Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

Sorry, I hardly ever keep this up, and I should...but I'm finally back to share some thoughts on the new batman movie.  *warning spoilers*

Overall, I found this movie to be very mediocre. Three factors kept me from being totally underwhelmed by it: Anne Hathaway's captivating portrayal as Selina Kyle, the fun tie-ins to Batman Begins, and a really well executed ending with the proper balance of intrigue and ambiguity.

Where Dark Knight was complex and intricate, this movie was convoluted. It was unfortunately marred by a script that relied heavily on characters giving long monologues of expository dialogue, combined with too many flashbacks that consequently slowed the pace of the movie. In addition, some of the deeper philosophical themes of "mask wearing" and "pain", felt forced and thrown together, unlike the fear themes of Batman Begins which were brilliantly woven into every element of the story.

Bane should have been a menacing villain, and while I thought his initial beat down of Batman added a new level of "oh crap," his obviously ADR'd voice sounded too disembodied to be real, and kept me more aware of the process of film making then engaged in the danger his character presented.

The reveal of Talia Al Ghul at the end was something I was overjoyed to see, however it was too predictable. I suppose that by mis-leading us to think Bane was Ghul's son was a way of vamping up that twist a little more, but I saw it coming from the beggining, because without it, Miranda Tate's character would have been utterly pointless.

Finally, the film was far too dark, for far too long. I was sure that by putting us as the viewers through such a painful second act, Nolan was making sure we felt enough pain that the third act would seem even more redemptive and cathartic. However, that wasn't the case. What we got was a final battle that wrapped up too quickly, and far too easily, that the payoff for the agony and gloom of the rest of the movie didn't balance out.

It was tough for me to come to this conclusion. I thought the previous two movies were masterpieces, but unfortunately this one, even on its own just didn't hold up.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Summer Movie's 2011

The lucrative summer movie season is upon with some must-sees, and some usual. For some, the summer tentpoles are usually a gasp of fresh air after the torturous spring, which notoriously is when the studios drop all the crap they can't market or give a potential bomb zero competition at stretching for it's 5 million opening weekend (yawn). And, more power to them. This summer is filled with sequels, franchise films, and comic book adaptations (maybe one too many, this time) to get excited about it. Others see it only as time to brace themselves for the mindless entertainment until the artful oscar season picks up again in the fall. For most, it's a little of both, so here are my favorite thing - lists on both the goods and the bads.


10.Thor - Already upon us, and already raked in 66 million it's opening weekend. This was expected for Thor, who isn't as widely known in the Marvel canon (Spider-Man opened with a whopping 114 million in 2002, and Iron Man pulled a 96 million opening in 2008), but obviously has his loyal fan base. The gig Marvel has going to keep people intrigued is how all their films, since Iron Man, are happening within the same universe. So, even audiences who know nothing of Thor will enjoy it's tie-ins to Iron Man, Hulk and Captatin America. Although it got decent reviews, I don't predict this one will have the legs to go over the 200 million mark. It's definitely a well executed movie, but with Kenneth Brannagh at the helm, his Shakesperian persuasions are all over the movie, which might bog it down for those wanting fun Marvel entertainment.

9. The Help - Based on the ridiculously successfull best seller about an aspiring writer who spearheads racial segregation in Jackson, Mississipi, this film will draw from audiences looking for a quieter movie this summer without losing the quality. Another major draw should be newcomer Emma Stone, right off her breakthrough performance in the delightful Easy A, who already has a small throng of devoted fans who say they "love her." The film's antagonist is played by Bryce Dallas Howard, and, from the trailer, it seems she's finally found another role to sink her teeth into after fledgling in Spider Man and Terminator sequels after The Village.

8.Captain America - Marvel devotees will recognize the actor playing Steve Rogers as the Human Torch from the forgetful Fantastic Four movies. Chris Evans, as he's known by everyone else, is hoping to start again in one of these fancy Marvel reboot films fans have been jumping about. Expect him to return next summer in The Avengers alongside Thor, Iron Man, and Hulk. Comparing to the comics, he definitely looks the part, and there's no reason anyone won't see a movie called Captain America due to the stroke of nationalism sweeping the states after the death of you-know-who (not Voldemort for once).

7.Super 8 - With the enlisted help of producer Steven Spielberg, acclaimed director J.J Abrams, coming off Star Trek fame, has written an intriguing piece of sci-fi sensationalism. Based in the 70's, a group of kid filmmakers, working with super 8 film, accidentally catch footage of a train derailment carrying cargo to the legendary Area 51. Cool huh? The trailer purposely mirrors the feel of Close Encounters, so some nostalgic moviegoers will probably be drawn in in that regard. Looks to be one of those "you never see the monster" movies, which I've been excited to get back to for awhile.

6. Tree of Life - This is also not spectacular, hyped up, VFX typical summer movie fare, but for the auteur followers out there: you know Terrence Malick only makes a movie like once a decade. His last effort, was The New World, a three hour poem with moving pictures, and his track record proves that as his style. His latest, stars Sean Penn and Brad Pitt, and won't be at all dissapointing cinematography wise. Just be ready for a slow, pensieve story...but no less emotional.

5. Cowboys and Aliens - Director Jon Favreau's first film off his Iron Man adaptation looks to be a neat blend of classic western and sci-fi. If he keeps the same touch as before, even the potentially silly segments won't be too overblown or drawn out. Iron Man kept itself well rooted in reality and I think fans are hoping he does the same here. It stars Harrison Ford, in a rare non-Indiana Jones adventure role, as the Sheriff, and Daniel Craig as the mysterious drifter who possess the only power to fight the invading aliens. It looks like everything Will Smith's Wild Wild West wanted to be.

4. The Hangover: Part II - The wolfpack is back! It's the sequel to the highest grossing R-rated comedy of all time! This time the wedding is in Thailand, and try as they will to keep everything low key, things go horribly wrong. Expectations are high for this one, possibly the highest of all films this summer, and it's being dropped right at Memorial Day weekend so it will safely make bank. But if it doesnt' stack up, the box office will drop off quickly. What was fun about the first one was the way it came out of nowhere. With that gone, the sequel will have to pack twice the laughs.

3. Pirates of the Carribean: On Stranger Tides - Come on, give it a chance. The franchise has switched directors, giving duties to Rob Marshall of Chicago. Other cast members ala Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley has opted not to return. It will either turn out to be a fresh new start for the Pirates films, or the death rattle. My prediction is favorable since fans voiced unhappiness with the last two sequels, and judging from the trailers they listened. It's simple: forget the sweeping scope and visuals, and put the main focus back on Jack Sparrow

2. Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Yet again, the last one was God awful, I think Michael Bay even issued a formal apology. However, like above, he's promised a more focused story, and gone back to the basics that made the first one such a fun time. If it's true, this could be good solid summer entertainment. They've got an intriguing tie in to the space race of the sixties, sort of one of those, "the public has never known what happened on the moon" sort of thing. Note the absence of the whiny Megahn Fox from the trailers...that's what you get when you call Michael Bay, Hitler.

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II - One: it's the continuation of the first movie, which featured solid performances from the child actors, just the right amount of special effects, a story more devoted to the books, and a wildly addicting premise. Two: it's in 3D and Three: Oh yeah, it's the finale of the most successfull book series in HISTORY!!! It's been a long run since 2001 when the first one came out. I think Warner Bros. will weep terribly when this money machine is finally out of gas.

Some things to avoid:

Green Lantern - It's the summer for the comic book, but not this one. Although DC comics is desperately buying back the rights to all their stories in order to catch up to Marvel, Green Lantern doesn't bode well. Saturated in unbelievable CGI, a ridiculously child like story, terrible dialouge, this movie just looks plain silly. Down and out. If you wanna support DC, hold your cash for Batman next summer.

Cars 2 - Lovable Pixar has to have a down year, and it is alas upon us. Why they chose this one, their least successful, for a sequel is a real headscratcher. Nevertheless, moms will take their kids to see it and it will make a considerable amount of money, but you stand warned.. Paul Newman is dead, so there goes that, and Larry the Cable Guy isn't as popular anymore. From there, Owen Wilson can't carry te movie because he excels more in physical comedy - not animation. Avoid.

Friends with Benefits AND Love, Wedding, Marriage - Every summer needs the formulaic RomCom. If you're impressed by that then go see it. It's not my money. Does it bother you that Friends With Benefits is just No Strings Attached (the one with Natalie Portman) but with different actors. While you're checking your brain at the door, don't think to hard about what the other one mirrors.

X-Men: First Class - I guess since they had such luck with the Avenger build up, Marvel got a little greedy and thought they could squeeze a little more out of the tired X-Men franchise. The trailer looks desperate, un-original and poorly acted. Every good thing must come to an end...just not like this.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes: I'd like to go back in time to find the producer at the moment he pitched this and remind him it is not a good idea to make a prequel to a classic piece of sci fi from the 60s. The original was timely, pertinent and beautifully allegorical. It doesn't need a hawdy, noisy un-inspired prequel. And also, James Franco what happened to you?

The End, now go to the movies and enjoy yourself!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Top Ten Best Twist Endings...Ever!

Well, the oscars are over and now we endure the long wait through the romantic comedy laden spring until the big releases of the summer. Speaking of Oscars, however, I for one actually really enjoyed them. Aside from Franco's distant personality, I felt Anne really carried the show (despite most critics), and I loved how they re-introduced the montage at the beggining ala the Billy Crystal days. Finally, they went back to doing oscar clips...thank you!!! It seemed like the Academy went back to the formula that worked for so many years, and it came off, yet it's a shame others didn't feel the same way. The winners were of course predictable. The category that was hard to call went to Melissa Leo and I think we all remembered what happened after that. My only nit pick was that I really would have liked to see Fincher win director, since he will most likely make fewer oscar friendly movies in the future and he's just as visionary as most other directors out there. Anyway, onto the next thing...

This is a post I've wanted to do for a long time. My favortie show is The Twilight Zone (59 - 64, not the reboots) and for a long time my favorite director was M. Night Shamylan, so as you can tell, having a taste for the good twist ending has always been my thing. During my hunt for movies with great twists, I also saw a ton of bad ones, so I've come to develop a mode for what makes a twist ending work, and what makes it a cop out, as well as a list of my top ten picks for best twists endings ever.

First: "re-watchability". If you turn off the movie and go, "Well, it was all a dream...that was stupid!" You are most likely not going to watch or even recommend it, for sake of feeling cheated, frustrated and annoyed. So a good twist will hold to the test of time, and offer valuable insight into the surprising conclusion upon each re-watch. Most movies like this will feature plot points that guide your thinking in one direction...that is, to fool you, and the second time around you realize those same plot points actually make sense with the twist as well! You should even almost become excited as you proclaim, "that makes so much sense, why didn't I notice this before!"

Secondly: "believability", the ending must fit within the reality of the story. In film schools this is sometimes referred to as "versimilitude". Each, "good story" will always feature a certain set of rules or logic that help the viewer build and understand the world the story is taking place in. If the ending violates those rules - game over. How would you all feel if at the end of the The Matrix they were like, "just kidding, they're not in a computer program after all!" There's no need to say it, you would be pissed beyond belief. What a cop out right? Yet, throughout most of the movie you believed the characters could actually leap over buildings and dodge bullets, because you understood the world the movie created. "Verisimilitude."

Lastly: "Pschiatry". This is a criteria because it is the number one pit fall for twist endings. The minute the movie delves into psychiatry then let the guesses begin! "He's got schizophrenia, he's got multiple personalities!" Whatever you guess, you're probably right. I think what audiences hate most about these endings is that they're easy to pull off. Also, they nearly always lead to disappointment due to their lack of creativity. No one likes the murder mystery to be solved when the lead detective turns out to have an evil alter ego. And no audience will ever talk about a drama where most of the conflict was hallucinated inside our protagonist's tortured mind. (Psycho is the only exception here because Hitchcock was the first to do it, and therefore, it wasn't a cliche at the time.)

Now that you know the criteria, here comes the list (spoiler alert!!!!! Yet if you haven't seen these movies, I don't know what to tell you.):

10. The Village
The set-up: An eighteenth century village, in rural PA, lives in isolation from the outside world, due to the surrounding woods inhabited by monsters eager to kill any trespasser.

The Twist: It's present day!!! The monsters are the village elders dressed in costume to keep the townsmen from venturing off and discovering society - which they believe to be cruel and immoral.

9. Primal Fear
The set-up: A meek, innocent kid, played by Edward Norton, is falsely accused of brutally murdering his priest mentor.

The twist: After finding out that it was Norton's alter ego (ala Multiple Personality Disorder) that committed the murder, we find out that Norton was actually faking the illness in order to be proven "not guilty."

8. The Sting
The set-up: Out for revenge against the racketeer who had their friend murdered, con-duo, played by Paul Newman and Robert Redford, set out to perform the ultimate high stakes con game. Redford ultimately betrays Newman after the FBI encourages him to play both sides.

The twist: It was all part of the game! Including, the betrayal, the FBI involvement, and even the faked death of Redford...all part of the plan.

7. Unbreakable
The set-up: After being the sole survivor of a horrific train accident, Bruce Willis realizes he's never been sick or hurt. Because of his new reputation, he's tracked down by Samuel L. Jackson who convinces him to become a real life super-hero.

The twist: Samuel L. Jackson is a sociopath who's been committing mass murder until he found someone who is "unbreakable."

6. Memento
The set-up: A man, played by Guy Pearce, with severe short term memory loss, who only remembers things by tattooing them to his body, hunts for the man who killed his wife.

The twist: Pearce accidentally killed his wife by forgetting how many insulin injections he had given her, and has been tattooing false clues all over his body in order to never remember his horrible deed. (There's a little more to it than that, but it would take a whole other post to explain it.)

5. The Soylent Green
The set-up: In a dystopian future, Charlton Heston is a factory worker on the production line of the last available source of food - Soylent Green.

The twist: It's made from people!!!

4. Psycho
The set-up: Norman Bates, the timid, awkward, stuttering motel keeper, only does the will of his mysterious mother who seems to be killing off the guests.

The twist: Some consider the first twist the death of the star only halfway through the film (Janet Leigh in the famous shower scene), but the classic is when we find out that Bate's mother is actually dead, and she has now become his evil alter ego.

3. Planet of the Apes
The set-up: After a deep space exploration at warp speed, four astronauts crash land on an alien planet where apes are the dominant species and humans the slaves.

The twist: It was Earth all along!!! Instead of traveling into space, they merely went forward into time, to an era where evolutino seemed to have reversed. Whoa! This is probably one of the most haunting twists, with no soundtrack, little dialouge - just the image of the broken statue of liberty strewn across the beach. (Written by no one else, but Rod Serling.)

2. The Usual Suspects
The set-up: Kevin Spacey is being questioned by the police chief in his office regarding a violent murder/conspiracy that took place in a shipyard a few nights prior. He reveals the mastermind as being a man named Kaiser Soze, and proceeds to tell a long, intricate and action packed story about how it all went down.

The twist: He was making up every word of it! Every single scene in the movie, save the initial crime, was fabricated by Spacey, as he glanced around the office pulling names of off random inanimate objects. Spacey is Soze, and he made up a story to get himself out of trouble.

1. The Sixth Sense (I know, I know)
The set-up: You know what it's about.

The twist: You know what happens. It's awesome...

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Academy Awards Updates...and Andrew's pick for Best of the Year!

I know I've been a little AWOL from here for the last six months or so, and for those of you who have continually clicked over from "A Pear to Remember," I appreciate you're unwavering support. However, my time of the year has arrived, and if I didn't at least try to keep this thing going, then I figured it was time to call it quits. So here it goes...

Best Picture: Just like last year between Avatar and Hurt Locker, we have another tight race between two highly acclaimed films. The historical drama, and also quite humerous, The King's Speech, as well as The Social Network. A month ago, it looked as if the Facebook movie was going to bring home the naked gold man, but tides have shifted. With King's Speech still picking up speed in some of the recent guilds, and Social Network losing some buzz, King George's stammering legacy could be movie that goes all the way. Still though, this one will be a coin toss, so let the excitement begin!

Best Director: David Fincher has swept nearly every award and guild leading up to the big night so it's impossible to see why he would be passed over by Oscar. Judging from his career thus far, he doesn't always make academy friendly material, so this will be their chance to reward him. Yet, he was passed over for Benjamin Button, but somehow I think they knew he could do better...and he did. The only possible spoiler could be Tom Hooper for King's Speech, and that's only if things really reach fever pitch with that film.

Best Actor: Colin Firth. He practically un-learned how to speak. His work is heartbreaking, comic, intimate. Also, he's a veteran, so there's no reason why this won't happen. If there is an upset, Colin should storm the stage. Any other year, this would have been Franco's oscar...just saying.

Best Actress: Another good race that is up in the air. Ever since the Golden Globes, Natalie Portman has spoiled Annette Benning's "lock" status. Although Natalie's performance was much more emotional and involved in the story, Anette still holds that veteran status that Oscar loves to reward. Much like many other recipients in the category, ala Kate Winslet in The Reader, it's sometimes not the performance but just because their due. It could go either way at this point. A spoiler to both would be if Natalie and Anette split their votes, and Helena Bonham Carter takes the trophy. This is also what I meant by "fever pitch" above. If Helena wins its an omen that Fincher is doomed, because the academy has gone King Speech crazy - it could happen. I personally do not want to see Bellatrix Lestrange win an Oscar.

Supporting Actor: This one is a definite lock. There is no reason why Christian Bale won't be awarded for his transformative performance in The Fighter. For those who have seen the film - enough said.

Supporting Actress: Another good coin toss between Melissa Leo, our hatable, control freak from The Fighter, and Hailee Steinfeld, the lovable protagonist from True Grit (who seriously showed some acting chops.) Why she is here and not in the actress category is a real head scratcher, but I suppose they knew she couldn't win against Natalie or Anette...which leads me to believe she might win for this. Only thing against Hailee is her age. If she's this good, there will be more opportunities to award her.

Original Screenplay: This is where Inception will finally get its due. Nolan was snubbed from the Director category in the thinking that it was more the writing and the effects that made the movie - not necessarily the directing. However, watch out for David Sedler's script for The King's Speech. Remember - fever pitch.

Adapted Screenplay: This is Aaron Sorkin's to lose. His writing was nothing short of brilliant: all the word play, the humork, the pace, storytelling...perfect.

Cinematography: A close race between Inception and True Grit. The Coen's last film shot out west was No Country for Old Men and that was seen as a lock, but it was snubbed. This time the only thing standing in the way is the truly inventive stuff seen in Inception. We shall see.

So, here are my picks for top ten of the year...argue if you wish!

1) The Social Network
2) 127 Hours
3) The King's Speech
4) The Fighter
6) Toy Story 3
7) Black Swan
8) The Town
9) True Grit
10) Inception

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Let-Down Summer

Remember, those days, where ignorance was bliss, and the anticipation of the future was enough to get you giddy like a young film student. Those days, where the approaching months were full of hope, excitement, and adventure. Those days where you knew, one day, you would look back and smile. Yes, those good ol' days - two months ago, before we knew what crap tank of a summer it would be for movies. Although Iron Man 2 led things off strongly, only now, however, do we realize that it was setting us up unfairly. Let's re-cap:

Robin Hood: Yes, Ridley Scott! Yes, Russel Crowe! Gladiator 2? Not really. The Robin Hood story we know and love doesn't start until this movie ends, and Crowe (who actually looked too old to play the part) mumbles his way through two and a half hours of action-less scenes. They could have featured the real talent, Cate Blanchett, yet she managed to only appear three times. So bad writing, bad pacing, poor choice of actors.

Sex and the City 2: The consensus seems to be that this franchise has just plain over stayed its welcome. Most of the fan base agreed the jokes missed, and the actresses are beggining to look a tad too, "grown up" for their parts. Also, the humor surrounding the fish-out-of-water scenario in the Middle East, seemed to border on offensive.

Jonah Hex: Apparently, Meghan Fox's comments about Michael Bay being Hitler really kept people from going out to see her in a new summer tent pole, and Josh Brolin doesn't have the fan base he thought to carry a crowd in a comic book movie. The movie bottomed out at 6 million, not even a quarter of its production budget earned back. I called this one from the beggining - a futuristic western...doesn't work. Will Smith's Wild West anyone?

MacGruber: Kristin Wiig and Will Forte have really earned their respects on SNL, and even though I was hesitant they were turning the 30 second MacGruber spots into a feature, I still thought these comedians could pull it off. Oh well, hopefully their fans like them enough to forget they did this, and Val Kilmer's (if he has any left) and Ryan Phillipe's will forgive them.

The Last Airbender: You gotta give Shamylan the credit for trying something different. After The Happening, everyone was like, "Shamylan, do something different!" Well, he did, and this one still sucked. The poor guy just can't get a break. Technically, he's coming off of four flops now, since not everyone liked The Village or Lady in the Water, even though I did. The issue in this film, it seems, came down to a slow plot, emotionless dialouge, and just plain boring-ness, despite all the visuals. Apparently, his next job will be with Willis again, let's hope he's going back to what worked.

So, it's been that kind of a summer so far. If you could, try stepping out of the multi-plexes and hunt down your nearest art cinema to check out The Kids Are Alright and The Girl Who Played With Fire, both excellent movies, not playing "everywhere". It's no wonder, however, that so many adults when to Toy Story 3. All hangs in the balance of Inception, this Friday.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Summer Movie Preview 2010

As far as I'm concerned the lull in between the Oscars and the beginning of may is the dullest of the year in terms of movies. If it's not a "tentpole" intended for summer hype, or something that might win an award (winter), studios tend to dump these films during the spring months. Last April, The Soloist was pushed out the back seat of the car, and left to fend for itself against Wolverine a week later, while Paramount and Dreamworks peeled away in the other direction. So while we wait for more interesting things to come back to theaters (unless you really wanna see The Last Song) here are the top ten most anticipated movies of summer 2010.

10) Salt - Tom Cruise was originally intended to star, dropped out, and with a quick re-write...Angelina Jolie? Judging from the trailer, it's looks to be a rather exciting action flick with a more than predictable plot (but hey, it's an action movie). Angelina Jolie has proven herself as the quint-essential female action star, but this time she's going it alone (ie. no Daniel Craigs or James McAvoy's along for the ride). It will make considerable money in its late July release, going up against Shrek 4, from audiences tired of this un-neccesary four-quel.

9) The Expendables - Coming out late August, Stallone's action power house will round out the summer, with Jet Li, Jason Statham, Syllvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Mickey Rourke, *breath*, Bruce Willis, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Arnold Schwarzenegger (cameo). Action fans are expecting the story to be more than forgettable but are hoping that the cast is a sign of super-awesomeness. It will either be "that action movie" OR That Action Movie.

8) Toy Story 3 - Even though its been 10 years since the last installment in this series, it's never too late to bring back the characters that put Pixar on the map. All the favorite voices are back, plus a few surprises, and judging from the trailer, they've got a pretty good idea for a story. Plus, Tim Allen could use the paycheck.

7) Twilight Saga: Eclipse - Everyone besides giddy teenage girls were ready to write this one off the list until David Slade( 30 Days of Night, Hard Candy) was announced to direct. No doubt, of course, to bring the series back to its darker roots, and attract in a throng of fans that previously wouldn't even give it a thought. Slade promises this one will be more forboding and less laughable, and judging from the last vampire movie he made (a seriously scary movie) - we believe him.

6) Jonah Hex - Has been talked about for literally thirty years, ever since first published as a comic in the 70s. It's set in the wild west, with over tones of dark magic. A no-nonsense cult following will turn out to help make this movie a considerable amount of money, but whether it's a hit or not depends on Josh Brolin's performance. He's a talented dramatic actor making a turn in comic book movies. Can he pull it off? He's paired with Meghan Fox, who we all know can't act, but has other things going for her.

5) The Little Fockers - Although it was disappointing to hear Hoffman quit due to his heated temper towards the studio, at least De Niro is still there, and the prospect of Streisand, Stiller, and Polo still along for the ride is keeping everyone's spirits up. Plot details are under wraps, and all we know Greg Focker now has fiver year old twins, and God only knows what De Niro's character will be up to. The summer is going to be dry on comedy, so the studio has dropped this at the end of July, right when audiences will be ravenous for one.

4) Sex and the City 2 - Not for me, but there is a huge audience out there waiting for this movie. And everyone in that said group of viewers won't be interested in ANY of the other movies this summer, so prepare to be wowed by the money this brings in - unbelievable I know, but it will

3) Robin Hood - It seems like this story is tired of being made, but look closer, this story could really benefit from being made WELL! And the trio of Ridley Scott, Russel Crowe and Cate Blanchett seems to be the ticket. Scott has never let us down before (turning our back on A Good Year), and he's dynamite when he works with Crowe. Judging from the adverts, this could be their next Gladiator.

2) Inception - Two things: One - Has Christopher Nolan made a bad movie yet? And two - is "a thriller set within the architecture of the mind" the best tagline ever? Some are saying everyone has a flop sometime, and this is Nolan's turn, but my guess is, we're not even ready for how mcuh this movie is going to BLOW US AWAY!

1) Iron Man 2 - With the anticipation for this sequel starting immediately after the first one, plus the steadily exploding fan base, expect this second Downey Jr. starrer to make Dark Knight-esque ticket sales. Not only did the first one garner reputation as one of the best comic book movies ever (which is a lot, seeing it won its success the same summer as said other comic movie), but audiences are intrigued to see Mickey Rourke and Scarlett Johanson as the villains. Only thing to take heed of is the screenwriter switch. Hopefully, the movie's witty flavor won't be lost - something we liked about number one.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Best of the Year

Even though I had already done the best of the decade, I held off on doing 2009 until I saw just a few more flicks. So, in case you haven't had a chance to get out to theaters this year yet, THIS WEEK IS YOUR CHANCE, because the films nominated won't stick around too much longer after the awards next week. Obviously, any of the ten below I would recommend. As you'll see below, there are a few surprises and if any of you want to argue with me...go ahead. :) I purposefully left Precious off the list, only because it seems like one of those movies people won't be talking about in a few years. Already, it's not as widely discussed as it was. It features some good performances, but nothing else is going for it. Shocking movies are only that - shocking.

1. Inglorious Basterds
2. An Education
3. The Hurt Locker
4. Avatar
5. Up
6. Up in the Air
7. Julie and Julia
8. Star Trek
9. The Hangover
10. The Road