Tuesday, January 26, 2010

When Harry Met Sally

I’ve said it before and I will say it again: When Harry Met Sally = incredible. I could watch this movie any time and find it just as funny as I did the first time I watched it, that is part of why it is so good. This film is incredibly well crafted and because of this it stands the test of time; the film may be set in the 1980’s but it hasn’t aged a day.

I miss Meg Ryan. It’s been far too long since she’s been in a comedy and I want to see her on screen again. Sally Albright might be her trademark role & I have that forever, but I do want to see her onscreen, in good work again. If Sandra Bullock can score an Oscar this year for The Blindside then Meg had a shot at being recognized for her talent someday too.

Harry Burns: Had my dream again where I'm making love, and the Olympic judges are watching. I'd nailed the compulsories, so this is it, the finals. I got a 9.8 from the Canadians, a perfect 10 from the Americans, and my mother, disguised as an East German judge, gave me a 5.6. Must have been the dismount.

It's Complicated

Originally uploaded by aboutmerylstreepvn2
Jane and Jake have been divorced for 10 years and Jane isn’t looking for love, what she’s looking for is to start the addition to her house after dreaming of it for years. However, things get complicated when Jane and Jake go to New York for their son Luke’s graduation – the two get hammered and end up sleeping together. This starts an affair where Jane is the other woman, while Jake cheats on Agnes, his wife and the woman he originally left Jane for. All while this is happening their daughter Lauren is planning her wedding to fiancée Harley and Jane’s architect Adam begins to pursue her.

It’s Complicated is a comedy that I went into expecting it to be funny, but I thought it would be the polite, adult, intellectual giggle kind of comedy. Nope. I (and most of the audience) laughed so hard at points in this film that dialogue was missed – I haven’t done that since Tropic Thunder. Nancy Meyers hit it out of the park with It’s Complicated and made a wonderful comedy, and probably one of my favorite films of the year by delivering an intelligent, funny script and combining it with good direction and the perfect cast.

One of the huge appeals for me in It’s Complicated was the three stars – Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin & Steve Martin. The comedic timing, chemistry and talent these three have on screen in the film is incredible and even though each are huge stars in their own right none of them steals scenes from one another. All three are a perfect pairing.

The character that I actually stole the film for me was Harley played by John Krasinski. Harley is Lauren’s fiancée and a perfect for their family unit. So perfect in fact when he discovers the affair between Jake and Jane he knows he needs to cover it up. Harley is one of the funniest characters in the film and Krasinski manages to be just as memorable as Streep, Baldwin & Martin which is not an easy task.

Perhaps the one thing that makes It’s Complicated truly great is that it’s not a chick flick, it’s just a well made, funny film that can be enjoyed by almost any audience. When I went to the theatre to see this film the audience crossed the spectrum or couples, individuals, young and old and the entire audience was laughing just as hard as I was.

Director & Writer: Nancy Meyers
Jane: Meryl Streep
Adam: Steve Martin
Jake: Alec Baldwin
Harley: John Krasinski
Agness: Lake Bell
Trisha: Rita Wilson

Harley: Are you smoking WEED in the guest bathroom?
Jake: Yes we are, and we'd appreciate it if you didn't tell anyone?
Harley: Oh no. Of course not. Just add it to the list.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Crazy Heart

Bad Blake used to be a big name in country music, but now he’s on tour going bar to bar using pick up bands as he goes. Bitter and upset about life and that if former side man Tommy Sweet is now a country giant in his own right, Bad lives up to his name, proving that living like there’s no tomorrow isn’t exclusive to rock stars. When Bad agrees to an interview with San Antonio reporter Jean Craddock the two soon start a relationship that leads Bad into a new phase of his life as he continues to plummet towards rock bottom.

Crazy Heart is a great movie, the kind of movie that makes you care about a character far more than you should for a fictional being. But Bad Blake grabs you, flaws and all. I have no doubt that for this role Jeff Bridges is going to get nominated and probably win the best actor Oscar. Bridges has always been phenomenal, and with Bad Blake he proves that his talent has only gotten better with each movie he’s appeared in. SAG and the Golden Globes have already recognized him, so unless an upset happens the Oscar will be coming his way in a few months.

I really liked that Crazy Heart is not a biopic. Even though biopics are limited to the life of the person they are portraying, too many of them seem to be absolutely formulaic – the rise to the top and struggles to stay there, boy looses girl, family, etc. and ends happily. Crazy Heart didn’t have to do that. Going in as an audience member you are only learning about Bad Blake what director Scott Cooper wants you to learn. Bad used to be in top form with hits on the chart, and when we meet Bad the shine has worn off his star and he’s only remembered by the fans that have aged with him. Booze and divorces have ravaged him and all he’ll complain about is how he can’t get back on top because of Tommy Sweet. This is a film not about a rise to fame, but Bad’s struggle to live the life he has now and find a way not to regain his fame, but the passion that made his music what it was.

What I loved most about this movie was the relationship between Tommy and Bad. For most of the movie Bad does nothing but complain about Tommy or refuse to talk about him at all, but when we finally meet Tommy, Bad has a whole different attitude. He’s envious of Tommy. He knows Tommy deserves to be where he is and wants to be there too; on Tommy’s end he is nothing but gracious and appreciative of Bad and everything Bad did to get him where he is today and it pains him to see what Bad has become and that Bad won’t let him help. Instead of turning into All About Eve the film replaced hatred with a heart and soul that is completely human.

I can’t praise Crazy Heart enough. I know this film will get a few Oscar nods, but I honestly hope with a larger best picture race this year, that perhaps Crazy Heart can manage to grab a best picture nomination as well.

Director & Writer: Scott Cooper
Bad Blake: Jeff Bridges
Jean Craddock: Maggie Gyllenhaal
Tommy Sweet: Colin Farrell


Daybreakers (2009)
Originally uploaded by Lord_Henry
Twenty years from now the vampire pandemic is a way of life, vampires are the main species on the planet and the remaining humans are hunted down to be used as cattle – food for the masses. The problem is that the food supply is dwindling as the human race is not able to repopulate. Vampire Edward Dalton is charged with finding a blood substitute, work he does only because he wants to save the human race. Everything changes when Edward is confronted with a band of human resistance fighters, including a man that claims he was a vampire but found a cure.

It’s taken me awhile to write about Daybreakers because I can’t figure out my thoughts on the film. I enjoyed the film, it’s a fun tale, a unique world and filled with characters and actors I liked but for some reason that just wasn’t enough. This is a film that to me the concept held much more than the film.

I can’t help comparing Daybreakers to Blade; not really because they are both vampire films, but because they are both vampire films that I went into no knowing what to expect. Blade blew me away, it delivered every bit on the concept of its world and the monsters and heroes in it – something that Daybreakers just doesn’t quite do, it’s like the film never takes that final step to commit. I don’t know what that final step is, but it’s one of those crucial elements in filmmaking that you don’t notice if it’s there, but you always notice if it’s gone.

Daybreakers is a fun film, with some great action and fun concepts, but it is a movie that seeing once is enough.

Diretors & Writers: Michael Spierig & Peter Spierig
Edward Dalton: Ethan Hawke
Charles Bromley: Sam Neill
Audrey Bennett: Claudia Karvan
Lionel Cormac: Willem Dafoe
Frankie Dalton: Michael Dorman

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Originally uploaded by TruthLying
I thought it would be appropriate to write about Northfork seeing as we are suffering from El Nino here, and could get twenty inches of rain before this storm system lets up. If you think I’m a whimp please remember I live in southern California.

Northfork is the tale of a little town named Northfork that is literally going to be leveled because of progress. A new power utility has been promised by the state and it will mean flooding the town to create a new reservoir. Northfork will no longer exist. To aid in the removal of citizens a team of men has been brought together to go house to house and encourage the citizens to leave; as they do this they encounter a strange mixture of local color, wild imaginations and occasionally a violent resistance to leaving.

I’ve wanted to see Northfork since it was in limited release so I was very happy when I finally remember to put it in my Netflix queue. However, while I can say I enjoyed Northfork I am not entirely sure I’d watch it again.

Northfork is a strange little film, one with characters that are never explained, a town that’s never fully seen and I think it’s trying to be a metaphoric representation for something only I can’t quite figure out what that is – which is why I don’t think I’d watch it again. I enjoyed the strange quirkiness of it, but because I could never get a bead on what the film was trying to say that leaves me to think that the filmmakers may not have quite known themselves and may have committed the cardinal mistake of assuming that a lot of allusions would equal a message.

What I did think was spectacular was the visuals in the film. From the color palette to the shots used this was a stunningly visual film. The color palette was bleak, blue and depressed just like the characters struggling to move through the film & the cinematography made the setting come alive in a way such a bleak, abandoned area shouldn’t.

I would be interested to see what the filmmakers thought Northfork was about, and anything else they’ve made. While Northfork might be cluttered, it was interesting to watch.

Director: Michael Polish
Writers: Mark Polish & Michael Polish
Walter O’Brien: James Woods
Father Harlan: Nick Nolte
Flower Hercules: Daryl Hannah
Cod: Ben Foster
Happy: Anthony Edwards

Father Harlan: It all depends on how you look at it; we're either half way to heaven or half way to hell.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Until The Half-Blood Prince came out The Goblet of Fire was my favorite film in the Harry Potter franchise.

As a story, The Goblet of Fire is my favorite in the series because it’s the absolute game-changer for the characters and wizzarding world. The last act bring back the villain that the entire world is terrified of, the villain that so many people deny the existence of because it’s easier than worrying he may come back someday and for the first time Harry fails.

In the prior three stories of Harry and Hogwarts our three friends always emerge victorious. In year one Harry, Ron & Hermione keep the sorcerer’s stone safe, year two they discover the chamber of secrets, save Ginny and unknowingly destroy the first horcrux. Year three might seem like Harry is defeated because he frees his godfather Sirius Black, but can’t clear his name and Wormtail gets away, but as Dumbledore so precisely points out at the end – the innocent man got free – Harry still won. The Goblet of Fire doesn’t have such an ending; Harry witnesses a friend die and unwillingly helps Voldemort be reborn. It’s a dark, surprising place and completely sets up the rest of the series and where it has to go.

As happy as I am that David Yates really made the Harry Potter franchise his own, I think Mike Newell did a fantastic job on his part of the series. If Newell hadn’t handled Goblet of Fire so well Yates would not have been able to take the series to the heights it’s at now.

Voldemort: The Boy-Who-Lived. How lies have fed your legend, Harry! Do you want to know what really happened thirteen years ago? Shall I divulge how I truly lost my powers? It was love. You see, when dear sweet Lily Potter gave her life for her only son, it provided him with the ultimate protection, I could not touch him. It was old magic, something I should have foreseen.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

His Girl Friday

Rosalind Russell
Originally uploaded by Music2MyEars
Walter Burns runs a newspaper and is a shady newsman through and through – he’ll do anything to keep the stories coming. Hildy Johnson is Walter’s ex-wife and ex-journalist who comes to Walter with the news that she’s getting remarried. To try to turn Hildy back into a newsman and get rid of her fiancée Walter convinces Hildy to do one last story on a local cop killer. When Hildy pursues the story her personal and professional life get confused again as the newman in her comes to the surface and she remembers her feelings for Walter.

His Girl Friday is a film I had to see because it’s a classic that is referenced by everyone and I have a love for classic Hollywood cinema. While His Girl Friday did not disappoint it was a different film than I expected.

Having seen films like Bringing Up Baby I expected His Girl Friday to be a screw-ball comedy through and through, but it’s not. His Girl Friday is almost indefinable as it has many tonal shifts during the film; it is at once a romantic comedy, mystery, thriller and slapstick film and without Carey Grant and Rosalind Russell this film would be badly disjointed. However, His Girl Friday has such great, classic actors that watching their films makes it obvious why they are still remembered today.

What I do really love about His Girl Friday is that at it’s core this is a film about a women who has shattered the glass ceiling – and the man that is chasing her down because he doesn’t want her to ignore that fact. Hildy is the only female journalist around and she’s been trapped by thinking that to be happy and :human” she has to settle down, ditch the job and have the babies. Her fiancée Bruce supports this, but her ex Walter knows her well enough to know this will make her miserable. This is downright groundbreaking for the era this movie was made and I love this film for it.

I really did enjoy His Girl Friday, but it is a very dense, scattered film and I think it will require multiple viewings to really catch it all.

Director: Howard Hawks
Writer: Charles Lederer
Walter Burns: Cary Grant
Hildy Johnson: Rosalind Russell
Bruce Baldwin: Ralph Bellamy

Bruce Baldwin: I like him; he's got a lot of charm.
Hildy Johnson: Well he comes by it naturally his grandfather was a snake.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is where the Harry Potter franchise was finally infused with some visual flair, and it needed it. Without Alfonso Cuaron the franchise would not be where it is today.

I love all of the movies in the Harry Potter franchise, and I enjoy this movie, but I think this is the one film where the complications of the story didn’t translate quite the same to the screen. While the first two films in the series left the most out from the books, the third story is one of the more complex and hard to translate. Half-Blood Prince may have been difficult because so much is told in flashback, but Prisoner of Azkaban has the unique issue of showing the last act twice because Harry and Hermione go back in time to stop events from happening. It’s challenging to show your audience almost identical events in the same film and while it comes across on screen it’s much more intriguing in the book.

Harry: Professor, why do the dementors affect me so? More than anyone else, I mean?
Professor Lupin: Listen, dementors are among the foulest creatures to walk this earth. They feed on every good feeling, every happy memory until a person is left with nothing but his worst experiences. The dementors affect you more than others because there are true horrors in your past, horrors your classmates can scarcely imagine. You are not weak, Harry. You have nothing to be ashamed of.

Battlestar Galactica 2.5

Battlestar Galactica continues to up the ante in season 2.5. When we left season 2.0 the Battlestar Pegasus had just appeared with Admiral Kane taking control of the fleet from Adama.

Season 2.5 is a game changer. I can’t say too much because if you ever plan on watching the series I really don’t want to spoil it. Battlestar Galactica truly is one of the best shows that’s ever been on the air waves and deserves the award recognition that it never received.

What I can say is that next time I do a write in on a ballot because I hate all the candidates, I am voting for Laura Roslin.

Adama: Edward James Olmos
Roslin: Mary McDonnell
Apollo: Jamie Bamber
Baltar: James Callis
Six: Tricia Helfer
Boomer: Grace Park
Starbuck: Katee Sackhoff
Tigh: Michael Hogan
Tyrol: Aaron Douglas
Helo: Tahmoh Penikett

Tyrol: What do you want to do now, Captain?
Starbuck: The same thing we always do. Fight them until we can't.

Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets

I have no love for Chris Columbus as a director, but his best Harry Potter film is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Year two of Harry’s tenure at Hogwarts is the start of the darkness in the series and Columbus couldn’t shy away from this and that is what gives this film more flavor than his other directorial efforts. Columbus by definition is a director that likes the light and heart warming, and what no one knew at the time the Harry Potter films started is that Rowling was going to take the wizzarding world to very dark, depressing and real places – places other “children’s” works don’t go.

A major theme in the books, one that hasn’t been totally transferred into the films is the idea of racism. The pure blood wizzarding families don’t like the muggle born wizards or half-bloods and want them out of their world. It’s dark, it’s real and it’s not raised very much in the movies and for this I blame Columbus. When Rowling first, truly hits this theme on the head it’s in Chamber of Secrets with the Malfoy family, Dobby and the fact that Hermionie is a muggle born.

I think it was at this point that Columbus realized he loved this world but couldn’t fit it and decided to do what he truly does best – produce.

Lucius Malfoy: Busy time at the Ministry, Arthur, all those extra raids? I do hope they're paying you overtime. Though judging by the state of this, I'd say not. What's the use in being a disgrace to the name of wizard if they don't even pay you well for it?
Arthur Weasley: We have a very different idea about what disgraces the name of wizard, Malfoy.
Lucius Malfoy: Clearly. Associating with muggles. And I thought your family could sink no lower.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Book of Eli

If you plan on seeing The Book of Eli don’t read this yet. If you don’t think you want to see it and need details to convince you – keep reading. There are spoilers in this, but it’s mainly a through look at the story, not the twists and turns.

I’m blogging out of order because I have to tell you about The Book of Eli during opening weekend; I have to tell you during opening weekend because I don’t know how many big screens this film will stay on after the box office nose dives next weekend. The box office will nose dive next weekend because The Book of Eli isn’t a typical Hollywood action film, post-apocalyptic film, or anything of the sort. The Book of Eli is about God.

Roughly 30 years after the flash destroyed the world Eli is walking across the ravaged United States to get to the west avoiding marauders and hijackers that want to steal his few belongings and more than anything trying to survive the harsh landscape that surrounds him. On his way west Eli passes through one of the ragged towns that has popped up, headed by Carnegie a despot enjoying his power. Carnegie sends out marauders day after day looking for a book, a book that only he knows and he won’t rest until he finds it.

When Eli comes through town he causes trouble and comes to Carnegie’s attention because of his expertise in defending himself and the fact that there are very few people left that are as old as he and Eli. Eli refuses the position that Carnegie offers him and flees town, intent on continuing west. But his plans are foiled as Carnegie realizes Eli is in possession of the book he desperately seeks and pursues. As if that weren’t enough young Solara has become fascinated with Eli and follows him out of town. Together the two flee Carnegie while Solara tries to understand the purpose behind Eli’s journey and conviction and Eli tries to keep the book safe so he can complete his task.

The Book of Eli has one of the most unique takes on a post-apocalyptic world that I have ever seen. What makes this movie entirely different is that it explores how religion would influence society in this wasteland. You see after “the flash” people began to speculate that religion, specifically Christianity and The Bible, was the cause for wars and violence and The Bible was burned world wide. Christianity was eradicated and The Bible disappeared.

Except Eli managed to find the last copy. He found this copy because after “the flash” a voice told him where to find it and set him on his path to protect it. He’s been protecting it ever since and following his path.

Where most films have religious sub-text there is noting “sub” about The Book of Eli - this is all text. Eli is the last follower of Jesus, a prophet of God set on a path. Just like Moses and the prophets before him he is flawed, makes mistakes and learns as he goes along, but knows more than anything else that God is real and has a purpose. The Book of Eli is not subtle. Eli is an amazing character and an extreme example of faith.

As powerful a character as Eli is he is matched by Solara. A young slave in Carnegie’s city she begins to get to know Eli when Carnegie tries to get her to proposition Eli. Instead of taking advantage of Solara, Eli takes the time to get to know her, shares a meal with her and even prays with her for the first time. Eli’s life and actions intrigue her so much that when Eli flees Solara follows him, trying to discover what it is about him that is so different and all the way he has to explain to her what faith means in a literal and religious sense. Her arch is natural and astounding.

I still can’t believe that Hollywood allowed The Book of Eli to be made. This film has Jesus all over it. I know it can’t be a hit in theatres for very long because as the movie went along the audience got more and more uncomfortable. As Eli and his path were revealed the audience clued into the message and did not want to admit that the film was about Christianity; in fact at one point during the credits an audience member actually got mad that it turned out to be a “Christian movie”.

Not everyone will like this movie, but those that believe in the message will absolutely love it.

Directors: Albert & Allen Hughes
Writer: Gary Whitta
Eli: Denzel Washington
Garnegie: Gary Oldman
Solara: Mila Kunis
Redridge: Ray Stevenson
Claudia: Jennifer Beals
George: Michael Gambon

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Coming Soon

I'm really, really behind. But here's everything you can expect soon. There might be some short entiries in here just so I can catch back up.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

Sticker "Save Ferris"
Originally uploaded by pere koniec
I didn’t discover Ferris Bueller’s Day Off until I began to work at a video store. You see, for some reason I have a void where pop-culture from the 1980’s should be so when my managers decided to playstock Ferris Bueller I just went with it.

The thing about putting movies in playstock is that while you don’t get to sit and watch them while working, you still experience them because they never fully become background noise to you. Action movies are normally the worst, because every time a loud bang, explosion or scream occurs you automatically look at the televisions around the store, but a comedy can be just as bad. When you are shelving videos or doing another or a hundred mindless tasks and you learn the movie without ever trying. Before long you know lines of dialogue, know scenes of the film or characters names, and when it’s a movie like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off you really want to start putting those moments you’ve become so familiat with into context. So I did.

After a few weeks of Ferris & Cameron being a regular part of my work rotation I caved and saw the film and have forever been glad I did. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is the quirky, slacker anthem of a generation and no matter how outlandish it gets, it’s a slice of the American high school experience as only John Hughes could do.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a film that everyone can appreciate somehow. John Hughes does that. He makes films with outlandish characters, extreme situations, high emotion and somehow manages to leave you with a completely relatable film that you never tire of watching.

I will miss John Huges every time I watch one of this films.

Director & Writer: John Hughes
Ferris Bueller: Matthew Broderick
Cameron Frye: Alan Ruck
Sloane Peterson: Mia Sara
Jeanie Bueller: Jennifer Grey

Ferris: Not that I condone fascism, or any -ism for that matter. -Ism's in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an -ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, "I don't believe in Beatles, I just believe in me." Good point there. After all, he was the walrus. I could be the walrus. I'd still have to bum rides off people.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone

I just bought The Half-Blood Prince so I decided to rewatch the entire Harry Potter series to lead up to number six. I have to say that while I am happy the franchise was started, the first film is still my least favorite, especially since I read the books.

The Sorcerer’s Stone is simply the most cumbersome of the franchise. I realize that the first film in any franchise the first film is that ends up bogged down with exposition and setting up the world we will be introduced to; however, I don’t think the first Harry Potter film sets this up very well.

Before I read the books I never understood the entire significance of both Harry and Voldomort, it wasn’t until the second or third film that I understood the significance of “the boy who lived” and “he who shall not be named” whereas after the first fifty pages in Rowling’s book I understood that thousands had died because of the most evil man in history who turned on his own, and that Harry managed as a baby and continues to manage as an adolescent to beat this evil and he’s the only one who ever has.

I don’t want the series to be remade for a very long time, but if it does ever get remade I will be excited to see if the first chapter is done differently.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

It’s been ten years since Sarah Connor was first introduced to the future of her son and mankind. Sarah has been preparing her son John since his birth to be the warrior he would need to be to survive in this future and lead us to victory, however, Sarah is now separated from her son and confined to a criminal mental instution because she tried to blow up Cyberdine Systems – the company that will one day manufacture SkyNet.

Without the influence of Sarah, John has begun to doubt all of the training and warnings his mother has given him through the years and begun to believe she is just as crazy as the doctors and law enforcement believe her to be. He is set on being a rebellious teen until SkyNet changes its direction and sends back a terminator to target John instead of Sarah.

I adore Terminator 2: Judgment Day. I saw this film in the theatre when I was a kid and I still remember that experience to this day, the same way I remember Jurassic Park wowing me. Because of T2 I later discovered Terminator, Aliens, The Abyss, and happily chose the red pill and went down the rabbit hole with James Cameron.

The version of T2 I have on DVD is the director’s cut and like any of his films, once you see a James Cameron director’s cut you don’t go back. I understand that Cameron makes long movies, but everything he is forced to cut out for time constraints or other reasons, seems to be just as good as the material he keeps in his theatrical releases and Terminator 2 is no exception to this rule. The most notable scenes eliminated here and re-added to the director’s cut are the dream sequence where Sarah imagines Reese visiting her and when John & Sarah repair the T-800 model. Of all the sequences cut out of the movie this is the one I would have fought to keep.

If you remember from the theatrical cut of the film as John, Sarah & the T-800 escape from the T-1000 old Arnold gets pretty banged up, and he has a conversation with John about how he can be made to learn things due to his processor. When they are alone the T-800 gets repaired by Sarah. Anyone who paid attention to the first Terminator should realize that Sarah should be the last person to trust this model of terminator, it killed Reese and came dang close to killing her; so when it powers down for repairs Sarah removes it’s processor chip and prepares to smash it – but John stops her. He convinces her to instead switch the chip to learning mode so that the T-800 can begin to adapt and be more useful. It’s John’s first real moment as a leader and he demands that Sarah respect that. It’s a great scene and the only reasons I can see for it being cut would be pacing or because the studio wanted a shorter movie. Either way I think it’s a scene that proves Cameron is superior to other “action” filmmakers as he manages to concentrate on character and story as well as the action set pieces that get audiences into chairs.

If you haven’t seen the original Terminator films I really encourage you to if you are a fan of science fiction, the franchise, or James Cameron. I greatly disliked Terminator 3: the Rise of the Machines and enjoyed Terminator Salvation, but neither of these two films holds a candle to the original two. It’s still my secret hope that when the rights to the franchise go on the auction block soon Cameron will secretly buy them up so that he can either stop the inferior sequels or oversee them so his vision can be seen on screen again.

Director: James Cameron
Writers: James Cameron & William Wisher Jr.
The Terminator: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Sarah Connor: Linda Hamilton
John Connor: Edward Furlong
T-1000: Robert Patrick
Dr. Silberman: Earl Boen
Miles Dyson: Joe Morton

Sarah Connor: 3 billion human lives ended on August 29th, 1997. The survivors of the nuclear fire called the war Judgment Day. They lived only to face a new nightmare: the war against the machines. The computer which controlled the machines, Skynet, sent two Terminators back through time. Their mission: to destroy the leader of the human resistance, John Connor, my son. The first Terminator was programmed to strike at me in the year 1984, before John was born. It failed. The second was set to strike at John himself when he was still a child. As before, the resistance was able to send a lone warrior, a protector for John. It was just a question of which one of them would reach him first.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Holiday

Originally uploaded by ns520za
I said it once and I will say it again, I like The Holiday. It’s a chick movie, but that doesn’t eliminate the fact that it’s a good movie. If I had any criticism about this movie it would have to be that I want to spend more time in the world that Iris visits in LA, and watch more of her adventures with Miles and Arthur.

I think this movie is becoming a holiday tradition for me. I actually think of The Holiday every time the Santa Ana winds blow in and annoy the heck out of me. The only think they fail to say about the winds in the film is that they turn your weather about 20 degrees warmer and suck all moisture out of the air so along with being blown around you become uncomfortable. But that’s not really important to the story is it?

Arthur Abbott is the character in The Holiday that I adore. He’s a crusty, whimsical old man that’s lived through Hollywood’s glory days and watched it all pass him by for years now until Iris comes into his life. Iris helps Arthur see himself as a viable, vibrant person again and he manages to do the same for Iris. This is a great friendship on screen and I find myself hoping that one day I will meet someone like Arthur to regale me with stories and encouragement about their past in the industry.

I enjoy this movie. It’s light hearted, funny, well acted and everything a good romantic comedy should be.

Arthur Abbott: Iris, in the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some
reason you are behaving like the best friend.
Iris: You're so right. You're supposed to be the leading lady of your own life, for god's sake! Arthur, I've been going to a therapist for three
years, and she's never explained things to me that well. That was brilliant. Brutal, but brilliant.