Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Movie Review: Up

I saw this the past weekend. It's probably the best movie from 2009 I've seen so far. It also continues the Pixar streak: they haven't made a bad movie yet. This is an amazing achievement, and I keep thinking a clunker is coming, but somehow it doesn't. A Bug's Life was probably the weakest Pixar, and that's really saying something. Especially given the standard being set by other children's cartoons out there.

I was a bit skeptical of the premise for this film: man goes on a trip to South America by turning his house into an airship. Boyscout kid tags along. Sounds a bit wierd, right? But instead of being some crazy technicolor adventure, the movie turned out to be about aging, death, divorce, and finding joy in one's life, however one can. It was pretty heavy for a children's movie, which was evidenced by the confused questions some kids were whispering to their parents at the showing I attended. But despite that, all the kids I saw after the movie seemed happy and excited by the experience. I left the theater feeling the same way.

Best movie title spoof ever

The Phaeton and the Furious: Derbyshire Drift.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Movie Review: Star Trek

I wasn't super eager to see this one, but Mike was. So I went to see it last weekend. I watched Next Generation a lot for a couple years in grade school, but then I switched to police procedural shows and never looked back. Therefore, I just wasn't that interested in this movie. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it.

What also made me skeptical about this movie was its director, JJ Abrams. I used to be a faithful watcher of his TV drama Alias, but that show had a drop off that began in Season 2 and ended in a spectacular crash and burn in Season 5. Really, it was embarrassing. Mike assured me that since Abrams was working within the confines of a 2 hour movie, there was no way it could get that out of hand. I was still hesitant. But you know what? Abrams did keep things under control. The movie plot was pretty simple (even though it involved time travel) and well-paced. I was afraid when that ball of "red matter" was revealed (longtime Alias fans will remember that annoying red ball of water stuff that was involved in many stupid plots), but that turned out not to be a problem.

Plus, Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto are great. I liked that Quinto's Spock seemed just a bit different from Leonard Nimoy's Spock. That makes sense, because they've had different life experiences. Sometimes time travel can get messy, with the main characters either worrying too much about changing events or thinking that they can't change anything because it's already done. This movie did neither. The characters accept that some things will change and make a new future. The result is fluid and freeing.