Wednesday, July 25, 2007


I saw Sunshine Monday, and I can't recommend it enough.

It's a Danny Boyle film, and it's almost two films -- or two genres (maybe sub-genres) in one.

Can't clarify that without giving stuff away, because it's one of those great films to go into not knowing anything about.

Acting is solid and not overdone, with good stuff in particular from Cillian Murphy (Capa), Hiroyuki Sanada (Kaneda), way too little dramatic Michelle Yeoh (Corazon), and Chris Evans (Mace). For Evans in particular, I'm glad he's got this movie in the same year as the Fantastic Four sequel, Rise of the Silver Surfer. Sunshine stretches him more, and he gets to do some gutsy, important stuff. Good for him.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Spider-man 3

Just saw Spider-Man 3.

I have lot to say on the pro and con side, but they're pretty specific spoilers, so I'll hold off.

I enjoyed it, though I like it least out of the trilogy. But I liked it better than Superman Returns.

And I understand now why no has tried to do a musical dance number in the middle of a comic book summer blockbuster film. Everyone else please take note.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


It's no secret I'm a Transformers fan. Mainly old school Generation 1 (especially Season 1, and the first half of Season 2), but Beast Wars was a bit o' the shizzle, too, from a quality perspective.

So, what about the new Transformers movie? I went to see it. On July 3rd. I'm that much of a fan.

Actually, it's pretty amazing.

I'm such a fan, and grateful to have a quality live-action movie, that my quibbles are just that -- quibbles.

Hey, it's a Michael Bay film, so don't expect great emotional depth. But expect great action, some humor, and some heart -- which the movie delivers in spades.

The Autobots and Decepticons themselves are pretty slick, and very believable. And the shot framing does a fantastic job of making them feel more "real". There aren't many gratuitous "he, look at our awesome giant robots!" moments. It's more tightly clipped, which makes the action frenetic, gives a sense of scale, and creates some "mini movies" throughout the film ("war movie"; "teen movie"; etc.).

And there's some good fan service moments throughout -- subtle, and not overdone. Let's just say "Witwicky", "cannons", and "energy sword", so as not to give too much away.

There's an anti-fan service moment or two, which (from previous public comments from Michael Bay) makes me wonder if he is thumbing his nose a bit at fans. Kind of a "Hey, this is Michael Bay Transformers, Be-otch!" (That's probably not fair; he probably doesn't say, "Hey".)

Another form of fan service comes from Megan Fox, who, while doing a good job in the film, to felt seriously out of place. Hey, I like movie high school much more than real high school, but this almost felt like "adult high school". And she needs new headshots.

For more on the acting front, Shia LaBeouf rocks it, and delivers lines that could easily come off as unbelievable. I enjoy watching him in general, and from watching him on Jay Leno interviews, I'd say he's well-cast in this film.

I also really like supporting actors Josh Duhamel (who totally sold me as Captain Lennox), and Kevin Dunn and Julie White (LaBeouf's mom and dad; stay to watch the credits).

And voice work? Peter Cullen, the original Optimus Prime? I shivered when I first heard his voice. Shivered.

I wasn't overly keen on Rachael Taylor (and am at a bit of a loss at her billing over actor's / roles like Jon Voight, Dunn, and White, which sounds like a law firm), and while I like John Torturro, his scenes in the film are overlong, and don't add to it; they could have been clipped a bit.

Other quibbles?

The film was about a half an hour too long, and would have been better serviced with a little tightening. Let's say "Torturro", "police station", and "Anthony Anderson" (no hate; just from the perspective of the film).

And much as I love (love) Peter Cullen's voice (and my upcoming voice demo has a couple of tributes to him), there was a bit too much "telling", violating film's "Show, don't Tell" rule. Ironic, for a Michael Bay film. And I don't think Optimus would be big on making sure he was all covered in a multicolored flames paint job. What was that about?

And the product placements are (for the most part) pretty unobtrusive, but there's one SD card placement that made me laugh out loud at its blatant obtrusiveness.

Finally (probably), they're little mini Decepticon, which I think is a bastardized version of Frenzy. Less robot bird and too Gremlins. And his vernacular expletives took me out of the moment.

But my quibbles are quibbles. The show rocked, I'll see it again, and probably get the 4-hour extended cut on DVD.