Friday, July 30, 2010



Wow, what a ride! Ocean's Eleven meets The Matrix. This brilliant cross between a heist story, a psychological drama/thriller, an action movie, and sci-fi left me wide-eyed and breathless. Writer/Director Christopher Nolan (Batman: the Dark Night, Momento, The Prestige) has hit another home run with Inception. This film engaged my emotions, my adrenaline, and my intellect. Smart and exciting. I loved it.

Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a thief with the rare ability to enter people's dreams and steal their secrets from their subconscious. His skill has made him a hot commodity in the world of corporate espionage, but has also cost him everything he loves. Cobb gets a chance at redemption when he is offered a seemingly impossible job: to plant an idea in someone's mind. If he succeeds, it will be the perfect crime, but a dangerous enemy anticipates Cobb's every move.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I had thought of writing a story about entering people's dreams, and had even toyed with the idea of using the technology for thievery and espionage. But Nolan did something so much more amazing than I ever could have with it. It is the kind of movie that will need to be re-watched several times in order to figure it all out. It is the next day and I am still dwelling on it. I can't wait to discuss it. It is rated PG-13 for violence, action, and peril.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

How to Train Your Dragon


This a very fun movie that also had some surprising depth, especially for a summer kids movie. Just like Despicable Me and Toy Story 3, what a great summer for animated movies.

Hiccup is a teenage Viking from the island of Berk, where fighting dragons is a way of life. Hiccup's progressive views and weird sense of humor make him a misfit, despite the fact that his father (Gerard Butler) is the tribal chief. Tossed into dragon-fighting school, Hiccup endeavors to finally prove himself as a true Viking, but when he befriends an injured dragon, he has the chance to plot a new course for his tribe's future.

This film really brings it. It is funny, exciting, and tender. The animation is very good. The script and voice talent, also very good. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Check it out with or without kids.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Toy Story 3


Another home run for Pixar! They just can't make a bad film. This is the third movie in the Toy Story franchise and it blew my socks off. I kind of feel like I grew up with these toys/characters and their owner Andy. I was worried about how they were going to wrap it all up, afraid that however it ended it would be dissatisfying.

With their beloved Andy preparing for college, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), and the rest of the toys find themselves dumped in day care. Unfortunately, the uncontrollable urchins do not play nice, so woody and the gang make plans for a great escape.

I can definitely say that it was very satisfying. The animation is, again, a step forward T(their animated humans are more lifelike than ever). The story was funny, charming, clever, and heartfelt. I loved it. I highly recommend it for everyone, especially fans of the first two.

Despicable Me


I really liked this movie. It was a pleasant surprise. It was clever, funny, and tender. A homerun.

A man who delights in all things wicked, supervillain Gru (Steve Carell) hatches a plan to steal the Moon. Surrounded by an army of little yellow minions and an impenetrable arsenal of weapons, Gru makes ready to vanquish all who stand in his way, especially his rival supervillain named Vector. However, nothing in Gru's preparations and calculations has prepared him for his greatest challenge: three adorable orphan girls who want to make him their dad.

As i said before. This gem of an animated film had it all. The voice talent was great. the writing was clever and funny. The minions were hilarious. It was a winning mix of wit, humor, originality, and tenderness. I highly recommend it, for kids and grown-ups alike. i took my wife to see it for a date night and we had a blast. It is rated PG for some rude humor and slapstick violence.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Last Airbender


I really, really wanted to like this movie. I loved the Nickelodeon cartoon that it is based on. And I really wanted M. Night Shyamalan (whose movies, after his explosive debut with The Sixth Sense and Signs, have been steadily declining until acheiving an all time low with Lady in the Water) to finally have a good movie. . . . but . . . . I was sorely disappointed. It had such potential. Unfortunately, it fell very flat. Though the movie did capture much of the feel of the cartoons in how it looked, it lacked so much. It lacked the depth of character. It lacked the humor that endeared the characters to your heart. It lacked storytelling. It seemed that Shyamalan (screenwriter and director) tried to move swiftly from episode climax to episode climax from the first season of the cartoon with so little development or background that it felt choppy. The dialog was written and delivered very dryly. Shyamalan does have great talent for framing a shot and creating suspense, he needs to stay away from writing. Get a crack screenwriter to produce a killer script and let Shyamalan work with the camera.

The four nations of Air, Water, Earth, and Fire lived in harmony until the Fire Nation declared war. A century later, there is still no end to the destruction in sight. then, an Avatar named Aang discovers that he has the power to control all four elements. he joins forces with Katara, a Waterbender, and her brother Sokka to restore balance to their war-torn world.

Now to what I liked. The special effects were very cool, the water bending, fire, bending, earth bending, and air bending. I am still bummed that I didn't like it. It wasn't that I was so keen on the cartoon that nothing would have satisfied me. I can control for that within myself. It just wasn't a very good movie. I think that kids will enjoy it more because they will be less critical. Maybe wait for the dollar theater to take the kids to it. It is rated PG for stylized martial arts fighting and some peril.