Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cowboys & Aliens Review! (yes and no)

No, this blog isn't a review of the July 29 future movie Cowboys & Aliens, though it is about both of those types of films individually.

True Grit (2010) is a Coen Brothers film starring Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon. It about a 14 year old girl (Hailee Steinfeld) using the resources she has (her money and her mouth) to convince Bridges' character Rooster Cogburn to help her hunt down her father's killer. It is really entertaining (shooting/humor/western-ness), heartwarming, and the characters are all extremely interesting and very well played. The music was great, the story was great, and it deserved all of its 11 Oscar nominations and should have won. To me it was a better film than The Social Network.True Grit runs 110 minutes and is rated PG-13. I give True Grit 9 ramheads out of 10.District 9 is was very low key film when it came out. I heard of it from a friend who loved it and it sparked my interest. All I knew was that it was about aliens. Set in Johannesburg, South Africa, a bunch of aliens showed up and then started leaching the land and the people dry. They were "worker bee" aliens who are clueless without a leader. They were rounded into shacks in "District 9", the militarized ghetto camp with a big fence/wall around it. Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley) is appointed to lead the eviction from District 9 to newly constructed (far away from Johannesburg) District 10. He gets some stuff sprayed on him and interesting things happen.

District 9 is a highly entertaining film and filled with very interesting concepts. It holds an disturbing view of the military corporate world and really gets you thinking (if you have a critically thinking brain).District 9 runs 112 minutes and is rated R for violence. Definitely don't show this to kids, there is plenty of language and violence. I give it 9 ramheads out of 10.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Did they have cameras back then?

I haven't reviewed any movies in a long time, but that doesn't mean I haven't watched any. About a month and a half ago I got to listen to--I mean watch--10,000 BC (2008). I watched it, having heard of it though knowing nothing about it. Almost two months later, I have very little recollection of the plot.

Essentially, the movie is about a prophesy that exists in every major religion and it comes true to the eventual death of the leper Egyptian Pharaoh. Also, more memorably, the soundtrack was AMAZING. (Composer Harold Kloser is pictured left.) Sadly (or not), the music actually overshadowed the rest of the film. There were no "star" actors, the performances were fine, but not good enough to liven the bland story and average-at-best effects.

The only memorable things besides the Pharaoh getting speared to his death and the music were the rapter-ostriches that pecked people to death and showed the writer's support for evolution. So essentially this movie is three things: Pluralism (all religions essentially lead to the same thing), evolution, and amazing music.

10,000 BC runs 109 minutes and is rated PG-13 for the action violence. I give the film 4 ramheads out of 10. I would give the musical score 9 out of 10, but I have to judge the film as a whole. If nothing else, listen to the soundtrack.