Friday, May 2, 2008

My 2008 Movie Odyssey - Part IV

In light of my most recent post, I thought about not posting at all for the rest of the year, but one of the points in having this blog is to try to get me to write more, which would pretty much defeat the purpose.

Fido (2006)
Leave It to Beaver meets Night of the Living Dead. It was generally fun, but spent too much time taking snarky potshots at societal conventions instead of mining its premise for all the absurd humor it’s worth (a la Black Sheep or Slither). Maybe I’ve been reading the Zombie Survival Guide too much, but the idea of a zombie retaining something of its former personality and becoming tame is a complete contradiction to the whole idea of zombies.

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Gorgeous photography and camera work. Excellent performances all around. Characters so abrasively angry and uncaring that half an hour into the film I was looking at the clock, wondering when the movie would be over. There is a bit of hope present in the last moments of the film, but by that time I had almost completely lost interest in the whole affair.

A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
This is a mostly enjoyable film about a fictional day in the life of the Beatles. The verbal banter between the Fab Four is funny, and the look of the film has a very experimental music video feel to it which was possibly the first mainstream movie to do so. On the downside I never got a feel for who the individual Beatles were; Ringo was the only one who had any semblance of a unique character, and that was mostly that of the odd man out. I also could have done with a more cohesive overriding narrative, but on the whole the movie is a wonderfully light, cotton candy of a movie.

The King of Kong (2007)
I have played a little bit of Donkey Kong, and it is hard and frustrating. So I was intrigued when I heard about a film that chronicles two men: the Donkey Kong high score record holder, and the man out to beat that score. The documentary provides an interesting look into the world of competitive gaming and ranks high on the nostalgia factor, featuring many old-school arcade games. But the film is even more than that, providing heroes, villains, and many who we’re not sure what side they’re on, and thrilling the whole way through. And as an added bonus, as the credits roll, we are treated to clips chronicling the evolution of video games from the earliest arcade games to the most recent, state of the art console games (I gave a small, giddy whoop when I recognized Commander Keen in one of the clips).

Superman: Doomsday (2007)
I saw a trailer for this on a Smallville disc and it looked interesting, so when I saw that I could watch it streaming from Netflix, I decided to check it out. It was an interesting story, but the ending seemed a bit too easy and simple, and the death of Superman (which comes surprisingly early in the film) lacked any real emotion. By far the best scenes were those featuring Lex Luthor.

Coming up next: 5 Oscars and a Steven Spielberg film.