Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Warning: This post contains content some people may consider a “spoiler”.

This weekend I did something I don’t normally do, I went to the cinema to see a movie. Something that is so uncommon, the last movie I saw at one was Horrible Bosses, which I thought was really funny, but pretty shallow beyond that. Yesterday I saw Chronicle, a Sci-Fi/Thriller about three high school students who develop super powers through mysterious circumstances.

The movie takes place through cameras that are already present in the world. In other words, the actors are aware they are being filmed. The main character, Andrew, is chronicling his life (no lie, I just figured out how they got the title of the movie), carrying his camera with him everywhere he goes. This works well because his telekinesis allows him to make the camera float around when all three boys are onscreen. At other times cell phone cameras, security cameras and police helicopter cameras are also used. It’s a technique that isn’t used very often is movies, as a matter of fact I never seen another movie that did it, but I’m sure there have been some.

I only have two problems with the movie. The first is that they don’t really explain where the powers came from. It shows the boys going through a cave underground and finding this glowing boulder, then later going back and being unable to access it again. However they never said what the boulder was, where it came from or how they got their powers from it.

My second issue was with the ending. They don’t say what happens with Andrew’s cousin, Matt. They kinda wrap up the movie with him at the end but don’t show any aftermath from the movie’s climax or what he does moving forward with his powers. I’d like to know if he returned to face the consequences of the climax or went into seclusion.

It takes a little while to get going, but once it does, it’s good. I enjoyed it enough to recommend as a solid Sci-Fi/Thriller. I’d probably go see it again for the matinee price.

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Let’s See a Movie: Bunraku

Posted: January 16, 2012 by ashchristians in Movies
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It’s like if Kung Fu Hustle hooked up with Newsies in a craft store.

That is exactly how I described the film Bunraku to a friend.  If that hasn’t hooked you yet, allow me to explain further.  Bunraku at it’s core is a samurai movie.  It’s also a spaghetti western.  It’s hard to believe that two genres so distinctively East and West can fit together so seamlessly in one story but when you begin to examine the tropes of both styles, they’re not so different after all.  Both samurai movies and westerns share themes of a stranger coming into town for revenge and leading a trail of bodies in their wake.

Bunraku takes place not in a past where Asian immigrants meet up with cowboys, but in our future.  The world has been destroyed by violence and those who have survived have pledged to create a world without guns, resurrecting the way of the sword.  The back story is told through bunraku, an ancient style of Japanese paper puppet shows, with modern CG filling in to draw you in with a sense of beauty and whimsy like that of Neil Gaiman.  This stylized interpretation is carried out through the whole move, in its sets, transitions, and even subtitles; looking as if the whole story was taking place inside of Little Big Planet.  It’s an experiment that people will ever love for its creativity or hate for its unrealistic interpretation.  The entire movie was shot on stages with constructed sets or green screens, bringing to life director Guy Moshe’s post-apocalyptic vision.

This isn’t the tale of one stranger coming to town though; it’s the tale of two.  The Drifter (Josh Hartnett) is a Doc Holiday-esque vagrant quick with his fists and a gift for cards.  The character is countered by Yoshi (Gackt), a Japanese samurai living his life according to Bushido.  One man is on a path of revenge; the other looking for a golden dragon medallion; both leading toward most powerful man east of the Atlantic, Nicoli the Woodcutter (Ron Pearlman).  The Bartender (Woody Harrelson) unites them to face down the top 10 killers in the Red Army as well as presenting the tale of Spider-Man as a Greek myth with his hobby of pop-up books, a lost art if there ever was one.

Demi Moore’s character serves to provide insight into Nicoli being fully aware of his mortality and functions as the motivation of the Bartender’s back story, but for the most part seems tacked on.  It’s in these moments where I can’t help but wonder what ended up on the cutting room floor.  The character was involved enough with the other pieces to add depth to them, but made almost no moves of her own on the board.

Much like Yojimbo or the Magnificent Seven, Banraku is a hybridization of East and West, paying homage to both in a way that shows a fan of one can easily enjoy the other.  Add to that the imaginative paper-craft visuals and you have a modern, stylized take on two classic genres.

New hamburgers based on Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace

With Star Wars Episode I:  The Phantom Menace returning to theaters in 3D next month, they needed a merchandising tie-in awful enough to overshadow that terrible idea and it looks like they found it.  On January 31st, French fast food restaurant chain Quick will introduce new hamburgers based on the movie.

While the Jedi Burger seems mostly normal, the “Dark Vador” burger looks bad enough to make up for it.  With a bun as black as the dark void in Star Wars fans’ memories where they repressed the experience of originally seeing The Phantom Menace, this could be the grossest thing fast food restaurants have ever served.

The black bun and Dark Vador name are based on Darth Vader (that’s what they call him in France).  At least we were lucky enough to avoid a green Yoda burger.

Considering Spaceballs’ Pizza the Hutt looks more appetizing than this Star Wars hamburger that’s actually intended to be eaten, this just might be the worst idea ever.

 

Christopher Nolan has done an interview with Empire, spilling a few secrets on the Dark Knight Rises and some details about Bane.  Nolan’s interpretation of Venom isn’t as surprising to me as much as this movie taking place 8 YEARS AFTER the Dark Knight.  It explains some of the tech seen like the flyer that resembles the Tumbler seen in some of the filming shots, but I can’t help but feel a bit cheated that we don’t get to see the immediate fallout of the ending of the Dark Knight.  For more on the interview check it out here.