Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Friday June 3

Let the voting begin!

Another open ended week where anything goes.

Just some suggestions:
So it looks like two new contestants as well as whatever is left over from previous weeks.

Who will win!

Despite an attempt to vote flood by an oddly over energenic Mr. D, it looks like Cinderella Man may be the winner. Since the earliest time at SKC is just after 12:00, I would like to suggest Silver City instead. Actual food, better snacks and about the same travel time.
The earliest times are 12:25 and 1:00.

Movie: Cinderella Man

Time: 12:25 or 1:00
Place: SC
Update #2

Due to some technical difficulties there was no official movie for this Friday although Mac managed to go see Lords of Dogtown this monring and I'll probably go see Cinderella Man later.

Next week, the rages on; Mr. and Mrs. Smith or High Tension? It could be close.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Movie Review: The Longest Yard

I'm only writing this because I feel obligated to review our Friday club selection. I just have to say, the first thing I could think of when thinking of what to say for a review of this movie was "sloppy seconds".

If you were a fan of the original movie you should take my advice. Buy the DVD, take the $6.50 movie coupon inside and go to the theatre and see if anyone will buy it from you for $5. Under no circumstances should you actually use it to go see this movie. On second thought, don't even try to give away the coupon as it might encourage some poor unfortunate soul to go see this travesty.

In case you don't get my subtle hints, this movie is not good. Even though many of the scenes are taken directly from the original, they just seem out of place in this remake. Add to that the abundance of pointless scenes, it makes it a very hard movie to watch. The movie does have it's good parts, the first half of the game is actually ok, but the repetitive or just plain bad jokes are just too wearing. At times I felt like screaming "OK, we get it already!!".

There is just no chemistry between any of the main characters. With the exception of a few actors (Reynolds among them) everyone seems to just be drifting through their parts, Sandler most of all. Either the cast really didn't like each other that much or they were out partying so much the nights before shooting that they just had nothing left for the camera.

The 2001 British remake, "Mean Machine" with Vinny Jones as the imprisoned star player, even though still not as good as the original, stands head and shoulders above this one.

1 out of 5

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Friday May 27

It looks like the choices are pretty limited this week. Either a) the remake of "The Longest Yard" or b) anything else. Voting is open.

(There's always Madagascar if Mini Mac wants to go see something.)

Cast your vote.

So it looks like a decision has been reached. Due to a meeting Rat and I have to attend (Mac got out of it with the old "I'm on paternity leave" excuse. Just how many times are you going to use that one Mac) we'll have to schedule for an early afternoon showing. So here are the details:

Movie: The Longest Yard

Place: SC
Time: 2:00 (was 1:00 but meeting ran late)

Friday, May 20, 2005

Movie Reivew: Kicking and Screaming

In a suprise move, Rat made a motion Friday morning (about an hour before the showing) to go see Kicking and Screaming. AJ declined but after a little prodding I agreed to go (Mac was not consulted as he is still off taking care of Mini Mac and requires more than 45 minutes to plan an outing).

So here is my review:

Kicking and Screaming is very much your garden variety family sport movie. Every aspect of the story has been told before and will be told again in another family movie.

That being said, there were some interesting characters that did make the movie a little more watch able than I expected. Mike Ditka, for instance actually puts in a fair amount of screen time and does a fairly respectable job at it. I wouldn't advise him to start doing 'Shakespeare in the Park' any time soon but for this type of movie, he did quite well for himself. Robert Duvall also does a nice job as the over competitive dad. On the other hand, Will Ferrell, who is the main reason I agreed to see this movie, is a bit uneven and is sometimes funny and sometimes just annoying. Most of that seems more to do with some aimless writing than his actual acting but nonetheless, he's the one on screen so the blame falls to him first.

As for the story itself, as I've already said, there is nothing new. It's the basic story of a team of 'losers' (for lack of a better word) who need a new coach. Ferrell volunteers and the rest of the movie follows their progression from last place to being contenders for the title. As expected, along the way Ferrell forgets that it's all about playing the game and instead becomes obsessed with beating the team his father (Duvall) coaches.

From a kids perspective, there should be enough humour to keep them entertained for the entire hour and a half and if you have kids this is a pretty safe choice for a family night out at the movies. If you don't have any rugrats running around, while it has it's moments, the lack of originality and often pointless scenes make this a renter, at best.

With kids, 2.5 out of 5

Without kids, 2 out of 5

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Movie Review: Star Wars Episode III

Episode III is by far the darkest of the series and for that reason it is also the most action packed. The special effects are nothing short of spectacular making it very difficult to distinguish the real from the imagined (but what else would you expect from the company that pretty much invented movie quality CGI).

One of the main aspects that sets this apart from the previous two prequels is the level of acting. Unlike Episodes I and II which dealt with the interpersonal relationships of the main characters in a little bit of an awkward, ham-fisted sort of way, Episode III allows the characters to develop in what seems a much more natural manner. Maybe it's because they all knew this would be the end, but it seemed to me that much more emotion was coming through in everyone's performances. While much of the dialogue still had much of the patented George Lucas corniness, even that felt more real.

Despite the dark nature of this film, there is still a lot of humour present; much of that in the form of Yoda. No matter how many times you see it, watching the little Jedi Master fight, you cannot help but smile.

The one warning that must be said for this instalment of the Saga is that it may not be suitable for younger fans. Lucas does a good job of not making the violence too gratuitous but to show the true depth of the Dark Side, he doesn't restrict the lightsaber injuries to mere hands and even goes so far as to show children being killed. (Although most of the scenes involving the children being killed are done off screen, their deaths are discussed making it impossible to miss.)

In the end, Lucas has done a perfect job setting up the jump from the prequels to the original trilogy. The final scene alone will instantly bring you back to the first time you heard that famous theme.

I almost feel like I may be struck by lightening just for writing this, but I believe Episode III may be the best Star Wars yet.

4.9 out of 5 (it loses 0.1 point for the Vader yell. When you see the movie you'll know what I mean)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Thursday May 19

The day has finally come.

Opening this Thursday, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. For that reason the FMMC will be holding a special Thursday morning meeting (we could go for Wednesday night but then we wouldn't miss any work).

The Time: 9:30 am
The Place: SKC

The Movie: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Friday, May 13, 2005

Movie Review: Unleashed

Unleashed is not your typical martial arts action movie. Besson has managed to write an unique and interesting story in which the hero Danny (Jet Li) is able to perform some of the most brutal acts on his opponents but yet, at the same time, still garner the audiences sympathy. It's a tightrope act that he manages beautifully.

The action starts right from the opening credits. You are instantly drawn into Danny's world where he is essentially a trained attack dog who is used by his 'Uncle' (Bob Hoskins) to help in his debt collecting work. Even so, you are always able to sense that while Danny may be wreaking havoc on his opponents, he does not really have any vested interest in what happens to them. He does exactly what he has been taught, no more no less.

Once events conspire to allow him to get away from that situation, the second part of Danny's story begins; the re-humanizing. Through his interactions with Morgan Freeman's character and his step daughter, you get to see just how little of a human life Danny has had. This part of the story, as you would expect, is much slower paced that the parts involving Hoskins, but it never gets to the point where you might get restless.

As for the action sequences themselves, they just look amazing. From the choice of cuts to camera angles, director Louis Leterrier does a great job getting you right into the middle of the action. Of course with Yuen Woo-Ping (Crouching Tiger ..., The Matrix, etc..) doing the choreography, it would take a complete amateur to make Li and his fighting partners look bad.

While a bit more action oriented, the story is similar to Besson's earlier (and best) film, Leon (or The Professional if you'd prefer) in that they both deal with trained killers who find themselves out of their element in having to deal with unexpected relationships. While not as good as Leon, overall it is a very well made movie with a great cast with a little something for everyone.

3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Friday May 13

Another week, another movie choice.

From looking at what's opening, I would guess Unleashed to be the front runner but there is always Mindhunters. I saw Mindhunters last year some time (don't ask) and thought it was pretty good. I was actually quite suprised they held it back so long for full release.

Both movies seem to be sitting around 55% (with only a few reviews in) so it looks like this could be another Friday morning toss up.

Of course, there is always Crash, from last week, if Mrs. Mac didn't drag him off to see it since last Friday's meeting.

As always, write-in votes are welcome

It looks like a decision has been made:

Movie: Unleashed

Time: 10:45
Place: SKC

See you there.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Movie Review: Kingdom of Heaven

From a technical standpoint, Kingdom of Heaven, is a very good film. It is not hard to imagine that what you are seeing is how it was a thousand years ago. The sets, locations and costumes just look great. The acting is also superb. With a supporting cast consisting of Jeremy Irons, Liam Neeson, Brendan Gleeson and Edward Norton amongst others, a director could not ask for a bigger pool of talent to draw from.

In contrast, the story is not in any way exceptional. There is nothing here that has not been done before, and better. I could never really connect with Bloom's character (who is on screen almost the entire time) and in failing that, the rest of the movie did little to interest me. While many of the individual scenes were very well done, as a whole the story never seemed to draw me in.

Then there is the historical value of the movie. I'm always a bit wary when a filmmaker decides to make a movie based on actual people or events. Since so many people take what they see as fact, I prefer when writers/directors that take on this type of movie at least attempt an accurate portrayal of what happened. Some movies, such as most comedies involving historical figures, make it clear that the movie is not trying to be in any way factual, others, such as U571 for example, present themselves in such a way that lead the audience to believe what they are seeing actually happened. Kingdom of Heaven falls into the latter group, but like U571, should get a solid 'F' if submitted in history class. For example, here is a more accurate description of what happened after the fall of Jerusalem. There are several other inaccuracies but you can look those up for yourself.

Now, in and of itself, historical inaccuracy is not a reason to not see a movie. As long as you know it's not a true representation of what occurred you can try to enjoy it for what it is, entertainment. In this case, adding to the inaccuracy, the fact that the story is not all that interesting, I would suggest waiting for the DVD if you really want to see this one.

I'll give it a 3 for entertainment but subtract 1 for historical accuracy.

2 out of 5

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Friday May 6

Now I have proof I'm not losing my mind.
I thought I already wrote this post once (last Friday) but for some reason it appears to have disappeared from the page but when I went to re-write it the subject "Friday May 6" was already in my Title drop down box thus proving it had already been used. Now I don't know how it managed to vanish but basicaly it outlined the choices for this week, but in a much wittier way than this rushed post. =)

3 movie choices for tomorrow, in no particular order:

Horror: House of Wax @ 11:00
Epic Adventure: Kingdom of Heaven @ 10:15
Drama: Crash @ 10:25 (currently the only one with a 60+ score)

(all times are for SKC)

So place your votes ASAP!