Lets Talk Movies

Monday, May 30, 2005


What a fun movie!

The animation is wonderful..the dialog has jokes for "us" and jokes for the kids.

It was well worth waiting for. I particularly enjoy a bit of homage to "Planet of the Apes". As an attempt to escape, Alex the Lion builds a bonfire that happens to be in the image of Gloria the hippo, in effegy of the Statue of Liberty. When the whole thing goes up in flames at the wrong time, and fails to be a beacon for his salvation, he lies face down in the sand, in despair over losing his cushy home in the Central Park Zoo, screams "Darn you! Darn you all to heck!". Charlton Heston would have loved it.

The penguins serve as a greek chorus, showing up when a moment of silly distraction is needed.

The lemurs are funny. As three vegetarians and a carnivore try to adapt to life on Madagasgar, and as the lion's true nature begins to surface, all the other animals become steaks with legs! How can the lion go against his nature and live with these vegetarians?

The voice characterations are good. David Schwimmer reprises his neurotic character from Friends in the form of Melman the hypocondriac giraffe. Ben Stiller is great as Alex the lion. Chris Rock is priceless as Marty the Zebra, and Jada Pinket Smith is great as Gloria. The only problem with Gloria is that her dialog often gets lost under primary dialog. The dialog could have been timed better to allow for the meaning to pass through. Now Julien King of the Lemurs, this is probably the only thing I did not care for in terms of voice casting. First of all, Sacha Baron Cohen (Da Ali Gee) who is this guy and why is he a celeb? He seems to be in the same category as "Moby" since when is a DJ a celebrity? But personal biases aside, the characterizatin of Julien initially had me thinking "is this Robin Williams?". Alas no, and my feeling is that if it HAD been Robin Williams, the character would have worked. There was something just missing about Julien. Never quite made it for me.

The Penguins are my personal favorites..does this surprise you? Its a fun/scary thought to imagine penguins being able to take over a cargo ship and sail it to Antartica.

There is alot of background action worth seeing in this film, my plan is to see it again, probably on pay per view so I can record it on my dish ddr.

over all, in spite of it all, I liked this movie alot.

till next time

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Star Wars - Revenge of the Sith

It's here!

And worth waiting for. All the questions are answered. From that standpoint I really enjoyed the movie, very very satisfying.

some comments:

Hayden Christiansen's performance as Anakin/Vader is very flat..but you know that just makes it easier to hate him. And we need to hate him, he becomes so evil as Darth Vader that there must be no room for understanding why he is so damaged, and so filled with hate.

Ewan McGregor's performance as Obi-Wan has mellowed over the series. Thank god, that lousy Alec Guinness voice affectation that he did in the first one was enough to gag a ..well, you know.

Someone has to explain to me why Yoda looked older in part one than he did in part 6, but nevertheless his presence is a strong thread of continuity.

And in retrospect, I wonder why, with all their wisdom, and force driven insight, were Yoda AND Obi-Wan each fooled by their respective padwan's who would go on to become the consumate representation of evil, Darth Sidious and Darth Vader?

So now we await Lucas' tv version. what will it be "young Darth Vader" and do we need that?

I predict that the "I'm not gonna do the remaining 3 movies" line is just a ruse. I believe that yes Lucas may not write direct and produce the remaining films, but I'll bet big money..if I had it...that he WILL create them. He may farm out directorial chores, but they will get made.

Madasgar is next!

til next time..


Wednesday, May 18, 2005

House of Wax


I admit it..I actually paid to see a Paris Hilton film. Well, truth be told I didn't pay full price for it, I"m a student so I get the student discount on evening prices..if there is one.

Anyhow, its a marginal film. Too long to get started, and once it does, save for a couple of interesting characterizations, the payoff is weak.

One interesting concept is that the House of Wax really IS a house of wax. Every bit of it is made of sculpted wax. Another interesting thing was the mechanism for "waxing" the people. Oh don't act surprised..you knew that the wax figures are real on the inside.

The kids in the picture are obnoxious idiots...entering buildings just because the doors are unlocked, and once in, they make themsleves at home, as if it's morally ok to snoop in a house that is apparently empty. Immediately after fishing "Carly" (Elisha Cuthbert) out of a pit full of rotting road kill, they willingly accept a lift from what appears to be an inbred hick, with rotten teeth, this is immediately after he adds to the pit with a chicken and an elk!

Robert Zemekis and Joel Silver are listed as producers on this gem...and I'm surprised because their product is usually evocative at the least, and real conversation material at the most.

oh well, we knew we were taking chances when we went..

til next time


Friday, May 13, 2005


Well this afternoon was Mindhunters. Mind numbing more like it.

The film starts by convincing you that we are observing a group of elite FBI profilers. The cream of the crop, the brightest of the bright.

They enter a simulation which has been set up to challenge them to work as a team, and when the first member is killed, they all collapse into a heap of paranoia, blaming each other, and having emotional outbursts. What happened to the elite profilers.

What I was hoping for was something of a more psychological thriller...
it would have been better if after the first murder, they immediately start doing what they know how to do (assumption) - profile the murder and murderer. If they had done this for the first two killings, and THEN deconstructed into emotionalism and paranoia when what they know how to do does NOT work, and their members continue to be assassinated in a relentless parade of more and more incideous traps, the film would have gotten into my head in that "you're all gonna die and there is NOTHING you can do about it" type way.

The punch line is not obvious, which was ok.

This film rates a rousing "eh".

Star Wars next week!!! Yippeeee!!

til next time

Monday, May 09, 2005


What a Mothers Day pressent..Hubby and I went to see Crash last nite.

Being a firm believer in Socrates' "an unexamined life is not worth living" I usually embrace film and multimedia experience that helps me explore biases and tendencies that I may not consciously be aware of.

This film does that and more. It is a journey into the fear and bubbling rage just below the surface in the lives of the people of Los Angeles. It explores racism, both overt and covert, inherent in the law enforcement system in Los Angeles, but truth be told it's probably a snapshot of the whole nation. It explores the compromises and justifications of such thinking. It explores the anger that overflows on to each other, usually generated by the overlay of economics, heath care, frustration and pain. It illustrates plainly and clearly that violence is never the answer.

I highly recommend this film to everyone..particularly white folks. People of color already know..this is old news for them. But for white folks who really thing that they are not bigots..they NEED this movie.

til next time..