Posts in movie review
My Tron Legacy 3D review
For the life of me I don't understand how a movie like Tron Legacy, that is almost overpowered by it's own spectacular special effects, can be so dull. The movie was conceived, like Avatar, to be shot in 3D, or so I've read, but it was the most underwhelming display of the fad that I've ever seen. It's a movie that has been years in development at Disney and a lot of time and money has been lavished on it but I don't know if it could have been improved by a better script because ultimately, what is there to write about? I mean it's about being sucked, literally, into a video game. I suppose some talented writers with some original and lateral thinking could have come up with something but I guess they were all busy working on the Yogi Bear movie.

The story, such as it is, goes like this, the son of a missing genius and idealistic gaming millionaire finds his way to the alternate world his father created inside a computer. The son, Sam, played by an actor of some sort, learns quickly that he has to fight in a neon, gladiatorial arena to survive. Sam causes a stir and meets the bad guy who looks like a younger, CG version of his old man, but of course isn't. Then he gets rescued by an attractive young lady with a bowl haircut wearing a very snug fetishistic, fitting neon jumpsuit who takes him to meet his real, wrinkly non-CG Dad.

There's a bit of argy bargy between father and son and the first yawn should begin to happen around this point of the movie. I'm not even going to bother describing the rest because you've seen it all before. It's like watching a movie that wasn't just typed up in Microsoft Word, it feels like it was written by Microsoft Word. Jeff Bridges is the best thing about this tedious effort. Every now and then, flashes of 'the dude' would come out in his performance which was nice to see but God it hurts my brain trying to find something interesting to write about this bloody film...I liked the soundtrack!

Two out of five stars but honestly, wait till you find it in the three dollar weekly bin because there's nothing you haven't seen before.
My Harry Potter, Deathly Hallows part 1 Review.
Harry Potter, Dealer of Death
For the past ten years or so, it's almost been a given that at Christmas time, we'd get a fresh new Harry Potter adventure stretching the metaphorical sock over the mantlepiece. They've been a sort of warm and cosy Christmas expectation, even here in Australia where warm and cosy at Christmas really means hot and sticky. Realistically though, Christmas in Australia is more a season of death what with the road toll, drownings, bush fires and shark attacks we have, so appropriately this season, we're lucky to be spoilt with two evil movie blockbusters who will murder your family while they sleep.

The point of any grin
Well almost. At Christmas we have part 1 of the Deathly Hallows and at Easter or thereabouts, we get part 2. Judging by the box-office take on the opening weekend of part 1, I'd imagine the producers are laying back now on their Lilo's in the pool with the biggest shit eating grins on their dials and toasting together large German Steins overflowing with cocaine and sprinkled with chocolate. Or is that just me? Hmmm, I just wrote `shit eating grins' automatically then without giving any thought to what it means. The only reason I could think of to be grinning while feasting on faeces would be if you'd gone completely insane or are into German Porn.

So enough drivel. Is it any good?
Absolutely.
It is very good.
It's part one of a bigger and darker tale with wonderful characters we're more than familiar with in a world we think we know well but still holds many surprises, including an appropriate way of entering a Government Civil Service building. I love this alternate world that JK Rowling has built. I've read that at university she was heavily into the classics and mythology and it shows. This is a world you can believe exists because she has painted it with such confident detail and affection. The story is building to the climax of Harry's young life and quest. `Destiny' even, if you're one of those. It's genuinely spooky and creepy and has several shocks in store. If you're a book fascist then there are a couple of disappointments for you. I'm not a creature of that ilk but even so, I was a bit disappointed they left out a couple of strong plot points that would have given the movie more gravitas.

But leaving them out I guess gave them room to play with ideas that weren't as strong in the books. I don't remember the rise of magical fascism having the same prominence in the book as it does in this movie but then that may be because it's more interesting as a visual theme then a literary one and I noticed it more. Or more likely it's been a while since I read the last book.  The designers have obviously had a great time designing magical fascist propaganda items, I'll be keeping my eye open to get a better look at them next time around.

Harry's ever so big Climax
This movie is the build up to the climax.  (Narrative Foreplay anyone?)  It's Harry and friends on the skip ' run around the UK all the while being pursued by the evil wizard, Voldemort and his many minions. It's all about the rise of magical fascism and the ever so English insurrection against it. The three wizardeers, Harry, Ron and Hermione, are hiding out in their magical wonder tent (I would love one of those tents) around the countryside of England in pursuit of four Horcruxes, magical totems that hold different quarters of Voldemort's soul. His backup drive so to speak. Tension builds between the three with Harry believing that he's responsible for the whole world going to shit. Hermione is torn between her sense of duty to the wider wizarding world, her loyalty to Harry and her conflicted feelings about Ron Weasley. And Ron just wants to go home, preferably with Hermione at his side.

It's great to see a continuity and thoughtfulness in the progress of all of the characters we've followed in the movies and books - there's a short dream scene where Harry and Hermione get a bit nude and get it on however it's not as interesting as the media makes it out to be, (is it ever?) But it's great that it acts as a catalyst for Ron to finally put to rest a few demons of his own.  Even Neville gets to heroically hold his own - to many cheers, part of what makes seeing this movie at a full cinema so much fun. There are a couple of laughs but mostly it's a dark action, adventure about a civilisation and it's people teetering on the brink of the abyss. It's like the Schindlers List of Harry Potter movies. Well, maybe not that dark, but pretty dark.

I'll give it 4.5 stars. It's worth seeing at a good cinema too. They've spent a lot of money making this movie and it's all there on the big screen. Seriously, Dobby and Kreacher look far more real than they ever have, it's quite amazing.
Being sociable about `The Social Network'.
I reckon personally, that this movie is a triumph. It's `The Social Network' or so that everyone will understand what movie it is you're talking about, `The Facebook Movie'.  It really shouldn't succeed as it does because the characters are utterly unlikable and it's very verbal. Though I hasten to add, in the best possible way. Aaron Sorkin's dialogue zings and ricochets like I'd imagine a debate between Stephen Fry, Jonathan Ross and Peter Ustinov would be like if the three of them were on cocaine and had the latest amazing new product from Apple sitting between them. (now that'd be something to see.)  If I met the Mark Zuckerberg portrayed in this movie I'd want nothing to do with him.  I imagine he'd want nothing to with me either but this is MY fantasy so he doesn't get a say in it. In fact, seeing as it's my fantasy,  lets reference him as `The Gimp' from now on.

Believe the hype.
This movie is as good as what everyone is saying it is. It may even be better. I suspect that David Fincher has made another masterpiece that will be remembered as such in years to come. (Another? C'mon, the bloke made Se7en and Fight Club!  I'd argue that The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is one as well but I know I'm paddling against the stream with that one...I also reserve a special place in my heart for Zodiac as well).

For the life of me as I was watching this movie, I couldn't see why I should be enjoying it so much. I was keen to see it at first, not knowing anything about the Gimp but aware only that it was a collaboration between Fincher and Sorkin. But then I saw some video of the gimp fronting a conference on mobile applications and he just came across as an utter dick. And although I use Facebook, I was uninterested in it's origins, I mean really, who would be?  However the trailer was compelling and I admit my interest was piqued when the question was posed, `what did it take for someone to sue his best friend for $600 million?' M-kay.

The paradoxical Gimp as young romantic hero - discuss.
The thing is, as the movie progresses. You do end up liking the Gimp.  You come to realise that he's a confident, middle class, astoundingly intelligent person (who is well aware of it) surrounded by other  highly intelligent people, who as clever as they are, are just not on his level.  He's sexist, devious,  sneaky, highly manipulative and controlling. He seemingly has no interest in money which makes him seem either naive or stupid because he is strongly driven by status and it's appearance. Although you end up cheering for him to succeed you keep thinking, well kid you want the status but you don't want the money - but it's the money that gives you the status, so what gives gimp?

Although it is a talky movie, visually it's stunning. The scene that tipped me over the edge, (in that I shot forward on my seat staring in awe and excitement at the scene unfolding before me.) was the `Regatta sequence .'  It's a tour de force that forces you to realise that the movie is an examination of a society and culture so many of us will only ever read about or see in a documentary.  Fincher uses Tilt Shift, A film technique that compresses an image with different focal lengths to make, say for instance, A photo of  a town square give the appearance of a scale model of a town square.  In this films context, it's used to distance the viewer thematically and forces them to realise that what you are seeing is a microcosm of a particular moment in time that is ironically, timeless. You're looking at a particular world through anthropological lenses and this sequence rams it home like an enthusiastic young Proctologist with large hands.

Get out of the house!
Go see this movie on the big screen because though it's not a big visual blockbuster, it is a beautiful film to watch and experience in a theatre. Go along for the ride and watch master movie makers take you on a journey where thoroughly unlikeable people grow on you so you end up cheering for them to succeed. No small feat that the makers of Skyline could learn something from.

4.5 Stars from Uncle Nugget.
Just back from watching Skyline.
I'm just back from seeing the latest in the `Naughty Aliens invade Planet Earth' genre of movies; Skyline.
If you like mindless boof (and you know I do Mumma!) then you'll enjoy this. It's really not that bad a movie but it's certainly not a great one either.  

The Nissan Skyline has absolutely nothing
to do with this movie. Although it would
have been cool if it did.
Aside from an ending that is just...well, what can I say? It's just plain fucking awful, (oh there I did it), other than that it's a fun hour or so at the flicks. Good popcorn, yay human race, boooo greedy aliens kind of movie.  Just don't bring your brain cause other than enjoying what the aliens do with them, there's no point in bringing your own along, and truly, it would be a waste of time.

The worst part about this movie is that you want the aliens to eat all of the characters. They're so unlikable you wish you could yell to the aliens - `They're hiding in the kitchen!! No no, look harder, they're crouched behind the bench!' The best part, aside from it's short running time, well, it looks like they've made it on a relatively low budget and in that respect it's very well done. The aliens are a range of scary blue light, tentacle thingies and bigger versions of the monster that tries to eat Luke Skywalker in `The Return of the Jedi'. Humans fight back with some degree of success but then, you can never keep a good alien down. You don't get to fly about the universe in big space ships like they do, to be defeated by shaved apes with basic implements for weapons. Or do you?

I went with my friend Mr Wilbert to the new Titan XC cinema at Charlestown  to see it. It looks like us Novacastrians who like quality movie going experiences won't be going out to Glendale for our Big Boofy Movie fix anymore.  It's a big stadium cinema with huge comfy leather armchair seats and enough leg room for a big bugger like me to stretch his legs out all the way and not annoy the people in front.  Cause I can't reach them.

The movie gets a three out of five from this Scout Master and the new cinema a 4.5.