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Archive for the ‘Movie Review’ Category

Both my wife and I took part in the massive success of Disney’s new Avenger’s film this weekend, though separately.  It’s the first major film success since Hunger Games and it’s gonna be a tough act to follow.  The only prequel movie I’d seen is Thor, which I found to be an enjoyable light fluff movie which was mainly carried by Chris Hemsworth’s tongue in cheek acting ability.  In general the only recent superhero movies I’ve really enjoyed have been the new Batman movies but I have to admit Avengers won me over pretty quickly.

Despite being rushed along, the various character interactions really sparkle and Robert Downey Jr. probably deserves the most credit for this as his character carries the slower middle portion of the movie.  The climax is just plain awesome; I mean, how could a bunch of superheroes battling giant armored space worms in downtown New York not be awesome?  But really it’s the success of the character narrative that sets the movie apart from so many other special effects wastelands.

Speaking of the new Batman movie, the trailer for that looks almost too dark… I mean, the Batman movies derive their unique success from being dark in a gritty, edge of sanity sort of way but this last film might be taking it a little too far.  We’ll see I guess.

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Since Hunger Games is going to be quite the rage for a while, and since I just finished both reading the book and seeing the film, I thought I would briefly jot down my opinion of both.

Hunger Games:  The Book

Hunger Games is set in the “ruins of North America” and follows in a long tradition of near-future dystopian science fiction.  The book is a little light on details; for example it’s not clear if this is a post-nuclear apocalypse world or simply a far future world following some sort of economic, ecological, or political collapse.  It’s not clear.  The reader is simply made aware that this nation of Panem, consisting of a large capital and twelve outlying districts, is apparently the only political entity left in North America.

Right from the start it’s clear that this is going to be (more…)

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I had the rare opportunity to go out and see a movie with my younger brother-in-law just prior to Christmas, and we decided to go see Tron.  I would have liked to have seen the new Narnia movie as well but he had already seen that so Tron it was.

We of course saw it in 3D.  As an aside, this was my second 3D experience (the first being Avatar) and, once again, I found the 3D experience to be mostly a hindrance that actually reduced my enjoyment of the film.  The glasses are an annoyance and most of the 3D effects just seem really gimmicky and distracting.  That’s strike two for 3D movies for me, I’m getting to the point where I don’t even want to see a film in 3D… sadly there seems to be a lot of momentum in the direction of 3D for any kind of remotely action-related movie these days.

As for the film itself, suffice to say it wasn’t that great.  The acting was generally poor, the story full of plot holes, and the screenplay and dialogue were weak.  I would say the story is probably the largest disappointment, there are numerous important elements that don’t make sense or are left unexplained.  This is not a movie that’s going to stand up to much serious scrutiny and I think that’s reflected in the composite 49% score it has at Rotten Tomatoes.  Which is a shame, because the basic story idea of humans in a digital world is a great concept.  I never saw the original Tron but I was familiar with it and it has a large following as a cult film.  So in a sense it’s a shame that the new Tron couldn’t have been better given its potential.

However, that said, the digital effects in the film are wildly successful.  Of course the scenes in “The Grid” are virtually all digitally created but, given its supposed to be taking place in a digital environment anyways, it works better than most movies.  I also thought the transition from 2D to 3D and back when going to and from The Grid was cleverly done, even if I didn’t enjoy the 3D effects themselves.  The light cycle scene was just amazing and many of the effects, such as the program “deaths” were just superb.

There is one other advantage the film has: it’s PG rating.  It has virtually no sexual or profane content and the violence is quite mild.  For an exhilarating special effects action film, it’s amazingly clean.  After telling one of my brothers I had seen the film he commented “isn’t that a children’s movie?”.   While it certainly isn’t a children’s movie, it’s one suitable for pretty young audiences which is a big plus.  There is also something to be said for simply having another good, clean film available for families.

So overall, it’s not a great film by any stretch of the imagination but the effects are worth seeing sooner or later, on a large screen if possible.  If you are looking for a nice clean action film or something to watch with a younger sibling or family member, this may be just what you are looking for.

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