23 August 2009

District 9


The first time I saw this movie I absolutely loved it. I saw it a second time tonight and I loved it just as much as the first time. This is probably the most believable sci-fi I’ve ever seen. The acting is brilliant, the dialogue (largely improvised) isn’t fake in the slightest, and the visuals are outstanding.

The coolest part of it I think is the pseudo-documentary style in which about half of it is filmed. It makes everything seem so real and part of the actual world. The South African setting is brilliant, and the accents really help to take the edge off of any leftover hints that this didn’t actually happen (at least for me, maybe not for South Africans). The docu-style eases off a lot during the second half due to the plot advancement, but it’s still wonderfully filmed and the composition of the CG elements is astounding.

One thing that is both a boon and a detriment to the film is that is based quite heavily on apartheid and real events that occurred in that area. The aliens (usually referred to as Prawn) take the place of black communities that were relocated against their will in order to maintain separation. This takes away a little of the originality of the film, but it also gives it great emotional backbone and adds a lot of power to the story.

It’s quite a violent movie. I’m entirely cool with that. I suppose I’ve been a bit desensitized to this sort of thing but it didn’t seem gruesome to the point of un-watch-ability by any means, and it was all just very impressive, especially the alien weapons (e.g. pig-throwing gun).

Much like a lot of my favorite movies and shows, a lot is left to speculation; like why did the aliens come to Earth, where are they from, etc. Some of these holes might be considered plot holes, but the speculation part can pretty much cover that. Exposition ruins things.

So yeah. Probably the best new movie I’ve seen this year.

22 August 2009

Inglourious Basterds


It was long and sometimes entertaining.

That’s it I guess. To be honest I didn’t like it all that much. The action was pretty okay and it was nice to look at, but Tarantino’s tendency for epic dialogue scenes begun to bloat a bit too much. In previous films he’s put down some really snappy and interesting scripts that make you want to go back a watch again. This one just has lots and lots of pretty dreary expositional stuff peppered with a few moments of the usual brilliance. There wasn’t much in the way of characterization that I was hoping for; only a few of the characters were really interesting, maybe three. Most were just faces.

Brad Pitt did a pretty good job and got the most laughs. Mike Myer’s cameo was pretty pointless. I was hoping BJ Novak’s part would be fun to watch, but it really wasn’t.

If it had been pared down to two hours I guess it would have been alright, it just dragged a lot. Yeah that’s all I have to say about it.


EDIT: Ooh ooh I know why it wasn’t great, Sam Jackson wasn’t in it! Big mistake Quentin. Big mistake.

13 August 2009

The Goon


The Goon is awesome. It is also a comic by Eric Powell, and the main protagonist thereof. I just read it. Well, most of it, since its still ongoing presumably. Also there’s gonna be a movie.

It’s a sort of mobster-noir thing with zombies and a lot of rather sick humor. The art is often stellar, and the stories can often be quite emotionally gripping. The amount of character in the characters is pretty great. The Goon himself is a hulking semi-superhuman with a thinly disguised moral compass and an emotionally torn past. His buddy Frank is a loud-mouth crazy weirdo with a lot of loyalty to his friend. Together they help defend a town from hordes of zombies (they call them “slack-jaws”) brought by a mysterious, nameless man that goes by The Priest. Other odd villains show up from time to time, usually with hilarious beatings resulting.

It’s not always funny. There is some serious emotional stuff too. One part of the story was written as a graphic novel called “Chinatown and the Mystery of Mister Wicker” which ties in with the general storyline while flashing back to a significant part of Goon’s past. There are no laughs in the entire book; it’s pretty heavy. One of the first pages is simply black with big nasty letters saying “This Ain’t Funny.”

Still, it’s all extremely entertaining and loads of fun. I’m most certainly looking forward to seeing the dreadful duo on the big screen.