georges' blog

April 24, 2007

Movie Review: Deja Vu

Filed under: Movies — kendall @ 8:50 pm

It looks like this flick is out on DVD now, but I saw it on a plane. It was originaly rated PG-13 by the MPAA mainly for violence, terror, and distubing images, but also for sensuality. I don’t recall anything terribly objectionable in the sensuality department, though there are some voyeuristic elements (central to the story) and you see the main female character in her underwear a bit because of that, but those are still relatively non-sexual… Anyhow, the regular not edited for the airlines version may be more objectionable–I can’t vouch for that.

Anyhow, my review: This film is killer! This is one of the most entertaining action films I’ve seen in a while. This and other films that have come out recently are renewing my hope for Hollywood. It seems like there was a serious derth of good films there for a while, but with this and “The Prestige” man we’ve got at least a couple of good-as-any films this past year. Anyhow, I won’t spoil the story–see it for yourself. I’ll just say that this film has got the fast pace you’d expect from any Jerry Bruckheimer flick. It gets right into the action and keeps you involved to the very end. It is a smart film with sci-fi twist and a fresh plotline (or at least a fresh twist on a rarely used plotline). When you leave you are still thinking about it. Seriously, I was still getting my mind around it hours after it finished.

Bottomline: highly recommended.

Movie Review: DVD: Lords of Dogtown

Filed under: Movies — kendall @ 8:37 pm

Wasn’t what I was expecting. I was expecting a bit of a feel good film on the order of “Gleeming the Cube” only not cheesy and with some killer skating. However, what I got was a tough watch–a story about some young guys growing up in a tough environment escaping poverty by rising to fame in the newly born sport of skateboarding.

Now the skating was cool. It was especially cool to watch the development of the sport. The film chronicles the lives of three pioneers of the sport from the early 70′s through like the early eighties. The film pretty well shows the evolution of skating from something like figure skating to the hard core serious arial and vertical stuff we are acustom to today. The tough part of the film was seeing that although these young guys were dedicated to their sport and good at it, their personal lives were a total mess–mixed up in sex, alcohol, drugs, and crime. Their rise to fame only enlarged the scope of their potential debachery. Stacy Peralta stayed pretty well above all the garbage, but he was still surrounded by it and directly affected by his friends cruelty and poor lifestyle choices. Competition eventually drives a wedge between the three main characters. However, the film ends on a positive note as the love for a friend brings the three back together. That theme is repeated in the extra features of the film where you see Jay Adams, Tony Alva, and Stacy Peralta working together behind the camera fleshing out details of the story and coaching their on screne counter parts.

The film was terribly well made. The camera work was awesome. Unlike most skateboarding flicks which are shot with video cameras, this film was shot on film. Skateboarding legend, Lance Mountain, did the camera work for the skatboarding scenes. The first board I bought myself was a Lance Mountain board.

The acting was superb. Emile Hirsch did a very compelling job portraying Jay Adams. I was seriously awed as I watched Jay Adams in the extra features. Emile Hirsh had perfectly protrayed his real life counterpart’s attitude and mannerisms on camera. He had also done a fantastic job of protraying Jay Adams descent from relative innocence into oblivion. Jay seems to have gotten his act back together somewhat in his 40′s though he is clearly still affected.

It is difficult to predict how much of the success of this effort was a result of director, Catherine Hardwicke, or of Stacy Peralta writng, and his so many other’s behind the scenes support of the production. They dragged up a couple of dozen legendary skaters and others connected to the sport to provide input on the fill–in addition to who I’ve already mentioned, Christian Hosoi, Ling Bei, Tony Hawk, Bob Biniack, and others–most of whom make breif cameos in the flim.

The DVD contains a good selection of extra features that are nearly as interesting as the film itself. Though the extra features possess the sme major defect as the film itself. Here comes my warning label: The film contains more profanity and vulgarity than I’d like. The original film was rated PG-13, but I’m sure the unrated director’s cut of the film would have been rated R for language. There was no nudity though there were sexually suggestive scenes that would have made me uncomfortable watching it with my mom.

Bottomline: a terrific and well made film for those interested at all in skateboarding, though I’d recommend the PG-13 incarnation if you are at all sensitive to foul language.

March 18, 2007

Movie Review: The Prestige

Filed under: Movies — kendall @ 3:47 pm

Man! What a great film. A genuinely unique film and joy to watch. I’ve watched it twice now. It has some major twists in it that make it a very fun watch. Even the second time it is fun to watch even knowing all its secrets. I can’t stand movies that have to tell you everything at the end because there wasn’t enough along the way to figure it out. The best is when all the clues are there and the final piece is revealed and everything is laid out. This is how The Prestige unfolds. All the clues are there, but there is also enough ambiguity to keep you guessing. More that this all the sets are done fantastically. They really set the stage for the drama which takes place mostly in London at end of the nineteenth century. David Bowie is also well cast as the eccentric scientist, Nikola Tesla. Now this film is unlikely to win any Academy awards, but in my opinion it is one of the most unique and most enjoyable films that has come out in a long time.

Movie Review: Man of the Year

Filed under: Movies — kendall @ 3:30 pm

I watched this film on an international flight. Granted it takes a lot for a film to really knock you out on a plane with the little screen, typically bad audio, and all the background noise. This film really didn’t need the handicap. It was not going to impress even in a theater. It was not a good film. And too bad for that. It had a lot of potential. This movie could not make up its mind if it was a political comentary film, a comedy, or a thriller. It essentially was about a third of each and that doesn’t add up to a whole movie. Avoid this film if you haven’t already seen it.

February 23, 2007

Movie Review: Marie Antoinette

Filed under: Movies — kendall @ 5:12 pm

Let me not waste my time or yours–Do not watch this movie! This movie was a complete waste. The movie is a period piece about Marie Antoinette, played by Kirsten Dunst of Spiderman fame. It is long, boring and goes no where. This movie should never have been made and probably would not have been made except that it was written and directed by Sofia Copala, the daughter of legendary director Francis Ford Copala. It tries to be interesting by mixing it up with a modern pop sound track, much in the same way as Knight’s Tale (a good movie, worth watching). However, Knight’s Tale had a lot more going for it, namely a story, and a lot of fun sword fighting, jousting, and off beat comedy. Marie Antoinette had none of this. It had a lot of fancy French sets and period costumes and that’s about it. In the end all I could look forward to was the main characters getting their heads cut off and guess what? It ended before that. What? After all that I don’t even get the satisfaction of watching these actors and actresses pay for their crimes against cinema.

Movie Review: The Departed

Filed under: Movies — kendall @ 4:58 pm

First of all let me say up front, I watched this movie on a plane. For that reason alone, I cannot unconditionally recommend this film. I’m sure that much of the sexual content was trimmed out. Anyhow, what a terrific film in its edited for air travel format. The Dearted tells the story of a mobster who goes undercover in the police department and a police detective who goes undercover in the mob. It is very edge of your seat as these guys go deeper and deeper into their respective organizations and as each gets closer and closer to getting made. It featured a very talented line up, all who performed fabulously: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Alec Baldwin, and Jack Nicholson. Fantastic film making. Fantastic acting. Riveting story. This is what all movies should aim for. Highly recommended in its made for air travel format.

Powered by WordPress