Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My 2010 Movie Odyssey - Part I

It's been far too long since my last post. My only excuse is that I've been more busy than usual the past couple months and I've been working on other projects. But now that 2010 is more than half over, I should really get going on releasing my Movie Odyssey.

Madea Goes to Jail (2009)
This is my first foray into the works of Tyler Perry, and I must say that overall it was a positive experience. The character of Madea is wonderfully quirky and there are many laughs in the movie, though the main plot smacks of the Hallmark Movie of the Week variety.

Twilight (2008)
Fortunately I watched this with protection,* otherwise I probably would have done irreparable damage to either my eyes or the TV, or both. Bella is a completely uninteresting character, and why she shuns all the high school boys, who generally come across as a fun and interesting group, to instead fawn over the creepy-looking Edward who has no social skills and who apparently has never seen a comb in 200 years of existence, is never adequately explained. She should be calling the cops, not foisting her presence on him at every possible moment. AND WHOSE IDEA WAS IT TO HAVE VAMPIRES SPARKLE IN THE SUNLIGHT!? The inane story, flat performances, and erratic camera work combine to form one of the most inexplicable phenomena of the last couple years.
*Commentary track from Rifftrax featuring Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett.

Heavy Metal (1981)
This film features a series of animated science fiction short stories, loosely connected with a green glowing ball of evil. The worlds each story creates are interesting and visually stunning. The more adult-oriented themes are a nice alternative to the largely squeaky clean Disney collection, adding narrative weight to each of the stories. Unfortunately, the adult content also includes large breasted women taking off their clothes for no apparent reason other than the animators’ desire to draw nipples.

Avatar (2009)
It’s Dances With Wolves, IN SPACE! Sure the visuals are lush and the floating mountains look really cool, but it still looked like a cartoon - a very good cartoon, but a cartoon nonetheless. And the visuals are about all it has going for it. The story is pedestrian and the screenplay is full of wooden dialog and spends the first fifteen minutes of the film bludgeoning the audience over the head with exposition. And what is up with Hollywood’s obsession with animism? Overall it’s not a bad movie, there are a few fun action scenes, but mostly it elicits a resounding “meh” from me.

Flightplan (2005)
The intriguing premise of a woman losing her daughter on the world’s largest plane and having everyone around her convinced that the girl was never on the plane to begin with is mostly resolved satisfactorily, but really the film is all about the journey with the audience always wondering, “Is she crazy, or is there some big conspiracy going on?”

Coming up next: my longest Movie Odyssey blurb of all time.

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