Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Coming Features

Posted: November 14, 2013 by Noccie in Movies, Noccie
Tags: , , , ,

There are a great number of movies coming out that I am looking forward too. Here are a few of the features, some are a long way out and some are coming very soon.

Nov. 22, 2013 – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Jennifer Lawrence is an amazing example of a great actress in an amazing role. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the follow up the first book/movie. The second movie fills in the details of how President Snow, played by Donald Sutherland (the father of Keifer Sutherland),  plans to get revenge against Katniss Everdean. President Snow was very unhappy with the stunt she pulled at the end of the last games. Since then, the people have shown their love for Katniss as an underdog hero. They even go so far as to ban Katniss and Peeta from speaking in public because people love them so much. The government is afraid that Katniss will incite a riot that will take down the government. President Snow needs to find a way to turn Katniss kill her and make sure she’s not a Martyr. They use the guise of the Quarter Quell to call Katniss into the games again. She is the only surviving female Tribute from District 12.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this movie. I loved the aesthetic from the first movie and think they did an amazing job adapting the book to screen. They give such dignity to amazing characters like Rue, Cinna and even Effie Trinket. The costume and make up design were thoughtful and evocative of all the different environments in within the Hunger Games movie. I can only anticipate the next movie to be more of the same magic. These movies have the same feel as Logan’s Run and a lot of the same social structure and aesthetic. They Capitol is opulent, wasteful and yet hiding the grimy  decay behind beautiful but blood adornments.  I will be seeing this Thanksgiving weekend. Look out for my review. Take a few minutes and look at the website. They made it very interesting with a fake fashion magazine for the Capitol.

The Hunger Games Explorer

Official Hunger Games Trailer

Dec. 13, 2013 – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit was fantastic. I enjoyed the movie more than the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s also my favorite book that Tolkien wrote. Martin Freeman makes the movie version of Bilbo Baggins interesting and worth watching. If you aren’t familiar with Martin Freeman, he’s been Arthur Dent in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Dr. Watson in Sherlock, Tim on the Office (Original British one) and also played small parts in many Simon Pegg movies. He’s an authentic Every Man but is also just a great actor. Richard Armitage plays Thorin Oakenshield, the King of the Dwarves Under the Lonely Mountain. He is unrecognizable in this role as the stoic, troubled king. He wants to reclaim his home for his people left as refugees. Ian McKellen reprises his role as Gandalf once more and is both inspiring and hilarious at the same time.

Although The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was amazing, we didn’t even reach the Lonely Mountain. They’ve split the journey into three movies. The second deals with the final leg of their path and also managing to form an army that can deal with the dragon Smaug. We will get to see the dragon finally, voiced by Benedict Comberbatch (aka Sherlock.)

I am eagerly awaiting the confrontation with the dragon and to see how they work other source material into the movie. The only thing I am not looking forward to is Legolas. Yes… he was alive at the time the story takes place but really? They just wanted blond heart throb, Orlando Bloom back to reprise his role as extreme sports elf. He lost me when he was shield surfing at the battle of Helms Deep. That is not ok. Regardless of Legolas, I am going to see this opening weekend.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

May 30, 2014 – Maleficent

Disney… sometimes you are just so beautiful. I’ve always loved Sleeping Beauty. When I was a child, I used to watched the animated movie because the cartoon was art. Everything was just beautifully drawn and painted to look like stained glass. The moving images were illuminated as if light through stained glass. Maleficent was and still is a regal and unyielding threat to the child Aurora. The upcoming movie Maleficent has once again made that world beautiful and foreboding.

Angelina Jolie has been cast to play the legendary Black Fairy. In the original tales, she was slighted by the parents of Aurora by not being invited to the celebration of her birth. Aurora’s parents were short the golden plate needed for each of the fairies invited and so, since the Black Fairy never came to these events, they didn’t invite her. Aurora is being played by the younger Fanning, Elle Fanning. From the trailer, she’s doing a good job playing the innocent young Aurora. It’s hard to say what story they will use in this new version but the trailer is impressive.

They describe the story as follows:

“From Disney comes “Maleficent”—the untold story of Disney’s most iconic villain from the 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty.” A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal—an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom—and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well.”

The movie doesn’t have a website yet but they have an about section at the Disney site. Here is the IMDB. 

Advertisements

Movie Review: Thor: The Dark World

Posted: November 11, 2013 by Noccie in Movies, Noccie
Tags: , , , , ,

thor-the-dark-world-lady-sif-poster-610x906

 

Thor: The Dark World is a well made, fast paced action movie that takes comic book movies to the next level. The plot is complicated and has depth at more than one level. Their are multiple story lines that converge and re-emerge later with only partial resolution alluding to a sequel. There are cameos of characters from the franchise of Marvel movies and also an all star cast of background characters played by well known actors and actresses. Just about everything you want is in this film.

The Plot so far…  After the last Avengers movie Thor went home. He hasn’t seen his girlfriend, Jane Foster, in two years. A convergence of the 9 realms has begun awaking riffs between the different worlds. An emeny from far in the past has come back to take advantage of the convergence. This danger will bring him back together with friends, foes and Jane Foster.

Spoilers Below:

 

 

Does it look like rain?

denning8tvf-2-web

 

 

 

 

Thor starts with an epic battle on one of the 9 realms. Sif is leading the battle, and WINNING when Thor shows up and puts an end to the whole thing. He uses his hammer and puts it through the head of a rock giant. The enemy army gives up after seeing that. You learn that he’s been setting the realms back to peace by ending war and pushing back invading armies.

jaimie-alexander-sif-thor-dark-world1

 

Meanwhile on Earth, Jane Foster has thrown herself back into the dating pool. On her first date, Darcy interrupts when her equipment starts picking up some wild signals. The signals start weighing on Jane’s mind and she leaves the date to run around with Darcy and the intern, Ian. Tracking the signals to an abandoned warehouse, some kids show them a vortex that makes a vehicle float and another that lets you thrown things into it and come out above them in an endless loop. Upon investigation Jane gets sucked into another place and accidentally infects herself with the Ether. This alerts Thor to some danger because Jane falls from the view of Heimdall. Traveling to Earth just in time for Jane to return after missing for five hours.

The police are at the site because Darcy called the cops. The police want to arrest them because they are trespassing on private property. When they try to arrest Jane, the Ether explodes. Thor takes her with him to his home, much to the displeasure of his Father Odin. His Father has been trying to discourage him from choosing Jane as his wife and choosing Sif instead. Odin is very upset and doesn’t want to help get rid of the Ether at all. Before they can figure out what to do with Jane, a jail break in their dungeon distracts them long enough that they are attacked by the mysterious Dark Elves.

thor-dark-world-dark-elves

 

Jane goes off with Thor’s Mother, Frigga to keep her safe. Frigga fights with all her might to keep Jane away from the leader of the dark elves, Malekith. They manage to keep Jane safe but the city is in ruins. Odin closes down all the passages as Thor sets a plan in place.

 

thor2_stills_07

 

Thor, The Warriors Three, Sif and Loki hatch a crazy, Oceans 11 style escape from Aasgard to get to the Dark World and meet up with the dark elf army. This was a ploy to get rid of the Ether inside of Jane, before it could kill her.

1383766022000-XXX-THOR-DARK-WORLD-MOV-JY-9666-59532890

 

Loki helps Thor because he wants revenge for the death of Frigga, his beloved Mother. They meet the elves and everything goes wrong from here. That is all I will say. I am not going to totally ruin this for you.

This is a really solid movie. I felt it moved too fast but it is a two hour movie. There were scenes that felt awkwardly edited. You could almost feel where they had cut out scenes. It’s so obvious because this movie barely passes the Bechdel  test. There are parts where you know, the female characters probably WERE talking about men but that part of the dialogue was cut out to move the plot along. Thor is entertaining because he is still trying to learn how to be a good leader. Loki is entertaining because you feel bad for him for a little while. He’s such a brat, but he loves his Mother. He just doesn’t know how to show his love outside his rage and anger. The character of Jane Foster was rather irritating. It was like watching Bella from Twilight if she grew up to be a scientist. All she wanted was Thor back. Yes, love hurts but I really would like a female character on screen that likes something more than boys. Most of her scenes were similar to video games with “escort missions.” She was constantly being lead from one place to another by someone trying to save her life. Darcy was pretty funny, that’s her assistant, but she was busy flirting with Intern Ian through emotional abuse and sarcasm. Sif needed more screen time, period. Her scenes were truncated and her lines were even more so. Frigga was amazing. It would have been great to see more of her and how she worked the men as an adviser. Enough of my feminist rant.

Favorite moment: Thor telling Loki how he wished he could trust him. That scene just blew me away.

Second Favorite Moment:  Jane Foster on the table being examined by a bunch of female healers. Jane’s character is smart and funny. All the actresses in the scene are fantastic. Alice Krige is the main doctor. She’s well known for being the Queen Borg in First Contact and for Christabell in the Silent Hill Movie. Talulah Riley is one of the nurses. If you don’t know her, it’s because she’s a British Actress. I expect to see good things in her future. Check out a movie called St. Trinian’s. Hilarious!

Third Favorite Moment: Loki impersonates Captain America.

Stay through the WHOLE CREDITS. They do more than one scene setting up for the next movie.

Would I see it again? Yes. 🙂

I know that’s sad. I have all that feminist ranting about the characters but I would go see it again. It’s actually a very good movie with a sophisticated, operatic feel.

Also… did you spot Stan Lee?

Movie Review: Carrie (2013)

Posted: November 7, 2013 by Noccie in Movies, Noccie
Tags: , ,

Carrie-Cover

Do you know how many times they’ve remade Carrie? Three times at least. That includes a sequel which was secretly… a remake.

Carrie is based off the popular novel by Stephen King. They made a great movie  version in 1976 with Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie as her Mother. The original is very well framed with a good build up to the eventual disaster involving telekinesis. It’s become a classic set up of the outsider going berserk when pushed too far. So how was the remake? Good actually.

Don’t know the plot? Here you go.

Carrie White was raised by her single Mother, Margaret. They are a little different. The White’s are deeply religious and shun the outside world as sinful and ungodly. Carrie is an outcast at school because of the fear her mother has instilled in her through abuse and extreme biblical teachings. She has been kept from knowing the most basic information that most everyone learns. Suddenly, Carrie gets her period and finds herself at a loss for knowing what is happening. Thinking she’s bleeding to death she screams for help asking her classmates to get help. They chastise her and toss tampons while chanting. This incident leads to a group of girls working together to torment the innocent Carrie. Sue Snell realized that they are being horrible and goes about trying to get her friends to realize the error of their ways. Sue even goes so far as to get her boyfriend to take Carrie to the Prom. They want to show Carrie that she can fit in and have a good time like everyone else. Of coarse, Chris Hargensen (the head mean girl), remains the aggressor and refuses to understand that what she’s done is wrong. Chris is suspended from going to prom by the school for her actions and to get revenge she sets a cruel prank in motion. With the help of a bad boy boyfriend, Chris sets pigs blood above the stage. When Tommy Ross and Carrie are voted in as Prom King and Queen the plot is set in full motion. The vote was rigged and Chris’ evil friends help to get them into position. What everyone doesn’t know is that Carrie’s been learning how to use powerful telekinesis! Sue realizes that something is up and rushes to the school to try and stop the cruel joke. Before she can stop the prank, she is tossed out of the prom by a teacher. This actually saves her life as Carrie gets revenge on the students that tormented her and ruined her one moment of true happiness.

Chloe Grace Moretz plays Carrie and her Mother is played by Julianne Moore. Chloe can play just about anyone. She’s in the remake, Let Me In. She’s in Kickass, Hugo, Dark Shadows, and the 2005  remake of The Amityville Horror. Other than her horror movies, she been in a lot of television and movies that weren’t horror as well. She’s really good as mousy and really good at pulling off bad ass as well. Julieanne Moore is more of a mixed bag. She was excellent in the role made famous by Piper Laurie. I think she was actually a little more unsettling than the original performance by Piper Laurie. I haven’t enjoyed much of Julieanne Moore’s except the Big Lebowski and Evolution. Those were both comedies though. This was serious and Julianne Moore did not break character at all. The acting in the movie is pretty good overall. The effects are up to date and tip top. They added a modern spin to school bullying using texting, Facebook and cellphone videos. They updated everything except the cars. There were a lot of throw back 1970’s cars. Unfortunately, the movie wasn’t that scary. The same moments in the original, with Carrie’s Mother stalking her and Carrie crucifying her Mother, are the only truly scary moments. The prayer room where Carrie get’s locked, wasn’t as creepy either. In the 1970’s version the room was claustrophobic and terrifying. The new prayer room was pretty spacious and didn’t have iconography as scary as the original. The special effects were pretty good including a few gory make up effects.

Overall, this is a good movie, not a great movie.

Pet peeve: You could see the beauty make up on ALL of the teen actors. EVEN in scenes where they weren’t in a close up view.

Should you go see it? I guess so, if you have to choose. Rent it next Halloween when you can’t find a copy of the original. It’s a rehash, scene by scene remake. I’m not saying it’s a bad movie, it’s just the same movie.

Wait Until Dark

Posted: October 25, 2013 by Noccie in Movies, Noccie
Tags: , ,

Wait_Until_Dark_1967

Audrey Hepburn was a very versatile actress. Wait Till Dark was from 1967 and one of Audrey’s spectacular thrillers. Audrey plays Susy Hendrix, a woman that became blind as an adult after an accident. Her husband Sam leaves for a business trip because he’s an internationally renowned photographer and Suzy is on her own. A mysterious woman that sat next to Sam on a plane gave him the doll and he takes it home. Sam and his wife receive a call from the woman but they can’t find the doll. A stranger shows up claiming to be Sam’s old friend and then when Susy’s alone and a man screaming for her husband breaks into her apartment. The old friend returns and offers to help keep her safe. Weird happenings continue and it turns out a drug cartel is trying to locate the doll. Suzy doesn’t find the doll till much later and her alarm turns to suspicion as she tries to survive without being able to see.

I enjoyed this move enough to buy it on DVD. Part of why I love this movie is Audrey Hepburn. Another reason I love this movie is that it feels like a stage play. When I researched it, the movie was developed from the stage play. If you don’t like horror movies, this is the perfect effect because it’s suspenseful and scary. It’s more like a mystery with some murder thrown in for drama or a thriller with a classy edge to it like Charade. The acting is serious and a little over-the-top adding to the stage feel of the movie. There are some great sight gags, such as when the thieves are dressed up as a police detective rubbing down the apartment for fingerprints. Suzy asks if her apartment is dusty at the end of the scene to point out she is blind, not deaf. There are other scenes that illustrate Suzy may be blind but not oblivious, like when she realizes two of the men that came in had the same walking gait. Although my co-worker and I were talking about it and he asked me, “Why didn’t they just give the guy the doll full of cocain?” Well there wouldn’t be much suspense if we just gave in that easily.

On a feminist note, I love this movie. Audrey’s character does need help for some things, like grocery shopping, but she is largely independent. Even though her character be moans the fact she is “helpless,” Suzy is resourceful, smart and observant with her ears. Like every dynamic character, she has a few moments of weakness where she wants a man around to help her. I mean, think of all those pickle jars she needs opened? The movie is from the 60’s and developed from an even older screenplay. The movie is still pretty solid as a great example of overcoming a disability.

There are two things I don’t like about Wait Until Dark. The first is the way Audrey Hepburn screams. I hate her scream. It’s like nails down a chalkboard. The other thing is Gloria. She’s a bipolar little brat. Gloria does like Suzy though, probably because she’s pretty patient with her craziness. Those two gripes aside, it’s a great classic movie.

Wait Until Dark (1967)

Directed by Terrence Young

Produced by Mel Ferrer

Screenplay by Robert Carrington and Jane-Howard Carrington

Story by Frederic Knott

Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna