About Time

December 3, 2013


Internet Movie Database          Movie Reviews

What if you could travel in time, but only backwards into your own life, to fix things (or just relive them)?

I am a fan of Richard Curtis. Many of you will have no idea who I am talking about, of course. But if I told you he co-wrote the Blackadder series, and wrote Four Weddings and a Funeral and the perennial joy that is Love Actually, you would say, RICHARD CURTIS IS GOD.

Or something to that effect.

Yeah, he’s done some other stuff. I haven’t seen Notting Hill, I hear it wasn’t very good. And he did some movie about a horse in WWI, and I’m pretty sure I know how that one ended without having to see it. Not well for the horse, I’m sure.

But anyway. Spider Jerusalem and I were at our local emporium du movies and watching the endless trailers that are there to lure you into wanting to see whatever godawful stuff they are touting at that particular moment. And we saw a trailer for this. And we both said, that looks pretty good. Bill Nighy, I said. Time travel, he said. And then we saw that Richard Curtis had written it.

And a while later, soon after it came out, it turned out that Mr. Otter and I had the day off but the housecleaners were coming that afternoon. I checked movie times, and we saw a double feature- Ender’s Game and this. And Spider Jerusalem ditched work and joined us for this, and we all had a good time.

Because given the silly premise that makes no sense (male-linked time travel ability, with some things you can change and some you can’t) it was indeed charming. Good characters, good situations, Bill Nighy being his eccentric and wonderful self, Rachel McAdams being charming and adorable, and a lovely ending, with a good moral: live and enjoy and appreciate every day to the fullest for its own sake.

This didn’t seem to get much word of mouth, and it’s not the absolutely amazingly funny brilliance that marks his best two movies…but this was good, fun to watch, totally worth your time and money. Enjoy.

Thor: The Dark World

December 3, 2013


Internet Movie Database
CinemaSins        Movie Reviews

The second in the Thor series, and part of what is becoming a pretty impressive set of interwoven movie plots and characters.

Um, Thor has to kick a lot of bad guy butts and his girlfriend is in danger…and Loki is evil…and it looks like everything will be destroyed…until…

Yeah, you know the plot. And we all saw the TOTAL SUCKFEST that was the first Thor movie. It wasn’t as bad as Captain America, but it was pretty damn bad.

And then…there was The Avengers. And Chris Hemsworth was pretty good in that. And Tom Hiddleston as Loki? Oh my god, he was AWESOME. The perfect bad guy. Just….perfect.

So they started advertising this movie, and first I was all, nah, the first one sucked.

Then I saw that his girlfriend was going to end up in Asgard, and that had possibilities.

Then I saw the trailer with Loki, and I was hooked. Sure, for Tom Hiddleston I’ll do it. Okay.

So Spider Jerusalem and I saw it a couple of days after it opened.

And I couldn’t believe it. IT WAS ACTUALLY PRETTY DARN GOOD.

I mean, we’re not talking AWESOME here, it’s not The Avengers or anything…but it actually had a good strong plot, the characters were very watchable, and best of all, the writers kept the dialog to a minimum.

No declamations, no poncing around proclaiming things, no monologing, no gloating, no stupid speeches. The dialog was relatively terse, to the point, and actually conveyed something to the audience each time. The actors were good. The special effects and settings were really good.

I was VERY PLEASED. I would gladly go see this movie again (unlike the first one). I….ENJOYED this movie.

And you will too. Go see it, rent it, or come on over and we’ll get some chocolate and put cats on our laps and have a good time watching it again.

And whatever Spider Jerusalem says about Natalie Portman, I’ll take Jaime Alexander over her any day. Any day that I can’t have Tom Hiddleston, that is…

High Plains Invaders

December 3, 2013


Internet Movie Database          Movie Reviews

There are SPOILERS below, I give the whole ending away. If you care.

Aliens come to Earth in the American West to get minerals and make a mess of things.

And if you think that sounds like Cowboys and Aliens…that’s because it’s a made-for-tv ripoff of the feature film.

Now, that’s not always a bad thing…and one GOOD thing about this movie was that it starred James Marsters, aka Spike on the Buffy TV series.

What more excuse do I need to rent it? Spike and aliens, I’m there.

So Spider Jerusalem and I settled down without too many assumptions that this would be anything to write home about…and mostly, it was better than we thought it would be.

Marsters was great, and good eye candy, although I hated to hear him with his normal (American) accent rather than a snarky British one. There were some other good actors, especially the woman bounty hunter, she chewed scenery like a pro.

The people who were stuck in the town by burrowing aliens with laser guns mostly did sensible things, especially when faced with a technology that was like magic to them.

Truthfully, my biggest problem with this movie was the denoument. Turns out <sarcasm>SURPRISE!</sarcasm> that the crazy scientist was digging up and refining uranium. Four years before it was even isolated in a LAB. And the crazy scientist has A THOUSAND POUNDS of it in his outbuilding? Don’t look now, but the Reality Police just hauled the cast and crew away…

Plus it was way too easy to destroy the mother ship, sorry. It was like the timer went off and they had to end the movie quick quick quick before the budget ran out, and bam! it was over.

Mildly amusing, some explodo, not too bad. Except the stupid ending.

28 Days Later

December 3, 2013


Internet Movie Database          Movie Reviews

I remember when this movie came out.

I remember seeing the posters and hearing people talking about it and saying to myself, nope, sounds like TCBFTD* to me, oogies, not doing that.

Except, as my fans know, there are exceptions to the TCBFTD…moratorium, as it were. And one of them is zombie movies.

For some reason, probably because they have rules, zombies are not oogie.  Some zombie movies are fun, and some are just stupid, but they are not, so far, oogie.

And a bit ago, Mr. Otter, Spider Jerusalem and I watched World War Z (the stupid one) and scorned it until it ran for cover, whimpering, with its hideous badly written tail between its legs.

SJ turned to me and said, you know, the fast zombies in this remind me of 28 Days Later, except that was a good movie.

No, I said, it’s oogies and scary, I can’t watch it.

It’s a zombie movie. Seriously, said SJ, if you could watch this, you can watch that.

Really? I said…and he chose it for our next movie night.

And it was good! Not only are the scary things not actually zombies (they’re people infected with a virus that’s like PCP but about a hundred times stronger and faster acting) but the characters were good, the writing was good, and it mostly made sense.

It takes place in London, with the admittedly hackneyed beginning of a guy waking up in the hospital after being in a coma and finding out that hell had broken loose while he was insensible (hello, Walking Dead**). It’s about him and two or three other people trying to get to some remnant of civilization/government control/normalcy and what happens along the way and when they get there.

And it was good. Charming, gross, surprising, and mostly well written. Certainly better written than that travesty they made out of Max Brooks’ excellent book. World War Z, which is NOTHING LIKE THE MOVIE.

Sorry, slipped into my rant. This one was good, worth your time. I’m looking forward to the second movie.

*Things Coming Back From The Dead

**Astute Fan Spider Jerusalem has just pointed out to me that this preceded the Walking Dead comics series by a year…so not hackneyed in this case.