Damn, Gotta See SuperBad

I so must see SuperBad. I first saw a trailer for it when I was at the movies for Transformers (which in itself was sweet) and knew it was going to be amazing. I mean just look at their site. Amazing.

Transformers Movie Review

All my childhood TV-watching has culminated in the Transformers movie which I had the pleasure of watching last night. People seeking lots of action and perhaps a twinge of nostalgia must see this movie. I never followed the original Transformers show terribly closely, so I can’t say for certain how accurate the movie is within that framework, but it was thrilling nonetheless.

Warning: Some spoilers from here on.

What do you get when you mix big robots, amazing CG, hot chicks (albeit a bit done up, if you know what I mean) and lots of explosions? Pure awesome-ness. I couldn’t believe my eyes when the Autobots and Decepticons battled it out in the less-than-cartoon environment. It is possibly one of the best movies I’ve seen.

And I can’t say it’s because of the amazing story of fabulous acting (there’s relatively minimal character development as most of the movie focuses on some serious ass-kicking). It wasn’t completely devoid of plotline, but you could easily tell the emphasis was on the action and the mere fact that the Transformers were. And I’m not complaining.

In the original cartoon, the Autobots were, well, automobiles and the Decepticons were typically more weapon-based machines. So the Decepticons already had a more bad-ass nature about them, even in the animated series. However, in the movie, the Decepticons’ coolness factor increased exponentially – Starscream ended up being a super F-22, Brawl a modified A1 Abrams tank and Blackout a Pave Low helicopter. Meanwhile the Autobots were… GM vehicles for the most part.

There were a few iffy things throughout, things that made you go, ‘huh, why’d didn’t/did they do that?’ For example, how did the kid manage to climb the building much faster than Megatron did? Why would they bring the All Spark to the city? How did the Transformers survive the heat of entry into the atmosphere, but crumble under a couple well-placed shots from the soldiers? There was also a hell of a lot of extremely close-up action. It added to the hectic mayhem that was occurring but also made it a little difficult to see which Transformer was which. You sort of saw the beginning of a battle and then the end with a victor and a loser.

Despite a few niggles, the movie was just fantastic. You know it’s a good movie when it makes you want to go back and watch the old Transformers shows. In fact, I have them and I think I will be doing just that. 😀 I’ve already heard people talk about the possibility of a sequel, and eventually a trilogy (they’re all the rage these days). I await with impatience for the next installment.

Oh and there were quite a few not-so-subtle digs at the current administration. Especially stay for the credits and you’ll see what I mean.

Frank Miller’s 300 Review

I just returned from the opening show of Frank Miller’s 300 at midnight and I thought I’d write a few things about it while it’s still fresh in my mind. Of course, I’ll indicate that there will be spoilers in this post, although if you know the history behind the movie, you’ll know most of the major themes anyways.

First off, I’ll just say that it’s a great movie. It really stirs up that bit of patriotism within you and among other things, it really made me want to go install and play Rome: Total War. For viewers who know nothing of Spartan/Greek history (which would be most of the audience), the movie explains the main background information. Spartans are born, fed and breathe battle. The movie does an apt job explaining why only 300 men were sent to the battle. Thankfully, the introduction isn’t painfully extended. When I first saw that the movie was a mere 117 minutes (short by most historical epics), I thought, hrm, they’re probably going to jump quickly through the battles right to the end. Instead, most of the time was focused on the battle and not fluff happening back in Sparta. There was just enough background and no more as it should be.

In the battle itself, there’s ample use of slo-mo for added coolness and plenty of blood. Even if you cared nothing about the storyline or plot, the battle scenes themselves would be decent enough reason to go see the movie. The hoplite formation and battle tactics of the Spartans was mesmerizing. Seeing arrows blot out the sun… well that was something. The cinematography was simply superb. Not every war movie makes you feel like you’re a part of the battle formation.

Something that slightly irked me was the portrayal of almost all of the antagonists/enemies in the movie. Tell me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think so many people looked like they were struck by the plague and still living. I’m talking about the priests or whatever at the Oracle and all of the Persian Immortals, and that’s not mentioning the horrible disfiguration of Ephialtes. As well, there were some beastly looking beings throughout the Persian army. They just don’t make them like that anymore… Combining the disfigured Ephialtes and some of the other more ‘exotic’ Persian soldiers, it looked a little too much like Lord of the Rings at certain points.

While the Spartans were able to hold back the Persian army’s frontal assaults seemingly with nonchalance, the battle ended awfully quickly after they were surrounded. I would’ve thought they’d put up more of a fight even when surrounded, as opposed to getting pulverized by the Immortals they previously mauled.

The final word? If you’re into the ancient history war films, you’ll love 300. I sure did.

Classic Movies and Thoughts on Life

I’ve been spending more time with my family over this Christmas and we’ve gotten around to watching a few ‘classic’ movies. Specifically, on the docket were The Terminal with Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones and The Sound of Music with Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and co.

First off, I’d like to say, if you haven’t seen The Terminal, please go watch it. I found it to be an amazingly entertaining movie. It really demonstrates the adaptability of humans (slightly exaggerated in the movie) and some of our less attractive attributes, like greed for power. Spielberg (yeah, it’s a Spielberg film) wraps it all nicely into a well presented storyline about a foreigner that gets stuck in the JFK airport due to some poorly timed incidents back in his home country. As for The Sound of Music… well, do I really have to say anything about that one?

The main point here is that we need more movies like these two. Sure, every once in a while, a shoot-em-up action flick is nice, but I’d rather watch something that evokes an emotion other than, ‘woah – special effects’. Or perhaps it’s that the high-visibility movies nowadays are like that. I mean the past few movies I’ve seen or considered watching were things like Casino Royale, Blood Diamond, or Rocky Balboa.

It’s ironic. Earlier, I was debating with a friend about consumerism and materialism and how they are a part of our lives. Life is so complicated; even though I’m only a year through university, I feel like I’ve grown a significant amount, mentally and emotionally. Perhaps it’s the co-op semesters and working a full time job. Whatever the case, there’s always a bunch of things on my mind. As a result, a little simplicity is something that’s very attractive to me. And these two movies I’ve watched recently are prime examples of a more simple, and some may even say primitive way of life. The main concern is how to be happy and content.

That’s definitely what my main concern is. It just isn’t always that simple.