Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Superman Batman Public Enemies

Is DC Universe Animated movies the new Pixar? So far, their track record has seemed so. Of course they are different but I am talking about consistency. Superman Doomsday was phenomenal. Justice League New Frontier was unique and very well done. I am not counting Batman Gotham Knight (anime Batman). Green Lantern First Flight was non-stop action. I have yet to see Wonder Woman, but Superman Batman is another in a line of great animated movies. These could easily slip into the Saturday morning cartoon kinds of movies (see TMNT and Battle for Terra) but they just turn out to be EPIC. In this movie, it is Superman and Batman against the whole DC Universe (well, not the Justice League) and it doesn't stop. There is a great story here and from beginning to end it is a great movie. I wish I could say that for Superman Returns. Let's see how long DC can keep this up, but in the meantime, I'm glad I have 4 solid animated movies that I love. 8/10

PS>Why couldn't Lex Luthor be like this in Superman Returns?
PSS>Batman says to Superman, "You're late."
"I honestly don't think you understand" says Superman.
"Lois?" questions Batman.
Superman nods.
"You're right." says Batman.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

American Teen

I opened a Blockbuster Online account just to rent this movie. Needless to say, I expected a lot. First, I love documentaries but I love documentaries that capture and not documentaries that are scripted (Michael Moore). This movie CAPTURES and the magic of this movie is it covers a wide range of teens. You can see yourself as one of them separately or you can identify with something in all of them. You can relate to all of them. This movie captures a high school that I knew (except for the text messaging). Each relationship in the movie seems really big (like in high school), college seems really big, and it really portrays how big of a step your senior year can be. I was incredibly touched by one teen's story of when he stopped feeling confident in himself. He was eating lunch one day and chili was spilled onto his lap. He had to get up and ask the supervisor if he could go home and change his pants. One kid yelled out, "Hey Jake, what happened? Did you get your first period?" Since that point, says Jake, he was never the same. He became shy and scared. It changed him for life. The movie is well paced, not too long, and is engaging the whole time. I guess you could say it was worth opening a Blockbuster Online account. 8/10

PS>This movie really proves that girls are evil.
PSS>Notice the music. It freaking opens with "I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend to Dance with You" by Black Kids and ends with "Kids" by MGMT. Awesome.


I like the Coen brothers so I was pretty excited for this movie. Simply, Frances McDormand MAKES this movie. Sad part is, it takes about 40 minutes for her to get in. I can see why people think this is a disturbingly funny movie, but it wasn't that funny to me. Sure, the way that they talk is funny, but death doesn't ever come across as funny to me. The same thing happened in "Burn After Reading". Once someone died, it wasn't funny anymore. This happens a lot in Coen films. There is a lot of confusing story that the audience understands but when the characters try and figure it out, it's utter chaos. It works pretty well, but when they do it many times, it gets old. If I would have seen Fargo before Raising Arizona or Burn After Reading it would have been different. It was good, but not great. 6/10

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Heart of the Game

I love documentaries. I love basketball. I do not love girls basketball. But simply put, this movie is the GREATEST thing I have ever seen from girls basketball. Following a girls high school basketball team for 7 years (yes, I thought Hoop Dreams was long with 4), the director was able to capture an amazing story. It inspires me on so many different levels. You don't even have to like basketball, but this movie is one of the best of the year! 9/10

The Dark Knight

This is an old review:
3 years, 1 month, and 3 days. That is how long I have been waiting for this movie expecting it be the best movie in the world...and it was. If you haven't seen it yet, go see it now and come back and finish this review. I have to speak about the movie as if you have seen it so SPOILER ALERT. This is not only the best superhero movie ever made, but the best villain movie ever made also. Let me start by saying that Heath Ledger as the Joker is the best performance in movie history. I know it had to do a lot with the writing and story, but he was dead on and encompassed all of the psychology that he is about. The video camera scenes of his victims chill me and thrill me all at the same time. Everything he had to say was the exact opposite of fluff. It was golden. I don't care if he wins an Oscar, he's the winner in my book. With a performance like that, the other actors have to portray their characters perfectly also (especially the psychological side) which they did. They really took advantage of the all star cast and hit it out of the park. Everyone but Maggie Gyllenhaal. She was the one imperfection in this movie. Her smiling performance had nothing to do with Rachel, but ended up just being a ditzy girl that doesn’t really act seriously. It distracts from the film the second time you watch it, but it doesn’t ruin the movie….just makes it imperfect. I want Katie Holmes back. While people have been saying that the film is a masterpiece, it’s the story that is the real masterpiece. Sure we get to see Batman beat up the bad guys and jump off of buildings, but the story is what keeps you on the edge of your seat. I felt emotionally drained after this movie and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to cry or laugh or scream. From the time Dent says he is Batman, it is one long roller coaster of emotion and action. If the story is king in movies, then The Dark Knight is a God. Christopher Nolan’s movies all have to do with audience participation. In Memento we watch it backwards like Lenny sees life. In Batman Begins, fear drove the audience to understand what Batman was trying to do. In the Prestige, the whole movie was a magic trick with the climax actually being the prestige. The Dark Knight is no different. First of all, the movie is about CHOICE and how our decisions define us. Every single character had to make a difficult choice (Batman - whether to kill or not, Harvey Dent - whether to trust people or seek revenge, Lucius Fox – to spy on everyone to help Batman or not, Alfred – whether to give Bruce Rachel’s letter or not) and the Joker cut through the film and lead everyone to have to make impossible choices. Where do you put your limits? This is an ideal that I could talk forever on, but what choice did we have to make. Our participation in the film is with choice also. We have to choice whether we like the Joker or not. He’s evil, he’s mean, he’s menacing, he’s killing people, but do we like him? Where is our limit? This is where the movie becomes genius to me. The impossible choice of the characters becomes a choice of our own. I, sadly, loved the Joker. Did I make the right choice? This is a movie that could be analyzed for years after and everyone will have a different answer but it really come down to your personal limits and how you choose to define yourself. It’s a genius story, with a genius character, and a genius film. I saw it twice on the first day and loved it even more the second time. It’s better than Batman Begins (which was my second favorite movie ever) and it cements Christopher Nolan as the best director on the earth today. He has 3 movies in my top five, and this movie, a movie that I’m sure I will be talking about for years after, is now my 2nd favorite movie ever. Thank you Chris and Jonah Nolan. My vote: 10/10

PS>I’m going to have to get a new signed poster of this movie…dang it, that’ll be expensive.

A Scanner Darkly

I think I expected something else, but this movie was boring, long, and stupid. The animation drags the movie along and expects itself to be interesting because of it, but all the movie is is dialogue and there is absolutely no reason for the animation. In addition, the animation keeps you from connecting with any characters. Terrible script, acting, and just a bad movie. Don't touch with a 10 foot pole. 2/10

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Battle for Terra

Tiego was bored, I was bored, and it felt like a Saturday morning cartoon. 4/10


Wow, this movie really was a perfect, fun date movie. The storytelling is well crafted and I LOVED the parts where they "questioned" each other. Rent it today. 8/10

Sunshine Cleaning

More of a life drama than a comedy, it was still different. The job is a HUGE character and I have never seen that before. Worth a watch, but nothing compared to "Little Miss Sunshine". 6/10

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

A surprisingly fun movie, even though I felt like I knew the movie before I even started it. 6/10

The Royal Tenenbaums

A quirky life comedy. These kinds of movies are refreshing to watch every now and then. 7/10


I was amazed at how much I loved this movie. One of the best foriegn films I have ever seen. 9/10

PS>Amelie reminded me of Karen Hales :)