6.26.2011

Would You Just Shut Up Already??

So tonight we watched Batman Begins, a very solid film that has definitely held up very well through the last 6 years. It's a great origin superhero film, with two great villains. Seriously, Scarecrow is so underrated, and, unfortunately, underused (with an unfortunately Boba Fett-like exit...) I always liked the film from the first time I saw it, but my feelings about it have definitely warmed over the years so that it's become one of my favorite superhero films. But one aspect of my opinion has remained unchanged from my initial viewing: how much I hate the character, Rachel Dawes.

Almost every word out of this self-righteous bayntch's mouth (save for when the character was a child..) is condescending and unfeeling. And you think, "well, let's give her the benefit of the doubt...she isn't omniscient like the audience is. She doesn't know he's Batman. I'm sure if she did she'd realize all the good he's doing and what a catch he really is...how much he really does care." and then...he reveals himself and you expect her to have a smile on her face like "yes! I knew he had it in him" or SOMETHING. But instead she just has this blank look on her face. Okay well, she's just shocked, you can't blame her right? I'm sure it will all be resolved in the end.

AND THEN.....THIS EXCHANGE IN THE FINAL SCENE:

Bruce Wayne: Rachel I'm sorry I didn't tell you about...
Rachel Dawes: No I'm sorry, the day Chill died I said some terrible things [Okay...she's finally apologizing...this is good..]
Bruce Wayne: But true things [And is instantly absolved for anything she's done wrong...great] I was a coward with a gun, justice is about more than revenge so thank you [And she gets THANKED on top of it??]
Rachel Dawes: I never stopped thinking about you. About us. And when I heard you were back, I-I started to hope.
[Rachel kisses Bruce] SHE INITIATES IT!!! ONLY TO SAY THE FOLLOWING:
Rachel Dawes: But then I found out about your mask.
Bruce Wayne: Batman's just a symbol, Rachel.
Rachel Dawes: [Rachel touches Bruce's face] No, *this* is your mask. Your real face is the one that criminals now fear. The man I loved - the man who vanished - he never came back at all. But maybe he's still out there, somewhere. Maybe some day, when Gotham no longer needs Batman, I'll see him again. [WTF!!! You selfish bayntch! So what you're saying is he was too selfish and not good enough for you as Bruce Wayne, but even as Batman, a hero risking everything for everyone in his city, he's still not a man you could love... he's not GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU??? So what, you loved a childhood fantasy then? WTF is your problem? And you HAD to kiss him before this, only to tell him that you didn't want him? What is your logic here?]


Yep. I have strong feelings about this detestable character. Add to the fact that she's unconvincingly played by Katie Holmes. Not the love interest part....but the professional Assistant to the D.A. part. And in the sequel with a switch of actress to Maggie Gyllenhaal she's not any more likable. Though she becomes more believable in the professional aspect, she is less believable in the love interest one....and again, all the while is just so smug that you can't help but wonder why Bruce even bothers. And SPOILER ALERT, I couldn't be happier when the Joker offed her. Thanks for that!




It leads me to ponder other really annoying characters in movies or television that I just can't handle. My favorite love to hate would probably be Lana Lang who was basically everything Rachel Dawes was....but for much more screen time...and with a lot more negative effects on the hero. I've also mentioned my hatred for Clara Clayton in BTTF 3 in a previous blog, but she's worth noting again. Michael Scott became unbearable in The Office. I was never crazy about Kitty in Arrested Development. And of course....there's Jar Jar who is probably the king of all....but I tend to lay off the Star Wars bashing :) That's all I can think of at the moment, but who are some of your least favorite characters in any medium, that almost derail from your enjoyment of an otherwise good thing?

6.23.2011

Hooray For Hollywood!

Can you believe it? The summer is almost half over? So far, I've gone on two vacations, but I'll try to do more with the rest of the summer if I can! First I went to Ohio and visited my sister, her husband and their new little guy, my nephew Thomas! But two weeks ago, I took the movie buffs' vacation and visited Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills. I've always loved going to California, and I had been there several times in my life....but never to see the sights a movie lover wants to see. This time though...I was in the driver's seat on where we were going. Okay, not the literal drivers seat because I made Bethany do it since I was scared of driving in L.A, but you get the idea.

We were only there two days, but boy did we make the most of our time. The first day we visited Universal Studios, which I have been to a few times before...but not for several years. Last time I was there I was 16 or 17 I think. I did really want to go to Disneyland too so I could ride the newly updated Star Tours, but there wasn't time (I'll just have to save it for the next Cali trip.) However, Disneyland wasn't the only one making changes to their park because I was pleasantly surprised to find a lot of new, fun changes at Universal.

The Backlot tour, as always, is definitely a highlight and one of the coolest things to see, as a movie lover. Most of the classics were there, minus the Back to the Future clock tower, but my friend Scott assures me it is probably still there, just being used for filming something else the day I saw it....so I had to settle for seeing the DeLorean instead. The new additions to the backlot tour were great. There's a new part called King Kong 360 that was nothing short of awesome. You just have to go to experience it, because I honestly can't describe how fun it was. There was a Fast and Furious special effects display that was also new and pretty cool. Another newer addition, since I'd last been there at least, was the War of the Worlds set...which I honestly still can't get over how cool and realistic that looked. It's funny, most of the stuff on the backlot tour kinda looks fake...yet photographs so real. But that set, looked unbelievably real. It was very impressive.

But my favorite will always be the Psycho house and motel. Funny story I heard about that according to Wikipedia:

When Man on the Moon, a film telling Andy Kaufman's life story was on production in 1999 and is shot at an area near the house, Jim Carrey, who portrayed Kaufman in the film, dressed up as "mother". He then leaped out from behind the 1960 Psycho house with a rubber knife and jumped on the tram, scaring the tourists, including the guides. The tour guides and tram operators reported the incident to the film crew nearby for an explanation. They said that the person in the costume was none other than Carrey himself and it was break time during filming and he got bored. They also said he was trying to channel the creative energy of Kaufman. Carrey wanted to repeat the stunt one year later while filming How The Grinch Stole Christmas (which was being filmed behind the house), but this time in full Grinch costume. However, he was stopped by the production that wanted to keep his costume and make-up under wraps until the film came out.

How funny/scary would that be?? The other rides were great too. I always love the Jurassic ic Park ride. The Simpsons ride replaced the Back to the Future...and was a replacement as far as the actual ride went. (Though I do prefer BTTF to Simpsons...though in the Simpsons glory days it was amazing.) The Mummy ride was really fun too...in fact probably my favorite...too bad it doesn't belong to a franchise with more staying power. I'm sure a few years from now it'll be refurbished into something else. After Universal, we drove along Sunset Boulevard and saw the houses of Beverly Hills. We saw some pretty awesome mansions, but I didn't have a map at that point to tell you who they belonged to (I got one on the side of the road the next day for kicks.)

The next day, I found a bunch of the locations from....you know it, my favorite...
(500) Days of Summer. I saw Tom's favorite spot in the city (the park he takes Summer to,) the theater they see movies at, many of the buildings he shows Summer, and the building where he meets Autumn (which was gorgeous), In fact, one of the buildings is used in tons of films...from Armageddon to As Good As It Gets AND a film that was filming as we drove by. Ha!







After that, we went to a place I've been wanting to see for a long, long time. First, the Hollywood sign, then Hollywood Blvd. with the Grauman's Chinese Theater and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We got there as a movie premier was just ending: Mr. Popper's Penguins. Jim Carrey and a bunch of penguins were there (no really) apparently, but we didn't see them since it was basically over by the e time we got there. They were keeping people from seeing the handprints until it was done being cleaned up. But for this movie lover, it was worth the wait. Some of the biggest stars in the history of cinema stood there!

We finished our last day by seeing more mansions, this time with a map. We saw the apparent homes of Jennifer Aniston, Madonna, the late Jimmy Stewart, Doris Day and Frank Sinatra. Crazy. Then we headed to the beach. How often do you go to the beach at night? Ha well, I suppose if you lived near one it'd be a lot. But for me, it was a first.



Whew! That oughta do it. Sorry for the long post, but there was just so much to talk about. I'm so glad I had the chance to do this, and see all the things I did. The movie lover in me (which is quite prevalent as I'm sure you're aware) was in heaven :)

6.18.2011

Super 8 is Super Great!
















Haha! I couldn't resist the cheesy title. But I'm seriously in love with this movie. And I know I need to blog first about Midnight in Paris which I saw last week and my trip to Hollywood last weekend...but I can't help it. All I want to talk about right now is Super 8. I love movies that can get by with showing as little as they can through advertising. When I walked into the film all I really knew about it was that there was a Super 8 camera involved (which I want to run to the DI and pick one up ASAP and start making my own old school amateur films hehe), some kids and probably some sci-fi. Like Inception, the less you knew about what was actually going on and the fewer expectations you had (though I had pretty high for both..), the better you would enjoy the film.

I saw the movie with my Dad, one of my favorite movie companions for his bizarrely hilarious commentary. As soon as the movie started he said, "What is this? Another Sandlot or something?" He was also distraught because he saw so many teenagers in our theater, which he sees as a bad omen. Interesting he mentioned Sandlot because this was a film that had similar childlike wonder. In fact, one of the best ways to describe this film is by comparing (and combining it with others.)




A dash of Goonies here, a bit of E.T. there, add a little bit of Jurassic Park...oh and also Signs and don't forget the Cloverfield. For all that though, surprisingly it doesn't feel derivative, nor is it in the least predictable (except for I suppose the very end.) It's definitely its own film...just full of homages to other great films, and watching it unfold (not just the action, but the story behind the characters) is a joy. Seriously. I was on the edge of my seat and I really didn't know what to expect at each turn. No scene is wasted, and the dialogue is also very strong. All in all, great storytelling and one of my favorites this year.

For the most part, I really liked the cast. However, you definitely could look and see that not all of the child actors were created equal...and maybe that was more a problem with the script...they weren't all as fleshed out and lovable as the kids in The Sandlot or Goonies. But the ones who mattered were...I guess it's a shame that not all of them were super memorable. However, the story is moving so fast that you don't really notice this too much. Also, it's important to note the importance of suspending belief...especially for a film like this. The more you do, the more you'll enjoy! Anyway, I think I would give this one 8.7 super 8 cameras out of 10 and I'd say see it in theaters! I wish I'd seen it sooner. I definitely think I'll go back and see it a few more times.

6.14.2011

Celebrate!

I finally hit a milestone I've been anticipating for quite some time. 5,000 views to my blog. Hooray! I'm seriously so excited! We we so excited! And sorry I can't resist, but I think spazzing out gifs are funny, so here's some people who are excited too.
















Hopefully, it will be at 10,000 in no time! I really love writing this blog and I hope everyone out there enjoys reading it. After seeing its growth on my stats bar, I know it's not just my immediate friends and family who are reading it, so thanks to all you lurkers out there! I invite you to comment at any time! I'd love to hear all about who you are and what brought you to my blog...and your thoughts on my thoughts! I love movies, and I love adventures so I know that this blog has endless material that's all coming from my crazy brain. But anyway, thank you all for reading. I've hoped you have enjoyed so far and I hope you all stick around!

6.07.2011

Source Code: Forgettable Title, Memorable Film

This week, on another venture to the $ theaters, I happened upon the Jake Gyllenhaal thriller Source Code. It was an April release with a forgettable title, so I didn't really expect much (though I should have since it received a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes)...but it was actually very good! It's funny, I had the chance to see it with my Dad when it came out, but we opted for the similar genre film The Adjustment Bureau, which was good too....but I preferred Source Code of the two. The plot is a real mindbender to even try and explain, but this was the summary from IMDB:

An action thriller centered on a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown man and discovers he's part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train.


But a good description I read came from Rotten Tomatoes, where a reviewer described it as Inception meets Groundhog Day as Jake's character gets to relive the last 8 minutes of a stranger's life over and over again until he can figure out whodunnit. The movie is intelligent, fascinating and entertaining. But it perhaps benefits the most from a very likable turn from Gyllenhaal whose reactions to every twist and turn mimic our own. It also keeps you on the edge of your seat and never drags on in its modest running time. It was definitely a fun adventure that makes you think a lot, and subsequently makes you want to see it again to see what you may have missed the first time around. Plus the ending is great. My brother Clayton compared it in terms of excitement and quality to Frequency. I definitely see a lot of similarities too. Both very solid films.



And, on another note, it was great to see the familiar Chicago scenery :) See the log from last September. That jellybean is one of my favorite places ever. I'd love to go back.

Random fact: The movie was directed by David Bowie's son. "Bowie's bumped into a door!"



This film receives an Emily rating of 8/10 and is branded as "I would have definitely paid for a matinee of this, but it's in dollar theater now so go see it for sure."

6.05.2011

First Class Indeed

I was on a blog roll in May, and then... there wasn't anything for me to really write about! All that really came out after Thor was Pirates, and I opted to skip it (maybe I'll catch it in the $ theaters...or in redbox....or never.) I was just so bored and waiting for a good movie! Finally, this weekend I was delightfully surprised by the newest installment in the X-Men franchise: X-Men: First Class. When I was writing my expectations for the blockbusters in my blog a few weeks ago, I thought this one was gonna be hit or miss, and I didn't really have too high hopes for it. The last couple films in the franchise had been pretty mediocre. Entertaining, at times, but mediocre. I kinda figured this new prequel/reboot would be more of the same. Turns out, First Class is one of the biggest surprises of the summer (...even though we're not too far into that summer yet...)

Now, let's get one thing straight. First Class is far from perfect. In fact, some of the flaws that plagued the most recent films are here. Notably, some questionable CGI in places, and underdeveloped/annoying side mutant characters. I suppose they can't all be as cool as Magneto, Mystique or Professor X. But...butterfly girl, a poor man's cyclops, and nightcrawler 2.0? Eh. The movie makes up for those shortcomings though with its great action, story, and how well it fleshes out it's two lead characters.




It's funny, one of the reviews I read said it was the prequel everyone thought they didn't want. I kind of felt that way. Every piece of news I heard, I was kinda skeptical. When I heard about James McAvoy's casting as Professor X, I really didn't see how it would work. But somehow, it really did and he just shined in the role. But I think the best thing about First Class is Michael Fassbender as Magneto. He brought a lot of depth to the role and played his part wonderfully. The best scenes in the film always had him in them, and his brotherly chemistry with McAvoy was a real highlight. It made me want to rewatch all the older films and get excited about more sequels.

Oh and one more thing to mention. Kevin Bacon! Haha, it's been awhile since I saw him in anything and I kind of had a good chuckle seeing him here. Didn't know what to do with him as a villain, but he was fun and actually played the part very well. I do have more things to say about the film, but it'd be getting into spoiler territory or harping on continuity issues...so I think I'll just leave it at that. This is a fun movie, worth seeing, that brings the franchise back to where it should be!

Can't wait for the rest of the summer offerings! Up next: Super 8!

ETA: By request...I give this 8.5 hot Magnetos out of 10. I brand it: See it in theaters if you can...Opening Night good.
So I'll give it a number rating and I'll differentiate with: Opening Night good, matinee good, $ theater good, Redbox good, DVR on t.v. five years from now good, and avoid at all costs.