Friday, March 30, 2012

Double Take

I haven't seen this movie yet, but I recently saw the poster for Mirror Mirror and had to do a double take because I though Julia Robert's co-star reminded me of Audrey Hepburn.

By the way, Mirror Mirror and  Snow White andThe Huntsman are yet another example of Rival Movies. Judging from the previews, my money is on the Huntsman.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Hunger Games

I just got back from seeing The Hunger Games and would like to say that even though I didn't read the book, I have just as much a right to have an opinion of the movie as anyone else. I assume the people I saw seated in lines on the sidewalk waiting to be seated for showings that were still three hours later probably read the book.

The Hunger Games is about a futuristic society that has an annual event called the reaping where they take a boy and a girl from each of the twelve districts and offer them up in a gladiator type of event where they fight to the death until there is just one survivor. The reason the government does this is to remind their citizens how bad war is, but it's really a punishment since the districts had risen up in civil war 75 years earlier. The event is broadcast for everyone to watch. Before you criticize their society for being barbaric and depraved, you have to remember that we have shows like Jersey Shore.

I was completely entertained during the first half of this movie, but I felt it started to lag a little bit mid way into the competition. This movie has a lot of "Bourne Identity shaky cam shots" which I'm not a fan of. I also didn't care for the giant pit bull monsters that the people running the games could just computer generate and turn into reality.

I really liked Woody Harrrelson in this film. The younger actors had good performances but  I also thought the entire cast was great which included Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, and even Lenny Kravitz. I loved the visuals and the stark contrast between luxurious superficial life at the Capitol and the poorer districts who lived in poverty.

Here are a few things I  learned from watching The Hunger Games:

1) It sucks to be a little 13 year old girl who gets drafted into the Hunger Games.
2) The Hunger Games is like The Truman Show on steroids.
3) When you make the scout sign in an effort to quiet people down, it may actually cause a riot.
4) I also got some great beard ideas for the next time I decide to stop shaving.

I liked The Hunger Games and give it 7.7 stars. I'm sure there will be many critics who consider it to be the next Twilight, but I always seem to enjoy movies that are about people who struggle with an oppressive and intimidating government.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Unicorn City

It finally happened! There have been many times that I've gone to an early showing of a movie and had only a handful of other viewers in the theater with me, but I finally experienced what it is like to be the ONLY person in a movie theater. I really shouldn't have been surprised since I took a gamble on a movie that was a local independent film.

I decided to see Unicorn City despite it not having any critic reviews at Rotten Tomatoes. It's a low budget, locally filmed movie directed by Bryan Lefler who was involved in Napolean Dynomite. He got John Gries (Uncle Rico) to play the villain in the movie.

This is a silly movie about gamers and D&D nerds. In an effort to get a job, the main character attempts to recruit his role playing friends and create a Utopian City up in the mountains called Unicorn City. His nemesis crashes the party and tries recruiting everyone over to his side. While this is taken place, one of the girls in his guild who has a crush on him tries to let him know how she feels about him but he does not reciprocate her feelings.

Unicorn City features many quirky characters much like Nacho Libre and Gentlemen Broncos, but I didn't like this movie as much as any of the previously mentioned films. I think Unicorn City will entertain most people who appreciate this genre and who get a kick out of making fun of gamers who can't differentiate between reality and fantasy. There were 4 scenes I really laughed at:

1. When a character finds broken PVC pipes in a hole that are shaped like a sword. He dramatically pulls it out of a muddy sprinkler hole as if he found Excalibur.
2. The gag costume for the Rhubarb the centaur character was really funny.
3. The fantasy dream sequence the main character has was hilarious and may have been worth the price of admission alone.
4. The little brother played by Kevin Weisman who beats up his brothers was also pretty funny. I thought he stole the show.

Aside from these four things, I didn't really find it to be that funny. It is clever,  silly, and quirky, but not as funny as I had hoped. I was, however, impressed how much the main character looked like my nephew. I give Unicorn City 6.3 stars. From my experience in the theater, I'm guessing everyone must be waiting for it to come out on video before they see it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Double

Last night I watched The Double...sort of. At least I turned it on and started it and I also saw the ending. I'm just glad I didn't have to take any test about what happened in the middle of the movie. Below I will share the keen observations I made as I drifted in and out of sleep while "watching" it.

The movie starts out with the FBI spying on and tailing a suspect who is suddenly murdered by a mystery assassin. He has a calling card of slitting his victim's throats and I think he is a Russian spy. Anyway the government tries to enlist Richard Gere to come help them with the case since he is a spy with a lot of experience. They want him to work with a new agent played by Topher Grace. Every time I saw him, I could only think of Venom from Spiderman 3.

The rest of the movie is pretty much a blur, but I woke up at one point because I heard An officer and a gentleman screaming. I looked up to see him pointing a gun at a ladies head threatening her trying to get information from her. I thought that was not very nice of him.

I woke up later during a shootout in a warehouse or industrial building. The Pretty Woman guy and his young partner ended up speaking in Russian to each other so I guess they were both Russian plants that our government didn't know anything about. I hope that doesn't count as a spoiler.

I woke up again to more gunfire and saw Somersby get shot and hunch over and die. Then there was a crane shot panning out at the end.

I forgot to mention that Martin Sheen is in this movie too. He and Richard Gere are both getting older and now have silver hair. Some day I will have silver hair too like them. That is the main thing I learned from this movie. Life is short, remember to live each day to the fullest. I'm not sure if that is the tagline to this movie, but it should be. I give The Double 6.2 stars. I'm sorry I slept through most of it.
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