Tuesday, February 28, 2006

War of the Worlds - Reaction

Okay action flick. Likely good on a big screen with very loud sound effects. But, I have a lot of issues with it:
- the ending is too hollywood
- the narration could've been good but seems tacked-on at the beginning and the end
- the movie doesn't show much of enemy at the beginning (e.g., leaves out major explosions, doesn't show much of the tripods actually coming out of the ground) -- it's better on this count in the last two-thirds of the movie
- finally, too many items are left unexplained, including are the aliens tourists, why are they harvesting people, why did the 747 crash at that time, why did the camera work so soon after the EMP but other electronics didn't, and if the tripods were planted before people arose, why didn't the martians just take over at that time.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Flightplan - Reaction

Fine suspense film. Starts cinematically beautiful and continues clearly thoughtful use of colors and lighting throughout. Also plays intelligently off the movie The Sixth Sense. But the unexplained plot holes bothered me. If I didn't understand how the villain had everything planned out, how could I properly understand what was going right and what was going wrong? Also, most other characters besides Jodie Foster are not fleshed out -this bothered me-, but it may be intentional.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Die Hard With A Vengeance - Reaction

Respectable action movie with Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson. Nothing more, nothing less. Includes some simple puzzles too (4 gallons of water using 5 and 3 gallon jugs, riddles, etc.). Doesn't end when you think it does (or perhaps ought to) -- the second climax isn't as good as the first.

I've seen this movie previously.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Fast, Funny, and Short - Reaction

Good series of shorts:

  • Baby Pepper: Bah. Based entirely on one not very funny joke.
  • Space Chase: Fun. Good core idea (two people racing for a spot in a parking garage) and well executed.
  • Right Place: Witty. An obsessive compulsive works in Tokyo.
  • Spin: Brilliant. A turntable allows this DJ to control and alter time and space.
  • Stop!: Eh. A film within a film within a film.... Certainly not as novel as the short seems to think it is.
  • I Need My Mocha: Decent. Two people who lack criminal natures attempt to rob a store.
  • Food: Okay. Animation of an old woman that feeds and shoots ducks. Only good for funky animation and surprise value.
  • The Pitch aka. Lebron James vs. the Alien King: Very good mockery of Hollywood.
  • Dolls with Issues: Eh. The core idea allows for a ton, but this movie just doesn't do much with it.
  • The Idealist: Decent. (I seem to recall liking it, but can't remember precisely what it was about.)
  • The Zit: Quite good computer animated short about a boy who tries to get rid of a zit.
  • Five Infomercials for Dentists: Eh. Funky animation but I didn't find the gag funny / it made me uncomfortable.
  • Joyride: Again, funky animation and good music, but not humorous.
  • Safety First: I can't remember liking it...
  • Valley of Gwombi: Eh. What you get when you translate slapstick comedy into sci-fi claymation.
  • The One O'clock: Eh. A decent idea (an office across the hallway from the marriage counselor gets confused couples) but nothing more.
  • Fancy: Eh. About a visit to a gynecologist. Probably more funny to females.

Friday, February 10, 2006

In the Mood for Love - Reaction

A good visually arresting (non-)romance yet love story about two neighbors who bond over the fact that their spouses are having an affair. Beautifully framed using mirrors, furniture, doorways, etc. A lovely but very lonely film: for much of it even when two characters talk, they aren't shown at the same time.

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Ten 'Til Noon - Reaction

A very well done intricately plotted film with a complex narrative structure. Much like a cross between Rashomon, The Usual Suspects, and Pulp Fiction. Thoroughly engaging.

Monday, February 6, 2006

Patterns - Reaction

A nonsensical non-engaging (to me) short flick about a women, a phone, and drain.

Love Actually - Reaction

Sweet movie, sappy and delicious. Not bad, except for the pacing: the beginning starts slow and the climax scenes are way too long. Includes many overlapping stories of love, each telling an interesting tale but there are just too many for the movie. There is a nice resonance of the opening airport voice-over with the final airport scene.

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Fuck - Reaction

A good, though not excellent, documentary on the word fuck. Filled with an impressive set of big names, including politicians, journalists, writers, entertainers, linguists, and more. Covers lightly how the word works in various areas: noun, verb, adjective, etc., and in religion, politics, culture, psychology, ... Doesn't really say anything new, but is still an entertaining and funny movie, including nice animations and a good custom (?) soundtrack.

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Gone with the Wind - Reaction

A well done film with realistically human (complex, imperfect, empowered) characters. Justifiably a classic.