Transformers

Maybe I should limit my blog posts to movies I pay to see.

Transformers T-Shirt

Transformers made my day ever so sweeter. I was told it was a nerd movie, where the nerdy guy gets the hot girl. I can appreciate such a storyline as it parallels my own romance with my boyfriend. Also, I experienced some faint nostalgia from the vague memories of transformers from my childhood.

Only a few minutes into this movie I was already giddy with glee. I felt bad because despite my heart has been opened to the plight of American troops overseas, it was really cool when the evil helicopter robot transformed and blew up the air force base with blue shockwaves and missiles. The special effects in this movie made you wonder, “Has Jim Hensen gotten into robots?” because these huge digitally generated ‘auto-bots’ interacted so well with their surroundings it was practically seamless.

But what made this movie more than just some action/adventure flick? Three things:

1) The humour. There was some great writing, and really great characters (my favourite was the nerd-hero’s mom).

2) The romance & the action/adventure. By the time the nerd gets the girl, she’s not as shallow as she seems to be and he proves himself noble and true. The chase scenes were also pretty stellar, with lots of adrenaline-rush-inducing human-versus-machines battles.

3) The prude in me appreciated that this movie kept the violence, sex and swearing at a minimum. I suppose it is because children are a huge market and Transformers loves to market itself to kids. I think this movie was PG-13. It’s a teen boy movie, but I loved it.

Good clean fun and I look forward to owning it and watching it again with my boyfriend.

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Ratatouille

Thank you, Pixar, for existing. Nothing impresses me more than Pixar. The first ten minutes of the film made my mouth go dry from being open so much. The detail for a animated film, from scratches on the spice rack to picture-perfect imitation of rats… I was in awe by their fur, disgusted by their likeness to real swarms of rats, and found them adorably plumb and petable.

If my eyes weren’t ogling the beauty and colours and texture and detail, my mind was reeling at the writing. I was surprised by twists in the plot, I was impressed by the moral, and the characterization made me wonder if perhaps this was some sort of animal rights piece, promoting the idea that rats and humans could get along if they’d just open their minds and listen to each other.

All in all, it rose to the expectations I’ve developed for Pixar and surpassed them. “Cars?” I said once. “Rats in Paris and food?” Well, I’ll never doubt these creative geniuses again. I left that theatre hungry for more. I couldn’t wait until we went out to have some Fourth of July barbecue. I already have an appetite for Pixar’s next film: WALL E

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Icing on the cake 1:

The trailer is not a clip from the movie, and is, in fact, created solely for the purposes of selling the film. Thus,  you never experience that distracting deja vu effect during the film.

Icing on the cake 2:

The closing credits have their own artistic joy to them, and are entertainment in themselves.

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The Matrix

Always good.

I’m starting to appreciate watching movies more than once (or twice). Apparently, there are a lot of things in them you’d never pick up that are intentionally there. Like the guy at Neo’s door that says, “You need to unplug.” Since you all (*crickets chirping*) know what the Matrix looks like, and it would take to long to find a truly interesting picture to post regarding it, I shall instead post a video.

I give you: The Muppet Matrix.

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Mr. & Mrs. Smith

I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed this film. The only criticisms I give it involve the excessive violence that seems out of place for such a light film. The two ‘hits’ in the movie, one by Mrs. Smith (Jolie) and Mr. Smith (Pitt), remind me of Buffy (the S&M and the quick-death neck-twister) and Boondock Saints (it was the Irish, probably).

The Real Mr. & Mrs. SmithAnyway, I think one of the reasons this movie didn’t do so well was the combination of action/adventure and marriage. For some reason, I don’t think the average American wants to know that a lot of hard work will fix their marriage. And I figure many people feel uncomfortable with the acknowledgement that marriage has problems. It’s not your typical comedic ending where they live ‘happy ever after,’ or so it is assumed, the ending that has so contributed with the ideal of marriage being the purpose of life (and all romantic comedies). I think people must’ve not liked the idea that if Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie couldn’t work it out without counseling and honesty, no one can.

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Thank You for Smoking

smokies

All satirical movies should be watched with similarly satirical food accompaniments.

We watched Thank You for Smoking with Little Smokies (small sausages) and smoked brick cheese, smoked cheddar and smoked sausage. The thing with smoked food is that you can’t taste the smoke until it hits the back of your mouth, and then WHAM! It’s like you are actually smoking. Except, not really. Delicious evening, that’s for sure.

But as for the movie? Three things turned me off.

  1. Katie Holmes and the rest of the famous cast (if I’m more used to seeing your face on the front of tabloids than in movies, I’m going to have a hard time believing you’re the character). William H. Macy is similar, in that he’s in SO MANY movies – and he’s good at it – that it’s hard not to cheer when he comes on screen for being William H. Macy. Luckily, I think, because he can act, I forget he’s William H. Macy.
  2. Swearing. Every bad character swore. At least, that’s what I remember. When you have that much swearing in a movie, you bump up the rating (my 3rd point also does that quite well), so your message can’t be as effectively communicated to a younger audience. This movie has the kind of content that should be available to a younger audience, but it was rated R for ‘language and sexual content.’ Also, I feel that any author who can’t communicate what a swear word does using a larger vocabularly, has made an unwise choice (for aforementioned reason) as well isn’t demonstrating their ability to write.
  3. Sex. Why, why, why. I probably won’t watch this movie again because I felt like 10% of it was Katie Holmes having sex. Not really integral to the plot…just there because “hey, we swore so much already, why not do as much as we can with an R rating?!”

Guh. I’m just glad the cheese made me happy. An overall entertaining movie, but I wouldn’t recommend it or watch it again.

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Much Ado About Nothing

Why do we try to teach high school students Shakespeare? Teach them grammar, instead, and leave Shakespeare for when they’re actually paying to learn.

Another beef I have with Shakespeare: Little kids like Kate believe what everyone tells them, that “the greatest writer of all time is William Shakespeare.” First off, this ignores all literature not written in English. If this isn’t imperialistic enough, it also ignores literature inspired by God, and it seems to assume that because it was one of the most widely published non-Bibles when the printing press first started churning out mass publications (second to John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress), that it still must play a major role in understanding English. I’m sorry, but I don’t live in 17th century England with three books on my shelf.

Shakespeare wrote sonnets. Great sonnets. And plays. NOT BOOKS. Why do we read plays? They were meant to be performed. Ever wonder why it is frustrating to read a play? Because it’s not a book! When you say that Shakespeare is the greatest writer there ever was… I say, read something else for a change! There are billions of books inMuch Ado About Shakespeare existence, it is a shame when everyone is reading the same thing. Harry Potter might get kids reading, but if all they’re reading is Harry Potter, is that really expanding the minds of that generation? If we’re going to say William Shakespeare is the best writer there ever was, aren’t we short-changing someone who might actually be living today, who might actually use present-day English to do something beautiful? We’re so drawn to the past, the golden age, when half of the appeal of Shakespeare is how universal his characters are, and how human his stories seem to be. Why can we not do better? There must be some great writer alive since (or today) that has beat him. Otherwise, I think we’ve had our eyes closed for the last four centuries.

Kenneth Branagh redeems Shakespeare for me. Did you know he wrote screenplays and directed? I didn’t.

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The Hunt for Red October

with Sean Connery.

A Russian with a Scottish accent.

After taking a year of Russian, I can say with certainty that Sean Connery does not have a Russian accent in this movie. I can also say with certainty that Sean Connery does not know how to act any character that is not ‘Sean Connery.’ It was very difficult to watch this movie and not be distracted with how familiar the faces are (Alec Baldwin, Sam Neill,  Tim Curry, James Earl Jones, just to name a few). But I suppose, in 1990, SEVENTEEN YEARS AGO… their faces weren’t as familiar?

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