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Archive for August, 2010

Let the Right One In’s Trailer

August 30, 2010 Leave a comment

I just wanted the trailer for this, and it doesn’t make me want to see the movie at all.  However, having just seen the movie, and knowing that it was, in fact, excellent, I wonder why the trailer makes it look bad.  Is it the hashing back and forth?  Is it the fact that the features played up were the horror-genre ones?

Alternatively, many times there are great trailers for movies that turn out to be horrible.  Case in point, “The Last Airbender”.

I actually don’t remember the narrator’s voice being there when I saw the trailer, but regardless, it looks pretty awesome, doesn’t it?  So why was it so bad?  How did it get a 08% on Rotten Tomatoes?

Categories: Uncategorized

Not a video review.

August 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Apple attempts to start filming video reviews, but is interrupted by a text.  But for real, video reviews coming soon.

Categories: Video Reviews

Let the Right One In – Apple – 4.5/5

August 27, 2010 1 comment

The current swarm of vampire movies has really tainted what is otherwise a great genre of film.  When my friend Ryan recommended “Let the Right One In”, emphasizing that it was really different from other vampire movies (namely, the main vampire is a 12-year-old girl), I decided to give it a shot.  {I had purchased the book a while ago, but haven’t had time to read it.  Is it better to read a book first or watch the movie first?  Either way, you risk being disappointed.}

Oskar is a 12-year-old boy who lives with his mother; he is bullied by other students at school.  His new neighbor, Eli, moves in with a guardian.  There is something strange about her – she “smells funny” and says some weird things; she doesn’t know her birthday and has forgotten how to feel cold.  There is also something strange about Eli’s guardian – he serves Eli, but also asks things of her.

The strongest part of this film is the development of the relationship between Oskar and Eli.  They meet at a jungle gym in their apartment complex; they play with a Rubik’s cube and communicate through their apartment wall with Morse code. The actor and actress were chosen extremely well, and they did an excellent job portraying the characters.  Close shots of their faces, exhaling in cold winter air, seem so real, so natural in a childish awkwardness.

There was also something terribly cold about the bullying in this movie.  It was not the running and kung-fu from “The Karate Kid”, but rather something far more serious.  Oskar tries to stand up to the three boys who brutalize him, but the results might be more horrifying than the bullying itself.  Juxtaposed with the violence surrounding vampires, “Let the Right One In” is a fearless look at the scary age before true adolescence kicks in.

I hear there’s an American remake in the works, renamed “Let Me In”.  It’s to be directed by Matt Reeves, the guy behind “Cloverfield”.  Exciting: Chloë Moretz, who was Hit-Girl from “Kick-Ass”, will play the new Eli, renamed Abby.  But right now, I’m doubting the ability of the American film to live up to the elegance of “Let the Right One In”.

Overall – 4.5/5; beautifully filmed and excellent actors, a fresh look at vampirism and all the terrifying things that come with being a growing child.

Best regards,

Apple; http://appleandorion.com

Categories: Movie Reviews

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – Orion’s Take

August 27, 2010 1 comment

The weirdest part about this movie isn’t the fight scenes, or the curious personalities of each character, or even the visuals.  The weirdest part about this movie is the way you will feel at the end.

“Wait, do I like this movie or not?”

It’s a curious feeling, precisely because it’s so hard to pin down.  You want to like the movie.  I know I did.  But despite liking the movie, I couldn’t help but feel that this movie wasn’t that great.

Scott Pilgrim is your everyday 23-year-old, bass playing, crazy kung-fu wielding, heartbreaking young man.  His current girlfriend, (a 17-year-old Catholic high school student) is the latest in a series of “fake” girlfriends that he is keeping close in order to keep himself from sinking into the pits of utter despair, which results from a bad breakup that occurred a little more than a year ago.  His last “real” girlfriend is the lead singer of a band much awesomer than his own, and has even abandoned her old name in favor of the edgier “Envy.”  Things are fine until Scott has a dream about a roller-skating girl with pink hair.  Lo and behold, this roller-skater, a certain Ramona Flowers, soon enters his real life, at which point he is instantly infatuated.  Unfortunately, dating this woman requires a certain dedication, as apparently he must fight her seven deadly exes in order to stay in the relationship (or alive, for that matter).  Oh, and his band is also playing in an epic battle of the bands where the winner receives a contract with a major recording company.  And also, he hasn’t quite managed to break up with his girlfriend yet.

If this sounds like a lot, it’s because it is a lot.  One of the problems with this film is that there is simply too much to do.  Squeaking by at under 2 hours is hard when you have to set up seven battles (actually only six, since two exes are twins) and also set up character development.

However, something must be said for the battles themselves, which impress merely because they are at once absurd and amusing.  Scott Pilgrim fights, outwits, and destroys his competition with aplomb, managing to keep the viewer’s attention through six major fights.  Though it is sometimes very obvious when his stunt double enters, it is still amusing to watch this nerdy kid take on a legion of action star doubles, for example, or engage in a bass battle with a god-like vegan.

This movie is also quite funny.  There is a good range of jokes: there are raunchy jokes, bathroom jokes, clean(-ish) jokes.  The movie itself doesn’t take itself too seriously, pushing the boundaries of what the audience views the in-film world, and using these modified expectations to employ visual gags that set the theater laughing.

The weirdness of this movie comes in the sometimes very adult themes that arise in a world that is seemingly a pre-teen paradise.  The plot itself is almost noxiously sweet, filled with the kind of preachy morals that one might expect from a Disney sequel, but the characters that inhabit the plot are filled with very adult vices: sex, drinking, and cheating.  So what to make of this film as a whole?

Though I really did enjoy this movie (it’s a blast) I feel like the movie had too many flaws (one of them being an overly simple plot) that prevents it from being a really good movie.

3.5/5 Waffles

I Love Waffles,

-Orion

Categories: Movie Reviews

Impressions – Scott Pilgrim

August 25, 2010 Leave a comment

The previews/commercials we saw at Scott Pilgrim ranged from video games to horror movies, chick flicks to serious bio-dramas.  Since when did movie theatres start showing so many commercials in the period before previews?  We saw advertisements for “Metroid”, Selena Gomez’ line at Kmart, and a beautifully made one for Jeep Grand Cherokee.  We also saw these movies:

“You Again”

Apple: Jamie Lee Curtis vs. Sigourney Weaver.  Regardless of how silly this looks, that must be an interesting dynamic.  I love parallels, but still, mother and daughter both meet their high school bullies/rivals at their son/brother’s wedding?  2/5.

Orion: Uh…chick flick alert.  This movie trailer left so little impression I don’t even remember what it was about.  0/5

“Easy A”

Apple: A girl starts rumors about sleeping with guys, while not actually doing anything with them.  She is forced to wear the “A” from “The Scarlet Letter”, and deals with finding herself.  I don’t usually like how classics are updated, but I think this would be a cute high school movie.  Depending on how clever the screenwriters are, this could be smart or horrible. 3/5.

Orion: Actually, she isn’t forced to wear the “A”—she chooses to wear it as a way to throw it back in her tormentors’ faces.  I do think this could be humorous, depending on how tastefully (or not) the jokes are handled.  2.5/5

“Nowhere Boy”

Apple: The Beatles as kids!  Adorable, and certainly interesting.  The only worry I have would be getting bored during a long biopic.  Hopefully, there’d be enough movement to keep this historical story going.  4/5.

Orion: I really do want to go see this.  The idea is an intriguing one.  John Lennon has always held a certain kind of mystique that I feel this movie can explore in detail.  The topic is such that I will probably go see this, even if the actual movie gets bad reviews.  4/5

“Skyline”

Apple: Newscasters quote Stephen Hawking’s warnings about not contacting aliens, and then things fall out of the sky.  This looks dumb. 0/5.

Orion: I agree 100% with Lady Apple.  How many alien invasion movies can you possibly make before the idea gets stale? 0/5

“Devil”

Apple: A group of people gets stuck in an elevator, when strange things begin happening.  This looked interesting (albeit potentially too scary for me) until the name M. Night Shyamalan came onto the screen.  Sorry, man, but things have just been going downhill for you.  0/5.

Orion: This looks interesting.  Perhaps interesting enough to save M. Night Shyamalan from total destruction?  We will have to wait and see.  The trailer itself was tense enough to keep me engrossed throughout its entirety: hopefully the movie will be able to do that as well.  3/5.

Categories: Previews

Preview: The Raven

August 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Just something that caught my eye a while back.  It’s currently being made into a major motion picture.  Check it out.

Categories: Previews, Uncategorized

Scott Pilgrim – Apple – 4/5

August 22, 2010 1 comment

We weren’t able to see this last week, so today we showed up at the theatre extra early to ensure seats. After playing Metal Slug to pass the time, Orion and I settled down, looking forward to a well-rated movie.  Scott Pilgrim was flavorful and sweet like a delicious lemon crepe, but also felt thin and was somehow not filling (like a crepe).

Each character in Scott Pilgrim was personalized with exaggerated traits. This was both funny and memorable, but unfortunately, none of the characters got developed. (Ramona seems to pretty well fit the description of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl, even going so far as to share ever-morphing hair color with Clementine from Eternal Sunshine.) For this reason, I would call Scott Pilgrim a film for children: it humors and entertains but lacks the complexities or dangers of a more mature film.

That’s not to say the movie wasn’t good – it really was. We laughed out loud throughout the movie, enjoying the jokes and comic scenes.  The film was so colorful, and stylistically very unique. There were so many video games references, I was unsure if the intended audience of the film was children or their parents who had played the original pixilated games.  Each battle scene has the typical ‘VS’ and ‘KO’ labels, with the zooming rush and comic book styled panels.  Very cute.

I think the biggest thing that keeps this film back is its simplicity.  Nothing really serious happens, although Scott is fighting for his life in duels with Ramona’s exes.  The deaths are rendered as video game points and coins; the exes are vanquished one by one by Scott, who inexplicably knows hand-to-hand combat.  Yet still, although the boundaries between life, video game, and comic book are constantly blurred, the audience had little trouble accepting the rules (or lack thereof).

Overall – 4/5; adorably dorky and filled with colorful characters, but lacking substance. Watch under a light condition.

Best regards,

Apple; http://appleandorion.com

Categories: Movie Reviews