Saturday, June 8, 2013

Movie Binge

It's no secret that I love movies. I love using letterboxd as a film diary and place to rate/review what I've seen. Every now and then I got through periods of movie madness when I just want to immerse myself in film and analyze it to pieces (like during Oscar season). Well this week, I started using the hashtag #moviebinge on Twitter (not a novel hashtag - boo, I thought I was being innovative) to tweet short quips about all the movies I was marathoning while cleaning/packing up the apartment. Below you'll find my full ratings*/reviews for what I watched.

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn 
I'll be honest, when I play Halo, I don't pay much attention to the plot. I mean, Master Chief is cool and all, but I don't really care about the other characters...But this web series/film makes me want to go back and play through everything just so I can pay closer attention to the "background" characters and plot. 

Following a young Cadet Thomas Lasky, we are introduced into the civilian perspective of the war...first with insurrectionists, and later with the Covenant.I thought the acting was decent, but the filming was quite well done (for a low budget operation). This definitely gives me hope for quality of the upcoming Halo TV series.

Atlantis: The Lost Empire ★1/2
Basically, this movie is Stargate: The Animated Picture. Milo Thatch IS Daniel Jackson (though I say Milo is slightly more awesome because Michael J Fox is the man).

I loved how the plot basically came down to this color scheme: Blue = good magicks / Red = EVILLLLL.

I understand what they were trying to do by adopting a different animation style (inspired by comic book artist Mike Mignola) and while it looks ok, it doesn't really work for me as a Disney film. It's just missing that "Disney charm" found in the Disney films of the golden age/prime/early 90s.

I remember this movie being bad, but not THIS bad. It's like the filmmakers wanted to destroy and franchise and have everyone hate their work.

First of all, the movie drags on and on. The movie felt like it had already built up and lost steam at the 40min mark. We're not even halfway through the movie yet?! While normally I think Matthew Broderick is "adorkable" (did I really just use that term? I hate that term), he was awful in this. Oh! Let's use "big words" to make him sound like a legitimate scientist...oh wait, he's not saying anything the average person doesn't already know. And the female love interest, I don't even know who the actress is, was AWFUL. She takes blonde valley-girl stereotypes to a whole new level.

I'm not even going to comment on the awful science regarding GOJIIIRAAAA...just so bad. The only reason to watch this movie is to see Hank Azaria as a ridiculous Jersey boy.

Street Fighter 
If you think about some of the movies that came out in the 90's, this actually makes a decent campy action flick. The fight scenes are good, and there is some semblance of a plot. And of course, no review would be complete without paying homage to Raul Julia - thought not his best role, he was still a commanding presence.

As a kid who didn't know any better, a movie about some cool video game characters seemed awesome. As an adult seeking nostalgia, unfortunately these characters fall short. Why was Ken Masters such a dweeb? Chun-Li is a reporter? Blanka is a product of Gatorade transfusions and brainwashing?

The acting is horrible all around, which is made worse by the cheesy one-liners and bad writing. But like I said, for a campy 90s popcorn flick, it hits the mark.

Blue Like Jazz 
This movie was...interesting. I have to re-read the book because I honestly didn't remember a lot of his experiences, but I remembered there was stuff I agreed with and stuff I didn't agree with. Since the book was more a memoir in the style of ramblings, it was a bit awkward to piece together the narrative in the film.

The acting was decent...better than most Christian indie films. But I feel like the movie suffers from being too "middle-ground" by not diving deeply into the doubt Don had, and also not fleshing out the relationships that helped him realize/strengthen his faith. The confession booth scene was powerful, though. It's not easy to ask for forgiveness when you're supposed to be a "holy Christian" but like Penny said in the film, "we all make mistakes, we all have our own crap."

Hopefully this film can help people (Christians and non-Christians) to put away the pretense and accept that we aren't perfect...and maybe find Christ along the way.

A "dark comedy," Special puts an interesting twist on superhero films, while taking a jab at pharmaceutical companies. Michael Rapaport is one of those actors who is in EVERYTHING but you don't really remember his name. He really shows off his acting chops in this film.

As with a lot of indie films, the ending is quite ambiguous, not really giving any resolution and leaving it up to the viewer to interpret what really happens to the main character. I like resolution (or at least a clearer ambiguity, if that makes sense) so that kind of ruined the plot for me. There were also quite a few subplots that could have been explored more (like the adorable stuttering cashier/possible love interest).

What movies have you seen lately?

*ratings are on a 5 star scale

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