Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tron Before & After (analysis)

Whoever made this image, you are my hero

In preparation for writing this article I began what was supposed to be minor research into the available extradiegetic material on 2010's Tron: Legacy (DVD features, actor commentaries, etc.). There was a lot more available than I expected, and as my willingness to dig through the mud to find the gold (of which some certainly exists) waned I realized something: I'm not a Tron universe fanboy, I just really like the Tron movies. While I'm not willing to slog through the (admittedly short) posts at FlynnLives.com for example, I will endlessly rewatch the movies themselves looking for new details.

So why are we here today? Because I'm hoping that it will be as fun for you to read about all the similarities, differences, references, and homages I caught between these two films as it was for me to catch them.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Now You See Me (review)


I had the privilege of seeing Now You See Me twice in theaters before writing this and regardless of whether you think it succeeds or fails as a movie one thing you cannot deny is its dedication to its premise. It is a movie about magic and (both implicitly and explicitly) a movie about the magic of movies. Where most movies will pause to take time and look at what's going on outside the main attractions, Now You See Me is all magic all the time. While it by no means achieves the same sort of depth or insight as Christopher Nolan's amazing magical drama The Prestige (2006), it's not exactly trying to. It has its own goals, and even if these goals are much more modest it reaches them in a very stylish and (for me at least) enjoyable way.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

In Bruges (review)


Today I'm attempting to review another movie recommendation from my friend over on twitter, but there's a problem. Since originally viewing this a couple months ago I've rewatched it over two dozen times and still can't identify exactly what I love about it. I've got all the points I want to make blocked out on four sheets of paper next to me and I'm not comfortable picking any one of them and saying "this is what's truly great about In Bruges." Maybe I'm a bad reviewer, but there's just something magical about this movie. It's certainly not for everyone—I've shown it to a fair few people and while some of them immediately loved it as much as I did, others weren't so impressed—but I'd encourage anyone curious to give it a try. Honestly the worst case scenario is maybe it doesn't join the ranks of your favorite movies because this is certainly no Transformers 4.

So anyway here's a quick plot synopsis and a stylized and extrapolated compilation of reasons the film is great.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Promised Land (review)


On a flight back from my grandparents' house I was able to watch The Promised Land, Gus Van Sant's latest feature film, which was really a privilege for me since I don't normally shell out for movies on airplanes (the airline comped the film due to the flight being delayed). I had no expectations going into it beyond the fact that I had already seen Despicable Me and the trailer looked better than the one for Identity Thief. That said, I'm torn about The Promised Land.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Top 5 (Favorite) Hitchcocks


Everyone knows that Alfred Hitchcock (the master of suspense) made some of the finest films of his generation, and film majors like me have likely been forced to watch many of them. You've probably been told (like I was) that, regardless of whether or not you actually enjoyed them, they were the best films you'd ever seen. Specifically I had this problem with Vertigo (1958): while I love James Stewart and particularly enjoy the (slightly laughable) dream sequence, Vertigo isn't exactly the first movie you'd find me watching in my free time (the awkward tension as Jimmy Stewart makes up Kim Novak to fit his fantasy is rather difficult). But these are "good" movies, right? Some of them have to be fun. So for the sake of those trying to get into classic film, or even just looking to have something intelligent-sounding to talk to film friends about, I decided to put together a list of Hitchcock films I don't think are technically or artistically his best, but which are simply fun to watch.