Saturday, July 4, 2009

Mini Movie Reviews: Bulk Hit No 10

Terminator Salvation
So very, very dark. And loud. I'm amazed Baby E only threw her limbs out in fright once! Because this was the first film I stowed my child away in, my review is skewed. Every squirm and chirp from the Moby distracted me, so I missed more than a few frames. I feel, now that some time has passed, that the film consisted of high doses of explosions, gunfire, and more explosions. Wait, there was some kissing at some point. One action scene - that was not intended to be, I'm sure - I found laughable. It was really difficult to watch Christian Bale after hearing pieces of his 4 minute rant, at the Director of Photography, aired on the radio (super-explicit...not worth seeking out, if you haven't heard it by chance). I don't care what McG says, there is no context or style of acting where that response is normal. Although I wouldn't beg for my money back...I can't say I'll make it to Terminator 5 in-theatre (rumoured).

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
I liked number one better, I liked number one better, I liked number one better. Michael Bay pulled off "big everything" in the first. I also didn't disdain Megan Fox when I watched number one (bad press statements, girly! Like Bale's blunder, Fox's comments in the news were in the forefront of my mind when I saw her on screen). Number two's storyline just isn't as tight and the editing not stringent enough. I'm glad I saw it though. Still cool: Shia, the soundtrack, and the wow-ching-chic-chow-crank sound of the the autobots and decepticons transforming.

This is the best animated film I've seen since Kung Fu Panda. Not only does it contain an intertextual reference to Indiana Jones (honourable, honourable!), but it has regular injections of quirky humour and "spoofiness". The NYC pigeons were one of the highlights for me, although all of the voices did an excellent job. I have restricted myself to sharing only three of my favourite quotes from Rhino, the hamster;

Bolt: Am I missing anything, Rhino?
Rhino: Just the knowledge that every minute spent in your company becomes the new greatest minute of my life!

Rhino: [to guard outside studio] I'm going to beat your pancreas with your spleen!

Rhino: Ring, ring! Who's there? Destiny? I've been expecting your call.

Everyone should see this movie.

Blind Dating
This is one notch above average. I expected it to be B-grade, and was pleasantly surprised to find it to be a run of the mill A-grade romantic comedy (which some may argue makes it a B-grade piece by virtue of belonging to that genre). It has some unnecessary swearing, sadly - be forewarned.

I wasn't even going to watch this. The idea of Will Smith playing an anti-hero had zero appeal to me. I'm surprised no one had spoiled this film in my presence - I'd heard very little, except that a) one of the Young Women at church told me "It is really good", and b) that it had tanked at the box office. One positive review was the only kernel of hope I needed to act, since I had opportunity to watch it for free, and I can't help but like Will, remember? (I think I'd switch to Hugh Jackman now, if I had to choose again. So tricky, so tricky). Once again, this was a case of low expectations helping a film a-plenty. I was soothing Baby E during its final scenes, and so may have missed a line here or there. And I may have predicted a few things. But all in all, it wasn't a waste of time, in my opinion. It definitely was not the stellar, solid blockbuster I've come to count on from the leading man, however. (I think I prefer him in the science fiction playground; I Am Legend, I,Robot, and Enemy of the State were more my to my taste.)

Children of Huang Shi (or Children of the Silk Road, its title in NZ)
Although not in close keeping with the biographical story upon which it is based, Children of the Silk Road is an emotive, well-meaning work. Not for the faint-hearted, the film unabashedly tackles some of the war crimes committed during the Japanese occupation of China, and one group's journey to escape them. I was amused to see Chow Yun-Fat and Michelle Yeoh among the cast. What a novel idea, casting that pair in a Chinese film. Novel indeed.*

*I know, I know, sarcasm doesn't become me.
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