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-James

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Twilight

Posted by james on June 25, 2009

(post.rating: 4)
Rating:

IMDB   Apple Trailers

Man, what a weird movie this was. Such a huge buildup, but a pretty played-out topic with a huge splash of romance novel thrown in. I read the first two chapters of the book (out loud, no less) before watching the movie, so I had some idea of what to expect; not just with the plot, but also for the tone & style. The pacing was really off on this movie, with tons of time dedicated to awkward pauses and (supposedly) meaningful glances... and then a quick montage to skip past the "build the relationship" part. Absolutely no development there.

But the worst thing for this movie was the character direction, which pulled straight out of the book; tons of overacting, awkwardness, exageration, etc. I'm sure it hit home with the teenage girls that lived through this completely self-focused and overly dramatic time of their lives. A bit much for me.

So altogether, a throw-away film, which makes it completely surprising that it grossed so much. Even with all the fans of the book behind it, you would think even they would be turned off by the quality of the film. Despite my misgivings about the first film, I'm still curious about the second movie. I wouldn't go see it in the theater, but I might rent it for fun. I'm hoping it might be a bit better, due to a) less focus on the awkward get-to-know you stage of their relationship, and b) DIFFERENT director.

The Jerk

Posted by james on May 3, 2008

(post.rating: 9)
Rating:

IMDB   Apple Trailers

I kept hearing about this movie, how it was the pinnacle of Steve Martin's comedy career. I wanted to see it, but I wasn't holding my breath. Some movies just loose whatever appeal they had over time, and they end up just falling flat. So I really didn't know what to expect.

This movie was totally hilarious. It had some slapstick, a lot of irony, some innocent weirdness reminiscent of Joe vs Volcano. It's a little overacted at times, but that's not saying much considering how ridiculous most of the story and cast are. I love the song they sing on the beach too... I tried to get Lauren do perform that with me for our wedding. She refused, since she is filled with evil and no fun. Maybe someday.

Iron Man

Posted by james on May 3, 2008

(post.rating: 8)
Rating:

IMDB   Apple Trailers

What a strange surprise super-hit this was. When I saw the previews, all I could think of was my friend Chris. From the black sabbath preview music to the "I'm so cool, I don't need to watch the tank explode" attitude, it seemed like his kind of film. All macho, all cool. I was a little hesitant about Robert Downey Jr. I've really liked him in other movies as the hyperactive slightly weird guy (esp. in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang), but I didn't know how he'd do in the hero role, or if he'd overdo it with the sly cockiness.

But it ended up being really good. The environments and atmospheres were vivid and engrossing; the desert, the lab, the mansion, they all seem memorable and fit into place. They did an awesome job with the suit and gadgets, they looked believable and fun at the same time (with the possible exception of the stereotypical comedic-relief robot arm?). And who knew; Gwen Paltrow did an awesome job as Pepper. Maybe a bit too demure at times, but definitely not what I would have expected.

Possibly the worst part of the film was my-voice-never-changes-what-movie-am-I-in-now Jeff Bridges. I've never really liked him in anything he's been in, he just looked weird an unnatural bald with a beard. And his level of excitement was only matched by the inanimate objects in the background, all vying for non-attention. They had an amazing middle eastern villian with Faran Tahir, just awesome. Why couldn't they have matched his qualities in his white counterpart? Apparently the most scary thing most Americans can imagine, besides middle eastern terrorists (am I allowed to type that on the internet?), is a boardmember-chairman who wants to TAKE OVER THE COMPANY! Man. That's scary. Couldn't they have just skipped the power-suit battle and just had an hour or so with some excel spreadsheets?

Besides Bridges, everything else was great. And I can't wait for whatever is coming next, though I always fear they're going to botch up sequels.


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