Wednesday, March 10, 2010

In which links are discussed.

Hey everyone, I just wanted to let you know I've changed all my hyperlinks so they'll open in a new tab now.

Also, I might go see From Paris with Love later today, so keep an eye out for that review.

In which District 9 is briefly reviewed.

The last few years have been great for the science fiction genre. And while Avatar has had the most success (and one might argue it's more of an adventure/epic), District 9 may have redefined the modern scifi film.

I've been trying to write a short synopsis of the movie for those who haven't seen it, but it's not easy to boil down this movie to just a few sentences, so I'll let IMDb do it for me:

In 1982, a massive star ship bearing a bedraggled alien population, nicknamed "The Prawns," appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa. Twenty-eight years later, the initial welcome by the human population has faded. The refugee camp where the aliens were located has deteriorated into a militarized ghetto called District 9, where they are confined and exploited in squalor. In 2010, the munitions corporation, Multi-National United, is contracted to forcibly evict the population with operative Wikus van der Merwe in charge.

District 9 is almost 2 different movies telling the two halves of one story. The first part of the film is told in mockumentary style, focusing on the eviction of the Prawns. Before you know it, the mockumentary "feel" is completely gone, and you're in the midst of a full-blown, action scifi. Once the action starts, it does not let up for a second. District 9 is quite possibly the most intense film I've had the pleasure of seeing; I felt both physically and mentally drained coming out of the theater.

If you read my review on The Hurt Locker, you know I think having a good protagonist is key. This is especially true of District 9, as nearly every scene of the movie centers around Wikus. We see the character in his comfort zone, at his best, and boy do we see him at his worst. We see and feel every moment of action through Wikus, and it is quite the experience.

It's a shame this movie was a bit overlooked at the Oscars this year, particularly the effort put into the role of Mikus van de Merwe by Sharlto Copley. Still, it was nominated for Best Picture, and that's a big step towards the scifi genre being taken more seriously by both critics and audiences. It's pretty obvious at this point that I recommend you watch this movie (now, if at all possible) and I suggest you find a seat with a comfortable edge.

SCORE: 8.8/10

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

In which The Hurt Locker is reviewed.

I don't think I have to tell you The Hurt Locker is a very good film, everyone else already has.
Is it a great film? Maybe.
Do I think it deserved Best Picture?
Short answer: No.

Long answer:
The Hurt Locker tells a very interesting story centered around William James (Jeremy Renner), whose job it is to defuse bombs as the head of an EOD squad. My main problem is not with the story, it's with the protagonist. Audiences love to identify with the main character, it's a simple fact. Audiences will root for a character even if he's a thief or serial killer as long as they're likable (See Ocean's 11, Dexter). James, on the other hand, is pretty much an arrogant asshole from the beginning.

The opening sequence to The Hurt Locker is great. In fact, it's the best part of the movie. This is another problem. The bomb diffusing scenes are great, they're tense, gritty, etc. Everything in between is just... awkward. These filler scenes and long pauses don't actually add to the tension, but instead pull us away from the movie. There's also a very surreal part of the movie where James sneaks off on his own, it almost felt like a scene thrown in from another movie.

Finally my last main gripe is a pretty big one: There's no climax. Like I said, the best part of the movie is the opening, and the first half of the movie has 2 or 3 other great parts. The rest of the movie doesn't show us anything new though. It's almost as if the story was built in reverse, instead of building up to a climax, the film starts off at a high point and slowly works its way down.

I wanna repeat that I do like this movie, I'm focusing on its flaws because everything that's good about it has already been said. Roger Ebert praised the film in his review. I'm not a huge fan of number based ratings, but I'll try out a 10 point scale (10 being a perfect film).
SCORE: 8.0/10

(Let me know what you thought of the movie, and of my review in the comments section, thanks.)

In which this blog is discussed.

After the short-lived Interactive Entourage, and the even-shorter-lived Ünbernuity, I've finally decided to get back into bloggin'. And this time on my own.

This blog will probably be used to discuss/review any movies/shows/books I watch. I'm gonna really try to post at least every other day, or at least average out to that.

You might be wondering where the (somewhat awkward) title comes from. TVTropes describes it best here.