Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Legion~ 9 out of 10

So last night was Tuesday night and you know what that means? Well I guess for some people it means meatloaf for diner, but in our house it means cheap movie night! Although it may not be for long as both movie theatres in town were sold to another company recently. I don't know if they'll keep the Tuesday special going or not. I certainly hope so! The Tuesday special is that everyone gets in for matinee price, which around here is $5.75, and you get a free small bag of popcorn. Last night my kids were especially generous and Lu took us out to eat Mexican and Sean paid for the movies. I left tip at the restaurant and bought us a large soda at the movie (Lu had brought her own). We had all three been dying to see Legion so the movie choice was unanimous.

I will do my very best to not give out spoilers since the movie's so new and most people may not have seen it! But the basic storyline, which you can get from the trailers, is that God has had enough of man and decides to destroy his creation and start over. He sends the angels down to exterminate mankind. But the angel Michael rebels against his command. He still has faith in mankind and the possibility of it's salvation. He falls to earth and cuts off his wings to become human. Then he sets out to find Charlie, the girl carrying mankind's only hope for survival and redemption.

He finds Charlie, an average ordinary girl, working at a tiny little diner/gas station in the middle of the desert. She's 8 months pregnant with a baby she doesn't want and plans on giving up for adoption. There's not a lot of back story but you get the idea her life hasn't been easy. Charlie is played by Adrianne Palicki, not an actress I'm familiar with, but she does a good job. She's employed by Bob, the alcoholic owner of the diner, played by Dennis Quaid. Now I've always been a Dennis Quaid fan, and even as an aging rough alcoholic he's still got that engaging little boy smile. He has a son, Jeep, played by Lucas Black. Jeep is an odd young man with a serious crush on Charlie, even though it's not his baby. He's been having oddly prophetic nightmares about her. Also present at the diner is Percy, the one armed cook, played by Charles Dutton. You get the impression, that though odd, they are their own type of family.

Several strangers also get stranded at the diner just in time for the Apocalypse. A rich family of three with some relationship issues played by Jon Tenney, Willa Holland and Kate Walsh. And a tough guy with a heart of gold, played by Tyrese Gibson. The first clue that there might be a problem is the loss of TV signal, phone lines and then power. Also some weird ass clouds rolling in. The next clue comes in the form of a creepy old lady who orders a rare steak and then proceeds to cuss fluently and insult everyone while telling them they're all going to burn. She tops off this performance by ripping out someone's jugular and crawling on the ceiling. Luckily, tough guy Kyle has a gun and knows how to aim it.

There's a token escape attempt that quickly goes bad and then the angel Michael shows up to take charge. He tells them what's up and that they all must protect Charlie until the baby's born if they want to have a chance. What follows is some really creepy shit. Suffice it to say that I will be checking all the teeth of any strangers I encounter (even small children) and I may run for cover if I hear an ice cream truck. Oh, and after that granny scene, I'm pretty sure nursing homes are out too. Sorry Grandma.

The movie is action and violence packed. It incorporates religious themes and characters without being too preachy. It definitely challenges everything you thought you knew about angels. I mean, they wear black armor? I thought white was the good guys? Also, apparently their wings = razor sharp. You can wield those puppies in battle like a circular saw blade. What kind of feathers are those exactly? And why are they black too? I'm so confused...

And if you thought demon possession was scary...wait until you see angel possession on a mission. Everyone ends up with shark teeth and scary jaws that seem to unhinge. And angels are really hard to kill. And oh yeah, they do not fight fair. At one point, in a fight between Michael and Angel Gabriel, I'm pretty sure Gabriel junk punches Michael. Dude. So not cool. Ever. Especially if you're better armed to begin with.

Anyway, we unanimously liked the movie. We heard a few grumbles outside the theatre. One guy complained that he didn't think there was a plot. Really mister? Because I thought the plot was pretty obvious and easy to follow. I'm sorry you missed it. No. I take that back. You're an idiot. And two girls were complaining that it was too "God-y". Really? A movie with angels in it had too much God? How did you not know there might be religious themes?? And it wasn't preachy. Trust me, I'd be the first to call it out on that account.

It was full of action, it moved along at a good pace, the acting was good and it was plausible. Well, provided you believe in angels and God to begin with. And Paul Bettany was kick ass in it. He was all hott and buff and wait...lusting after an angel might be a no-no...damn.

I would definitely recommend it. We will, in fact, probably buy the DVD when it comes out. My thought on leaving the movie? Little Baby Jesus' story might have turned out a lot different if Joseph had carried a gun...


PS~ I just read some reviews and they weren't good. And alot of people had some really ridiculous questions and said that the movie didn't explain things. Seriously? People are dumb. I'd prefer to have to think a few things out on my own. And frankly, I thought the things that weren't specifically explained were pretty obvious. This totally explains why most movies are so predictable and easy to figure out. The movie going public feels the need to be spoon fed instead of thinking for themselves. *shaking my head in despair*

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Gamer~ 7 out of 10

First, let me just say Mmmm. Gerard Butler. Really, I didn't care what the movie was about once I saw he was in it. "Of course we can get that one!" I said. Okay, so I did know what it was about. I'm not a guy. Geez. I don't pick movies based on what kind of eye candy they provide. But I'm not averse to having some man candy to look at just in case the movie is a dud.

Gamer is centered around an interesting concept. The idea that technology will be so advanced in the future that they'll be able to inject tech cells into your brain that will replicate and receive signals from the outside, thus enabling someone else to control your actions. Of course, they can be implanted to send signals too. This allows someone else to think of an action and you are compelled to do it. WTF?! Who would be crazy enough to do that?! Ever hear of free will people? The concept of liberty?? People died to make sure we had free choice and you're just going to turn around and hand it over??! The hell?!

Oh. I guess I totally forgot to mention that the people who opt to be controlled are considered "actors" and they're paid to hand over their free will. They act out a real life version of SIMS called "society". So not only does someone else get to pick out your clothes, your makeup, and put words in your mouth, they get to control who you sleep with. I'm pretty sure there's not enough money in the world for me to consider this a good idea.

There's also a game version which gives new meaning to the phrase "live action". The game pieces here are convicts on death row. They don't get paid, they just get a chance at freedom. Survive thirty battles and your pardon is in the mail. Sadly, no one has managed to accomplish this feat yet. (Really? Go figure). Enter Gerard. He's a badass game piece the world calls "Kable". And he's just survived battle number 28.

Of course there's one man who controls all the technology. And his name is Ken Castle (played by Michael C. Hall). He's a billionaire techno whiz with a hidden agenda. (You weren't surprised, were you?) Turns out he's modified his technology to suit his evil plan of world domination. Muahahaha. (Evil genius laugh). And he has no intention of letting our hero convict survive his thirty battles. Why? Turns out Gerard knows a thing or two about our evil genius that he doesn't want the world to know.

Enter the renegade faction called the "Humanz". They've figured out that (*gasp*) handing over your free will to someone else is probably a bad idea! (Dude, really? I didn't see that coming!) Okay, I totally did. Anyway, long story short, they find a way to bust "Kable" out, free his wife (she's an "actor" in the "society" game, and give them back their control. Unfortunately, evil genius Castle has their only daughter. I won't reveal the ending but good does win out.

Last but not least, I will give you a warning about the gross out factor. If you've ever wondered about who was on the other end of a chat session you don't want to watch this movie. One of the "controllers" in this movie is a mostly naked, seriously obese dude who eats waffles dipped in syrup while playing "society". Not a pretty picture. Oh yeah, and he controls a girl character. Kind of a double "eeew".

I know I'm poking fun at the movie, but I did enjoy it. It had plenty of action (so much I may have had to cover my eyes a time or two), a twist (even if I figured it out beforehand), and some decent acting. Oh yeah, and eye candy. Kyra Sedgewick does a good turn as a talk show host who's not buying into Castle's altruism and ends up with the renegades. Allison Lohan plays one of the rebels and does some kick ass motorcycle riding. There are other good bit performances. All in all, it was entertaining and didn't take too much thought. Sean gave it a slight higher rating than I did. Lulu rated about the same as I did. And hubby managed to stay awake through the whole thing. Which is saying something.

7 out of 10 thumbs up!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Avatar~ 9 thumbs up.

So Sean has been begging asking to see Avatar since it came out. And I'll admit it...I was pretty intrigued too. We go to the movies alot on Tuesday nights because the theatre runs a special~ everyone gets in for matinee prices and you get these little bags for free popcorn. Sometimes we buy a soda, sometimes we sneak ones in (yeah, I'm like that). So we headed off to the movies last Tuesday night. (Yeah, the night before I left on my trip because I'm insane.)

When we got there we got a surprise. They were only showing Avatar in 3D. Not a biggie, except that it was an extra $3 per person, which kind of defeated the whole purpose of going on the cheap night. So we paid our money, got our free popcorn and a soda and found seats. Let me just say...the new 3D is amazing! I mean, I remember the old red/blue paper glasses. And if you took them off the whole screen was wavy and red and blue and made you want to hurl. They always gave me a huge headache and the effect was usually somewhat cheesy. Not so with the new technology. The glasses resembled those worn by Tommy Lee Jones in Men in Black. No red and blue anywhere. And if you took them off, still no red and blue! But wavy. So we got a preview of the upcoming Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland and I freakin swear the Cheshire Cat's head was right in front of me. Like scary close. I may have jumped. And Sean may have laughed at me. And Avatar? No cheesy effects for them. It was so subtle, more like you were actually in the movie than things popping out at you.

The movie itself? Personally, I thought it was fabulous. Visually stunning. Of course I had no doubt that it would be. James Cameron is known for his special effects and epic movies. The plot was well developed, if predictable. The characters were interesting and engaging. I felt the plight of the indigenous population and joined them in their loathing for the greedy, planet destroying, corporation. And the combat happy military force. Wait a Mr. Cameron trying to make a social statement here? How dare he slip that into my mindless entertainment!! The hell?!

I know there's been a lot of controversy surrounding the film. The Vatican is incensed because it promotes the worship of nature. Um. Dude. Didn't your God create all nature? So shouldn't we revere something he busted his ass on? And if he made nature and he made us...aren't we spiritually connected to the Earth?? I mean, I'm not dissing any religion here, but it makes sense to me. I don't think Mr. Cameron was trying to convert anyone to an older, nature based pagan religion here. I think he was just trying to point out that if we don't start respecting the Earth and clean our acts up, we're screwed. And you pretty much have to be an idiot not to have figured that out already, so settle down Pope. I don't see people leaving your religion in vast droves. See discussions of this here.

I also heard that the film was causing mass depression and even a few suicides. For real??! Wow. People truly are more stupid than I think. Should you be depressed? Um. Maybe. I guess that depends on how huge your carbon footprint is. But suicide? Because of a movie? That's probably the biggest bunch of ridiculousness I've heard lately. I guess that's one way to wipe out your carbon footprint, drastic though it may be. But I left the movie in a good mood. I mean the little guys( figuratively, not literally because they were like 9 feet tall) won! They kicked our polluting butts off their planet. They kept their spirit trees and Unobtainium (seriously, who came up with that name for the power source??). They joined forces with the other living creatures on their planet. And the hott marine got to stay in his alien blue body and have working legs and alien sex and ride dragons. Doesn't that just scream "Happy" to you? Because it did to me!

So overall? I give it 9 out of 10 thumbs up. It was a tad long but I was never bored. (My hip just started aching sitting there so long!) And the glasses did give me a slight headache, but I thought it was worth it. Very entertaining. And really, isn't that the point?

happy viewing,