Film

Freakin’ Avatar

Geekgasm!

I do not geekgasm about Avatar. Avatar the blue people, not Avatar the air bender. The air bender is my absolute favorite. The blue people? Not so much.

Yet, I’ve found that the majority of people I talk to love this movie. And I can understand why. Almost.

A lot of it comes from how much I hate James Cameron. I think he’s a self obsessed asshole. That being said, he’s a brilliant visual director. One of the best I’ve ever seen. I wouldn’t mind his cocky-ness there.. It’s be annoying, sure, but generally well deserved. My problem with him is how uppity he gets about his stories, talking about them like they’re breaking bounds or something, when in reality they’re paint-by-number seen-it-before type things. I’ve seen his biggest asshole-ness coming from Avatar and Titanic. And I can’t handle it.

The story in Avatar is not original. I’m not saying it has to be, but he treats it like he’s the first one who came up with the idea of a soldier going to meets some native enemies and joining them instead of destroying them. Many people treat it like that, actually. I want to hit them. Because there is nothing revolutionary about the story in Avatar. The revolution is the imagery! The cinematography! Both are perfect. But it blew up into this giant, terrible, monstrous thing and James Cameron thought it’s be okay to give an acceptance speech in Na-vee.

And the rock they couldn’t find was called unobtainium.

Let me break that down for you. Un-obtainium. Un-obtain-ium. Freaking unobtainium.

I can’t even handle it.

And you know as well as I that I’ve reached the point of no return when I start complaining about the name of the rock.

Well. What did you think about Avatar? Yay or nay? Agree or disagree? Let me know, and have a nice day.

Advertisements

Thor

A belated day 7 to the 30 Day Geekgasm. I am not a fan of Thor in the comics or the cartoons. So, Naturally, I assumed I’d hate the movie. I was wrong.

Thor_poster

 

I was really surprised my how thoroughly I enjoyed this movie. It was funny, it had the right kind of action in all the right places. I actually liked the character Thor in this movie. He wasn’t static. Sure, he started off arrogant and annoying, but he actually grew as a person during the course of the movie. Even Loki was awesome. I also hated Loki in the comics. He was over dramatic and annoying and I wanted to kick him. But, again, I loved Loki here. I loved Thor and I loved Loki and i continued to love them both in the Avengers. I am extremely excited for Thor: The Dark World. I found myself shamelessly geeking out about it. Here, have a trailer:

Freakin’ Titanic

It’s day 5 of the 30 Day Geekgasm. One might wonder why I would include a blog about something I hate, but I’m a weirdo and I love discussing things I hate. Often as part of a quest to find out why people love it. Anyway. There are only two movies I couldn’t bring myself to finish, and those are Batman Returns (I felt violated) and Starship Troopers (They killed the wrong girl). But there is one movie that I sat through, and after years of reflection have decided offends me on a much deeper level than those other guys. That movie, is Titanic.

20121204104906!Titanic_poster

The film, written and directed by James Cameron, came out in 1997. It was a smash at the box office. My dad always describes it by saying there were ‘lines of white women going around the block’. While some part of me understands the mushy-mush allure this film may have had, every part of me hates it.

For sake of not taking up two years picking apart every freaking word in this godforsaken movie, I’ll just focus on a few things that really piss me off. And then I’ll give it a couple of praises, but there movie isn’t all bad.

The biggest thing that stands out: There was definitely room for two fucking people on the piece of debris (spoiler alert: the boat sinks). There are about a million beautiful ways they could have killed Leo, but hanging him off a giant piece of debris where the best logical option would be to huddle together and share heat just sort of ruins my life every time I think about it. It’s not like is was dry wood. It was part of the hull of a ship. or even part of the deck. i.e. it’s made to float and it’s made to carry weight.

But Jack had to die because that made it a tragedy. Because the actually story of the Titanic, apparently, wasn’t already a tragedy.

Now. For the actual story. Here’s what one person had to say about it:

“The story could not have been written better…The juxtaposition of rich and poor, the gender roles played out unto death (women first), the stoicism and nobility of a bygone age, the magnificence of the great ship matched in scale only by the folly of the men who drove her hell-bent through the darkness. And above all the lesson: that life is uncertain, the future unknowable…the unthinkable possible.”

Yeah, that’s was James Cameron. James Cameron the writer. I will admit, my hatred of this movie might be due largely to my hatred of him, but there is way more to it.

The story very well could have been written better. The ‘juxtaposition of rich and poor’ was more of a ‘toss poor guy in with rich people and see what happens’. Jack is in the only poor person who really has a part in the entire movie. The mother while the boat was sinking? Who still read there children a bed time story because she knew they wouldn’t get on a boat? What’s her story? There could have been way more contrast to show way more emotional material beyond the whole lovers dying thing. The viewers care about that woman immediately. Image what he could have done with that.

There are so many stories about the actual ship and the actual stories of people on that ship, there was a true historical movie to be found. Instead, we got this sort of tragic love story. Which also could have been great. But the entire plot is paint by numbers. Allow me to break it down for you.

A girl is already engaged to an asshole an then she meets this nice poor fellow who saves her life, so her asshole fiance invites him to dinner where they start becoming friends and then she starts to break the class lines by going to party in third class. She realizes Jack is a whole lot better than Cal and then Jack is a starving artist and then they have sex. So their in love now and then the fiancee is an asshole (yet slightly justified if you really think about it) and get’s Jack arrested. After the boat hits the iceberg. And then there is one really great ‘wow the shit really hit the fan’ sequence when the boat actually sinks. Then the lovers are separated by tragedy and somehow the one left is better for it.

This wasn’t the first time we got this story, and it certainly wasn’t the last. I guess we’ve come to the root of my issue with this movie. Everyone calls the story the most beautiful and groundbreaking love story ever, when it’s not. It’s safe and not unlike the other love stories out there. It’s not necessarily a bad movie, it’s just not nearly as good as people say, but it could have been as good as people say. And that pisses me off.

I hate James Cameron. But not because he’s an asshole or because i think he’s a bad filmmaker. On the contrary. He’s one of the best visual filmmakers out there. His films are beautiful to look at. But his scripts? His scripts don’t take the chances that he does visually, they don’t display the same beauty and effort and there’s this awful disconnect and it actually legitimately makes me angry.

What’s worse? This movie won best picture. I’m not saying it didn’t deserve awards. Again, it was beautiful to look at. But the story was not even comparable in greatness to L.A. Confidential or Amistad. Dear lord, don’t get me started on Amistad.

There you have it. My least favorite movie. Please, feel free to share your opinion. Or get me started on Amistad. Good day.

World War Z Review Type Thing

Title: World War Z

Director: Mark Forster (Stranger Than Fiction, Quantum of Solace)

Stars: Brad Pitt, some other people, Peter Capaldi’s in it too

Watch if you like: Zombies, Good movies, The Walking Dead

world-war-z-nyc-large2

I’m not sure I can express in words how awesome this movie is. But by golly I’m gonna try

Before I saw the movie, I was skeptical. The trailer was okay, and I had never been a huge zombie person. After seeing the film, I now regret having those dirty thoughts in my mind. It proved me wrong in the best way possible. It didn’t just exceed my already low standards, it completely wowed me. This is by far my favorite zombie movie of all time and one of my favorite movies, period. Why? I’m going to tell you somehow.

At the start of the movie, we as the viewers are just as confused as Brad Pitt (Gerry) and his family and the people of the world (starting in New York). You get a basis of the man and his family so you know just enough about them to start to care a little bit about them. The opening of the movie has a very light tone. This changes so quickly and absolutely it feels real. It changes to quickly and absolutely that – despite knowing the general role of the hero and his family in a blockbuster – it is easy to have real fear for what might happen to them. There are several parts in the film when it really seems like Gerry is going to lose his family.

As the story unfolds we get more about Gerry and his character. One thing becomes abundantly clear from the start: Gerry can think his way through anything. Yes, he is a badass. But he’s also a genius in this zombie apocalypse. At one point he wraps newspaper around his forearms to avoid getting bitten. I never would have thought to do that. In all these films how is it no one thinks to do that? (Please let me know if I’m wrong about that). And even though he is a thinker, he’s capable of reacting, of making split second decisions. What’s perfect is the whole movie you know he’s scared and you know he’s getting desperate. But he has to keep his cool – and that not only makes him realistic and dynamic, but it makes him just that much more awesome.

This story takes a slightly different take on zombies in that not everyone is eligible to be bitten. The zombies straight out ignore some people. I’m not going to tell you why because it’s fun to try to figure it out. There is actually something tangible – something that people can actually do to protect themselves – other than grab a gun and hope for the best. Because this zombie thing is just a disease created in a lab – and every disease has a weakness. The problem is finding it.

On top of the cool story stuff, there are some hugly badass moments. Like these:

 World-War-Z-NewPosterWorld-War-Z

I can’t resist doing a paragraph looking at the technical aspects of the movie. The story telling was masterful, the acting wonderful. But the cinematography. I will admit, there were a couple of shot that were questionable. But for the most part, each shot made sense and flowed into the next and really gave us the feel we needed to get from each scene. There are a number of wide panning shots so you never forget how many zombies there actually are, medium and long shots on the streets to throw you into the chaos, and a healthy dose of close ups so you never forget just how scared everyone actually is. It’s all edited together in a way where each shot multiplies or decimates what you felt in the last shot. In a good way. So it all comes together in a well edited, well directed, and well acted movie. I could create another post entirely going into the script.

Back to general story and emotional stuff. By the end I was exhausted becasue I spent the whole movie literally on the edge of my seat, trying to think through the problems with Gerry. I was scared for his family, scared for all the people who had not been effected. The movie made me feel something and connect – and that is something both difficult and fantastic for me.

One of the best things about this movie is how I felt after I saw it. I felt fulfilled. This movie delivered in every way it set out to deliver. This is both exciting and inspiring. It made me want to go and create something. This, for me, is one of the best things a movie can do.

So, in case you did not get the message, I would highly recommend this film.

Go and see it. If you have seen it, share you opinion. Right now. I must know.