Saturday, September 13, 2008

some movies

I've actually been off to see a few movies in the last couple of months. First there was:

The Fall. Not very imaginatively named but imaginatively constructed. After a fall a stuntman is hospitalized and possibly paralyzed in 1920s Los Angeles. After a different fall, a little girl is hospitalized with a broken arm. He decides to tell her a story populated by the people she knows and has told him about. Why he does this is he skeleton of plot the movie is built on, but the meat of the movie is art rather than plot.

The stuntman tells a story which is mainly the movie he was working on when he had his fall but we see this story as it is interpreted by the little girl. This is clearly illustrated as he tells of the Indian's most beautiful "squaw" (which I'm fairly certain is not a word used in polite conversation) in all the land but her Indian friend is from the subcontinent so the fabled wife is in finery associated with India. The movie is full of delightful details and certainly would bear, even need, multiple watchings.

Iron Man is a straight up action flick. Lots of fun and largely bloodless violence so rather cartoon like even though it's live action. Well, I guess the more violent parts probably weren't really live action since they're between robotic shells. Good guys win and bad guys lose and it's all quite feel good. Good to see whenever you need brain candy.

Wanted is also an action flick, but with a lot of artistry tossed in in rather silly ways. This one was full of quite bloody violence. I wondered what the dad who came in with his two little kids just after the initial bloodbath and longest of the two sex scenes (which are there to illustrate just how much of a lose our hero is at the start) was thinking. The boy sitting next to me who must have been 7 years old winced a bit during the movie and I quite agreed.

Once in a while the barrage of weird artistic bullets doing impossible things with far too graphic results would have a go at actually being a suspense thriller instead of straight action. But it seemed like the creators found that too slow, so they would get past in as quickly as possible. It had some fun CGI stunts too, but I don't think I need to see this again.

Kung Fu Panda is more brain candy. It seems that young pandas script their dreams terribly, but I love what they do with the textures during this opening sequence. It's a lovely piece of work. Most of the movie is fairly standard for this kind of animation these days, but standard has gotten to look very good. I had the impression that his fur might not be as deep as it ought to be, but there's plenty other things wrong with the panda if you want to get into how he isn't exactly like a panda. The plot itself held together very well. I'm not used to seeing that in an animated movie staring animals. In spite of the claim of "kung fu", there was no actual Eastern philosophy of any kind that I can remember in the movie. Again, something to watch when what you are looking for is well executed silly.

I also caught the trailer for Star Wars: Clone Wars. I was impressed, but not in a good way. They have decided to take a series of short cartoons that were done in an innovative and artistic 2D animation and remake them into a single movie done in a 3D style that was innovative in the 1980s but now just looks cheap. My two questions are "Why?" and "Who would bother to go see this?" Certainly won't be me.

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