Tag Archive: Movies


Lockout

Lockout

For anyone out there who hasn’t heard of the movie Lockout, let me enlighten you. The plot, according to starpulse.com, goes something like this “The U.S. government strong-arms a man accused of treason into rescuing the president’s daughter from a maximum-security space prison that’s been taken over by the inmates in a brutal riot.” All things considered, it’s a pretty decent sounding plot.
So, the perks of the movie:
1) Who doesn’t like a good main character? Marian (spoiler alert: he doesn’t reveal his name until the end of the movie) Snow is a cynical, incredibly entertaining guy with some kick-butt moves. He was easily the best part of the entire film.
2) A story is nothing without good villains, and the directors of the movie seemed to grasp that. The main villains (besides all the other loose convicts) were two Scottish brothers who were heading up the prison breakout. One was clever and calculating, and determined to have unquestioned authority. The other was simply a lunatic–creepy and perfect for a movie about escaped, insane space prisoners!
3) The basic plot is interesting.
And now to the downsides of the movie:
1) The president’s daughter, Emilie, is incredibly obnoxious. For some odd reason, she decides immediately that she doesn’t approve of Snow and fights everything he does to try to get her to safety. One scene involved him having to hold her down to cut and dye her hair a different color so she wouldn’t be recognized, and she was outraged because she wanted to keep looking pretty. Honestly, I’m pretty sure survival would be more important to most than the color and length of their hair.
2) There were far too many subplots. The movie begins with Snow being arrested for treason, which he wasn’t actually guilty of. At first, it looks like the treason is only in the movie at all to find some reason to convince him to go on a suicide mission to rescue the president’s daughter, but it is brought back at the end for a poorly done resolution. In other words, there is an unoriginal moment where one of the good guys turns out to be the one who actually committed treason; efficiently clearing Snow’s name and leaving him an opening to date Emilie. It had absolutely nothing to do with the rest of the story.
3) Lockout broke so many basic laws of nature that I could list them for hours, but I’ll only name a few:
A) There is scene where Snow manages to bring Emilie safely to an escape pod, but there’s only one seat, which he kindly gives to her. He watches the door shut with her inside and the air lock come on, but she gets out of the sealed escape pod. Whether she phased through the wall or not, it is far from possible that she could have gotten out of that seat.
B) There is also the small problem that, randomly, in the middle of their escape, the entire space station crashes into a satellite because the controls of the station were unmanned for maybe an hour. That wouldn’t have been the biggest deal in the world except that every single one of them acted shocked that a satellite could ram into the station at all. My question is, how would no one notice a satellite coming towards the prison in the first place? It’s not like satellites are particularly small or don’t show up on advanced, futuristic radars.
C) This last example makes me cringe a little every time I think about it. At the final point of their escape, the producers seem to have run out of money and/or the creativity needed to make the effects of the climax good. Snow and Emilie literally fall safely from the space station onto a road in about five seconds, after Snow loses his space suit so high up in the atmosphere that he should have died. That was their escape. They jumped out of a space station…and landed gently on a nicely padded road.
Basically, Lockout is not a quality film, and will be winning no awards any time soon. Granted, there were some entertaining moments, but those moments didn’t last long. Thank goodness the movie was only an hour and a half!
End of book quote: “She wrote all night, her words reviving the distant days when she still knew nothing of the joys and sorrows of the world, and bringing back to life all who had accompanied her on her fabulous journey.” —The Princetta by Anne-Laure Bondoux

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Stardust

Stardust

One of my uncles is a great connoisseur of movies. Because of this, I have been exposed to many titles that I would never have even heard of otherwise. His choices are never dependently good or bad; there are plenty of both to go around.
A few nights before we returned home from our vacation in Mexico, he suggested that we (meaning himself, my brothers, and I) watch Stardust. I’d heard him talk about Stardust many times, and I very cheerfully agreed that his idea was a good one. The movie was inserted into the computer, and someone hit play. A few hours later, the movie ended and I decided that this time he had chosen a movie in the “good” category. Stardust is absolutely brilliant! According to Wikipedia’s description, it’s a “British romantic comedy fantasy film”. May I just say, those Brits sure know how to make quality shows!
The basic plot of Stardust is something like this: a young man named Dunstan Thorn goes through a magical barrier (which happens to just be a wall) and finds himself in the town of Stormhold. An enslaved princess offers him a charmed flower in exchange for a kiss. He stays with her for the rest of the day, and returns to his home in the village of Wall (which is a super cool name). Nine months later, a baby named Tristan is delivered to him, and he is left on his own to raise him.
The story picks up eighteen years later, and Tristan’s got problems of his own. He is infatuated by a wealthy, beautiful girl named Victoria Forester, but he doesn’t really stand a chance of getting her to love him because she’s more interested in a wealthy man named Humphrey than she is in him. However, a week before her birthday (the day she knew Humphrey was going to propose to her), Victoria agrees to go on an outing with Tristan. While there, he tries to convince her of his love, but she doesn’t change her opinion. As he speaks with her, a star falls out of the sky, and he promises to retrieve it and bring it to her as a birthday present.
Turns out, the star that fell is a woman named Yvaine who is being hunted by multiple people for a variety of reasons. However, Tristan is able to find her first, which sets them both up for an unexpected adventure.
I won’t say any more about the plot for fear of spoiling something, but I will say again that it is a fantastic movie! The characters are all interesting, convincing, and hilarious. To make things even better, the main antagonist of the story, a witch-queen named Lamia, is not only entertaining but makes a phenomenal villain. I’d definitely have to say that my movie recommendation for the day is without a doubt Stardust.
End of book quote: “Three words whispered menacingly in his ear: “Good-bye, Mr. Hunter.” —Black by Ted Dekker

The Amazing Spider-Man

Last week, I grabbed ten dollars and a knapsack, and headed out the door with most of my family to drive to the theater. After a quick stop to pick up one of my younger brother’s friends, we arrived at the mall. My brother, his friend, and I exited the car and headed inside where a group of my friends were waiting to meet up with me. In only a few short minutes, we went inside and took our seats (they were pretty good ones, right in the center). The previews were showing, so we sat patiently until the lights dimmed and The Amazing Spider-Man began.
May I just say that the title describes the movie quite well. I loved it! I’ve never really liked the original Spider-Man because of numerous plot holes and unbelievable characters, but The Amazing Spider-Man did an incredible job of fixing those problems.
For starters, the acting was much better in the remake. Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were the perfect people to cast for the roles of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. They pull of the awkward high school romance beautifully. The older Spider-Man never made any of the younger characters seem like actual high schoolers. Sure, Peter Parker was nerdy and MJ was popular and out-of-reach, but they never came across as believable, angst-filled teenagers.
This brings me to another perk. I never liked MJ as a character. Not only was she a bit of a pansy, but it never made sense that she would end up liking Parker. She was popular and she had a lot of boys to choose from, but she went for the dork. However, Gwen Stacy came across much better. She was Peter’s intellectual equal, and she proved herself to be independent and able to take care of herself. Not only that, but she was also not way out of his reach. She spent time with one of the popular kids, but she tutored him, she was not dating him. So, their relationship made a whole lot more sense.
Peter Parker himself was a much more interesting character than he was in the first edition. He was incredibly intelligent and obviously loved photography, but he had more depth than that. Marc Webb, the director, did a brilliant job of making Parker’s back story more than him losing his parents at a young age. Instead, there were hints that there was something far more sinister at play in their deaths. Webb also did a wonderful job of keeping Peter’s emotions real throughout the movie. Peter doesn’t fit in perfectly with his aunt and uncle; he had many moments where he disappointed them and couldn’t accept their authority because they weren’t his actual parents.
After his uncle died, he didn’t decide to become a hero because his uncle said something that inspired him. He started hunting down thugs because he wanted revenge. There was no fake sense of nobility, there was only hatred for the man who murdered his uncle. His nobility was sparked after he saved a young boy from falling to his death after the Lizard attacked for the first time, which seems more understandable than the first movie’s motivation.
This brings me to another important aspect of any movie: the villain. A lot of people have claimed that the Lizard is a weak villain, but I think that works in a beginning Spider-Man movie. Spider-Man logically can’t be a professional hero in his first movie; he had no idea what he was doing, so if the Lizard had been, say, the Green Goblin, Peter probably would have died.
I’ve also heard some complaints that the new movie spent too much time developing a story that had already been told, but I think it was necessary. The remake was to give a new perspective on an old story, but that doesn’t change the fact that the plot line is still inherently the same. People seem to forget that The Amazing Spider-Man is a remake of the original movie, meaning it starts at the beginning. With that in mind, I think Webb was smart not to give Parker’s back story ten minutes and then move on to the action. Instead, he drew out the back story, and made it flow a lot better than the original did.
So, in my opinion, if anyone wants to go see a good movie, I would recommend The Amazing Spider-Man.
“Then shouldering their burdens, they set off, seeking a path that would bring them over the grey hills of Emyn Muil, and down into the Land of Shadow.” —The Fellowship Of The Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

Pride & Prejudice

Pride And Prejudice

Like many women out there, one of my favorite chick-flicks of all times is easily Pride & Prejudice. Now, I know that most guys out there are probably groaning right now, and thinking, “Really? Again? Why can’t you watch something good for once?”, but I’m a female. I like watching other people go through emotional/romantic angst. It’s entertaining.
There is, however, more to the movie (and by extension, the book) than people first expect to see. The first few times I ever watched Pride & Prejudice, I remember hating it. Granted, a few years ago, I was always one of the most stubborn tomboys among my peers; and when I first watched the movie, I was in full tomboy mode. I still thought what most boys assume about chick flicks. In other words, I assumed that it was all horrible, gooey romance that was good for absolutely nothing.
Unfortunately for all the males reading this, I’ve changed a lot since then, and have become infinitely more feminine in my tastes. Now when I watch P&P (as I have decided to abbreviate Pride & Prejudice), I find myself chuckling at the comedy in different people’s relationships, and relating to more of the characters. It really is a quality film. The plot line is good, the drama is entertaining and more or less realistic, the awkwardness is comically overbearing, and the characters are fascinating. Those are standards I like to see in any movie whether action film or romantic comedy.
But for me, what really makes P&P so excellent, is its main character: Elizabeth Bennet. If she was real, I would be her friend. Not only is she intelligent, dedicated, and responsible, but she is also funny, clever, and incredibly headstrong. She knows what she wants, and no one can change her mind except for her. The harsh exchanges she has over and over again with Mr. Darcy are absolutely brilliant! At many different points throughout the movie, she can be found insulting Darcy slyly enough to make her words are all the more cutting. She is truly an ingenious character!
Of course, she ends up realizing that Darcy isn’t what he seems, and they have their happy, stereotypical chick-flick ending, but I still don’t mind watching P&P time and time again just to watch Elizabeth ingeniously interacting with the people in her daily life.

“She began to untie it.” —The City Of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau