Welcome to my film critic's blog! A lifetime of loving movies has enabled me to do this. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer flick round-up Part IV

Terminator Salvation

Verdict: The film that aspired to be more winds up as a popcorn action movie.

First things first - take my word that T3 is a real waste of celluloid after the classic T1 and T2. Why does it matter now? Well, since Terminator Salvation is T4 and an attempt at a new trilogy, the viability of the franchise hangs on the quality of this film. The good news is that it knocks T3 to the ground without even trying. The impossible-to-ignore downside is that this franchise is way past its due date, which means not even Christian Bale can rescue it.

Yes, director McG tries to make it appear that it possesses that elusive filmmaking quality - depth - and winds up digging a shallow grave. If a popcorn flick is the focus then it's silly to pretend that there's more to this story. The narrative is barely creative and just moves from one action scene to the next. To give credit where it's due, Stan Winston's production design and the special effects are above par. However, the grimy desolate vision of the post-apocalyptic future is nothing new and one is never drawn into the story.

Sam Worthington as half-terminator Marcus does all right except for a muddled accent that rears its ugly head once in a while. Moon Bloodgood serves as the sex appeal and Common the muscle - both add zero to the film. Bale rasps his way into making another iconic character his own but this might be his least memorable portayal yet.

All things considered, the action might be worth the price of popcorn but it's not enough of a reason to keep going with this franchise. This movie has convinced me that I've had enough - no more Terminators please.....pretty please with Arnie on top!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer flick round-up Part III

Angels and Demons

Verdict: Langdon is just not interesting on screen any more.

Okay, so I was one of the minority (or majority if you look at DVD sales and worldwide box office) that actually enjoyed the translation of 'The Da Vinci Code' from page to screen (notwithstanding Tom Hanks's bad hair day). The hairdo is better this time but the film never manages to rise above the mildly entertaining level.
And the cause of the problems is most likely the fact that it feels like retread of 'Code' minus all the most intriguing elements of that film. For a narrative that deals with a race against a time bomb, there appear to be ample minutes devoted to exposition and ill-advised humor. Hanks gives it the old college try but the formula feels almost like a wrung sponge for long stretches of the running time.
Ewan McGregor plays an interesting character but the lackluster storytelling drags him down along with everybody else. The tension is lacking and the audience is unable to empathise with any of the characters.
In short, close the book on Langdon - he hasn't got it any more!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The heat is on: Summer flick round-up part II

Star Trek

Verdict: Quite possibly the movie of the summer! An awesome spectacle!

I have been a 'Star Trek' fan of old. I like to think of myself as that in-between fan - not quite costumes and conventions but very mindful and respectful of the pop culture phenomenon that Star Trek has been and always will be. 

There is only one Star Trek: TOS (the original series) though I preferred NXG (the next generation) to a large extent. The big screen NXG films were disappointing to say the least. So how can this franchise be rebooted without disregarding all that came before? A time travel ret-con is the answer. As per the story, this is an alternate timeline that tells the stories of the iconic characters - Kirk, Spock and their crew - and how they came together.

There is only one Shatner, Nimoy and the rest. Can it be made to work then? JJ Abrams figured it out along with writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. Keep the essence of the characters the same and play around with the universe. And it heralds an epic result. All of the casting is spot on - Chris Pine as Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock give stand-out performances. The action set pieces are imaginative and beautiful to watch. The humour and pathos work.

All in all, I have come to love 'Star Trek' again just as I was moving towards the jaded end of the spectrum. Well done, the team behind 'Star Trek XI'.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The heat is on: Summer flick round-up part I

Monsters versus Aliens 3D 

Verdict: The 3D works, the movie doesn't!

I haven't thought too much of this 3D revolution studios have been seeking to usher in as the next big thing. Of course, I also havent seen a 3D film at the cinema in a long time. Somehow those 3D glasses dont seem to be designed for people already wearing them. The glasses are better these days but the films from Dreamworks Animation havent improved. I thought they had finally learnt something when I saw 'Kung Fu Panda' but 'Monsters vs Aliens' is another big miss. 
I enjoyed the animation as the material worked well in three dimensions. However, the humour is bland, the story insipid and the characters pretty boring. I can't think of any reasons to spend money on this flick. Maybe you can catch it if it comes on TV some time, maybe.....