Sunday, November 23, 2014

X Men: The Last Stand

So I just watched this again since my friend rented it for no readily apparent reason. Like many others I saw this and was immediately disappointed after the first go-around; however 8 years later with a less scornful eye I somehow managed to find enjoyment out of the film. Many will remember the infamous “I’m the Juggernaut, Bitch” scene as the one highlight of the movie, and it still is; however the rest of the movie sort of follows that accord. This movie just doesn’t give a single fuck, much like a Roland Emmerich disaster movie.

Major characters get killed off randomly, hundreds of civilians get murdered; and in general it’s just a ludicrous action movie. The movie’s not horrifically awful like Batman and Robin or anything though, it really has some interesting scenes and is toying with themes far above it that could have worked in a better film. The CGI holds up pretty well so provided you’re up for a silly big budget action film I would recommend it.

Perhaps the film’s most egregious error is not allowing Wolverine to say “Bub,” because as Steve Blum fans know Bub is the height of all Wolverine discourse. However in the absence of Bub we get the disposal of asshole Cyclops, terribly acted Mystique, and Jean Luc Picard who’s obviously too good for this movie (Gandalf was not so fortunate). There’s a certain charm about the absurdity of the film reminiscent of Independence Day, while it doesn’t hold up quite so well as that masterpiece it doesn’t deserve the amount of disdain that it still has to this day.

Far from a formulaic Super Hero movie, this film strives to have as many explosions and B romance plots as possible. Ellen Page, the matriarch of female video game characters, is even in this film at the ripe old age of 19. Vinnie Jones plays Juggernaut flawlessly, and pretty much everyone else sucks to one degree or another; but for some reason it kind of works anyway. It’s not quite as baffling how this got through production, this has all the charm of a 90’s action movie minus Bill Paxton. Keeping in mind how horrible most Super Hero movies were in that decade this one towers over them as the true ascendant heir to the 90’s.

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Interstellar is not a perfect film despite the Nolan touch being present; but it is damn good. The audio and visual experience is absolutely top notch and much better than anything else in that regard. I’d put the soundtrack up there with Road to Perdition as one of the finest scores of all time, just amazing stuff. Plotwise we’re in semi-near future Earth in a more realistic than usual but not entirely realistic doomsday scenario where we need to evacuate the planet within a century or so. So Matthew McConaughey is tasked with saving the world, after a very good exposition and introductory sequence.

I don’t wish to spoil too much of the film but the overall premise is McConaughey promises his daughter that he will return from an impossible journey through a wormhole. A dubious promise to be sure, but this being a movie you should have an idea of how that works out; since it’s Nolan there’s some let’s call it “interesting” stuff that happens along the way. I could read this film pretty well, at some point I've just seen too many movies and have a rough understanding of what has to occur; but it still had some surprises in there.

There are some amazing emotional moments in this movie and it makes no sense how they work so damn well with so little. And then there’s some bits that aren’t quite as great. However, this isn’t a movie where you wonder “what could have been” because it’s still pretty damn good anyway. Sure, sure it’s probably not as good as Inception but it’s also more philosophically interesting than Inception and maybe less of a technical showpiece. The film is definitely superior to The Dark Knight Rises, though the technical achievement here is primarily a digital one whereas in the Batman films the most impressive shots were practical (how do you film 200 police cars in unison converging on a tank in a major city? That’s a 20 million dollar 15 second shot.).

My Dad’s reaction was to compare it directly to 2001 and I have to say it compares quite favorably. Whereas 2001 kind of goes off the deep end eventually this one stays in the realm of possibility maybe? I mean based on what we know maybe not but who the hell actually knows. Robots are scumbags in 2001 and in this they’re the best (goofy looking) fucking character; I’d have a beer with that robot level of comradery. On that note: Fuck Matt Damon, what the fuck are you doing in my movie you fucking asshole; get the fuck out.

This is a really interesting, compelling movie and I’ll probably have to see it a few more times to get an overall read on it. There’s obviously the one negative sequence everyone’s going to point to but it’s not different than Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Dark Knight (which is still by miles and miles the best movie in its genre). It’s not strictly predictable but it has simple, effective foreshadowing that leads to the eventual conclusion. As to what happens in between; well that’s up for debate, you can try to figure it out I guess, it’s not complicated it’s just hard to say whether it is plausible enough, for some it will be and for some it won’t. Is it better than Edge of Tomorrow? Well, Edge of Tomorrow is not going to get Oscar consideration so I’m inclined to favor it and I imagine over the course of time I’ll probably watch Edge 20-30 times and I might only watch Interstellar like 6 or 7; but Interstellar might be slightly better just for the audio/visual combination. Fuck Matt Damon.