Monday, June 25, 2012

The Darkest Hour

The Darkest Hour is one of those movies that did not last long in the theaters. It got bad reviews, but I was willing to give it a shot. All I know about the movie is that it was about college aged students visiting Russia and while they were there, aliens attack and kill people off. The aliens use light or electricty to track people and they have to figure out how to combat their enemy to survive.

I'm just guessing that is what the movie is about since I only saw the trailer once about 6 months ago. This last weekend I rented the movie but I hate to say I never got around to watching it. I've had it a couple days and am now heading out of town so I'm afraid my viewing of this fne film was not meant to be. All I can really tell you about this movie, is what the DVD looked like.

Maybe some day I will have the chance to see The Darkest Hour. Perhaps my life will be empty and unfulfilled until that day, but I doubt it. This marks the first time I have I have kept a red box video for more than one day and the first time I have not given a rating to a movie.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

John Carter

Today I took my kids to see Disney's John Carter and I'd like to share some random thoughts and impressions I got after watching this movie.

How did Edgar Rice Burroughs (the author of the Tarzan story who was born in 1875) come up with a movie about Mars, space travel, flying ships, etc?

This movie reminded me of Star Wars for several reasons. The obnoxious alien dog looked like Jabba the Hutt, yet could move at supersonic speed. The desert terrain and creatures totally reminded me of certain scenes in Attack of the Clones.

I had a hard time with all the extreme jumping. When John Carter was transported to Mars, did he turn into a flea?

Mark Strong had a good performance as one of the mysterious alien guys who are trying to control the rival inhabitants of Mars. I'm guessing he's fine with being typecast as a bad guy these days.

My younger kids got bored and asked when it would be over. That's not a good sign at a Disney movie full of action and special effects.

I don't really like it when actors lend their voice to animation or CG movies. I think they should only get half the credit for being in the movie if there is no resemblance to the character they are voicing.

This movie juxtaposed different worlds and times against each other kind of like Cowboys and Aliens. It was only about as good as that movie too.

John Carter contained elements of Avatar, Star Wars, Prince of Persia, Cowboys and Aliens, and The Adjustment Bureau. It was a complicated movie with lots of foreign names but I still give it 6.4 stars sinceI liked seeing Gambit fall in love with Wolverine's girlfriend on another planet.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Snow White and The Huntsman

Snow White and The Huntsman and Mirror Mirror were this years biggest example of rival movies. I decided to watch the Huntsman version since it looked like it was the more action packed of the two. I thought this movie was actually better than many of the reviews indicate.

I probably would have been more excited about the casting if I were a teenage girl, but I was able to put my Twilight bias aside and was okay with Kristen Stewart as Snow White in this role even though she always seems so emotionless and detached. Chris Hemsworth was alright, but didn't do much for me in this particular role as the Huntsman. Charlize Theron stole the show as the evil queen who is obsessed with her beauty and power.

I loved the visuals, scenery, costumes, and effects in this movie. It had an authentic gothic feel to it and kind of reminded me of a Lord of the Rings in some ways, although it was not nearly as good as Peter Jackson's trilogies. This was a much darker movie than I anticipated. I really liked the dark forest and was surprised that some parts of the movie seemed more like they were more horror than fantasy genre.

I was really taken in for the first half of the film, but then it slowly stalled out prior to Snow White turning into a Joan of Arc figure before the final battle scene.  

I give Snow White and The Huntsman 7.1 stars. It's not your regular fairy tale and it's not for kids. You won't see Snow White in clean pretty dress singing to animals and doing housekeeping work for dwarfs in this version. Despite it's flaws, I still felt it was better than the critics said and think it is worth seeing for the  appealing visuals alone.
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