Friday, November 20, 2009

Star Trek

Lens flares and camera shakes. Is that all we needed to reboot this franchise? Shaking the camera is a good trick with reboots (see Batman Begins and Casino Royale) but this movie has a few other tricks under its sleeve. Those tricks are FUN and STORY. I am not a Star Trek fan but I LOVE sci-fi adventure films and although this movie wasn't as good as 2005's Serenity, it brought me to the same place. The journey of space, unknown territories, and friendships made along the way make this movie fun for everyone, not just Trekkies. And although it is a prequel, it has a certain twist that gives the franchise and I hope that there will be more movies like this. I would love to see a sequel, if done right again. Love it. Bought it first day out on blu ray and the special features are a lot of fun, too! Lots of movie tricks put into this movie to make budget. 9/10
PS>If you haven't seen Serenity, go see it.
PSS>Kids in Mind Meter:
Sex/Nudity: 5
Violence: 6
Profanity: 4

Monday, November 16, 2009

Waking Ned Devine

I LOVE old man humor. There's something about The Bucket List and Grumpy Old Men that is just different than other movies I usually see. It's a grandpa's humor. It's an innocent humor. It brings back memories of my Dad laughing at movies. Waking Ned Devine is an old man comedy, set in a small village in Ireland (I think). The premise carries the movie forward from the beginning and it is a fun movie that gets you out of America for a bit. I raise my glass and toast Ned Devine! 7/10
PS>The only "dirty" thing to happen in the movie is old man bum nudity. It is actually a humorous scene though.
Priest asks, "Do you think you'll be working for the church Maurice?"
Child answers, "No. I don't think I want to work for someone I've never met and doesn't pay me."
PSSS>Kids in Mind Meter:
Sex/Nudity: 4
Violence: 2
Profanity: 1

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Across the Universe

Here are a few old reviews that I wanted to share:
An artistic array of Beatles song put to the destruction and tension of the 60's. The closest thing I have to compare this movie to is Moulin Rouge, and that isn't fair to Across the Universe.
I'll first say that I was VERY excited for this movie because Moulin Rouge is my favorite movie ever and this is the closest thing that has come to it ever since. I knew most of the Beatles songs and had the soundtrack before I watched the movie and loved it (I love Jim Sturgess' voice). So enough about how much I loved the movie before I even saw it, here's what I thought:
The first act (first hour) was a 10. I loved the songs, I loved how they were sang and how they were told. The songs that really stuck out were "Fallin'" and "Let it Be". They were very effective and something that I would want to watch and listen to over and over again. The interpretations of the songs and how they work in the movie really is where the genius lies. But more on that in a second.
The second act (next 30 minutes) is where the movie goes on an acid trip. There's no real connection to the music and the story and it leads away from where the movie should be going. There is a string of 3 songs that I just suggest skipping over ("I Am the Walrus" and "For the Benefit of Mr. Kite") because each song just seems like music videos completely separate from the movie. Julie Taymor says that it is supposed to be a "musical, mystical tour of life" where it really just comes off as an acid trip. Don't let these songs turn you off, because it does get better. Let the reader also know that during this part, there is a lot of nude swimming and shortly after, you see Lucy's nipple (Titanic style). I don't see myself watching this middle part too many times again, and when you watch it, they are summed up perfectly as "deleted scenes". Skip over them. My vote: a 5 for the 2nd act.
The 3rd act is another 10. There are songs like "Strawberry Fields Forever", "Across the Universe" and "Hey Jude" that really hit the story home. The climaxing song I will not reveal because it's better if you don't know. I loved the first and last parts of this movie, but the middle keep it from being a masterpiece. There are a couple of things that I noticed that maybe you won't...The sound and music are perfect together. The windshield wipers set the beat to the music. Sirens lead a song in tune. Listen to the subtle atmospheric sounds that are part of the music. The genius of this movie comes from how the way the Beatles sang the songs and how they are interpreted by Julie Taymor. "Let it Be" is a gospel song. During "Hey Jude" they sing "Hey Judey, Judey, Judey..." and that is when Max sees him from afar. The timing of the lyrics and what they could mean really pulls this movie together. Replay value, music and dancing, this really is a great movie, with a crappy 3 song streak in the middle.
This movie really proves how unique Moulin Rouge is. Where Across the Universe revolves its story around the songs (they lead their characters to fall into place of the songs), Moulin Rouge revolves its songs around the stories. The songs are used to accent the characters inspirations and really fit (Christian sings his poems and thus has a direct effect on you) where Jade sings his thoughts and has more of a traditional musical effect. Moulin Rouge has more of a love story also, where at the end of Across the Universe, you wish there was more of a reason for Jade and Lucy to love each other. But, it's awesome. You will be dissecting the artistic value of this movie for years. You will be singing the songs for a long time after. You will be thanking me for telling you so see this movie and skip the 3 songs in the middle. If the first act was a 10, the second act a 5, and the third act was a 10, the average is 8. 8/10
PS>I noticed during this movie that I wanted to reach over and hold my wife's hand. It made me love her more and I think that it really what counts.
PSS>I bought the blu ray :)
PSSS>Kids in Mind Meter:
Sex/Nudity: 7/10
Violence: 5/10
Profanity: 5/10


Simply brilliant and brilliantly simple. This is a documentary style musical that speaks to the music in all of us. On the surface it seems like the creation of a friendship between a guy and a girl while creating a Coldplay album, but it really evolves to be more than that. This is a modern-day musical that touched me...and that is what the movie is all about. It's about how you can affect and touch unlikely people. It hits home with spousal relationships, friendships, service relationships all to a wonderful soundtrack that will make you wanting to go back for more. I have yet to see a movie like this one and it really got me excited. All I have to say is SEE IT and let it touch you. You'll be out buying the soundtrack soon after. 9/10
PS>There is a lot of F words but it fits because they're in Ireland. Otherwise, it's a very clean movie though. I'm talking rated G or PG.
PSS>Watch the commentary! It's definitely worth it and it explains a lot about the movie and how it was made.
PSSS>Kids in Mind Meter:
Sex/Nudity: 2/10
Violence: 1/10
Profanity: 7/10

Defending Your Life

Can you get a funnier, more spiritual, more family oriented film than this? The great part is it's not for kids at all, but it's clever and interesting and funny and clean. I compared this movie to Groundhog Day in that it has a great plot and story that it capitalizes on in a lot of ways. Everyone should see this movie, and I doubt that anyone would regret it. I loved it, loved it, loved it. I just bought it, too. 9/10

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Up is a very special movie. Along with Finding Nemo and Incredibles, Up is one of my favorite Pixar movies yet. It is a movie that has everything. It is a movie about love, friendship, loneliness, life, death, compassion, closure, marriage, comedy, memories, and above all, ADVENTURE. Like the balloons that hold up the house that Carl cherishes so much, our emotions become attached to Carl, Ellie, Russel, Dug, and Kevin from the beginning. And as it progresses, the real magic of the movie comes when those strings of emotion are cut. I watched this movie with Bryan and Brennen in 3D and had to try and hide my tears many times (which isn't easy with the glasses on). I haven't cried this much during a movie since...The Land Before Time, I think. And it wasn't a mood thing, it was just INEVITABLE. I am passionate about love and marriage. I am passionate about friendship and loneliness. I am extremely passionate about adventure and Up was just a perfect storm for me.
Carl and Ellie encompasses the power of marriage and love. Marriage is an ADVENTURE and you can see the contrast of adventure from Charles Muntz (who is alone) and Carl and Ellie. It was extremely endearing to me that Carl went on his adventure with Ellie and how much strength he got from her. He was on that journey because of her. Charles' adventure began to not matter because he was alone. He only cared about his ego because that was the only way he felt loved.
Carl and Russell (and the music) is very similar to a boy and an old man who watch movies together in an Italian film called "Cine Paradiso". The Carl/Russell relationship is very comical at times because they really have nothing in common between them both, yet have to make things work. This relationship encompasses friendship, assistance (service), and parenthood as things that are important in life. I love that the little memories are what define our relationships is represented in this film.
I could write for days about how much I loved this movie but in short, Pixar does it again. It made me cry, it made me laugh. It's a spiritual experience, a romantic experience. It's a comedy and an adventure. After the credits are over and you sigh at the experience that you have just had, remind yourself that this is an ANIMATED movie. Up is a very special movie. 10/10
PS>Quote of the movie:
"When we are done, you are gonna be so assisted!"
PSS>Kids in Mind Meter:
Sex/Nudity: 1/10
Violence: 3/10
Profanity: 0/10

Monday, November 9, 2009

Air Guitar Nation

I first heard about this documentary on a movie news site and thought I would give it a try. I LOVE documentaries and this one falls under the discovery of a world that I didn't know kind of documentary. King of Kong is sort of like this, in that it captures the world when something interesting actually happens and not just explains the world within. The difference though is the connection to the characters (Where King of Kong's characters are very loveable and hateable) and I actually GET the Donkey Kong world. I had a hard time really relating to the Air Guitar world because of the lack of official rules/judging and the way it seems you have to be drunk to do it. On the other aspect, there seemed to be an art to it. Whether it is an art of comedy or an art of "feeling the music", I thought the artistic side of air guitar was well represented (if there is such a thing). All in all, I still love documentaries and Air Guitar Nation seemed very info-tainment-ful. As a documentary that is funny because a very silly thing is important to people, it works well but before this movie, go see "Confessions of a Superhero" on 7/10.
PS>The movie is rated R because of about 10 F-words and a few quick clips of a European man air guitaring naked. I would have posted the kids-in-mind meter but they didn't have it reviewed.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

This movie is awesome! This was my first "blind" blu ray buy where I did not see it beforehand, and I regret nothing! It's Transformers meets Iron Man meets Speed Racer. Actually, it reminds me a lot of Speed Racer because it was dissed by critics and had a lot of CGI and I loved it. Here are a few reasons why I loved it so much:
  • Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. It's been a long time since I have been that excited about characters
  • Strong women action roles (The Baroness is arguably the MAIN villain in the movie, which makes it good)
  • Non-stop action. It just doesn't stop. Not at all.
  • It's much better than Transformers 2 (i.e. no hint at humping dogs or robots)
  • Deep down it is a buddy comedy, which I always love
  • Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow
  • It's fun. Although Duke tries to be serious the whole time, most of the movie is pure fun. Non-stop fun.
  • It's clean, except for some violence. No sexual references. Not much language. Just a few people getting their heads blown off and eyes stabbed. That's it. 9/10
PS>Kids in Mind Meter:
Sex/Nudity: 3/10
Violence: 7/10
Profanity: 4/10