Apr 242012
 

Director: Martin Campbell

RatingPG-13

Running Time: 114 minutes

Release Date: 6/17/2011

Genre: Comic Book, Superhero, DC

CastHal Jordan / Green Lantern(Ryan Reynolds), Carol Ferris(Blake Lively), Hector Hammond(Peter Sarsgaard), Sinestro(Mark Strong), Hammond(Tim Robbins), Carl Ferris(Jay O. Sanders), Tom Kalmaku(Taika Waititi), Doctor Waller(Angela Bassett)

SynopsisA dying alien selects brash test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) to take over for him as a guardian for the sector of the universe that includes the Earth. Once Hal dons the green ring and recites an oath, he becomes a member of the Green Lantern Corps with the ability to create almost anything out of green energy to battle evil. He must quickly learn to use his powers to defeat an evil entity called Parallax and his human minion Hector Hammond that are menacing the Earth.

Analysis: My personal experience with the Green Lantern was limited to Saturday morning cartoons like the Superfriends, but in High School I had a friend that was really into the comic book. I never really understood the draw because he seems like such a minor character.

The film changed my opinion by showing that the Green Lantern is part of a large organization of Aliens from all over the universe,he is actually very powerful and that there is a lot more to him that I had previously imagined. I also didn’t realize Sinestro was also a Green Lantern at first before he turns evil.

I did not like the filming style of much of the film though. It seemed like CG was over used and that the director should have just gotten rid of the real humans in the film and went the cartoon route.

Pro:

  • Very interesting hero origin story.
  • Parallax is an awesome looking villain.
  • Convincing destruction of parts of Coast City

Con:

  • Some of the music sounded like Superman the movie score.
  • Parallax’s attack on earth is a bit too much like the enemy from the Fifth Element.
  • No concept of how far things are away from each other in space. One moment on earth, the next moment right next to the sun.

Conclusion: As far as superhero movies go, I think this one a little better than most. It might disappoint the mega fans, and turn off those that do not like superheroes, but those that fall in the middle should enjoy this movie.

Score: 2.43

Apr 232012
 

Director: Carl Theodore Dreyer

RatingN/A

Running Time: 167 minutes

Release Date: 1/24/1921

GenreSilent, Historical, Mythology

Cast

Satan / The Grand Inquisitor / Erneste / Ivan (Helge Nissen)

Jesus (first sequence) (Halvard Hoff)

Judas (first sequence) (as Jacob Texière) (Jacob Texiere)

Don Gomez de Castro (second sequence) (Hallander Helleman)

Isabel, Castro’s daughter (second sequence) (Ebon Strandin)

Don Fernandez (second sequence) (Johannes Meyer)

The Majordomo (second sequence) (as Nalle Haldén) (Nalle Halden)

Marie Antoinette (third sequence) (as Tenna Frederiksen Kraft) (Tenna Kraft)

Count de Chambord (third sequence) (Viggo Wiehe)

The Countess of Chambord (third sequence) (Emma Wiehe)

Lady Genevive de Chambord (third sequence) (Jeanne Tramcourt)

Count Manuel (third sequence) (Hugo Bruun)

Joseph (third sequence) (Elith Pio)

The People’s Commissar (third sequence) (Emil Helsengreen)

Old Pitou (third sequence) (Viggo Lindstrøm)

SynopsisLong ago God places a curse on Satan as he casts him out of heaven and says that Satan is to tempt people towards evil. For every soul Satan is able to claim, Satan will receive 100 extra years of torment, but for everyone that resists, Satan’s sentence will be 1000 years less. The film follows Satan through history as he assumes many disguises and tempts people, including; Judas as he betray Jesus, a young priest during the Spanish Inquisition, a young man helping aristocrats escape during the French Revolution, and finally a woman in 1918 Finland to betray the Finnish army against the Reds to save her husband.

AnalysisLeaves from Satan’s Book reminded me of a very long and drawn out episode of Quantum Leap, but with a sad and sympathetic Satan instead of Sam. As usual God seems like a jerk while Satan wants to stop hurting people while God just won’t let him stop.

While watching this film, one must remember that is was created during the early days of film-making where the technology and techniques of filming and script writing were still being worked out and that it takes many of its cues from stage productions.

Pro:

  • Great piano soundtrack in the restored version.
  • Ivan (Helge Nissen) looks like he was based on Rasputin.
  • Handcart to the Rescue!

Con:

  • Restored, but there are still bad flaws in the print.
  • Wait two seconds before you take drastic action!

Conclusion: My great grandparents could have gone out on a date and seen this movie in the theaters. I don’t think that most modern audiences would be very entertained by the film, but if looked at like a time capsule it is very interesting.

Score: 2/5

Apr 192012
 

Director: Gareth Edwards

RatingR

Running Time: 94 minutes

Release Date:9/30/2010

GenreScience Fiction

CastAndrew Kaulder(Scoot McNairy), Samantha Wynden(Whitney Able), Ticket Seller(Mario Zuniga Benavides), Homeless Woman(Annalee Jefferies), Marine(Justin Hall), Marine(Ricky Catter)

SynopsisIn the near future a space probe brings back alien spores that infest Mexico with giant squid-like creatures. As the United States is finishing a wall to keep the aliens out, Andrew Kaulder’s (Scoot McNairy) boss asks the photojournalist to find his daughter and get her home from Central America before the military closes the borders to stop and alien migration. After missing the last boat out, Andrew and his charge, Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able) must make their way back to American though the alien-infested areas of the Infected Zone.

Analysis: I thought that this film was pretty good for having such a low budget and I later found out that it was even lower than I had initially assumed. The director had a very small crew, filmed in many locations without permission and used random locals and asked them improvise the dialogue. Then he did all of the editing and special effects on his computer at home.

So it is pretty impressive that he was able to take all of this and form it into a coherent and entertaining film.

Pro:

  • Aliens look fairly realistic and a bit like Cthulhu!
  • Landscape littered with crashed planes and broken ships makes Infected Zone seem real.
  • Geographically wrong, but nice Mayan temple.

Con:

  • Not very many aliens.
  • Some of the dialogue seems like filler.
  • At times the characters didn’t seem to think the aliens were real even though they have seen them and are a fact of life for past 6 years.
  • Samantha has to pee too often.

Conclusion: I wasn’t expecting much , but this very independent film is about 10 times better than any of those crappy Mega Tornado vs Alien Shark films churned out for the Syfy channel.

Score: 2.38/5