DVD Rentals

So to try to end the long periods between posts, I’ll post some more stuff I’ve seen recently. The last while, I’ve watched This Is The End, and Elysium.

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This Is The End
With more and more future plots where people fear other forces looming on the horizon, the modern-day fetish -as it were- with the apocalypse is pretty much here and in full swing. As such, this is Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s way of being satirical with the traditional, biblical apocalypse. The humor with is more so about some really dumb stuff, but its alright. It’s the same humor we’ve come to expect from Seth’s movies. This one is just more blatant than the previous ones, as he’s playing himself.

Instead of Seth Rogen playing Seth Rogen, in a movie where the role is tailored to him, but could’ve been played by someone else. This movie a lot of shock and awe moments and some really stupid humor, which is still funny. I enjoyed the humor for the most part, the only parts I didn’t enjoy too much is the Jonah Hill parts towards the middle of the movie. Where it involves a possession.

The acting is solid, as the actors are playing loose adaptations of themselves, and in some cases, most likely a parody. Which is fine, as most of them are known for doing so anyway. The plot is typical people trapped in a close quarters environment, but the humor masks the predictability of the basic plot. The humor being the central point of the movie, is pretty solid. If you like these guys’ movies, you’re going to enjoy the movie. I have some issues with the plot and weird out of nowhere parts to Pineapple Express, but I can relate to the characters, which makes it funny to me.

This movie is similar, but makes fun of the apocalypse, at the same time as the tropes associated with different people in the modern age. Also, I’m not a fan these days of this “Boy Band”, but when I was a kid (10 or so), I liked a couple of their songs, (All before I got into Jimi Hendrix and Zeppelin).

Any woman in their 20’s fawned over these guys, like the preteens fawn over Justin Bieber. Backstreet Boys make a cameo, at the end of the movie, when the story has hit is resolution and everything has a happily ever after moment. So the one actor summons up all 5 members to sing their Halloween hit, “Backstreet’s Back”. I know the song, because my sister drove me nuts with their music, and the Grease soundtrack.

So for me, I don’t mind the song. I just found it laughably funny, when the actor -whom I associate with his other movies and TV shows-, going giddy over them. Overall the movie is pretty good, its good for a group watch with friends when having a night of movies and games. So give it a watch if you like these guys.

Elysium poster

Elysium
Now with this movie, I had been on the fence about seeing it. I hadn’t seen much for trailers, except Matt Damon in the exoskeleton. My friends were more excited to see it than anyone. So for me, the reason why I was on the fence about it, was the fact its a Neill Blomkamp movie. I didn’t like District 9, mainly because the camera work was intentionally in a documentary/handicam format. So it had the blatant side effect of causing nausea.

I was fighting the urge to hurl in that movie, as I can control my stomach pretty well. So every so often, I’d have to close my eyes to let my stomach calm. It also didn’t help that my friends and I when seeing District 9 in theatres, were right up front. With our heads craned back so the screen is all we saw. So I tried watching it at home, and my dad and I agreed the cameras were so annoying that it ruined the movie for us.

Now with Elysium, I’m SO happy that Neill went with a more traditional camera style. I could see what was going on, and it didn’t make me nauseous. The movie is bright and vibrant, showing the differences between the posh, Beverly Hills style of the Elysium (Halo with supports in the middle) Habitat. The special effects are really good for a modern movie.

Neill’s camera work during specific action scenes give us slight rotative curve during shots with no cuts. To almost slow down time, as if the camera was there and was moving out-of-the-way of the actors. Which is really innovative. I liked it, since he used it very rarely, and only in one major scene.

For Major casting, we have Jodie Foster as the Secretary of Defence for Elysium, and Matt Damon as the main character. Both of which perform very well. We hate Jodie’s character so much in this movie, as she comes off as so vile and ruthless, its scary. It’s going to suck not having her in pivotal roles, as she’s retired from acting these days. Matt Damon does a great job playing the average joe whom is thrust into a situation where he needs to do things he walked away from in order to save his own life, but in doing so alters the course of history. We kind of see this coming as the movie goes along, but its done in a good way.

We also have Sharlto Copley from District 9, playing a hired gun for Jodie Foster’s character. He is charged with going after Damon for something he does in the movie. Then we have the performance of William Fichtner, he has always played a supporting cast role, and does it well. In this movie he is the owner of the company that Matt Damon works at in the movie. He usually does play an asshole character, and has us believe this. I loved him in Drive Angry, playing opposite Nicholas Cage.

Elysium is a good example of a rehashing of common science fiction concepts, including the dystopia regime. I myself have had the idea of writing 2 small dystopian tales involving different things. As recent movies have put me into this mood to write some. As my writing influences are with what is involved around me. What I watch, read and listen to, and as such gives me ideas about what to write. So as a final thought, both movies are pretty good for what they are. I doubt Jodie Foster would get nominated for her performance in this movie, but I believe it deserves an award for a villain role.

I’ll probably write something in a while about other things going on and concepts I’ll be exploring. Including video over on my twitch stream and on my YouTube channel.

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Man Of Steel

Man Of Steel

Tonight, I went and saw Man Of Steel. Well, with all the mixed views of the movie, its understandable why people are not enjoying this movie. I can also see why some will at least enjoy the action in the movie. I found the action a bit over used, and it feels like its compensating for the fact the character arc for Superman is rather lackluster. I thought the movie was meh overall, and needed a rewrite for some of the characters. The only character I liked and thought it was better than I previously had seen, was Zod. I at least cared about why he was doing, what he was doing. Everyone else, just felt like they were there for the sake of being there, to move the plot of the movie along.

In terms of acting, Henry Cavil does a good job with what he’s given. Same goes for Russel Crowe as Jor-El, both of them do well with what they’ve got in terms of writing in this movie. Although the writing is where things seem to fall apart for me. People will like the movie, simply for being a popcorn flick, but those of us who are comic book fans, may not like it as much. I’m not the biggest Superman fan, but even I know there are issues with the character arc for Superman in this movie. We’re given clips and pieces as to why Superman does what he does, but not enough exposition to give us how he came to this revelation. In terms of the previous origin stories, Kal-El as Clark Kent, learned to be a source of good, and be a source of hope and light to many and help others through his experiences with Jonathan and Martha Kent.

In this one, he is born with this instinct to save others, and has no fear of his abilities. Ma and Pa Kent just try to have him not use his abilities and let people around him die, instead of saving them. To keep his abilities a secret above all else, as if to turn a blind eye to suffering. Even though we have scenes where Jonathan Kent is wanting Clark to wait until the right time for him to save others. The Kent’s feel rather wasted in this movie, and the eventual death (no spoiler for anyone who know’s the lore of Superman) of Jonathan Kent is rather pointless in this movie.

There are major character flaws within this version of Superman, I can’t really elaborate, without spoiling the movie. So I’ll let you figure out those flaws on your own. They happen right towards the end, when the action picks up. Granted the Action looks great in some instances, but others feels way too long and disjointed. It reminded me of District 9, and the first 2 Transformers movies. Sometimes we don’t see the details of how the Kryptonians do actions. We just see sometimes a jumble of jump cuts and odd camera angles. One annoying thing though, don’t watch it in 3D, otherwise you’ll get nauseous, the “Shaky cam” effect is really starting to become old and a headache. I actually felt nauseated and had a headache from the shaky cam being enhanced further by the 3D.

I liked Crowe’s Jor-El in this movie, granted I only enjoy his scenes on Krypton, where out of everyone there, he feels the most three-dimensional, but only to a certain point. Zod does feel three-dimensional but not as much until later in the movie. I liked his character arc much better than in the old movies, where Zod was wooden in the old ones. I just wish Superman was more fleshed out in terms of his normal character qualities. I might be spoiled with the previous versions of Superman I’ve seen. Christopher Reeve did an amazing job in the old movies, and in the cartoons I’ve seen, those versions of superman are great too. It’s just in this one, while we have Henry Cavil doing his best, it’s just the material he’s given, doesn’t do the character justice.

I’ll end this here, as there isn’t much else to say without spoiling the movie. I just was wishing for more in terms of the movie’s story.