester
"Intolerance" (1916) D.W. Griffith
"It's a Gift" (1934) Norman Z. McLeod
"It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) Frank Capra
"Jaws" (1975) Steven Spielberg
"The Lady Eve" (1941) Preston Sturges
"Lawrence of Arabia" (1962) David Lean
"M" (1931) Fritz Lang
"Mad Max 2" / "The Road Warrior" (1981) George Miller
"The Maltese Falcon" (1941) John Huston
* "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962) John Frankenheimer *
"Metropolis" (1926) Fritz Lang
"Modern Times" (1936) Charles Chaplin
* "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (1975) Terry Jones & Terry Gilliam *
"Nashville" (1975) Robert Altman
"The Night of the Hunter" (1955) Charles Laughton
"Night of the Living Dead" (1968) George Romero
* "North by Northwest" (1959) Alfred Hitchcock *
"Nosferatu" (1922) F.W. Murnau
"On the Waterfront" (1954) Elia Kazan
"Once Upon a Time in the West" (1968) Sergio Leone
"Out of the Past" (1947) Jacques Tournier
"Persona" (1966) Ingmar Bergman
"Pink Flamingos" (1972) John Waters
"Psycho" (1960) Alfred Hitchcock
* "Pulp Fiction" (1994) Quentin Tarantino *
"Rashomon" (1950) Akira Kurosawa
"Rear Window" (1954) Alfred Hitchcock
"Rebel Without a Cause" (1955) Nicholas Ray
"Red River" (1948) Howard Hawks
"Repulsion" (1965) Roman Polanski
"The Rules of the Game" (1939) Jean Renoir
"Scarface" (1932) Howard Hawks
"The Scarlet Empress" (1934) Josef von Sternberg
"Schindler's List" (1993) Steven Spielberg
"The Searchers" (1956) John Ford
"The Seven Samurai" (1954) Akira Kurosawa
"Singin' in the Rain" (1952) Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly
"Some Like It Hot" (1959) Billy Wilder
"A Star Is Born" (1954) George Cukor
"A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951) Elia Kazan
"Sunset Boulevard" (1950) Billy Wilder
* "Taxi Driver" (1976) Martin Scorsese *
"The Third Man" (1949) Carol Reed
"Tokyo Story" (1953) Yasujiro Ozu
"Touch of Evil" (1958) Orson Welles
"The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948) John Huston
"Trouble in Paradise" (1932) Ernst Lubitsch
"Vertigo" (1958) Alfred Hitchcock
"West Side Story" (1961) Jerome Robbins/Robert Wise
"The Wild Bunch" (1969) Sam Peckinpah
* "The Wizard of Oz" (1939) Victor Fleming *

There you have it: 13 out of 102. I'm going to try to watch as many of these as I can.

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Summer Blockbusters …

Posted by austinburns on April 25, 2006

So, Entertainment Weekly has put their predictive powers to the test to rank the top 10 blockbusters of the summer. Here is their list:

  1. Superman Returns
  2. Mission: Impossible III
  3. X-Men: The Last Stand
  4. Cars
  5. The Da Vinci Code
  6. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
  7. Over the Hedge
  8. Poseidon
  9. The Break-Up
  10. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Good job, EW, but not a great job. You made some pretty brash decisions there. Here’s what you should have predicted:

  1. Cars (no doubt about it)
  2. Superman Returns (Cars will just edge it out)
  3. The Da Vinci Code (Not much will beat this)
  4. X-Men: The Last Stand (I want to see this)
  5. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (My sister alone will push up this movie’s numbers)
  6. Over the Hedge (I’m betting kids will love this)
  7. The Break-Up (Ashley says this will gross more than …)
  8. Mission: Impossible III (Tom Cruise has been WAY overexposed)
  9. Miami Vice (Poseidon will be a BOMB, Miami Vice takes their spot)
  10. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (Nothing can stop Will Ferrell)

The movies that I am looking forward to are Cars, Superman, Da Vinci, X-Men, A Scanner Darkly, The Break-Up, Wordplay, Lady in the Water, Little Miss Sunshine, Clerks II. Wow. EW previews 114 summer movies and I really only want to see 10 of them. Movies are sucking these days. We’ll see how my predicitons come true in a few months.

Posted in Movies | 1 Comment »