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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN


Who doesn't know of Snow White, the girl with skin white as snow, lips red as blood, and hair black as ebony? Specially this year, after the Brothers Grimm princess has made no less than three appearances in film and television. First in the series "Once Upon A Time", where a curse falls upon Fairy Tale Land and Snow ends up in present day Maine. Then she reappears in "Mirror Mirror", a cute yet absurdly childish film starring Julia Roberts as the Evil Queen? Really? And now, after months of watching the awesome trailer, comes "Snow White and the Huntsman", the darkest account of the princess to date.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review: IN TIME




Value is a thing of faith. Cash is physically worth nothing but paper, ink, and in the case of coins, metal. Sometimes, as in the case of the penny the metal is worth more than the value attached to the object; the copper in a penny is worth 1.5 cents approximately, but most of the times it is the reverse; a $100 bill costs about 50 cents to make. I won’t claim to be an expert in economics, but I do understand why some people argue that we should go back to the gold standard (whatever that means), or just get rid of cash altogether and switch to digital points as if life were a video games. I'm pretty sure we are much closer to actually doing the latter than going back to metallic standards.


In Time, comes up with an intriguing proposal about using our lifetime as -basically- cash. A cup of coffee costs ninety minutes of your life, a taxi to midtown a year. In this world the rich are semi-immortal, with a million years to spend, and the poor live day by day; spending most of their daily wages on sleep just so they can rest in order to earn their hours the next day. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Review: BERNIE



Small town, middle Americans are mocked as uncultured, uneducated, discriminatory and na├»ve. At the same time, many of the residents pride themselves on simple joys, practical know-how, camaraderie and displaying trust. Having grown up in Kansas and lived in other places, I’ve lived through interactions of both states of mind and saw each on display yet again in Richard Linklater’s refreshing and personable film, “Bernie.”

Linklater, while not quite worthy of household recognition, is essentially the Otto Graham of Mumblecore cinema and to a lesser extent, the indie film movement from the early nineties. In such a sense, Linklater is as condemnable (if not more so) as Quentin Tarantino for his legions of film school imitators who have far less to offer the world than their silver screen superstars. As he has for the last twenty years, Linklater’s newest movie can only knock at the door of mainstream cinema—which is a sad limitation given the quiet brilliance of “Bernie.”


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Review: DARK SHADOWS




The Tim Burton / Johnny Depp collaboration has, by now, become a genre of its own. Originally it was a fresh new take at the gothic horror story as a comedy of manners. But what was once fresh has now become so conventional that Burton-esque is indeed an adjective. Usually filmmakers strive for their name to become an adjective  but when you can apply it to their own work, it means their work is becoming repetitive and uninspired. Dark Shadows is very Burton-esque; it is exactly what you expect from a Burton/Depp summer blockbuster- nothing less than, but sadly, not much more either.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Review: MEN IN BLACK 3



I’ve put forth a theory before that the "Hollywood alien movie" is the most reflective genre of America’s military-industrial complex. In short terms: when the federal government nears a zenith of trust and efficiency (1960s, 1990s) alien movies are routinely about government employees saving the day. And when people are feeling rather low on their government (1970s, 2000s), alien movies are more personal, civilian and disaster-prone. This is the difference between “Independence Day” and “Men in Black” verses the post-9/11 counterparts, “War of the Worlds” and “Signs.” While the third “Men in Black”—in a rather inconsistent trilogy—offers nothing new cinematically, it at least hypothesizes that the nation has turned a corner in the last eight years.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Review: HAYWIRE




There isn’t much to Soderbergh’s newest film. The plot for the most part is nonsense; like many action films, Haywire simply uses any excuse to weave chase scene after chase scene together. In fact, Haywire isn’t really any different than a movie like, let’s say, The Transporter, except that the action is choreographed to look plausible, and that like every other Soderbergh film, it features a parade of cameos that includes every Hollywood name worth mentioning: Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas, Ewan McGreggor, Gary Oldman, etc. Yet, despite their presence Gina Carano, a relatively unknown actress, remains the most interesting part of the film; and it is not thanks to her acting prowess. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review: THE AVENGERS




So, by now it's safe to say that half the world (and then some) has seen The Avengers. And it is easy to see why: up until now every superhero movie has tried to bank-off audience’s inner child and repressed id. Broad emotions and large explosions are fun to watch; it is the same root emotion with which children bash action figures, have snowball fights, and play with NERF guns. However, no film has yet captured the childish enjoyment of bashing action figures against each other in the way The Avengers does. Long awaited, since Samuel L. Jackson’s cameo at the end of Iron Man, The Avengers assembles a good array of Marvel characters into one film: Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Nick Fury; it gives them a worthy villain: Loki and the Chitauri, and then proceeds to wreck havoc over a CGI Midtown Manhattan. What more can we ask for?

Anchorman 2: Coming Soon

San Diego's about to get a whole lot classier. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: THE PIRATES! BAND OF MISFITS


It's been a while since we've last seen a true-blue animated film that was more-or-less created in the painstakingly crafted stop-motion technique. Maybe it's just me, but when you look at one of these kinds of films and realize that each character model or set piece was physically made by the God-given human hand, the resulting illusion on screen becomes just as extraordinary and remarkable as any CGI-laden motion picture. We've seen an onslaught of computer-animated films recently, so it's nice to see that The Pirates! Band of Misfits - from the same creators of Chicken Run - are back at the ready to startle the eyes and the minds of average moviegoers with its visually stunning stop-motion antics.
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