Monday, May 22, 2006

Louve it or hate it?

I went to see The Da Vinci Code last night and I got to tell ya the movie's biggest mistake was it's director. I found the bad direction the hardest part of the movie. I think the story holds up, even with all the exposition.

My biggest complaint would be how unbalanced the film is. Weird shots of people in mirrors then the camera swings around the subject to reveal there location. Fast cuts between people talking. You know it reminded me of John Carpenter. Who once said, the hardest thing about movie making was trying to "make...people standing around talking interesting." You have at any one time 3 people standing around talking to each other in The Da Vinci Code. What I don't understand is, the topics they are talking about, art, religion, myth and history, is coming at you so fast you need to stay focused to keep with the story. The direction doesn't support that.
In other words, the story was interesting but the director kept distracting me with his directing!

Ian Mckellen was wonderful and I liked Tom Hanks portrayal of Proff. Robert Langdon. I thought he found some good character in a poorly written character for the screen. Audrey Tautou has big eyes and has more to do by the end of the film. Unfortunately for her she has to suffer through ALOT of bad dialogue. I really disliked Paul Bettany as Silas. He was to broad for me. The character was blank to me and I really hated seeing the contacts in his eyes. But that was not his fault. I give the movie a B-

I loved Over the Hedge. All the actors in it made me laugh and I tell you the golden boy of Hollywood right now is Steve Carell. He makes everything he touches good. In Over the Hedge he plays the amped up rodent named Hammy. The character steels the movie for me. The film has a lot of "kid humor" and some of the support characters are written with some obvious jokes but for the most part Carell and Garry Shandling who plays Verne hold the film together. Bruce Willis as RJ is good just...well, Eh. It's Bruce not the film that I don't like in this particular instance. I give it an A-

Finally, for all you Star Trek fans Paramount is selling is all. They are holding a huge auction and getting rid of everything Star Trek. Kinda like what you mom did when you went to college. Read the whole story here. You can find the auction here.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Two Classics - One Day: Happy Star Wars Day

May 4th is Star Wars day. Yea, I know but it is and thats kinda cool for some of us. Especially, when they do stuff like this.

According to Lucasfilm Ltd. and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will release the original Star Wars Trilogy, unaltered. For the longest time George Lucas has said he would never release the unaltered versions on DVD. Well he must have realized there was a profit in it. Check out the whole story here. In a way Mr. Lucas is not releasing it, corporate is. I guess those three prequels didn't make the money they hopped they would. Well in any case I'm happy to buy them and help out a company that cares about it's fans. (That last line can be read with some sarcasm since you can't see that I'm raising my right hand.)

Also, for fun check out Lego Star WarsII: The Original Trilogy trailer. The first game was really fun and the idea that I can play in the Origianl Trilogy sounds really fun.

Last night, Mrs. Geek took me to the Egyptian Theatre. If your a fan of this rarely updated sight you know my love for the American Cinematheque We saw Los Angeles Plays Itself. A quasi-documentary/tribute/social-commentary on the history of Los Angeles, both in film and in real life. As someone who lives and loves Los Angeles I thought the film was fascinating.

Director Thom Andersen, uses film clips to reveal an almost secret history of the Los Angeles. Taking the viewer through a portal into the past using a media that we are all accustomed to. He addresses Los Angeles as a "character" in films. Other times he shows how the eclectic architecture of Los Angeles is used by directors to comment on there heroes or villains. How some directors make LA a horrible place, using smog and its urban sprawl as back drop to pain, heartache, social-outcasts. Other directors however embrace Los Angeles and provoke a love of the city that allows the city itself to be a star in the film. I love Los Angeles and this movie meditates on how it feels to love this great sprawling city that is so abused and treated unfairly at times by the movie industry that calls it home. Check out the Los Angeles Times review here. Just for shits and giggles here is the New York Times review.