Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Save Spider Man

Marc Webb was recently announced as the director for the next Spider Man movie. He has one great movie in his repetoire, but the rest of his catalogue is sketchy:
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
Jesse McCartney: Up Close (2005) (V)
Seascape (2003)
3 Doors Down: Away from the Sun (2002) (V) (video "Duck & Run")
Green Day: International Supervideos! (2001) (V) (video "Waiting")

What do you think?

Better yet, who is your choice to replace Tobey Maguire?


A spectacle with a social conscience. We do not have a perfect film here, but the majesty of Cameron’s efforts will make this an enduring classic. This movie for its faults will still be recognized in the history of film. Much like Star Wars was the standard of innovation and pure wonder in my youth, Avatar will be remembered by today’s youth for the same reasons. Star Wars was far from perfect as well, but its overall combination of visuals, originality and the sheer possibilities that it created for films that followed it, set it apart from the stigma of B-movie Sci-Fi’s of its time. Avatar’s weaknesses are similar. The dialogue is sometimes laboured and there were a few campy moments that will ring loud with the reluctant viewers that were dragged to the theatre by eager friends and looking for a reason to criticize. Avatar however is more accessible. We all know people that just can’t accept what they see as the impossible setting and subject matter the science fiction or fantasy genres. Well you won’t see the Avatar setting anywhere in a National Geographic magazine either but the challenges that the human race face in this movie are current and everywhere in the alternative media. Even the non believers have heard about Al Gore’s warnings and on some level can accept some of the environmental claims. So the timeliness of picture is perfect.
What makes the scenic visuals so stimulating is their beauty and the innocence that we can attribute to untouched nature. The Na’vi are those type of pure creatures that we can all like and hope to succeed. Their existence like Earth’s protected species have the same innocence that attracts our social consciousness and activates our protective natures. The 3D features are mesmerizing and not over the top, with the tired plethora of sharp projectiles. Instead the 3D effects compliment the movie and the story. Go figure. No part of the technical brilliance seemed unnecessary or blatant show-boating. So as a result the film affords the viewer with the necessary elements to feel good about our support and recommendations.
Not that the acting or dialogue is unimportant but both are more than adequate, and bringing up the little flaws would seem like nit-picking for a film of this historical significance. So for the same reason I will not highlight any of the individual performances as they all suited the film while none stood out in a memorable way. The one thing worth saying however is that both the Human and Na’vi acted portions of this film could both be characterized as live action acting. In other words there was no drop in entertainment or believability with the transitions between the two featured species. This is truly a phenomenal accomplishment. I cannot recall one movie that pulls off reality to surreal so effectively. This is technology continuity in its highest form. And for the first time I was convinced that any humanoid graphical actor is now a real possibility that will ensure audiences are not cheated of the warmth of real fleshy actors.
So please, make an effort to get to a theatre, the bigger the better and take in this experience the way its meant to be seen which I will assure you will not happen in all of this glory again for quite some time.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

This great little throw back stop-motion animation picture has got me thinking well after seeing it. The more I think about this good-for-all-ages movie the more I like it. The characters surprise you by seeming more lifelike and genuine than any Pixar picture. The small puppet-like creatures have a texture and quirky way that gives off a warmth that can't be replicated with cartoon or CGI animation.
An endearing quality of this film is that we can relate to the characters. We have a man who is going through mid-life crisis and questioning the legacy of his accomlishments. The fox battles father/son tension, career/instinct identity crisis, and the kind of thrill seeking that comes with age and overwhelming need to prove to oneself that you are still alive, daring and a force. The son feels different and inadequate while struggling for his father's attention and comparing himself to his more capable and athletic cousin.
This is just a few examples of the slice of life problems that the characters face through which its safe to say that Wes Anderson the director may have been cleverly providing us with life lesson.
Let me also add that this film is funny and will keep the attention of your children for an hour and a half. George Clooney is a natural and so is the supporting staff.
So I say see this film with the family if you are looking for something different that I can predict will make you feel good and wholoesome.