Tag Archives: movies
Star Trek Into Darkess Brings Trek Back In Name Only, it Seems
Well that was fast. Hot on the heels of Paramount’s new Star Trek Into Darkness poster (which is relatively cool, in a Dark Knight Rises sort of way), they’ve gone and released the next wave of hype for the new sequel, a big, noisy teaser.
So how’s it look? Well…not like a Star Trek movie, that’s for sure. It looks more like Michael Bay and Darth Vader kidnapped the Enterprise and went joyriding. Apparently something explodes, the Enterprise crashes, something else explodes, Kirk grins sheepishly, yet another thing explodes, Uhura gets sad, something’s swallowed by hot lava, Pike does something in his wheelchair, and…then something else explodes.
I hope the movie is better than the trailer makes it out to be, but I suppose only time will tell.
The Avengers Cements Joss Whedon as a Blockbuster Filmmaker
To say that I’ve been looking forward to The Avengers is perhaps the understatement of the evening. Well, maybe the second, with the first being the declaration that PF Chang’s lettuce taco thingies are effing awesome. But that’s another story, and I’m not nearly boring enough to sit around writing about food, so let’s get to the good stuff shall we? For those who haven’t seen it yet, fear not: I’ll stay spoiler-free.
If you, like Mr. Clay Cane of BET, believe that character development is irrelevant, you’ll be mildly disappointed, because The Avengers has a fair amount of it. If you’re one of those people, you’ll have the misfortune of being treated to characters who have a little more depth than the typical cardboard cutouts of, say, anything by Michael Bay, ever. But if you think that–oh, I dunno, people have rational (and irrational) reasons for the things they do and say, you’re in for a rare treat: a superhero film whose characters have a bit of complexity. Not a lot, mind you–this isn’t a deeply philosophical film by any means. It does, however, find the humanity within its spectacle, and that’s worth a look.
Batman Is Still A Fugitive Criminal 8 Years Later
So apparently, there’s a new poster going around showing Batman as a wanted fugitive. Following the events of the much lauded Batman film “The Dark Knight,” this is of course no surprise. What IS surprising, though, is that so many sites are calling this a piece of “viral marketing,” in spite of the fact that it really doesn’t fit the modis operandi of that technique.
Still, it’s interesting and good to see that consequences appear to be very much in effect in Batman’s latest outing, but it really does bring up a few questions, including how he’s managed to evade capture for 8 years (did he retire? Did he become more shadowy? What’s the story?).
The film’s July 20th release really can’t come soon enough. In the meantime, it looks like we’ll have to make do with that other superhero epic: Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, which has apparently made back most, if not all, of its production costs already thanks to huge overseas successes.
Oh, but Batman, why can’t you have opened first?!
There are few characters from the 1980′s more iconic and beloved than Ferris Bueller. The movie is one of those rare gems of cinema that can delight audiences born well before and long after it was introduced. For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard people rumor, hope and ask for a sequel to the film. I’ve never thought a sequel was a particularly good idea–some kinds of lightning, you can’t bottle twice.
But Honda’s new CRV commercial is a real treat, for the most part, recreating classic moments from the original film in a nostalgic, yet still “in” on the joke sort of way. I have only one complaint: that Ferris is driving a CR-V sport utility vehicle. Really, Honda, you have a great new car that Ferris might actually be seen in: the CR-Z. That one little change would have made this commercial just about perfect.
So I might as well just get it out of the way: Spike Jonez’ Where the Wild Things Are, based on Maurice Sendak’s book of the same name, is nothing short of phenomenal. If you have no plans to see it, make plans. If you’ve already seen it, see it again. Maybe we’ll see it at the same theater.
For the uninitiated, WtWTA is the story of a young, rambunctious boy in the throes of emotional development, overrun by confusion. It’s a story with which we should all be familiar, and one that very often can trail into adulthood, leaving in its wake a path of pain and destruction. Max, the roughly ten year old star of the story, is a ball of frightened energy, prone to periodic bursts of anger and inappropriately timed rage. He feels alone and abandoned by his older sister, who’s busy with her own post-pubescent life, and by his mother, who is consumed by a difficult job she can’t afford to lose and the hope of some new affection from a new boyfriend. Max’s father is present only in the heaviness of his absence, and the hole left in the little boy’s life is especially felt when he stares longingly at a globe gifted to him by his father, with a simple inscription: “Max, this world belongs to you. Love, Dad.” It’s striking in its simplicity and in the depth of its meaning, and this scene is indicative of the entire film.
Whereas most other children’s stories are turned into films of extraordinary spectacle, vivid colors and unimaginable special effects, Max’s journey to the land of the Wild Things is beautiful because of the simplicity and familiarity of it all. The forest is like any other you’ve seen a thousand times, as are the dunes of the sandy desert in which Max and Carol, the character who most closely mirrors Max’s fear, anger and loneliness, wander on the way to Carol’s secret model of an ideal world that becomes the inspiration for the goal Max directs the Wild Things on: the construction of a fort(ress) where only the things you want to have happen actually do.
The Wild Things themselves are impressive for the same reasons the environments and the story itself is: they’re remarkably real, bearing no real sign of being the digital creations we expect in movies these days, instead appearing primarily as the large, furry suits they are. Each of the characters seems to touch upon an aspect of Max himself, some emotional or intellectual proxy for the confusion going on inside of Max’s young mind and heart. Like Max himself, the Wild Things are lost and confused, in desperate want of someone to bring them together and make them all safe from the pain and sadness of life in the real world. And like Max, each of them is touched by hope and dream, fear and reason, sadness and the power to move beyond it.
Where the Wild Things Are is a film of unusual depth, presented in a package of the most elegantly crafted simplicity you are likely to see in any theater this year or in the next five. If you can remember your youth or if you have a child of your own, you owe it to yourself to see this movie and relive that long past part of your soul that bore those days of pain and confusion, and somehow lifted you to better places in the time since.
Oh, and bring a pack of tissues, you’ll probably need it.