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I was first introduced to the movie Pandorum about a year ago. My friend Juan had told me that it was a great film and that I should check it out. Of course I said, “For sure dude, whenever I get sci-fi suggestions from you I know it will be good!” So I procrastinated for a while, started drinking more, called up ex-girlfriends in the middle of the night, started listening to The Smiths, just really bad stuff. However, I am glad to say that I finally got around to seeing Pandorum.
Pandorum follows the story of Corporal Bower (Ben Foster) as he awakes from hypersleep. Struck with amnesia, he slowly begins to remember what has happened to him and what is going on. During his relapse in memory he wakes up Lieutenant Payton (Dennis Quaid) from his slumber. Neither is able to access the ship’s bridge or communicate with any other officer on the ship. Bower comes to the conclusion that he must be the ship’s technician who was to be awakened if the ship ever needed to be fixed. It’s now up to Bower to start the reactor and save everyone on board the Elysium.
When I started to watch the film the first thing that I thought about was the Alien series, and I have to admit that I thought it was going to be a rehash of the same story we’ve seen plenty of times before. Aliens stalk unsuspecting victims on a ship and one by one take them down until there is one lone survivor who will miraculously kill off any threat. Now, Pandorum does follow some of these steps, but where it differs is quite important.
The film is named after a mental illness that is mentioned during the movie. Pandorum causes people to be paranoid, suffer from hallucinations and homicidal tendencies. This changes Pandorum from being your average run of the mill science fiction horror movie. Instead the film keeps you second guessing what’s going on through the majority of the film. It helps that the movie does a great job of giving off this sense of isolation. Even when there is more than one character on screen, you can’t help but feel trapped.
Both Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster do a terrific job of keeping you in suspense throughout the movie. Though they both face completely different challenges in the film, their acting makes it feel as if every second that they’re alone might be their last. Actors Cung Le and Antje Traue also do a wonderful job in the film. Le’s character, Manh, is a stone cold bad ass who doesn’t speak any English and Traue’s character, Nadia, is some sort of ninja who is also a genetic engineer. (I’m guessing she had time to learn be a ninja.) I also liked that director Christian Alvart decided to make the Manh character not know any English. Not just that, but there are no subtitles in the film, so you’re going through the exact frustration that Bower is going through when he tries to communicate with Manh.
I was surprised to see that a lot of critics bashed this film when it came out. Beside some weak CGI in the film, there really isn’t anything wrong with Pandorum. It has a great story, a great cast, and it’s also scary when it needs to be. I think that many critics may have gone into the film thinking it was another Alien clone and prejudged it before they could even see the film. This is too bad, since it may have scared off a lot of potential fans. Pandorum is a smart and suspenseful science fiction film that should be watched by fans of the genre. If you haven’t seen the movie yet do yourself a favor and give it a chance. You may like what you see.
This summer there have been a lot of new comic book movie properties (With the exception of the new X-Men movie), but the movie that always had my attention was Captain America. I know there were Captain America movies in the past, but they were all just horrible. This was Cap’s chance to finally have a kick ass film of his own!
So, why is this film dangerous for me? Well, I had low expectations for both Thor and X-Men, so when I saw them I was blown away by how awesome they were. However, Captain America has been high on the list of movies that I wanted to see for a long time, but it so happens that a lot of movies that I get hyped up to watch are usually sub-par at best. But Captain America couldn’t fail, right? Right guys?
The movie follows the story of puny Steve Rogers, a young man who just wants to serve his country during a time of need. What he lacks in brawn he more than makes up for in courage, but he’s still rather weak though. Steve’s luck turns around though when he gets accepted for the Army’s Super Soldier program. The movie stays pretty close to the origin story of Captain America, taking a few liberties here and there. (Bucky isn’t fifteen years old, but maybe that’s a good thing.)
I had some reservations about Chris Evans playing Captain America, and I think it all stems from the fact that he’s been in a ton of comic books movies already. He was in Fantastic Four, TMNT, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and The Losers to name a few. I just thought that maybe he’d done enough with the comic book movies; maybe it was time for someone else. Thankfully I was wrong; Chris Evans is great in the film! He pulls off Steve Rogers perfectly and I really feel as if he studied the role. I mean, Steve is just a kid from Brooklyn who wants to do the right thing, but he’s so much more than that. He’s Captain America, god damn it! He represents something we should all strive for, he represents the beauty of America. So yeah, I think Chris Evans did a good job.
Hugo Weaving also does an amazing job as Captain America’s arch-villain, the despicable menace, the Red Skull. With a blind ambition for power, he goes through a beta-procedure that is to make him a super soldier just like Steve Rogers. (You can guess what happens to him.) It must be fun to play a bad guy, because it seems like Weaving is having a grand old time killing people whenever he gets the chance. Or is that acting?
Someone who I also liked a lot was Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark, I really enjoyed his time on screen. He played a much bigger role than I thought he would, but he does such a good job with Howard Stark that I didn’t mind it whatsoever. It’s one of those things that I think helps meld the series together and really gets me excited for the Avengers.
I was surprised by two things in this film. 1) How funny it can be from time to time and 2) how brutal it could be. Now, I wasn’t shocked at the people dying, but there were moments where I didn’t see such graphic deaths coming my way. The comedy was also really good, I’m pretty used to Marvel movies doing well in the comedy section, so it wasn’t too much of a surprise. However, the audience was laughing a lot more than I thought they would. Neither of these hurt the film, in fact if I had to compare Captain America to any film in terms of violence and hilarity, it might be one of the films in the Indiana Jones series.
There isn’t a lot that I hate about this film, it can be kind of cheesy now and then, but if they tried making Captain America into a serious, gritty, pretentious film I think I would have hated it. No, the only real problem I had with this film was the romance in it. I know I sound like a broken record, I complain about this all the time, but it seriously gets on my nerves. I have nothing against Hayley Atwell, I’m just sick of stupid romantic sub-plots appearing in my comic book movies.
Captain America is a great movie for anyone who loves comics and does a great job of getting you ready for The Avengers. I’m happy with this film, and I think any Captain America fan will be too. (Unless they’re a dirty commie.)
“Isn’t this movie a remake of a remake?”
“No, it’s an original movie.”
“No, I think it’s a remake of a movie. You know that one movie, Throw Momma from the Train?”
“What was Throw Momma from the Train a remake of?”
“I don’t know.”
“Listen, just because two movies share a similar premise doesn’t mean that one movie is a remake of another movie. I think Hollywood is a little more creative than that.”
Well, turns out that I was wrong. This movie is sort of a remake of Throw Momma from the Train which was sort of a remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train. I mean, Charlie Day brings this up during the movie, so it’s not like they’re trying to get rid of the fact. Although there seems to be a lack of trains in the movie…
Horrible Bosses follows the lives of three workers dealing with their (horrible) bosses. Each finally takes enough crap from their bosses and decides that murder is the best option. Now, most people would never kill their bosses, no matter how maniacal they can be. Horrible Bosses however, does a good job of making you just downright hate the bosses. I mean, these are all hideously evil people.
Horrible Bosses got me really excited when I first saw the trailer; it has three of my favorite actors from three of my favorite comedy shows of all time. Jason Bateman (Arrested Development), Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) and Jason Sudeikis (Saturday Night Live). The great thing about this is that they have perfect chemistry with each other on screen. I was sort of afraid of them not working well together, since only Sudeikis worked with Day earlier in an episode of It’s Always Sunny. All my fears quickly disappeared once the movie began.
Everyone in this movie does a great job, I especially liked Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston in the film. They played just the most evil and despicable people that you could imagine. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the biggest fan of Jennifer Aniston. In fact on more than one occasion I may have even ridiculed her for her acting. However, in Horrible Bosses she’s just nasty and…incredibly sexy. I mean it, I’m not one to usually drool over celebrities, but Jennifer Aniston really had it going on in this film. Maybe she should start acting evil more often?
The movie is hilarious and is probably the funniest movie of the summer (so far). Director Seth Gordon is mostly known for doing some pretty interesting (AKA: awesome) documentaries and hilarious sitcoms. I really hope that he gets noticed more as a director. I mean, weren’t we supposed to have a King of Kong movie by now? To be honest, as a fan of documentaries I would love to see him take on another interesting subject
Horrible Bosses is the film that I wanted the Hangover 2 to be. It’s smart while still being hilarious and even while it is a soft remake of a remake it still feels fresh when compared to other comedies. If you’re a fan of any of the three main actors then you should definitely see the film. It’s a lot of adult humor that rarely falls short. Also look out for a quick cameo from professional Donkey Kong player and all around nice guy, Steve Wiebe, early in the film.
I love Pixar movies; each one stands out for different reasons. They’re a shining example of animation as art. I mean, if you told me that you never cried to a Pixar movie I know you would be lying to me and then I would punch you in the face. (No I wouldn’t.) Cars however never stood out to me. Maybe it’s because I don’t really care for cars in real life. I like toys, bugs, super heroes and French rats, but I was never a car man.
I liked the first Cars, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it more than twice in my life. I don’t feel like Pixar challenged themselves the same way they did with The Incredibles or Finding Nemo. It seems like Cars was just another run of the mill CGI film. Sure, I think it was better than most bland family films, but I feel like we’ve seen the story before. Minus the anthropomorphic cars, of course. You could probably tell that I wasn’t really excited for the movie, but as a fan of Pixar movies I wouldn’t feel right not seeing the film in theaters.
I was surprised to find out that Cars 2 is almost nothing like the first film. While they could have easily just done a touch up job with the original story, Cars 2 takes a spy action twist that turns Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) into the protagonist of the film. This actually made me really happy since Mater was my favorite character in Cars. Owen Wilson is great and all, but he sounded so bland as a voice actor that it made Cars go by at a snail’s pace.
Thanks to the change in story, I can honestly say that I enjoyed this movie more than the original. That said, I still don’t think that it’s as strong as other Pixar films. Cars 2 can be funny and charming at times, but it never really lasts that long. Instead you may find yourself bored in between segments of the story.
Still, this movie has enough going for it where you will be entertained. The spy undertones help immensely, since I really don’t feel that this movie could have worked if it was just about Lightning McQueen racing in different parts of the world. I know that Disney made a lot of money off of the Cars license, but I really don’t see how they can continue to make sequels to this series the same way they did for Toy Story.
None of the voice acting in this movie really sticks out besides John Turturro (Francesco Bernoulli), Michael Caine (Finn McMissle) and Eddie Izzard (Sir Miles Axelrod). Of course Larry the Cable Guy still does a great job with his work as Mater, but most of the voices in the movie are unremarkable.
I also wasn’t impressed at all with the music in the movie. I know that this isn’t that big of a thing for some people, but Pixar has always had great music in their movies. For the life of me though, I can’t remember any of the music from Cars 2. It all just kind of blends into the background and you don’t notice any of the music until the end of the movie.
Cars 2 is an okay movie and should at least be given a chance, but I can’t think of anyone who would even place it in their top 5 Pixar films. I know it must be hard for Pixar to continuously outdo itself every year, so I’m not going to start going on an anti-Pixar rant. I enjoy Cars 2 enough where I probably would recommend it to someone who wants to show their kids a movie. Boys in particular will probably like it because of all the explosions and spy cars, but I could see why girls might not like it as much. (I hope no one considers that sexist.) Still, this movie deserves a chance just because of its espionage angle.
Super Hero Comics:
This is from someone who was primarily raised in the 90s.