Thursday, July 30, 2009

Watchmen (Alyssa)

Long time, no review! I figured it was past time to do another guest movie review. So here it is—I decided to tackle Watchmen. Yep, another graphic novel movie, but I couldn’t resist. My sister Michelle introduced me to the comic, and I have to say it’s worthy of the acclaim and awards it has received. The story is detailed and layered, the characters rich and multidimensional. The movie does a pretty good job of telling the story. It’s better than I expected.

The story starts like this: it’s 1985 in a New York in which Nixon is still president and America prevailed in Vietnam. The threat of nuclear war is an ever-present reality. Starting in the 1930s, a group of people took up masks to fight criminals. Other masked heroes followed their example, and they continued until the Keene Act outlawed masked vigilantes. The movie starts just before the death of a vigilante called The Comedian. The rest of the movie focuses on one man’s investigation into that death and what it uncovers.
Watchmen is no typical superhero movie. Only one character has superhuman powers—the rest are men and women who fight crime for a variety of reasons. The “heroes” are fully realized people with strengths and weaknesses. Some don’t seem heroic at all. It’s fascinating, gritty, and unforgettable.

I’ve seen both the theatrical version and the director’s cut. The director’s cut is the stronger of the two. It includes more violence, but it also makes the scene transitions smoother and offers more character moments. Whichever version you view, this movie is not for the faint of heart. The movie includes nudity and sex, though neither seemed overly gratuitous. (Actually, I take that back—one shot was added to the director’s cut, and it seemed completely unnecessary.) The violence is stark and vivid, so much so that there were moments when I had to look away. If you thought The Dark Knight was dark—well, it’s like comparing late afternoon to midnight. Watchmen plunges viewers into a world of midnight black. It is a very dark world.

Despite its darkness, light shines through. The budding romance between two characters offers sweet moments. Dr. Manhattan’s sequence on Mars is another high point.

Most of the characters are well cast. I especially appreciated Patrick Wilson as Dan Dreiberg and Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach. Billy Crudup (Dr. Manhattan) and Malin Akerman (Laurie) also turn in fine performances. Matthew Goode offers the least satisfying performance, but in general the cast works together beautifully.

The movie was not a box-office triumph. I suspect some fans wanted an undeviating adaptation, something that’s not possible based on the medium. A few scenes are even stronger in the movie; one notably during the prison sequence when Rorschach enters the men’s room and the door closes and swings open behind him, offering glimpses of the confrontation to come.

On the other hand, traditional moviegoers want straightforward heroes and villains, which you won’t find here, and a feel-good ending. By the time Watchmen ends, the movie doesn’t provide all the answers—it raises questions like this . . .

What makes people become vigilantes?
Does the end justify the means?
Who watches the watchmen?

. . . and leaves viewers to reach their own conclusions.

So, who watches the watchmen? I did, and I’ll watch it again: 8 out of 10.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Half-Blood Prince

Oh how I love love love all things Harry!!!! I am still a little bit sad that I've already seen this movie. Why? Well firsts are just so important. For example, I remember the first time I saw the Backstreet Boys in concert like it was yesterday--but do I remember the 10th? 15th? 20th? I think you get my point.

I often think: "I will only get to do this once, for the first time." The 2nd time is never as good.

Thankfully, the first time seeing HP6 was anything but a disappointment!!!!! How do you make a near perfect series even better? Invite Harold Zidler to play an important role! (If you are lost, see Moulin Rouge's IMDB cast list). Seriously Jim Broadbent could not have been more perfect! And I am so thankful that Harry is so big in the UK so that they have their pick of all the best actors.

Case in point.....
For me, magic always happens when these 3 are on screen together....

Plus Ron gets hotter with age (I always love the ginger's)!
And I'm even more thankful for Ron since all the eye candy that was previously included in these movies disappeared (Jason Isaacs & Ralph Fiennes). Ok So I know I just grossed some of you out by saying that Voldemort is hot. But really I can see right through those nose slits and peer into the eyes of Count Almasy!!!

This was one of my favorite scenes.....this kind of stuff is what really makes these movies unexpected, clever and funny!
And then this.....the saddest moment in the movie....not only because someone special dies (you're welcome from not "spoiling") but also because these two realize what lies ahead.....

Oh how I love you Harry! Thank you for being the best ever and please hurry up and finish movie 7, part A!

Monday, July 13, 2009

My Sister's Keeper

This movie was one of the biggest cry-fests that I've ever seen. I remember crying this hard in the English Patient--which is one reason I loved it--it simply made me FEEL! But that was only the end--this movie keeps the same feeling pretty much throughout.
Probably my favorite thing about this movie is that you got to see how it would feel to be each of the family members. I just can't even imagine going through that together.
Oh and how I love love loved Taylor! That part of the story was so perfect and sweet! The ending was lovely--I totally recommend seeing this movie and I am excited to see it again!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Hangover

I'm not saying that I saw the Hangover....I certainly am not saying that I saw it two nights in a row. But I will say that I've "heard" that is so completely hilarious!!!! I've also heard that it is so completely random--how did they know that those weird things would be funny???
If I were going to see this movie, the #1 reason would of course be Will Tippin (some of you know him as Bradley Cooper). If you haven't seen ALIAS, shame on you!!! Watch it and you will know what I am talking about. I have wanted him to be a big star for almost a decade now.....and it makes me soooo happy to look at his IMDB account and see it full of movies (click "All About Steve" on the sidebar).
Seriously these guys were so hilarious that I even thought for a few minutes that I might thank them by buying this.....