Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Top and Bottom of 2010 - #8

The Blind Side (2009)
Sandra Bullock is a force of nature as a WASPy wife and mother who takes an African American high schooler into her home, almost on a whim, because he had no other place to stay. What follows is a wonderful movie about unconditional love and how it can change the lives of not only the recipient but the giver as well. This is one of the best examples of feel-good cinema done right.

AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
The Alien franchise is full of scares, a sense of dread, and lots of R-rated violence. The lesser Predator franchise is full of new and interesting weapons that do lots of R-rated violence. Alien vs. Predator is full of uninteresting characters, silly ideas, and a distinct lack of R-rated violence. What's so important about the R-rated violence? It's an in-your-face demonstration of how powerful and dangerous the Aliens and Predators are. Tame the violence, tame the monster. And then there is an imprisoned Alien queen and a Predator that has to get assistance from a human, both of which further serve to defang the monsters. And what's with all these Aliens being on earth to begin with? One of the major issues of all four Alien films is "We can't let this thing get to earth. Ever." But apparently they were here all along. Yet all the damage this movie does to its parent franchises could be overlooked if it was any good. Unfortunately, that is not the case. There are no memorable characters, and they spend most of their time running around a pyramid so full of perils and booby traps that it never achieves even a modicum of believability. And what’s with the pyramid? Apparently, thousands of years ago the Predators came to earth and taught ancient civilizations how to build pyramids because there is no way humans could have figured out how to build something as massive as the pyramids with stone age technology. What a dim view of human ingenuity.

Coming up next: a slick movie and an obnoxious one.

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