|By Zach Patterson||Monday, 14 Jan 2008|
For some reason, I’ve been at the theaters a lot lately in the past month. Here’s some impressions of the movies I saw. These were going to be full blown reviews, but alas, I am lazy, and 4 reviews are not to be.
National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Holy hell does this movie shovel a lot of historical bullshit your way and expect you to stomach it. It’s not that the movie isn’t entertaining, because it is. It’s full of action, and the characters are all memorable enough from the first movie to have you enjoying it. But the plot is so ridiculous at times. Seriously, I mean, Nic Cage kidnaps the president effortlessly, finds a book of presidential secrets that isn’t supposed to exist, goes on one of the most ridiculous car chase scenes ever, and pretty much tracks down clues based on nothing but blind faith and rambling historical facts mixed with off the wall theories. It’a a movie that’s watchable, as long as you don’t think about it. If you liked the first one, you’ll like this. Didn’t like the first one? Hoooo boy.
Alien Vs Predator: Requiem
This is a direct sequel to the pairing of two once great franchises, and it is pretty obvious at this point that they, and this sub-franchise, are really circling the drain. Box office draw was abysmal and anyone looking for the best of Alien and Predator movies here is pretty much shit out of luck. On the plus side, this sequel isn’t awful if you have low expectations. It really works as more of a Predator movie than anything else, as the Alien creatures really are just “generic infestation in small town”, except you know what these creatures are instead of them being an original creation. The biggest issue with the movie really is just that there is no strong human presence. You have a bunch of generic pretty faces, so the cast resembles (and dies like) a slasher flick more than anything. There’s also a lot of gore to make an R rating this time around, and while some of it is kinda tasteless, they also make up for how censored the first AVP seemed. The special effects are up and down, but I give them credit for going with the rubber suits during most of the fights. Less CG the better. Anyway, bottom line is that the story is trash and some of the fight scenes are kinda poorly shot, and frankly it feels like a SciFi Channel Saturday Night Original with a bigger budget, but I’m ok with that, and its an ok movie. Just don’t expect Predator or Aliens here. We’re long past those times.
I Am Legend
This movie really got a ton of press, a lot more than I expected it to. Honestly, I really liked this movie. It had its flaws, but the first half of the movie is one of the more memorable movies I can remember in recent years. The isolation and chilling quietness of New York City deserted is something that has fascinated me since Vanilla Sky, and this takes it one step further. What is also interesting is how the movie slowly unravels that this man, who is the last man alive in NYC, who seems to have it all together is really losing it. He has lost himself in his work and slowly lost his ability to connect with others. His dog and old TV are his only portals to what life used to be. Halfway through the movie it starts to kinda collapse and lose that eerie sense of wonderment the beginning had, but all in all, it’s a pretty solid film that’s among my favorite of 2007. I just wish it was longer to explore some of the plot lines and ideas they put forth, because they leave a lot on the table that isn’t fleshed out.
Saw this a few nights ago, and while I was expecting the typical indie movie bullshit with this, I came away pleasantly surprised. It sure starts like some Napoleon Dynamite knockoff, but the strength of Ellen Page’s character, as well as a great supporting cast really make this an enjoyable movie. I mean, there’s a lot of quick-witted one liners and funny, dirty material in this movie. And it’s great. The emotions don’t seem particularly forced, and you genuinely can understand the motives and flaws of each character. That seems like a rarity nowadays, especially in the comedy genre. It’s a movie that definitely has it’s own charm that slowly makes you love it. I’m not one to normally LOLROFL in theaters, but I nearly did a few times. But seriously, just for the fact that it made me laugh and they had a conversation about Dario Argento, Sonic Youth, and the Stooges in it, I have to say it’s a pretty great movie.