Sunday, March 30, 2008

I Am Legend, PG-13

Grade: A-

Wow! What a movie. Will Smith, once again, proves why he is one of America's national treasures. This post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller was full of emotion and action. The first half of the movie reminded me a lot of Cast Away, where Smith is the only person on screen, indeed in the "world." His means of coping with the loneliness came across as genuine and convincing.

Many critics say the end was disappointing, an opinion with which I can sympathize. It felt a little abrupt, and left a few unresolved plot points. An alternate ending is available (I found it on YouTube), which I am told more closely follows the book. I like both endings for different reasons. The original ending has a messianic quality to it: a savior must sacrifice to save the world, hearkening to the Time Magazine cover page displayed at the beginning with a picture of Smith's character and the title "Savior?" The alternate ending, however, does tie up the loose ends (even the ones you didn't realize were loose at the time), manages to portray the humanity in the "bad guys," and is "happier."

Overall, I really liked it. I am sure that I will watch it again.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Top 10 Animated Films

The best cartoon movies ever. I am including computer generated cartoons in this category. As always, in no particular order:
  1. Mulan
  2. Hercules
  3. Toy Story 1 and 2
  4. Emperor's New Groove
  5. The Incredibles
  6. Lion King
  7. Beauty and the Beast
  8. Shrek
  9. Prince of Egypt
  10. Treasure Planet
  11. Jimmy Neutron

Top 10 Romantic Comedies

This is the only list here that even remotely resembles "chick flicks."
  1. Princess Bride
  2. You've Got mail
  3. Sleepless in Seattle
  4. Joe Versus the Volcano
  5. Miss Congeniality
  6. While You Were Sleeping
  7. Dan in Real Life
  8. It Could Happen to You
  9. Two Weeks Notice

Top 10 Scary Movies

I hate the horror genre. But these movies are really good without being too gory or horrific.
  1. The Village
  2. The Sixth Sense
  3. Wait Until Dark
  4. I Am Legend

Top 10 Action/Adventure

Here they are, in no particular order.
  1. Armageddon
  2. Hero
  3. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  4. Matrix
  5. Mission Impossible (1)
  6. The Bourne . . . trilogy
  7. Indiana Jones
  8. Batman Begins & The Dark Knight
  9. The Fugitive
  10. Italian Job
  11. Ocean's 11
  12. The Jack Ryan series (Hunt for Red October, Clear and Present Danger, Patriot Games, Etc.)
  13. Transformers

Top 10 Fantasy

The line between sci-fi and fantasy is not thin as many claim. It is wide and gray. For example, where do superhero movies fit? (I chose to include them in sci-fi.) Orson Scott Card classifies both into the larger genre of "Speculative Fiction." I need to add to this list when I have some time to think more about it.

  1. The Lord of the Rings
  2. Harry Potter
  3. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  4. The Chronicles of Narnia
  5. Willow

Top 10 Historical Dramas

Movies realistically set in a historical period, though not necessarily "based on a true story." Again, in no particular order.

  1. Chariots of Fire
  2. The Last Samurai
  3. Saving Private Ryan
  4. Gladiator
  5. The Count of Monte Cristo
  6. The Right Stuff
  7. Hotel Rwanda
  8. Hidalgo
  9. Life is Beautiful
  10. The Mission
  11. Braveheart
  12. The Patriot
  13. Forrest Gump

Top 10 Sci Fi

In no particular order.

  1. Star Wars
  2. Signs
  3. Matrix
  4. Minority Report
  5. The Hulk (I think I was the only person in America who liked it. But it was Freudian deep)
  6. Spider Man
  7. I Robot
  8. Serenity
  9. X-Men
  10. Independence Day
  11. Back to the Future
  12. I am Legend
  13. Gattaca

Top 10 Comedies

Tough to narrow down to just 10. Impossible to place in an order, except that Dumb and Dumber is #1.
  1. Dumb & Dumber
  2. What About Bob?
  3. Tommy Boy
  4. Nacho Libre
  5. School of Rock
  6. Napoleon Dynamite
  7. The Man Who Knew Too Little
  8. Zoolander
  9. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  10. One, Two, Three
  11. Christmas Story

Top 10 Movies of All Time

My version of the Top 10 Movies of All Time, drawing from all genres. My top pick definitely belongs in the #1 spot, but the rest are in no particular order.

  1. Chariots of Fire
  2. Lord of the Rings
  3. The Chronicles of Narnia
  4. Saving Private Ryan
  5. Indiana Jones
  6. Braveheart
  7. Life is Beautiful
  8. The Mission
  9. Star Wars
  10. The Matrix
  11. Armageddon
Okay . . . so there's 11 . . . sue me

First Launch

Okay, here us the first post of my newest blog. I have a keen interest in movies, but am in no way an "expert." I've just spent a lifetime watching and admiring America's favorite art form and story telling medium. In this blog I will post my reviews of new movies as well as give my thoughts on all thinks film.