Sunday, August 30, 2009

Inglorious Basterds

Tarantino has done it again. Another great movie to add to his cartography of films. Inglorious Basterds is the fictional story of two groups of people during World War II. All the stories intertwine in a brilliant combination of comedy and satire.

The first story we come across is the story of Shosanna Dreyfus, played by Melanie Laurent. Shosanna, a young Jewish woman who was hidden when Col. Hans Landa, Christoph Waltz, comes in and shoots her entire family. Shosanna then runs off into the distance.

We are then introduced to Lt. Aldo Raine, brilliantly played by Brad Pitt. This Lt. has gathered a motley crew of army men, who just happen to be Jewish themselves, to go behind enemy lines and hide out in the woods and do nothing more then kill Nazi's. They call themselves the Inglorious Basterds, and they take great pride in what they do to a point where it becomes comical.

Brad Pitt really proved he has some chops left with his portrayal of Aldo Raine. The character is so brilliantly written and portrayed that it clearly falls into one of my favorite character ever in a movie. The only issue with this whole movie that stands out like a sore thumb is you only see the Basterds for about 20 minutes of actual screen time.

This film is broken up in traditional Tarantino fashion as chapters. Although, his chapters actually line up threw me for a loop at first but this movie should have been longer. I don't say that very often but the characters who were so enthralling just needed more time. Parts of the movie were a tad slow but only if you weren't paying that close attention to the plot but if you were, this was truly a story that was music to my ears.

This movie forced my thought process going again after a long summer of unsatisfying movies, and makes me want to go back and see it again. While also making me laugh at the absurdity of the characters and the witty satirical dialogue. Without even taking a second thought, this movie pulls a 9.5 out of 10.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

District 9

District 9 was one movie that I never had my radar on to because I didn't see much about it that really sparked my interest. Even the online buzz never brought me into it, what really made me go see this film was Peter Jackson's name attached to it. I figured he deserved at least one redeeming movie since King Kong, and hopefully this would be it.

Most Alien movies are the humans trying to fight for survival whilst the aliens terrorize the planet, or more simply New York, or somewhere in the USA. This movie flips that norm on its head when aliens, called Prawns for how they look, come to Earth and just hover over Johannesburg and don't invade at all. Instead, the government takes it's place and takes the aliens out and put them on Earth so we can "help them be healthier". I don't want to give to much away because this was such a great story and to really know anything is to ruin some of the amazement of the story.

This film was filmed in a very interesting way. It started out as a documentary with interviews and scene footage. Then turns to a regular movie and then closes as it would have if it was a documentary. Throughout the movie they show scenes from local news shows just to keep the mythos in mind that this is actually going on now. Some of the camera shots were just spectacularly shot and literally makes you feel the uneasiness of the people in this movie.

To my surprise, there is not one big name actor in this movie. The actors in it do a decent job of seeming like ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. Though none of them really shine through as amazing actors but they pull off their characters as if they were merely extensions of themselves.

This was the movie you've been waiting to see all summer but didn't know it until you walk out of that theater. It was cleverly hidden and given just that little bit of mystique to draw you in. Strangely, the only problem I had with the movie was the simple fact that everyone in the movie didn't really have much of a back story other than the main character Wikus, played by Sharlto Copey. Though, it doesn't really matter because they cleverly close up all story elements and there are small twists that show intents that could lead us to a District 10.

Like I said, this is the movie you've been waiting to see all summer without knowing it. District 9 gets a 9 out of 10.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


How is it that a movie that looks like it's going to be a sequel of a terrible movie can come out and actually a pretty good movie? Well this is exactly what Push is able to succeed in doing. At first glance the movie looks like it's going to be a sequel to Jumper, a terrible movie that tries to show off as many "cool" special effects and places that they can physically can. Although, once you get into the movie you realize that this is not only it's own movie and has nothing to do with Jumper, but it pulls off it's own storyline better than Jumper ever could have.

Imagine a world where people with powers are controlled by a government group called Division. Super humans are put into groups of similar powered people, i.e. Movers are Telekenetic, Sniffers can smell or touch an object and know where it's been, Watchers can see the future (but it's constantly changing), Shadows who conceal objects, Screamers who... well, scream and break things, and Pushers who can get into your brain and make you do things.

The story follows Dakota Fanning as Cassie Holmes, a second generation Watcher (meaning her mother was a watcher also), who runs into Chris Evans, aka Nick, who is a second generation Mover. Though Nick is terrible with his powers since he rarely uses them, Cassie and Nick set off to find a suitcase with six million dollars in it when things turn sour once they find that the future changes and shows them all dead.

The movie does a very good job at not having the abilities take over the film. The abilities are very well used and only used to enhance the scene rather than to control the scene. One scene in particular jumps out, Nick walks into a restaurant and draws two guns, but not with his hands. He uses his abilities and floats them five feet above himself to give the appearance that he came unarmed.

As sad as it is to say, the major draw back from this movie was the fact that Jumper came out first. This movie wasn't a brilliant masterpiece but it was a lot of fun to watch. Dakota Fanning has matured a lot but still seemed to hold something back from finding true greatness in her character. While the special effects were actually on par with this movie it's hard for me to say that this movie is worth the price of a theater ticket.

I would have to say that if your interested in a movie to have on for just a fun time I would recommend Push. The story may have some holes, and it may not be the best super hero movie out there. It definitely does well for starting a story from the middle and doesn't keep you wondering about the past or the history of the characters.

Basically, if it's a rainy day, and you want something to amuse yourself, pick up Push because if worse comes to worse, this movie won't make you hate yourself. Rating for this movie? Wasn't spectacular but it wasn't terrible so 5.5 out of 10

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Funny People

Judd Apatow finally shows the true range of his brilliance with his newest movie Funny People starring Seth Rogan and Adam Sandler. Upon first seeing the trailer, I believed that this movie was going to be all laughs just like his other movies but this time focus on the lives of comedians. Boy was I in for a special treat! This movie was much more serious than Apatow's other films but still has a great amount of comedy to lighten the mood and make sure the movie doesn't go to far into the drama.

The movie centers around George Simmons (played by Sandler) who use to be a great comedian and actor, but recently, just found out that he has a type of lukemia and will probably die soon. What does he do? Goes back up on stage and does more stand up. His first show he bumps Ira Right/Weiner's (Rogan) set back. After the show George asks Ira to write jokes for him and thus begins the apprenticeship of George and Ira.

The whole movie is centered around three themes which are Love, Death, and the apprenticing of George and Ira. While many of these themes can be very depressing and turn Georges life into a dark place where one can only wonder if this is was ever suppose to have comedy in it.

I truely was blown away by the fact the Apatow could really write and direct a movie that was so serious that I was sucked in. The characters are so completely believeable and played so well by the actors that no matter who you are, you'll find someone in this movie to see bits and pieces of yourself in them.

This movie was so up and above my expectations of Apatow that I'm almost speechless, and was speechless afterr the movie. There are so many cameo's in this movie of actual comedians like Sarah Silverman, Andy Dick, Dave Attell, Ray Romano, and so many more that just throws laughs right at you.

This movie clearly deserves a 7.5 out of 10.