badger: (badgerman)
Big goofy space opera fun.
The Wachowskis tell you in the first ten minutes that this is a Cinderella story so you’re watching a fairy tale with different trappings. If you're looking for hard SF go back to complaining about Gravity and Interstellar because you're in the wrong room.

some spoilers in this post )
badger: (badgerman)
Much fun. Silly, but a serious grimdark tone would have been a bad idea. We saw it Thursday night at Mission Valley then Friday elsewhere with friends, we both enjoyed it both times. Definitely recommended.

Note: Stay post-closing credits.

some spoilers )
badger: (badgerman)
A remake of District B-13 moved from near-future Paris to near-future Detroit, keeping the basic plot of corrupt politicians plan urban renewal by way of neutron bomb, crimelord in blighted area decides to play, parkour-proficient local and good cop have to do something.

Lots of parkour. RZA as the crimelord is more sympathetic than I remember the original being. Fun. Thin, but plot isn't why one goes to this kind of movie.

[film] Her

Jan. 20th, 2014 08:56 pm
badger: (badgerman)
We saw Her on Saturday night at Mission Valley - still one of my favorite movie theatres in the Triangle area. (Colony/Raleigh, Rialto/Raleigh, Carolina/Durham, Grande/Raleigh, Varsity/Chapel Hill are the others.) It's a very good movie. It's about alienation, and a romance, and the Singularity. Great performances, an intelligent script that doesn't hand a lot of neatly-packaged answers, and a lovely film score. I look forward to whatever replaces this as my favorite movie of 2014 because it's going to have to be really impressive.

trailers:
Edge of Tomorrow - Tom Cruise, SF, June 6
Heaven Is For Real - Small child has near-death experience, becomes spiritualist.
That Awkward Moment - HBO's Guys.
Winter's Tale - Feb 14
badger: (badgerman)
(as written yesterday) Just saw Les Miserables. Too many ninjas, and Hugh Jackman didn’t sing at all. Very confusing.

Saw The Wolverine Friday night. Obvious even with holes plot. Generally fun.

comments, spoilers )
badger: (badgerman)
The Warrens, a real pair of ghost hunters, and their worst case back in 1971. The family being attacked by weirdness was more interesting to me than the storyline involving the Warrens and their family. The house is nice, the giant twisted tree is nice, wandering out the pier to the lake a couple of times gets a payoff. Decent for what it is. Nice soundtrack and score, including contributions by Diamanda Galas. Almost no onscreen gore, generally creepy throughout.

spoilers, and trailers, within )
badger: (badgerman)
Saw Iron Man 3 Saturday afternoon (a minor miscalculation on my part because I didn't realize the large university in the way of the route was apparently having graduation ceremonies and traffic was unexpectedly high) at Mission Valley.

Shot partly locally, I recognized a couple of sets. Overall we considered it more fun than the second film, but not as much as the first. Still pretty good. There's a minor stinger scene at the end of the closing credits.

Other comments and minor nitpicks under the cut because of significant spoilers.

Spoilers within - if this bothers you turn back now )
badger: (badgerman)
Saw Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of The Great Gatsby Friday night at Mission Valley. Viewed in 2-D we did not feel deprived of the 3-D option elsewhere. Worth seeing for the performances and the spectacle.

more )
badger: (badgerman)
Last Wednesday [livejournal.com profile] maegwynn and I saw G.I. Joe: Retaliation at Mission Valley. She'd had a stressful week and wanted something in the big dumb fun category, preferably with lots of explosions. Come for the splody, stay for the extra splody )
badger: (badgerman)
(Roderick Thorp's 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever, the book the first Die Hard was adapted from, is pretty good.)

Took [livejournal.com profile] maegwynn to see A Good Day to Die Hard at Mission Valley Thursday night. Overall a movie that is exactly what the trailer shows it as, big dumb fun mindless entertainment. I was surprised it was close to ninety minutes, and not 2 hrs 15 or 2 hrs 30min. Felt a little odd that this one lacks a major holiday tie-in, unlike Christmas (the first two) and Independence Day (fourth). I suppose if they continued the series they could hit all the holidays, like the calendar tree grove at the beginning of The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Important note: no stinger at the end post-credits, so stay for the credits if you like, but there's no father and son McClane bonding moment eating pirogues in Moscow akin to the Avengers shawarma dinner.

Disappointed in the lack of Sisters of Mercy "Dominion" on soundtrack after the poster of Bruce Willis' head and YIPPIE KI-YAY MOTHER RUSSIA superimposed in giant letters.


I mean honestly, this could work in the soundtrack.

However, I was annoyed with and said "Oh come on!" during the movie in response to one point.

spoilers, really, mean it )

trailers:

* Olympus Has Fallen - March 22 - terrorists in the White House.

* GI Joe Retaliation - March 29 - terrorists in the White House. I sense a trend.

* Red 2 - Aug 2 - Might have terrorists in the White House, but they aren't in the trailer.

* Star Trek: Into Darkness - May 17. They canceled Dredd 2 so Karl Urban doesn't have to worry about scheduling conflicts from two franchises. Although he might be in Red 2, I haven't checked.
badger: (badgerman)
Fun cops and robbers fluff in 1949 Los Angeles at a comic book level of realism. Ok, not great, forgettable. Fun for two hours. Pretty.

more inside )
trailers:

* The Last Stand - Conan's sword shows up in the trailer.

* Man of Steel - I keep looking at the Superman logo on the movie poster and trying to design the tie knot that will layer like that.

* Bullet to the Head - Legendary action film director Walter Hill (The Warriors, The Long riders, Last Man Standing, Southern Comfort, 48 Hours, Streets of Fire) directing Sylvester Stallone. Feb 1. I'm already there.

* Star Trek: Into Darkness - Two words: Benedict Cumberbatch. Hopefully not played by an otter.
badger: (badgerman)
(recreating my draft LJ ate last night - twelve years on this thing and I don't recall that ever happening before.)

Snarktastic Les Mis review , spoilers

If you're completely unfamiliar with this story, a caution: it's very sad. The title is a hint.

now that that's out of the way, let's begin again )

Also from Foreign Policy a consideration of Les Miserables as a lesson in COIN (counter-insurgency) tactics. Yes, spoilers.

trailers:

* Beautiful Creatures - young teenage girl, coming of age in a family of magic, has to choose good or evil, has a boy she's interested in. Looks pretty. Feb 13.

* Warm Bodies - Teenage boy is a shambling Romero zombie. He hangs out with other shamblers, more of an inarticulate slacker than most teenagers but not that far off if you ignore his occasional hunger cravings. He meets a not-dead girl, falls in love at first sight, his heart starts beating. Starts to get over being a zombie, look less dead, talks better but not any better around her. Her dad doesn't like him as the kid is from the really, really wrong side of the living/dead tracks. Looks like a John Hughes horror-comedy study in class warfare. Feb 1.

* Oz - I will note that James Franco, the man who would be Oz, participated last month in a public recreation of a magickal ritual associated with Aleister Crowley, Jack Parsons, and L. Ron Hubbard. Given the Crowley association, the k was intentional. Manners. March 2013.

* The Great Gatsby - Baz Luhrmann's Art Decoglam with modern music rendition of the novel by way of HBO's Boardwalk Empire with Tobey Maguire as Nick the narrator, Carey Mulligan as Daisy, and Leo DiCaprio as Gatsby. I like Luhrmann's films more than most people, so I'm already there. May 2013.
badger: (badgerman)
Best Les Mis review I've seen yet... - Imgur

(Note: Had a much longer review but apparently LJ's problems today meant it saved none of the draft after this first line above. Argh. May redo tomorrow.)
badger: (badgerman)
Saw Django Unchained at Mission Valley yesterday afternoon. Much more like Inglourious Basterds crossed with The Man With the Iron Fists than like Sukiyaki Western Django. Long, brutal, excellent. Tarantino has described this movie as a Southern genre movie the way that Westerns are a recognized genre. Solid performances throughout. Nice cameo by Franco Nero who was Django in the 1966 film.

Three links, all and especially the last requiring a spoiler warning:
Daniel Kimmell's review:
http://northshoremovies.wordpress.com/2012/12/25/review-django-unchained/

SF writer Steven Barnes' post and thoughts
https://www.facebook.com/notes/steven-barnes/django-unchained-2012/10151176617908663

Tarantino responding to a review
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/20/quentin-tarantino-django-unchained_n_2340987.html

trailers:

* Oblivion - Tom Cruise, SF.

* Pacific Rim - Giant mecha fighting giant monsters. I'm there just for Idris Elba shouting "We are canceling the apocalypse!"

* Bullet To the Head - Sylvester Stallone starring what I choose to believe is a sideways sequel to his Get Carter remake, with a little bit of Cobra. Walter Hill directs.

* Star Trek: Into Darkness - Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain.
badger: (Default)
Red Dawn (2012) is a pointless and bad remake. Thirty years from now no one will be watching the remake. If you have an urge to see this remake, may I suggest one of the three following actions:

* Don't.

* Watch the intelligent Australian version of Red Dawn called Tomorrow When the War Began. It's on Netflix instant streaming [1]. (I haven't read the Tomorrow series of books, can't speak to them.)

* Watch the original: I saw the original on the big screen a year or two ago and it had some elements that held up over the decades (Powers Boothe, for example. Harry Dean Stanton, for another). If you watch the Special Edition DVD you can have an onscreen Carnage Counter tallying violent actions, if that's what you really want:



Spoilers for the remake under the cut. Really, if you care about spoilers, don't read inside.

warning: spoilers inside the cut )

trailers:

* Bullet to the Head - Stallone as a killer partners with a cop to hunt the axe-wielding mercenary killer who killed Stallone's partner. Think 48 Hours (especially since Bullet is also directed by walter Hill) crossed with Stallone's movie Cobra. Tagline: "Revenge Never Gets Old".

* Zero Dark Thirty - Kathryn Bigelow's film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. December.

* The Last Stand - Arnold S as a sheriff in a US/Mexican border town, major drug dealer coming through. The small-town sheriff must mount an effective blockade. January.

* A Good Day to Die Hard - Because what you need for Valentine's Day 2013 (seriously, that's the opening date) is Bruce Willis in Die Hard 5, bonding or not with his adult kids in Moscow among international plots and a hail of bullets.


[1] The film Tomorrow When the War Began is available on Netflix streaming in the US. It is said to not be available on Netflix in Canada.
badger: (badgerman)
When we do right, nobody remembers. When we do wrong, nobody forgets. - the Hell's Angels

Mostly when we hear about the CIA it's because they made a mistake and made the papers in that order: espionage, like comedy, is hard. However, back in 1980 the CIA sneaked six Americans from the US Embassy in Tehran out of Iran by making up fake identities for the Americans as Canadians working on an imaginary movie production of Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light with concept art by Jack Kirby. Argo is the fictionalized drama of that caper. Affleck is outstanding as a director, excellent as the lead role in the film. Everyone in this movie is great. Argo is one of the best movies I've seen this year. Strongly, strongly recommended.

Not a Fiasco RPG, but a perfect Leverage RPG scenario.

links:
http://www.lordoflight.com/cia.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_of_Light#Film_version
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Mendez
http://www.themasterofdisguise.com/bio_Antonio.html
http://www.amazon.com/The-Master-Disguise-Secret-Life/dp/0060957913/

trailers:

* Life of Pi - Thanksgiving.
* Cloud Atlas - Oct 26.
* Flight - Denzel Washington. Nov 2.
badger: (Default)
Last Friday [livejournal.com profile] maegwynn and I met friends we haven't seen recently and went out to an awesome dinner, then to Mission Valley for opening night of the full-length version of Frankenweenie. We all loved it. I think the more you're familiar with 1930s-to-1950s Universal Studios horror movies, and if you enjoyed references in either The Goonies or The Monster Squad, you'll enjoy this movie. It was a lot of fun.

trailers:

* Rise of the Guardians - Jack Frost, Santa (big and mean), Easter Bunny (sort of Iggy Pop-skinny and attitudinal, and with an Australian accent), and the Sandman (_not_ Gaimanesque, sort of small and sleepy and cutesy like a troll doll is intended to be) unite against a dark evil figure with the power of FEAR. Reminded me of Bill Willingham's Fables, but with scenes that looked taken directly from the recent Avengers film. Thanksgiving.

* Oz - March 2013.

* Wreck-It Ralph - Nov 2. There's an app for that. New longer trailer. Looks good.

* The Hobbit part 1 of 3.
badger: (badgerman)
Did not see Dredd in 3D, saw it in completely satisfactory 2D at Mission Valley Cinemas. So, the basic structure of the film does remind me of The Raid: Redemption with a lot less martial arts and about ten thousand more bullets, but on the whole Dredd is a decent SF action adaptation of the graphic novel. Lots of drone usage at the beginning I don't remember from the comics, but I haven't kept up for years. Urban does fine as Dredd. Thirlby does well as Anderson. The Lawmaster bikes are different from the comics versions in that they're more like giant speedbikes but actually rideable. Lena Headley as the drug lord is feral. Good film score. I could see another of these if they make another.

trailers:

* Sinister - Demon inhabiting pictures of itself terrifies family after dad find home movies in the attic of the demon's last victims.

* Jack Reacher - Film adaptation of one of the Jack Reacher thriller novels by Lee Child. Stars Tom Cruise. Wonder how they're working around the character being 6`5" and scarily big? Lots of upward-sloping camera angles?

* The Last Stand - Arnold Schwarzenegger as a rural SW US sheriff who has a cartel driving through. He objects. Looks at least half-played for laughs and 80s action film quips.
badger: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] maegwynn and I saw this Friday night at Mission Valley. Decently-done evil spirit possession movie, better than expected. I'm going to save time and post a link to Daniel's review which I agree with.

trailers:

* Seven Psychopaths - Black comedy about bad people probably at least mostly being bad to each other. By the director of In Bruges. Reservoir Dogs with a laugh track? One of the seven is Tom Waits, carrying a live bunny rabbit.

* Sinister - Evil spirit massacres families. Next victim finds a box of 8mm home movies of the families. Apparently never having seen the Hellraiser films, he opens the box. Hi there. #seesinister haveyouseenhim.com

* The House at the End of the Street - Jennifer Lawrence, horror. #hates

* Dredd 3D - Judge Dredd in The Raid: Redemption.

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