Friday, July 13, 2012

Just Awesome Cinema: Tidbits 7/13/12

I'm an avid cinephile. My idea of going to a bar is going to the movies, kicking back, and watching stories unfold on the big screen, sans 3-D, thank you very much. I've been wanting to rant about the pointlessness of 3-D lately, but I decided to put it off until later. I hate being forced to watch movies with the stupid 3-D effects and those goofy glasses, and more importantly, shelling out extra greenbacks for something I did not ask for anyway. Did you know that G.I. Joe: Retailiation has been pushed back to next year because they want to add 3-D effects to the finished film?

How crazy is that, huh?

Anyway, The Dark Knight Rises is one week away, and I can't hardly contain myself. I adore The Dark Knight Saga...Batman Begins, Gotham Knight(the anime that tell stories between the gap of the first two movies), and The Dark Knight. Am I'm the only one thinking that Batman Begins should have been called The Dark Knight, and the movie afterward should have been called Knightfall? Begins' title is an artifact of the first film series, before we realized that Christopher Nolan and his writing team had a self-contained story of their own, a fictional universe a step removed from our real one, as opposed to the fantasy-based world of the earlier films.

Not that there was anything wrong with that, of course.

But we are here for movies, right? I've been busy, working for my first novel, and was working on a short story...before it began to "spring legs" and I realized I had a fifth book on my hands for the future. are some of the awesome cinematic offerings I've enjoyed so far:

  • The Amazing Spiderman: Originally, I was not looking forward to this. I was one of those fans that had their shoulders in the air in a nochalantly shrug, wondering why? Spiderman 3 was horrible, very horrible, but why a reboot of the whole series? Yes, there are obvious reasons...Toby Maguire and the original cast are aging, the last entry was horrible...but soon, I was bitten...pun intended. The rebooted film basically tells the origin story of our favorite neighborhood wall-crawler, borrowing elements from both the mainstream comic(Spidey builds his own weaponry, scientist, etc.) and its Ultimate counterpart(Spidey's father was a scientist, working on an arachnid theme weapon project). Andrew Garfield, from the spectacular Social Network dons those luchador-esque arachnid themed tights to take on the Lizard(Rhys Ifans), while dodging Police Captain George Stacey(Denis Leary), the father of his crush Gwen Stacey(Emma "hot" Stone). Comparisons between this film and its original counterpart are inevitable, and while the stories of both are about the same, quality-wise...this film is better on other levels...way better fight scenes(were the Green Goblin/Spidey matchups in the original really that memorable?), and thank goodness, Peter Parker, scientist. PP BUILT his web-shooters in the comics, man...he is supposed to be a mechanical and scientific genius! Kudos for this! ONLY thing that boggles the mind...why Gwen Stacy? In the comics...SPOILER...she's been dead for years. Why not use Mary Jane Watson? Other than that, a wonderful cinema superhero comic! Grade: A.
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: A fun, folkloric pulp romp, this movie is an alternate history/secret history telling of the life of the 16th President of the United States, Honest Abe Lincoln. You can tell by the title what you're in for...a story that is all about fun! C'mon, the president as a vampire slayer, man! Starting with the death of his mother as a child, Abe(Benjamin "Kareem" Walker) grows up seeking vengence on the man responsible, plantation owner Jack Barts(Marton Csokas). But there's one problem that Abe finds out one asswhupping too late...Barts is a vampire, in league with vampire leader Adam(Rufus Sewell) and his sister Vadoma(Erin Wasson); Adam is planning to take over the Union, transforming it into a nation for his vampiric hordes. But never fear...Henry Sturgess(Dominic "Stark" Cooper), a vampire hunter, vows to train Abe to fang-hunt! Along his lifelong struggle against the dark ones, Lincoln falls in love with Mary(Mary Elizabeth Winstead), fights alongside his oldest friend freeman William Johnson(Anthony Mackie) against slavery, and battles his foes in many American setpieces, including a haunting plantation filled with vamps and a train filled with silver. Grade: of the most innovative uses of a horse I've seen, by the way.
  • Ted:  Seth MacFarlane is in traditional form in this life-action look at a man(Mark Walhberg) and his best friend, which happens to be a teddy bear. And when I mean traditional form, I mean in a great way if you're a fan. This film is funny as hell, from a throwaway subplot with Sam Jones of the 1980s Flash Gordan film to Ted's constant attempts at being fired from his supermarket job backfiring. Hot Mila Kunis(BTW, the voice of Family Guy's Meg) plays Lori Collins, John Bennett(Walhberg)'s girlfriend of four years, who gets fedup with the immature antics of John and his lifelong companion, which leads to Ted having to move out and make his own life. Grade: A

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