So, I am sitting down to write a review of Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes, and I don't know where to begin. I could start with the script (fairly strong, but not very Doyle-ish) or the acting (almost universally great), but I think I will begin with Ritchie's direction.
From the beginning, the direction was impressive. Ritchie managed to show Holmes' intellect and keen faculties of observation in a unique and economical manner. The audience is occasionally allowed to see Holmes' thought process in the moment, but generally, as with Doyle's stories, the explanation comes later.
One of the things that Ritchie is known for is his too-cool-for-school camera work and flashy editing. Both of these were toned down a lot. In fact, the direction never seemed to upstage the story or characters, which, as far as I can tell, is a first for Ritchie. I should confess that I have only seen Lock Stock, Snatch, and the horrible Revolver. In this movie Ritchie adapting himself admirably to the story he is telling, rather than adapting the story to his style. So overall, high marks for direction.
So this weekend, I sat down for some quality time with the new hotnesses: G.I. Joe: the Rise of Cobra and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. RC is proud to offer the following review of these blockbusters.
They are both crap.
Seriously, they suck a lot. Don't waste your time or money. There are one or two specks of decent in each of these movies, but neither one is worth a second glance in the video store. Terrible plots, one demensional characters, and horrible horrible writing drag two of my favorite franchises down.
Let me preface this by saying that I did not spend the extra money to see Avatar in 3D. Sorry, but I just don’t feel that I need glasses to appreciate a movie. If, however, you disagree and feel that I haven’t truly “experienced” this movie until I’ve seen it in 3D, and, therefore, I am not in a position to write an informed review of it, I would be more than happy to sit down with you and discuss Avatar’s failings with something large, heavy, and blunt.
I’m utterly unsure as to what I expected from Avatar. It’s hard for a movie to be over-hyped when the hype is all about how over-hyped it is. (Did you follow that?) Still, I think I went in excited. I came out a little angry.
Several weeks ago game maker Konami decided to jump on the Zombie bandwagon by creating a downloadable arcade game for PS3 and 360 called Zombie Apocalypse. The most I can say for their choice is that I respect them for not making a game called Vampire Apocalypse, which, if we go by the standard set by all recent Vampire media, would be a game in which you are a fourteen-year-old girl who has to fend off the endless advances of two-hundred-year-old pedophile vampires. When looked at from this perspective, Konami really hit it out of the park with the choice of Zombies. Still, the game they actually decided to place on the market has some serious flaws.
As with all downloadable arcade games, you won’t get any plot from Z.A. Instead, you’ll get level after level of hoards of Zombies, which quite literally come up from the ground in an attempt to rip you apart. Also, you won’t find any tutorial to tell you how to play, so stick with it for about 15-30 minutes until you figure out how not to die like a bitch. The other serious drawback to this game is in the glitches, which seem to frequent it. Beware losing lives to falling through the ground.
If, however, you truly want to have a lot of fun playing this game, you can follow these simple instructions and have a really great night.
It would give me indescribable happiness to learn that the readers of this article had any notion whatsoever about what I am about to discuss. Granted, I’m banking on a few people to read enough Marvel comics to get the gist of it, but I’d like to start off by giving just a little background before committing any reader to lengthy diatribes of intense geekdom.
Within Marvel Comics, there are two universes which have coexisted (peacefully) since the year 2000. The original is now called the 616 universe and is what most people are directly, or indirectly, aware of. The 616 series consists of Spider-Man, The X-Men, Iron Man, and The Avengers; they have existed continuously since their conception decades ago. In an effort to draw a larger audience in 2000, Marvel launched several classics books in an entirely new universe called the Ultimate. This isn’t entirely unheard of for Marvel, as they tried a 2099 series, a 1603 series, and Universe X. Still, the Ultimate line did remarkably well, particularly the Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Spider-Man comics. All of the recent comic movies that you have seen are generally considered to be based on the storylines of 616; however, several events and even direct excerpts of dialogue have been lifted from the Ultimate.
There is a careful balance that all marketing strategists must perform in terms of building up their product (in the case of this review, I’m referring to a movie), so that people will see it and not over-hype it to the point where people feel seriously let down. Many movies suffer from the latter, must notably in my mind, being the abysmal Spider-Man 3, which had great publicity, trailers, and billboards all leading one to believe that you might get some kind of product which wouldn’t leave you wanting to ingest battery acid, whilst simultaneously throwing yourself onto a burning pyre. Still, I digress. Somewhere amongst my ramblings, I meant to say that the ad campaign for the movie The Men Who Stare at Goats was tastefully done, as was the movie.
I’ve known about this film for almost eight months preceding its release in theatres this past Friday. I’m not completely sure how I discovered it; the details are lost amongst the twisted wreckage of my fractured memory (and psyche!), but I’ve been looking forward to the film since then. The cast line-up is exceptional, featuring George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey, and Jeff Bridges. This alone should tell you something, given that Kevin Spacey for one, doesn’t do films that he doesn’t like; his tastes being fairly decent [with the exception of Superman (go kill yourself, Bryan Singer)], I was pretty damn excited about this. Still, you should be aware that this movie is not going to win an Academy Award. It isn’t mind blowing, and it isn’t earth shaking. This is exactly my point, really.
Halo 3: ODST, recycles the gameplay of earlier Halo games, which is not necessarily a bad thing, while it brings a few new things to the table.
The most obvious addition to the series is Firefight, a cooperative mode that throws wave after wave of enemies at up to four players. This is insanely fun. As the game progresses, the enemies get harder to beat, while the game also turns on skulls, which are the Halo version of cheat codes, that make the game even harder. I could get bogged down in the minutiae of this mode, but I will just say that it is really fun and you should try it.
It would be a mistake to call The Hurt Locker the most intense movie I have ever seen in the the theater. While true, this doesn't communicate the complicated personal story being told. The movie follows an Army bomb removal squad in Baghdad in 2004. Staff Sergeant William James, played by Jeremy Renner, is almost pathologically addicted to risk. As the new bomb tech in the squad, he is incredibly skilled and reckless. As the commanding officer in the unit, he has the authority to make incredibly dangerous decisions. The squad is rounded out by Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty, as Sergeant JT Sanborn and Specialist Owen Eldridge, respectively. Both of these actors do a fine job with characters that seem less complicated because they are missing that huge flaw. Mackie and Geraghty resist the urge to play it big and melodramatic, bringing a humanity to the hell.
The most obvious area where this movie excels is in the combat. Bigelow treats every encounter with a bomb as a battle. On the one side is the army. On the opposition is the insurgency. But how do you fight an enemy which looks like, and has learned to act like, the innocent population? This question leads to some of the most intense scenes in the film.
As Fyodor Dostoevsky brilliantly displayed throughout his novel, Crime and Punishment, money united the most saintly and sinister of characters, as their eventual moral degradation heavily depended on their possession of it or lack thereof. By highlighting the characters Rodya Raskolnikov and Arkady Svidrigailov, Dostoevsky illustrated that all people, when faced with extreme economic conditions, possessed the ability to become immoral, self-involved, and ultimately evil. To remedy these issues of self-centeredness, pride, and greed, the underlying motif of the novel, poverty, demonstrated the need for ideals of self-sacrifice and compassion. Accompanied by the theme of self-alienation, the author attempted to convince the reader that the battle against moral degradation would only be won by bonding together in times of poverty. In essence, while Dostoevsky clearly depicted that this moral demotion was prevalent in society, he was certain to explain that this occurrence was unacceptable and needed to be rectified.
I recently read The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, and I must encourage anyone who hasn’t already read the books to get out and buy a copy today! This is one of the most engrossing series that I have ever read; you will not be disappointed if you give the series a chance. For those unfamiliar with the series, the plot is based in a post-apocalyptic world where the teenaged children of poor citizens are forced by the aristocracy to battle to the death in an annual, televised program called the Hunger Games.
On a lark, I decided to cast the main characters from the first book of the series. For those who haven’t been keeping track of The Fanboy Scoop, a HG movie is already in the works, so I wanted to get a jump on casting before Hollywood ruined another project. I will say that this cast is not ideal, given that the number of talented child actors now-a-days is scant. Had this been cast ten years ago, this movie might have been epic! Alas, I will work with what I must…