Snow White and the Huntsman

Friday, 14 September 12

Kristen Stewart
Chris Hemsworth
Charlize Theron
Sam Clafin
Sam Spruell
Ian McShane
Bob Hoskins
Ray Winston
Nick Frost
Eddie Marsan
Toby Jones
Johnny Harris
Brian Gleeson

PG13           132 min           2012

Snow White, imprisoned daughter of the late king, escapes just as the Magic Mirror declares her the source of the Evil Queen’s immortality. The Queen sends her men, led by a local huntsman to bring her back. But upon her capture, the huntsman finds he’s being played and turns against the Queens men, saving Snow White in the process. Meanwhile, Snow’s childhood friend, William, learns that she is alive and sets off to save her. Written by G.C. Bendixen

First it’s surreal that Thor and the Huntsman are played by the same guy who sacrificed himself on the USS Kelvin. He’s barely recognizable from the other two roles. I wasn’t too stressed about seeing this film until I found out that this was Bob Hoskin’s last film. Been a fan since Who Framed Roger Rabbit? [One of the first childhood movie that I watched as an adult and wondered: Is this really for kids?]

Snow White and the Huntsman on Blu-Ray is sensory overload. There is too much going on to grasp it in one sitting. Some of the imaginary I still don’t get. It may just come from my ignorance of the character. There’s no Disney’s Snow White to be found here.

The extended edition is advertised as ‘the version you couldn’t see in theatres.’ After watching it, I can’t tell what couldn’t be shouldn’t theatres unless scenes were blatantly cut for time reasons. Coming in just under two and half hours, I would have had to drive out of town to see this movie. Anything over two hours and my local theatre adds a ten minute break. If go to theatres to see a movie I want to SEE THE MOVIE, if I want breaks I’ll watch it at home.

I’ve never taken hallucinogens but whatever Snow White came into contact with seemed like a fun trip and she was no worse for wear. I’m a little ambivalent to miffed that the dwarves were relegated to secondary parts in this tale, not to mention they weren’t played by little people. But that aside the story was an interesting interpretation but I think I like Cameron Jace’s interpretation in Snow White Blood Red better.

Charlize Theron’s maniac crazy ‘evil’ stepmother perfect, unlike some calling it over the top, she was coming apart mentally at the seams. I imagine suckling the life essence from people will eventual rip your psyche. Kristen Stewart’s breathing from the mouth must have been aside an effect of that hallucinogen. Chris Hemsworth’s Hunstman and Sam Claflin’s William are perfect counterpoints to each other, two side of the same coin.

Although they left it open for a sequel, typical in today Hollywood, my imagination can’t conceive a plot to carry a second film. That’s the reason I feel I’m ignorant in the original Grimms’ take of Snow White.

I give Snow White and the Huntsman 3 out 5 Gs.


Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Friday, 26 June 09

Transformers (RotF)Shia LaBeouf
Megan Fox
Josh Duhamel
Tyrese Gibson
John Turturro
Ramon Rodriguez
Kevin White
Julie White
Isabel Lucas

PG13           150min           2009

Decepticon forces return to Earth on a mission to take Sam Witwicky prisoner, after the young hero learns the truth about the ancient origins of the Transformers. Joining the mission to protect humankind is Optimus Prime, who forms an alliance with international armies for a second epic battle. | – from imdb

If you were around during the heyday of Transformers then you know the story of ROTF. Most parts are taken from the original cartoon movie. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is modernized and simplified for the commercial marketing

“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” definitely does what a good sequel is supposed to. More robots, more hot bodies, and it moves the trilogy arc along. With over 20 different robots represented in the movie, it doubles the number and also most quadruple the screen time from the previous. Jessica Lucas comes to the screen bringing another hot body with a surprise. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen brings more story showing how our civilizations histories are intertwinned.

All those crying out that the twins are racists lighten the frak up. They are comic relief and fictional robots as much as I wish they were real. Its the absurdity of the characters that makes them funny.

Transformer: Revenge of the Fallen is what it is… a great summer movie. It’s directed by a director at the best of his game. Go, relax, buy some popcorn and soda, and enjoy one of this summer’s best film. Coming next week “Public Enemies” starring Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, in his second outing this summer, and Marion Cotillard.

I give Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 5 out of 5.

Star Trek (2009)

Friday, 8 May 09

startrek2009Chris Pine
Zachary Quinto
Leonard Nimoy
Eric Bana
Bruce Greenwood
Karl Urban
Zoe Saldana
Simon Pegg
Anton Yelchin
Ben Cross
Winona Ryder
Chris Hemworth
Jennifer Morrison

PG13           126 min           2009

It explores the backstories of James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) before they unite aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise to combat Nero (Eric Bana), a Romulan from the future who threatens the Federation.

I’m a casual fan of Star Trek. I almost crossed over when I was younger when Next Generation came out but Deep Space Nine happen and my world imploded. I could never recapture that magic I had from Generations. Yes I checked out the others and Enterprise may a good only because I a fan of Quantum Leap and Scott Backula. Voyager and Seven of Nine, God I miss that show.

Fanboys at work were stating that J.J. Abrams just shit on Star Trek. Although he incorporates some of his patented motifs, Star Trek was easily accessible to everyone. You don’t have to be a fanboy or a casual viewer of Star Trek. You just have to come to the theater sit down and enjoy two hours of one of the most exciting ride you will see this summer.

Abrams made a film that everyone will enjoy. It’s a good blend of characterization, drama, action, and scifi. Under this reimage some of the backstory change. With material this old you are going to have to update and modernize. It respects the fanboys and brings another generation aboard the Uniter Star Ship Enterprise.

I give Star Trek (2009) four out of five Gs.

“Fast & Furious”

Friday, 3 April 09

fastandfurious4Vin Diesel
Paul Walker
Jordana Brewster
Michelle Rodriguez
John Ortiz
Laz Alonso
Gal Gadot
Sung Kang

PG13           107min           2009

After 5 years circumstances bring FBI Agent Brian O’Connor and Dominic Toretto back together again. This time it’s to avenge lost friends and to bring down an international drug cartel.

This time around the original parts are better sync’d. This is the proper sequel to ”The Fast and the Furious” . Yes this has all the flash, or should I say flesh, as the others but this time is about the story and not about the cars. The stunts are ramped to the next level just as you expect but done uniquely that helps to reinvigorate the series.

“Fast & Furious” is the best in the series and it also is a fitting conclusion to it. It does a great job of telling a thrilling story but wraps up the original in a tight little bow. Anymore sequels would be repetitive. The series is back at the top of its game. The well is tapped, please don’t be out any stagnant water.

Take the action and characters from ”The Fast and the Furious”, ¾ the plot from “A Man Apart” and ¼ the plot of “Running Scared” and you have the film that is “Fast & Furious”.

I give “Fast & Furious” 4 out 5.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Tuesday, 14 October 08

Harrison Ford
Cate Blanchett
Karen Allen
Shia LaBeouf
Ray Winstone
John Hurt
Jim Broadbent
Igor Jiyikine

PG13           122min           2008

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull finds Indy trying to outrace a brilliant and beautiful agent for the mystical, all-powerful crystal skull of Akator. Teaming up with a rebellious young biker and his spirited original love Marion, Indy takes you on an action-packed adventure in the exciting tradition of the classic Indiana Jones movies!

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is my first complete adventure into the films. Having only seen parts of the films; I was left unimpressed. I like the story until the end when it went a little too outlandish and believable even for me. Many people wanted to see the return of Indy and for them I hope they enjoyed the ride.

I felt that Indiana Jones just a good action adventure and that it does have a classic 80s feel to it. But the over the top stunts of the eighties just don’t work. Their was too many obvious computer generated images that take me out of the film. I good movie can entertain and suspend belief but it has to be believable. The ants and monkeys took me out of the film and I could never get back into the film.

If Spielberg and Lucas make another Indiana Jones film trying making the character fill his age. In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull he ran around like his was a 35 year old make. The punches and falls that he gave and took had no effect on him which made him seem invincible. It’s a character out of place in the times of the land. Eighties hokey doesn’t work as successful in the post 9/11 world. He’s a character we look through with beer goggles.

I give Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 3 out of 5.

“The Seeker: The Dark is Rising”

Tuesday, 18 March 08

theseekerdarkisrising.jpgAlexander Ludwig
Christopher Eccleston
Frances Conroy
Ian McShane
Wendy Crewson
John Benjamin Hickey
Gregory Smith
James Cosmo
Jim Piddock
Drew Tyler Bell
Amelia Warner
Edmund Entin
Gary Entin
Emma Lockhart

PG           99min           2007

During Christmas break from school, a seemingly typical teenager discovers he’s anything but ordinary. As the seventh son of a seventh son, Will Staton is The Seeker – a chosen warrior destined to restore the delicate earthly balance between Light and Dark. Guided by ancient protectors of the Light, young Will must travel throught time to gather the hidden signs that hold the ultimate power to protect the world.

Based on the novel by Susan Cooper and publish nearly twenty years before J.K. Rowlings’ Harry Potter series; “The Seeker: The Dark is Rising” plays like an cheap imitation of that series. It’s Harry Potter meets Quantum Leap.

First off there is no cohesion to the story. He jumps from one badly dressed time period set to another. It has to many storylines running that do not payoff in the end. It left me as a viewer feeling cheated that I watched this film.

Having never read the book, the author was said to have been displeased at the way the film turned out. Many fans of the books were disappointed. From what I gathered it it was raped along the lines of how Eragon was raped by Hollywood. It Hollywood cannot be faithful to the material leave it alone.

I give it 2/5.

“Gabriel (2007)”

Tuesday, 19 February 08

gabriel.jpgAndy Whitfield
Dwaine Stevenson
Samantha Noble
Michael Piccirilli
Erika Heynatz
Harry Pavlidis
Kevin Copeland
Jack Campbell
Matt Hylton Todd
Brendan Clearkin
Goran D. Kleut
Valentino del Toro

R           114min           2007

Fallen angel Sammael has claimed the midworld in the name of darkness. With the help of his menacing, gun-toting task force, he has smothered the dark, dreary cotu in vice, violence and cruelty. Sammael’s victory is assured – until the arrival of Gabriel, the last of Heaven’s seven archangels. Gabriel is young, strong and the mightiest warrior seen since Michael, his predecessor, disappeared. In no time, Gabriel’s bravery and skill threaten to decimate Sammael’s evil henchmen and redeem Jade, the lost angel with the heart of gold. But Sammael has one last card to play, the secret of his own past, the knowledge of which could destroy Gabriel forever.

I felt that this is a good film. It was a different take on the tale of GOD verses the Devil, and angel verses demons. The main character is Gabriel the last of GOD’s Arc Angels sent in this seven years battle for souls.

This is a low budget film that uses every sense to make a great action film. The film does have rough patches but its worth the watch. The character development, of all the angels, before Gabriel, is intriguing working with in the confines of the story. With a little more money and a few rewrites this would have be a great film.

As it stands it relies on the viewer to know the basics about the Bible and Apocalypse. As I understand this film takes place after Doomsday and these are the people left after Judgment. I could be wrong and that is fine but where I’m right or wrong. This place is bleak when Gabriel “falls” to it.

The only problem I did have with the film is the ending. For me it was a bit confusing and it may have been explained in the special features if I had have had time to watch them all. It’s cloak of ambiguity leaves me wondering the possibilities of a sequel. It’s the fate of the character Jade and Gabriel that it has me questioning.

There are basic special features on this DVD. There are the standard deleted scenes. Then there are the three behind the scene featurette: Genesis, Battlefront, and Evolution. The movie previews for this film are “Southland Tales” and “Zombie Strippers”.

I give it 3/5.

Footnote, this is an Australian film and could not be found online for purchase.