The World’s End

August 27, 2013


Internet Movie Database          Movie Reviews

Five old friends get back together after 30 years to finish a pub crawl they attempted when young.

If you’ve never seen other Simon Pegg movies of this type, or not seen any of the trailers, there might be SPOILERS ahead.

Mr. Otter, Spider Jerusalem and I saw this last night at our local big-screen emporium du movies (which now costs TWELVE BUCKS!!! oh my god!) On the way home, we dissected it, and Mr. Otter said something to the effect of, it would have been better without the aliens, I didn’t expect them.

SJ and I looked at him like he had grown a second head.

Of course it had aliens, we said, didn’t you see the TRAILERS? It’s a SIMON PEGG movie…explosions! Aliens! Wierd stuff!

But I know what he meant.

This was a fun movie…great dialogue, good characters, lots of action and explodo, and Simon Pegg is adorable, as is Nick Frost. But the movie kind of fell apart after they confronted the aliens…it was like they didn’t really know how to end it and just tacked something on. Amusing, but not a great ending.

This was fun to see in the big theater- the shift from pathetic loser trying to have one more good time (and some closure) in his life, to drunken old friends dealing with the past, to running from the bad guys to trying to save the world worked well, and was great to watch…I just wish the ending had been more satisfying.

Ah well. At least they threw some Kurt Weill into the soundtrack, that does make me happy.

Worth seeing, maybe not one to buy, but great for an evening of beer and movies.

The Last Stand

August 27, 2013


Internet Movie Database          Movie Reviews

A Mexican drug kingpin is being transported from one prison to another, and (surprise) gets loose, and for reasons that make no sense, the ONLY PLACE he’s going to be able to cross the border into Mexico…is through the town where Arnold is the sheriff. Guess what happens?

I had an appointment to do apheresis at the Red Cross, and I knew from from experience that I had seen pretty much everything in their video cabinets that I wanted to see. So (as usual) I brought my own movie.

I brought Flight, with Denzel Washington and a great cast; the previews were awesome and I really wanted to see it.

Unfortunately, without thinking…I brought it in BLU-RAY.

Which, of course, the Red Cross doesn’t have, living on donations as they do. So I had to pick a movie. And this was it.

Oh man, what an awful day. The nurse was Abbot and Costello, I had to watch this dog, and it ended early…I had about 20 minutes left. Another nurse came over and said, would you like to watch TV?

Sure, I said, go ahead and put the food channel on…but she couldn’t figure out how the remote worked, and left me with the MSNBC political channel…after five minutes I was yelling for a blue screen. Oh man.

Anyway. This movie.

So yes, the FBI manage to lose this guy (one of their people works for him, ooh, wonder who it is?) and it’s up to Arnold, his deputy, her ne’er do well boyfriend, the crazy guy from town with all the guns, and…someone else, I don’t remember. And of course they stand off the drug lord and all his minions, with lots of gunfire and explosives and witty repartee, and Arnold ends up chasing him down and stopping him literally feet from the border.

Gaah. Trite, silly, boring. A couple of good actors (Forest Whitaker was NOT among them, I’m sorry to say) and lots of cars and gunshots.

Yawn. Skip it and watch a good explodo over again instead.

Troll Hunter

August 14, 2013


Internet Movie Database          Movie Reviews

What do you think it’s about? A troll hunter in Norway.

I was visiting Otterbro and The Mermaid and we felt like a movie. Have you seen this one? they asked…it sounded familiar (turns out Mr. Otter and Spider Jerusalem had watched it one weekend when I wasn’t home) but I had not seen it.

And it was really much better than I expected or than it looked, starting out.

College students with hand-held video cameras find and follow and ultimately help out a modern day troll hunter, who works for the government. There have been several attacks on livestock and people, and he finally traces the problems (after stalking and killing several different kinds of trolls) to one particular place, and they all take care of business.

A really good example of this sort of movie, which all of us have seen way too many bad examples of. The ‘shakycam’ footage is not too bad, and the subtitles (the movie is in Norwegian) are good and colloquial. The actors were very good, and the trolls were really well done- believeable enough without being such good f/x that they made the rest of the movie look bad.

The government control of trolls, their habitats, and their interactions with humans were also really well described, as were the interviews with the people who the group comes in contact with; the vet was awesome, she was so real and believable.

And beautiful landscapes. Which are MUCH too cold for Otter ever to want to visit.

A good movie, amazingly enough!

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

August 14, 2013


Internet Movie Database          Movie Reviews

Morgan Spurlock makes a movie about product placement in movies…that’s funded by product placement.

I really enjoyed Super Size Me and am interested in how the business of movies works in general, so one night when Mr. Otter (who was not interested in seeing this) was out, I put it on and was highly amused.

Morgan Spurlock is a good documentary maker- not as annoying as Michael Moore (and who is, anyway?), amusing, and willing to make a fool of himself for a good reason. In this film, he brings his camera crew along to see him try to get backing; his goal was for the whole film to be funded by sponsors who would pay for their products to be featured, including three thirty-second commercials and other advertising, and to film the whole process.

Which he does. He meets with lawyers and ad agencies, he pitches his ideas (obviously recreated for the camera, but well done) and includes the stuff he is contractually obligated to include (like a certain number of shots at a gas station/convenience store chain that has given him funding). He also reads parts of the contracts for the camera, with commentary.

The history of product placement in movies is also covered, as well as egregious examples from current films.

A well-made, enjoyable and interesting film!