Just another WordPress.com site

Latest

#12 Aliens

Aliens

Starring Sigourney Weaver, Lance Henriksen, Paul Reiser,  Michael Biehn,  and Bill Paxton

This movie came out when I was one. 1986. A whole 7 years after the original Alien. I honestly don’t remember when I saw this, but I know it was the first Alien movie I saw. Before I really got into movies I always enjoyed watching this because it’s a great action flick.  When I began to understand movies better, I was able to respect this movie for being an action flick with a brain.

I always like when sequels pick up immediately after the previous film ended. I feel that when sequels fast forward a bunch, it’s because the writers couldn’t think of a way to make what happens next be interesting. Ripley is rescued after being in hypersleep for  57 years. Of course nobody believes Ripley when she explains what happened to her crew aboard the Nostromo. The planet everything started on is now colonized with humans. Once contact with the planet is lost, Ripley agrees to aid a team of tough and obnoxious space marines to find out what happened. Of course we all know what happened. More terror ensues.

What’s great about Alien and Aliens is that we are allowed to see this story as two different genres. Aliens certainly steps up the pace and delivers more scares and much more action. The acting can be a little rough at times (I’m talking to you Bill Paxton) but it’s from the characters who are supposed to be annoying so it kind of works.

The best thing about this movie is of course Sigourney Weaver. She was relatively new when she starred in Alien and 7 years later she certainly was ready to become a tough bitch again. She was actually nominated for her first of 3 Oscars for this movie. (I still can’t believe that she has never won one!) She completely redefined gender roles in action movies and made every male character look like a scared teenager.

Amongst many film fanatics there has always been the debate of which is better. Alien or Aliens. I personally have to give the edge to Alien because I’m a big fan of the slow build up. Most sci fi film lack depth and feel they have to amp up the action to be interesting. And partly because I was rooting for some of the characters in Aliens to die.

8/10

——————

-Oscar Winner Alert!  Best Special Effects. Best Sound Editing.

-The little girl who played Newt had never acted before and has never acted since. Not to bad for a one time child actor.

-Of all four films, I ‘d have to say this movie had the best special effects.

Up next: Alien 3

Advertisements

#11 Alien

Alien

Starring Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skeritt, John Hurt, Ian Holm  and Veronica Cartwright

I recently watched Prometheus in theaters and I was not a fan. My biggest issue was that everything was unnecessary. Nothing really mattered. The “mystery” is created was a bunch of nonsense. And none of the characters really had any purpose.  It wasn’t effective as a smart sci-fi thriller and it was not effective as an action movie. I know many people will disagree with me, (though my boyfriend and several close friends agree) but I don’t believe Prometheus came close to matching the excellence of Alien.

I was never a huge Alien series fan. I’ve seen them all a few times. But every time I got back and watch the original Alien I am always reminded how well it pulls everything off. From the opening credits to the next 6 minutes of dialogue free tension, this movie knows how be unsettling. This movie has a lot of great actors, great set design and for 1979, decent visual effects. One thing that bugged me about the later Alien movies was that they had better special effects technology but tried to do too much with them. The special effects team for this movie knew what they could get away with and didn’t try to go overboard with things that would only make it look cheesy.

This movie did a great job at being really eerie  in the beginning and once the first victim was attacked by the facehugger, it became terrifying.  There were a few good action scenes in this movie but it was always about the slow building tension and the horror of what’s happening to these group of people.

The last scene when she’s alone with Jonesy the cat is such a phenomenal scene. Even when it’s an “action” scene, it’s still calm, smart and completely chilling.

8.5/10

——————–

– Oscar Winner Alert! Best Visual Effects

– Sigourney Weaver is the best badass. Male or female.

– It’s amazing to see how young Sigourney still looks and how old her male costars now look. She refuses to age.

Up next: Aliens

#10 13 Going on 30

13 Going on 30

Starring Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo

So I was looking at my DVD collection the other day and this movie stuck out at me. It begins with a number, yet I’ve finished all the movies beginning with numbers and I haven’t reviewed this. I checked my DVD collection app and for some reason I forgot to include this. Well, I don’t know how I forgot to add this because this is one of my favorite movies!

Where do I start?

The cast is amazing. Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo, Judy Greer, and Andy Serkis all do a fantastic job making this “silly” movie feel real and grown up. It’s obviously not an original plot on any level, yet it still feels so fresh.  I believe the cast and most importantly Jennifer Garner has everything to do with that. From the moment we see her, we believe she is a 13 year old trapped in a grown woman’s body. From the way she walks to the simplest facial expressions, you know that Garner took this role seriously. And it pays off. Not only did she put a lot of details into trying to be a 13 year old, you can see the results in the writing and wardrobe as well. I love that the sleep mask she woke up at 30 in was in the same design as the scarf she was wearing over her eyes when she was 13.

Not only did a lot of people work hard and put a lot of thought into this movie, you can tell that everyone had a blast making this. The chemistry is great, especially between the two leads. This is the movie that really made me love Mark Ruffalo. And Jennifer Garner is just always amazing.

Romantic Comedies are a dime a dozen but every few years, one comes along that is just fresh with chemistry and clever writing, and this is one of those.

8.5/10

—————–

– I freaking love her hairdo with the chopsticks in it.

– Love is a battlefield. That’s deep.

– I genuinely had a giant smile on my face for this whole movie.

– Razzles: Remember, they’re both a candy and a gum.

– Her secretary was hilarious. She needs to be in more movies.

 

-Ok, now up next is Alien.

#09 Air Force One

Air Force One

Starring Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman and Glenn Close

What a fun movie. I honestly have to say, they really don’t make movies like this anymore. It’s a completely unrealistic movie. This would never happen in a million years, yet it works. These days, you have dumb movies like Transformers, Battleship and well anything Michael Bay. These movies are obviously a little more special effects driven, but they’re still supposed to do the same thing. It’s supposed to be fun popcorn flick. I can handle Air Force One in that aspect but there is something missing from these new movies that make them unwatchable. Maybe it’s the overall likeability of Harrison Ford, or the inability with these newer movies to make us care who lives and dies.

I have to say, even though I’ve seen Air Force One at least 5 times, I was still on the edge of my seat. It’s like you want to shout at the TV to let the President know what to do and where to hide and when to sneak into a different room. I really like when the director is able to create an interactiveness with the movie.

These type of movies also actually make it kind of fun to point out the implausibilities. You laugh along at the fact that there is no way some random “reporters” would be granted a trip on the Air Force One. You laugh when people are literally holding on with one hand to the back of an open plane going who knows how many miles per hour. (Really, how fast does a plane go? I need to Wikipedia that.) You laugh at all these things, yet you don’t really care. (That is why I LOVE the Charlies Angels movies)

In the end, the good guys win and you even might tear up for a second.

7.5/10

————————–

-I love how movies like this and especially the TV show 24 make you think about how the government is actually run. Could you picture George Bush kicking some Russian guys ass while hanging out of a plane door going 500 miles per hour? Hell no. He’d be dead in 5 minutes, if that. It’s kind of sad to know that we’ll never have a President that bad ass.

– I Googled it. Planes travel 500-600 mph.

– This is one of those movies where you know the face of every supporting actor, but not their name.

-Up next. Alien. (I’ll go see Prometheus in theaters first since it’s technically some sort of prequel)

#08 Aeon Flux

Aeon Flux

Starring Charlize Theron

Before this came out, I had never seen the series or even knew anything about it.  Though I still remember the strong desire to see it immediately. I’ve always loved movies with a bad-ass female lead and Charlize was fresh off her Oscar win. I remember liking it, not loving it, when it came out, so I was a little worried I’d be bored re-watching it after a few years. While I still just liked it, not loved it, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised.

The plot doesn’t always matter in a movie like this, but they were actually able to come up with something slightly original. I don’t know if this plot was taken from the TV series but I didn’t remember anything, but her being a secret assassin, so it was nice to let the plot unfold before my eyes again.

Aeon Flux is a mysterious assassin 400 years in the future after a virus nearly annihilated the human race. There are only five million survivors in a utopian city called Bregna.  She is apart of a mysterious group of people called the Monicans who want to destroy Goodchild regime led by Trevor Goodchild, the ruler of Bregna. Her handler gives her the assignment to kill Goodchild but along her journey she finds out there is a deeper mystery.

Even before we really understand what is going on, this movie is a lot of fun. It’s pretty to look at, the action choreography is great, and Charlize does a great job being a bad-ass. Things start to pick up when you learn the deeper meaning. It’s an interesting idea and it made me respect the movie a lot more but without an interesting enough plot, this movie easily could have turned into an action and fashion porn. My biggest criticism would have to be the over abundance of time and money spent on the clothing and styling of the city. It’s great for the eyes, but unless they could have included some back story on the aesthetics of culture, I feel it was a bit unnecessary.

This movie did pretty poorly at the box office. I actually believe it lost a lot of money. It’s a shame because this could have been a good little series.

7/10

—————————–

-This was an MTV films production. I’m thinking with a different production company behind it, it could have done a lot better.

-The chick with the hands as feet was pretty awesome.  I already have enough back issues, I think that would completely destroy my posture.

-Always nice when Frances McDormand pops up in a little supporting role.

-Up next, Air Force One.

 

 

#07 Across the Universe

Across the Universe

Starring Jim Sturgess, Evan Rachel Wood and Joe Anderson

When this movie came out I was going through a musical craze.  Not only did I love just about any movie musical,  but I was also seeing a lot of Broadway musicals. I was never a Beatles fan, but I knew enough songs by them for me to believe I would enjoy the movie. The first time I saw this, I’m pretty sure I enjoyed. Definitely more than I did this time. I didn’t realize how little dialogue there is actually in this movie. There’s rarely more than a minute between songs.

The more I think about this movie, the more frustrated I get. It’s a movie about a bunch of uninteresting characters who do nothing but sing. Since there is such a lack of dialogue, we have to rely on these songs to move any story there is forward. It also doesn’t help that there are so many other characters that get song time which ultimately doesn’t matter. If they focused the story on the 3 main cast and gave them more of plot and some dialogue to work with, this movie could have been half-way decent.

This movie is also an hour too long.  The plot and characters are so cliched that we get a semi enjoyable music sequence every 4th songs if we’re lucky.  On the back of the DVD cover it actually says “Within the lyrics of the world’s most famous songs lives a story that has never been told…until now. ” I really don’t get that because it’s basically a true story. The backdrop is the war in the late 60s, so we know exactly what happens, and the characters do nothing but sing about what is happening.

This is the first movie that I want to remind myself to never waste my time watching again.

4/10

————–

The performances were actually decent but I’m convinced Ewan McGregor is actually the singing voice for Jim Sturgess.

Up next…Aeon Flux

#06 A.I. Artificial Intelligence

A.I. Artificial Intelligence

Starring Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law

Yay! I finally made it to the A’s….I was a little worried starting this movie. It’s a movie I’ve seen maybe 2 times, I remember it being really long, and (gasp!) I have a full screen edition. (Really, I don’t understand why they make movies in full screen.) Luckily I was in a pretty lazy mood when I started watching it so I didn’t have any distractions. I also didn’t remember much at all from this movie so it was kind of like seeing it for the first time.

This movie has three distinct acts which all have a very different tone. It begins with a couple who have a very sick boy who has to be kept in some sort of oxygen chamber at the “hospital. ” It’s a few years into the future so naturally the wealthy family has one of the robot companies make them a robot child to take the place of their sick child. Robots are everywhere, but nobody has ever made a child robot. This child robot was made to love. No robot has ever been made to love. Robots are made to do chores, whether it be hard labor, housecleaning or the… umm, sexual ones. This first act deals with the robot child, David, being integrated into this family and learning what it is to be a child. He begins to love his mother and wants to spend all his time with her. Things seem wonderful, that is until the sick child, Martin, gets better and comes home. He sees David as nothing but a supertoy, but David wants to fit in and be a real boy. He falls in love with the story of Pinocchio and dreams of meeting the blue fairy so he can be real and his mother can truly love him.  With Martin back,  jealousy and a few misunderstandings cause the mother to decide to get rid of him. So instead of giving him back to the manufacturer, where they would destroy him, she leaves him in the middle of the woods so he can continue to “live” and join the rest of the robots. This ends the first act.

Between the bad acting from the parents (really? Spielberg couldn’t get anyone better?) and the dated cheesy dialogue, I have to say the first act was tough to get through.  These were clearly bad parents who should never have gotten a robot child. But of course it was all just a set up for the journey. Now starts the 2nd act.

Of course as soon as his mother leaves him in the forest, the robot haters are there to pick up any robot they can find and bring them to the Flesh Fair. This is where proud humans come to drink, celebrate life and watch the “evil” robots be shredded, ripped apart and doused in acid. David of course is picked up with a bunch of other robots but since the crowd has never seen a child robot before, they decide to let him go even though they know he’s a robot. David ends up saving the life(?) of the handsome Jude Law robot and they go on a journey to find the blue fairy.  This whole scene is just there to show off some special effects. Once they learn where the blue fairy is, they head off to Man-hattan, which is now mostly underwater. End of 2nd act.

This one was certainly more entertaining, but as I mentioned before it was really just there to show off a lot of special effects. I kinda wish the first act was a little shorter so we could have spent more time here.

Now for the last act. Once he gets to Manhattan he meets his creator who did some extra work to make sure David found him. David learns that while he is special, he is not unique. He is the first of his kind but just one of many. His creator truly loves him, but David just wants to love his Mom. He gets freaked out and ends up jumping off the building into the water. This is where he finally ends up seeing the Blue Fairy. Deep down in the water he sees a statue of the blue fairy from Pinocchio. He gets next to her and continues to pray to become a real boy….2000 years later. !?! A new ice age has come and all humans are gone. Aliens are now checking out the planet to learn about the human spirit. Even though Davids mother is long gone, the aliens have special abilities so they grant David a day with his mother so they can continue to use his memories to study humans. So in the end, David gets the love from his mother and everyone is happy.

I think when this first came out I liked it more because I was younger and thought I was supposed to like because the acclaim. I do like it more than I dislike it but I think it lacks a lot of mystery and well, intelligence. There is too much heart and not enough brain. It doesn’t help that the movie is at least 30 minutes too long and I also feel that each act was filmed by a different director in a different decade.

5.5/10

———————————————

-Haley Joel Osment and Jude Law both did a great job at being a robot, yet acting as human as possible.

-I always forget the voice cameos from Chris Rock, Robin Williams and Meryl Streep.

– The robot with no skin but her face was my favorite.

-So far, this is the first movie I’ve reviewed to be nominated for an Oscar, but it did not win any.

-Up next…Across the Universe.