Archive for category English Movies

Ten Inch Hero

I watched this because of Jensen Ackles’ name being in the cast list, not going to lie, but overall I think even though it wasn’t my kind of movie it was decent. With some rewrites to the script it would have been pretty good.

Plot: 2/5
The story is about a woman named Piper, who had a baby at 15, had to give her up for adoption, and now has moved to this small beach town. She was an art student and while reading an article about young promising artists she saw a little girl the right age to be her daughter, and the little she knew about her own child’s adoption fit.

She gets a job at this restaurant full of mis-fits. First is Tish, a beautiful young woman who takes a new man home every night using pick up lines then rates them the next day when she gets back to the shop. Jen is a quiet girl who has fallen in love with her online chat-room boyfriend. Trucker, the owner, is a hippie in love with the woman across the street. Finally there is Priestly, a guy who prides himself in not being normal. He dyes his hair (almost a new color every time you see him) is covered in tattoos and piercings, but is nice and relatively soft spoken.

The story follows Piper as she gets closer and closer to the little girl who may be hers, and as she falls in love with Noah, the girl’s father.

I docked points not for the overarching plotline, because I think it’s pulled off pretty well. It’s a simple plot, and maybe even overused, but for once I actually sat through a whole movie, and I enjoyed it, so it’s good in that respect. The ending is just too… IDK- all the characters individual stories reach their climax at the same time, then they each resolve themselves with a neat little bow and no real drama. It kind of fizzes out. Jen and Princely’s storylines are decent, but mainly Trucker’s and Piper’s are disappointing. It feels like the writer wanted to tell this whole beautiful tale then went “Oh shit! We’d better wrap it up!”

Acting: 7/5
This, I think, is what makes the movie, far more than the writing. Jensen Ackles (Princely) is HILARIOUS. He plays a very different character from “Supernatural” (which people may recognize him from). Danneel Harris (Tish) is also great. Her character is kind of flat personality wise, but when more serious scenes come up she doesn’t turn all awkward like most actors, so she gets points for that.

Elisabeth Harnois (Piper) I’ve seen in a few things before, and she’s great. Even though she’s kind of played up as the lead of the movie Piper really only shines in scenes involving her own personal story, otherwise she kind of sticks to the back and lets the others go, which is why I think she shouldn’t be considered the lead. Really as I think back I think the story is mostly carried by a combination of Harnois, Harris and Ackles.

Directing: 3/5
I can’t quite tell what kind of director this is. He definitely goes for a more quiet and natural approach with cameras. Nothing fancy, no special shots that make the movie. His style is kind of basic and blunt. It feels like a film student fresh out of the gate, very safe and cautious, but I checked the director’s bio and he’s been working since ’91, granted with only a handful of films, but still.

Other Things

Can I just say I love what the costume/makeup people did to Ackles (Priestly)??? I love all the shirts!

The movie is rated “R”, but if the director had done it right and the writer tweaked some stuff it could have been PG-13. The “R” rating, as best I can tell, comes from a few sex scenes (2 come to mind) and at the end there is some nudity (you don’t see anything there though). If they’d made the sex scenes a bit less revealing then I’m sure it would have gotten a lighter rating.

Fun bit of trivia- you can tell early on that Priestly (Jensen Ackles) is in love with Tish (Danneel Harris). And guess what? It’s a basic romance movie, so you know he gets the girl. The fun trivia is that Danneel Harris is now Danneel Ackles-  she and Jensen Ackles were married last year. I guess that counts as a happy ending for their characters too!

Like I said- it could be a phenomenal movie if the writer was just a bit more careful. The ending is a whole lot of “Well that was lucky”, deus ex machina style (a term meaning something comes in and fixes everything so it’s all neat and shiny). Actually it’s more like several deus ex machina.

I’m hitting wikipedia as soon as I publish this. I honestly can’t for the life of me figure out where the hell the title comes from. Only one character says anything about ten inch anything and he’s most certainly not a hero. He’s a complete and utter creep and jerk…

And for those of you who watch it- the tampon scene (you’ll know it when you see it) just about killed me. I had to pause the video I was laughing/crying so hard.

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Delgo

I’m actually NOT going to do a typical review for “Delgo”. I had to watch it for a paper for my Honors Media Psychology course, so I’ll give you the review I wrote. Here’s the thing though- the assignment was to watch a HOLLYWOOD FLOP (so you *know* it’s great -_-) and then explain why it flopped. My official paper title was “Delgo: An Insult to Cinema”, but the save title was “Why Delgo Sucked Ass”, so you can guess my feelings about the movie pretty easily…

Delgo: An Insult to Cinema

 

For a movie to appeal to a wide audience it must have a clearly constructed plot, believable settings and characters, and aesthetic value. If one area is lacking then the others must attempt to compensate. Once the average viewer becomes aware of any problems the film is in danger. The star-studded 2008 animated feature Delgo went for an approach similar to that seen in The Producers: take the worst of everything and it will equal a resounding success. Unfortunately for Delgo it fell short of even that goal and became one of the top Hollywood flops. Issues with plot structure, character development and technical difficulties drew unwanted attention to the film and impacted it negatively.

A casual viewer will first be turned away by the plotline. It is basically a mash-up of Shakespeare’s  Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet as well as Disney’s The Lion King. The evil sister of a powerful King pours poison into the ear of the Queen and attempts to steal her brother’s throne after being humiliated and punished for starting a war between the Nohrin people and the Lockni. She is caught and forced into exile. Many years later a Lockni boy (and adopted son of the Head Elder of his people) falls in love with the Princess of the winged Nohrin. A sympathizer to the exiled royal kidnaps the girl and blames her disappearance on the Lockni boy, setting both sides up for war. The King’s sister sees this as an opportunity for revenge and a way to weaken his army and attack with a monstrous force of her own, naming herself Empress. Naturally the story’s hero stops her and gets the girl, securing peace between their people.

While the story was written to entertain a young audience there must also be elements within a story to grab the attention of older viewers, the ones who are actually paying to go see such a film. If the plot is overly simplistic then it is crucial that the writing be sufficient to create an engaging story that crosses generational boundaries. Delgo did not succeed. At best the setup for the story is vague. In one burst the entire back-story is given: the evil Sedessa starting a war, killing the Queen, and being exiled. It is very much oriented to show the Nohrin people, though the main lead of the movie, Delgo, is Lockni, so much of the movie is seen from their perspective. It is comparable to watching a historical piece on Germanic tribes before viewing the movie Gladiator, which is about ancient Rome primarily. With the Lockni people carrying much of the weight of the film it is ill-advised to orient the flashback around the Nohrins. This created an unlevel field upon which to tell the tale.

Disjointed settings also made the plot difficult to follow. The viewer is shown early on three distinct areas: the Lockni town, Nohrin city, and Sedessa’s base in exile. However, no clear shots exist to reference the three in relation to one another. We know the Nohrin city is somewhere behind the Lockni town, but in some shots it appears to be on the top of a mountain and in others it floats in the sky. Sedessa’s home is initially seen as the top of a cliff, but later becomes a floating palace without any clear distinction within the story to say if she built it, found it, or any other helpful leads. Within each setting are important locations: the Lockni village holds the sanctuary that serves as home-base for the Stone Sages, a governing council. Also repeatedly shown is Delgo’s own house. For all the attention the story gives to these settings, however, they could be hundreds of miles apart in any direction. Characters jump from one location to another without any tracking to give the viewer bearings. Lack of transition within the setting also makes it more difficult to follow the story. Viewers are never shown where buildings are in relation to one another, so they are forced to accept each scene almost as a separate act entirely. Characters have to say where they are and the audience is given free reign to try and figure out where the setting exists within the three distinct zones. It leaves one feeling that they missed an important piece of explanation, or that the writer assumes the viewer knows the layout automatically.

Assumptions made by the writers and director in terms of setting locations also carries over into the various fantastical creatures in this other world. Multiple times a creature is referenced in passing or directly and then forgotten, never to be seen again. Many monsters appear, are named, and then disappear and have no further bearing on the story. Overall it feels like a very disjointed and incomplete Dr. Seuss story.  And this is not limited to monsters; it applies to characters as well. A great example is the character of Filo, friend to Delgo. He appears often in the movie, but not once does he give the viewer any reason as to why he even exists. The character complains loudly and talks over more key characters, somehow causes a disruption that is harmful to the intentions of the others, and has no apparent redeeming value. Such characters litter multiple scenes, some never even named, and removing them would go a long way towards cleaning up the story. These undefined characters such as Filo distract from the storyline, crowd the frames, and prevent the viewer from being able to peacefully follow the story.

Another issue with over-casting the film is that there is not enough time within which to create a sense of relation between the viewer and the story. By the end of Delgo you only just start to see why the characters may be important and to become emotionally invested in them. The character development is shallow and insufficient. Delgo and Princess Kyla are meant to be romantic leads, but instead they feel like strangers. Attempts at development are made multiple times, but are sudden and blunt, such as the attempt at Delgo. We see him arguing with his teacher about the importance of patience and learning to use his magical stone-moving powers, after an attack on the Stone Sage training center he decides such an ability is useless, then suddenly he is with the Princess and is using different techniques to masterfully move the stones and show off his powers. It makes the characters feel bipolar and unconnected between scenes, let alone with one another throughout the whole movie.

On the technical side of things you see, as with many animated films, an all star cast boasting such B and C-List celebrities as Freddie Prinze Jr., Chris Kattan, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Eric Idle, among many others. While having a big-name cast may draw in the older audiences a much better move would have been to cast people who would fit better with the characters. The artists and casting directors appear to never have met, as the voices and faces do not match sufficiently. Even in animated features there is a mental link made between voices and faces- if James Earl Jones had played Simba in The Lion King, for example, it would not have matched as well as Matthew Broderick did. Many Lockni have deeper voices while the Nohrin are of a higher register. Despite this there are multiple minor characters on each side who belong to the other end of the range. Filo, for example, has a high voice and an over exaggerated accent and tone, which fit better with the army of Sedessa. Delgo possesses a higher voice and Bogardus, a Nohrin general, has a deep voice that would sync well with the Lockni people. The disjointed vocals, combined with a disjointed setting and disjointed characters, distract the audience.

Finally, and perhaps the key to the films failure, is the animation style. Characters costumes, hair, and physical features are very simple. Settings are basic and without extra detail. The lighting is bright and clear, even in Sedessa’s fortress, the Lockni village, or Nohrin palaces. A lighter tone and basic designs give off the sense that this movie is for younger audiences, and indeed it carries the PG rating to support this. Within the plot, however, are issues that most parents would find inappropriate for a young age rang: scenes of Sedessa bound to a post and having her wings amputated, later on the Princess Kyla is similarly bound about to have hers removed as well, by a seemingly insane “doctor” with a rusty saw. Elements similar to this are grossly inappropriate with a story that seems to aim to work with viewers around the average age of 5 or 6. The plot elements speak of an older audience, around the age of ten, but the graphics and animation point to an audience in a totally different demographic. Instead of appealing to a wide range of children this would instead alienate both groups.

Delgo does a great job of showing how not to make a movie. The writing is disjointed, settings and time frames are unclear, characters have far flung personalities that differ scene to scene, voices do not match the faces, and there is no clear demographic for the film. The movie The Producers implies that if you combine the worst of everything you will end up with a hit, and Delgo’s writers and director seem to have forgotten a distinction between that message and reality. Multiple issues across various elements of the film hold the viewer back from immersing themselves in a new world with new characters. After watching the movie from a critical position it only seems surprising that the movie was released in the first place. The fact that it was officially labeled a “Flop” is hardly surprising.

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Rise of the Planet of the Apes

I just went to see this today (purely because Tom Felton (Malfoy) is in it), so I thought I’d weight in, since it was hard for me to find someone who had seen the movie and wrote a clear opinion on it.

Plot: 3/5
Honestly it wasn’t really as-advertised. The impression I got from the trailer was that this is it- this is when we see how humans went nuts and killed each other and how monkeys gained the intelligence, speech, and took over. I thought by the end of it you could go into “Planet of the Apes” knowing exactly what happened. But that’s not how this movie works.

The focus of the movie is almost entirely on how apes gained their advanced intelligence and how they got organized. It does not explain how they took over and it doesn’t show how humans fell, though if you stick around after the end of the film it kind of hints at the full story. It feels like all that was added almost as an afterthought and is not a feature of the movie. So I’d say the movie is just about the chimps and their increase in IQ. Or rather one chimp, Caesar, and the creator of the neuro-virus that is meant to help with Alzheimer’s and autism, but makes the chips brains develop faster.

Acting: 4/5
There are some kind of cliche performances from the supporting cast, but overall I think it’s OK. Tom Felton plays a kind of bad guy (more like a jerk) who is supposed to take care of the apes in a shelter but bullies them instead. He seems suited to the baddie roll, though I was hoping to see him more as a kind of side kick to the main guy.

There is really nothing special to say about the acting. It’s not bad, but it’s not award winning. Of course, the movie is mainly carried by Caesar the ape, and there is actually not much dialogue, so it’s harder to rate the acting on a digital monkey…

Directing: 5/5
The director definitely took advantage of the San Francisco setting with tons of city shots and several scenes in the redwood forests. It’s steady cam mostly from what I noticed, not a lot of jumping around. There also aren’t many sudden jump-out-at-you shots, which I appreciate. There is a scene of some overly graphic violence, but considering how movies these days are going that’s nothing.

Other Things

It’s hard to write a long review for this movie without giving much away. In the end I think everything was just… meh. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t “See it 5 times” good in my book. It’s something to see if you’re a fan of the original series. I’d wait until it came out on TV to see it.

There are 3 big throw-backs to the original “Planet of the Apes” (the original-original, not the re-make). The first is a news story about the crew of a space mission to Mars. It includes some rendered shots of the beginning of the original movie. Later on Tom Felton’s friend is lying on the couch watching a movie and, if I’m not mistaken, that was also some footage from the original movie. Finally, without giving too much away, when Caesar grabs Tom Felton’s arm he says “Take your hands off me, you damn dirty ape”, which is the iconic line from when Heston’s character suddenly yelled out in the original movie, proving he can in fact speak.

I really think the director shot himself in the foot here. He spends tons of time explaining how the apes got the intelligence we see them with in “Planet of the Apes”. If he was going to do that he shouldn’t have added the bit in the end which gives a hint at how humans lost control and died out mostly. It could have been split as two movies, but now it just feels sloppy, like he spent all this time with the very first chapter then tried to jam the rest of the story into a small span (namely 2 minutes or so).

I was surprised to see among the actors David Hewlett (Stargate Atlantis’ Dr. McKay), who has a role of a neighbor. You don’t see him too often, but it was nice to see him all the same ^^

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Memento

Wow~ first movie review in a lloonngg time~

Plot: 5/5
A man, suffering from short-term memory loss, uses notes and tattoos to hunt for the man he thinks killed his wife.

I’ll give points to that summary just because it’s a hard as hell plot to describe! You either need to be paying attention really well on your first watch, or go back 2-3 times to make sure. The story is about a man who, because of an injury, has no short term memory. He can remember everything from before his accident (namely the rape and murder of his wife), but has lost the ability to make any new memories and cannot remember something for more than a few minutes. To compensate for this he leaves notes for himself, pictures with descriptions written on them. This man is after the man who killed his wife, because of a lead he found the police refuse to follow. Anything he finds out about the mysterious “John G” who killed his wife he tattoos to himself, so he can always remember what to look for.

Acting: 4/5
It’s very well done, considering the complex nature of the movie. Guy Pierce is the lead with the girl from “The Matrix” taking up the role of supporting actress. It is hard to rate the acting, just because it is such a plot based movie does not change that fact~ Some scenes are good, others are kind of rough. It is a good performance by these actors. Not really award winning in my book, but definitely high on the list.

Directing: 6/5
There are a lot of representativve shots meant to jog the viewers memory. It is very action-based in the film department at least. The director did an amazing job filming this movie for one solid reason: it plays backwards. You literally start at the very end of the movie and each scene takes place before the one you just watched. The scene or action plays until it reaches the point where the previous scene ended…. That was very unclear, lol. Think about it like this: you brush your teeth, then the next scene is you waking up. It takes a bit to get used to, which is probably why you need 2 views, but it is worth watching just to see how they manage to pull it off!

Other Things

It’s a very… slow movie. There are a couple of storylines really, the hunt for his wife’s killer and a relationship with a girl named Natalie. They all come together by the end of the movie, and if you’re careful you can predict it. But the problem with a story driven movie is that action fans won’t like it. You do have plenty of that, but not enough. It is dialogue-heavy, really.

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Dragon Hunters

… I don’t know why I watched this in the first place… I was bored… It was on my “Recommended” list on netflix…

Plot: 1/5
Purporting to be gallant dragon hunters, con artists Lian-Chu and Gwizdo agree to take on the fearsome World Gobbler in the hopes of collecting a huge reward. Fortunately, the brave niece of a real dragon hunter is on hand to give them pointers.

That is a bad description. The story is about Lian-Chu and Gwuizdo, two men who slay dragons for petty cash (which they are usually cheated out of) in the hopes of saving enough to buy a farm. They save a little girl from dragons in the hopes that her uncle, a Lord, can pay them for the trouble. The uncle offers them an exorbitant amount of gold in exchange for them to slay the World Gobbler, a monstrous black dragon that rises every 40 years and destroys whole towns and villages in their world where all the land floats (think “Avatar”, but there is no ground beneath the floating mountains). They agree on the condition he give them a bag of gold as pre-payment, with the rest to follow once they are done. He agrees and his niece, who he is cruel and uncaring towards, runs away with the hunters. Their goal was to take the money and just run with it, since the small bag of gold would buy them a good farm, but with the little girl in tow, and their route back to the Lord’s palace destroyed by a dragon, they have no choice but to go forward and seek out the end of the world and the World Gobbler sleeping there.

Other Things

This is animated, so I’m not going to break down acting and directing.

Apparently this is an English adaptation of a French movie, so it’s dubbed, basically. Which explains a lot about the little girl. Her looks are distinctly French (small, thin, sharp angled, extremely pale, strange hair (that part isn’t really French, but the eccentric style is French) and with a very small mouth). And the clothing on the girl has an older French feel to it.

All in all I don’t like this movie. It hits right where my sore spot is when it comes to movies. The rating is PG, but some elements are a bit strong. The human-eating dragons who can’t be killed, men driven insane and fighting with their own arms who are trying to kill them, dying children and a crazy man trying to murder a child is the least of the issues here. I don’t recommend it for the normal PG audience, it will scare them. I’d say it’s fine for 9+, but nothing under without you previewing it first.

*annoyed muttering* back in my day we had Winnie the Poo, not baby-swallowing monsters…

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Black Swan

*-_- a~w~k~w~a~r~d~ -_-*

 

Plot: 3/5
A ballet dancer wins the lead in “Swan Lake” and is perfect for the role of the delicate White Swan – Princess Odette – but slowly loses her mind as she becomes more and more like Odile, the Black Swan.

Oh… *that’s* what was happening? OK, makes sense. I’ve got nothing to add here. The plot is pretty simple, it has all the elements of an episode of Law and Order or a mini-movie on TV.

Acting: 5/5
In my opinion the short straw was drawn by Mila Kunis in this movie. She did a good job, but it’s kind of hard to judge her as an actor after seeing her play characters in “That 70s Show” (oh yeah, I just went there, talk about flash backs) and “Family Guy” (she’s the voice of Meg). Her acting was slightly forced, like she’s still working to escape the image of her Jackie character. You weren’t sure throughout the movie if she was a good or bad character, but when she cursed it felt a little forced, like Shia Le Beouf in “I Robot”.

Portman did a great job, which is probably why she won the Oscar. Honestly though, has she EVER done a bad job? Other than “Star Wars” (which I blame on George Lucas) I don’t think she’s done a movie that didn’t get nominated for tons of acting awards (wasn’t “Star Wars” all tech nominations?). She doesn’t work as often as I’d like, but she does a good job. I think this character was a little too whiny though. That’s my one complaint. Her character is very stiff and rigid, but throughout the movie up until the end I don’t think her expression has a significant change~ she’s always got that same worried look. That may have been intentional, I don’t know, but it was a little stiff in my opinion.

Directing: 4/5
I get that a lot of the movie is symbolic and whatever, but there were a lot of unnecessary shots that I think were made longer than they needed to be (namely a particularly memorable one with Winona Ryder anyone who has seen the movie will vividly remember). And especially early on in the movie I noticed the director favored hand-held cameras rather than mounted ones. Ok, that was my film-major-nerd-out. What that means is that he didn’t put the cameras on tracks or wheeled tri-pods which would make the picture really neat and steady, but he just gave them to the camera guys and said “walk”, so it’s really bouncy. I just thought I’d warn you, my father gets ill whenever he sees movies like that in theaters. But I don’t know if I was ignoring it or if it stopped later on, but the first shot with Portman walking through New York is like the cameraman is going through withdrawal~

Execution: 5/5
This is where the points for the movie come in. When you step back and look at it the plot is too simple to make a good movie on it’s own, but the overall execution of the actors and effects and everything pulls it together and makes it…relatively memorable. Honestly the only thing that really stood out for me was Potman’s acting, but it was a good creepy movie horror buffs or thriller buffs will like. As the movie goes on it gets weirder and weirder, and there are a few shots where I think the director and writer were overreaching (like the digital one with the wings).

Other Things

Ok… now for my confession. Some of you who have been with the site for a while know that I’m studying in South Korea right now, not at my home University in the States. I went to this movie with the other International students and some Korean friends. In Korean movie theaters they have mini posters or pamphlets about a movie, usually the size of a sheet of paper and magazine-quality printing (AKA- really good). These tell about the movie and give you something to take home. Why do I mention them? Because from the scene where she visits Ryder the second time (if you’ve seen it you know what I’m talking about) through the end I held that up to block my sight from watching the movie. Every time something really freaky happened my friend would grab my hand and scream, then tell me what the scary thing was, so I didn’t actually have to suffer through that (victory sign).

There is a huge metaphorical story running through the background of the movie that you can ignore and still get the full impact. Most of the movie is about Portman’s descent into madness. She starts to hallucinate things and people she’s never met, and beings acting stranger and stranger, which is where the horror elements come from. I think with Ryder’s scene in the kitchen (see it to know it) they went a little too far off base, but Mila Kunis’ final appearance was very well done.

I wouldn’t recommend this movie to a lot of people, only those I know enjoy the thriller/horror genre, but also the psychological one as well. I can honestly only think of a handful of people. But my mother is the chick-flick type, and she came back from seeing this a few weeks ago raving about how great it was, so you might like it no matter your particular preference.

Oh, and don’t see it with a parent or child. There are some REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY super awkward scenes that I think the director just put in to attract teenage boys and pervs. A lot of groping and such.

 

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2012

I was surprised by this movie. I didn’t think it would do very well, but then I went to see it 3 times.

Plot: 6/5
When typhoons, earthquakes and other disasters suddenly threaten to destroy the World, Jackson, his estranged wife Kate, and others surmise that the secret may lie in ancient Mayan prophecies that describe the global calamity in the year 2012.

OK, this textbook description of the movie isn’t very good (thanks a lot, Netflix). The way I would describe the movie is thus: After a series of strange global phenomenon (tsunamis, earthquakes and volcanic activity) a young scientist figures out that the sun is sending out massive amounts of radiation which may very well bring about the melting of the ice caps and an increase in overall global temperature, which would cause all kinds of hell. The scientist brings his data directly to the top of the government: the President.

With other country heads a project is begun to prepare for this end of the world scenario.

Some years later strange things begin to occur. Natural disasters are on the rise and the government has taken residence in Yellowstone National Park (for those of you who don’t know, this park is home to a massive volcano). Jackson, a limo driver, is supposed to take his children for the weekend on a trip there to give his ex some alone time with her plastic-surgeon husband. At the park he breaks in to a fenced area to see a lake he and his family used to camp at. The lake is completely gone. He is taken by the feds and eventually told to just stay away. Dr. Helmsley, the young scientist from the beginning, admits to being a fan of Jackson (a highly unsuccessful writer).

Later that night Jackson hears the rantings of Charlie Frost, who is yelling about the end of the world and how Yellowstone Volcano is about to explode. Jackson and Charlie talk for a short while. In LA (where Kate, his ex, lives) a sudden fissure opens through part of the city, nearly killing his ex and her husband while shopping at the supermarket. Jackson comes home with the kids and is just getting kicked out of the house when a huge earthquake strikes. He gets in his car with Kate, her husband and the kids and high-tails it out of the city.

The movie follows mostly Jackson as he tries to stay one step ahead of the natural disasters and make his way to China, where Charlie had predicted the Chinese government (in tandem with tons of others) had built some kind of Arc to preserve humanity when the world was ending. The Arc is a series of huge ships, a ticket on which cost 1,ooo,ooo,ooo Euro (about $2,000,000,000) and was meant to fund the project. He meets up with other friends on the way and their group increases in size. Meanwhile Dr. Helmsley tries to advise the President and scrambles to save those he can, including the Presidents beautiful daughter Dr. Wilson, who was only told last minute that her art-preservation project was really a front to move priceless works (such as the Mona Lisa and David) onto these Arcs.

 

Newton and Ejiofor

Acting: 5/5
John Cusack (Jackson) and Amanda Peet (Katie) are kind of rough. Peet’s character really does most of the screaming and whining, without actually contributing a lot to the story. Her character seems more designed to give Jackson depth and drive him forward, but they could probably have just had her character dead before the movie started and with a little re-writing it all would have been fine.

 

Chiwetel Ejiofor (Dr. Helmsley) has to be one of the most underrated actors out there. I’ve seen him in just a few movies so far, but each time he plays secondary lead roles and really does a brilliant job. I had more fun watching his storyline with Thandie Newton (Dr. Wilson) than Cusack and Peet’s duet story. And Newton, who also starred as one of the lead girls in “Crash” can’t seem to do a bad job at anything, which is why I think her career has really taken off.

There are a lot of older big names in this movie. Danny Glover and Woody Harrelson for example. Oliver Platt too, but he was never as popular as those two. There are little to no current big names, all actors who were huge about 10+ years ago and have kind of vanished. The cast is, for the most part, seems to be mid-30s (in the scope of the movie I mean, I don’t know their actual ages).

Directing: 4/5
It was alright. There were some amazing shots, but a lot of them were CGI, so I feel like I should attribute most of the score from that to the special effects department. There were also some instances, for example the scenes running through various big cities, that were kind of sloppily done. A lot seemed to be meant to show off the CGI, and you lost sight of the actors (or their car). That’s fine, but wide city shots dominated any scene that was not in a confined space. All of this was designed to show off the scope of the devastation, but too often you were snapped in and out of the action, which is a little too disorienting.

Other Things
I liked this movie a lot. I’d recommend it along with such movies as “The Day After Tomorrow” and the Korean film “Haeundae”. All 3 share a similar enough theme. Though this movie and “The Day After Tomorrow” could be twins.

As much as I picked on them I did enjoy the wider city shots. I’ve been to LA and Vegas numerous times and (at least with Vegas) I know a bit of the layout. I liked seeing the destruction scenes for the movie because there was a lot of familiarity. I think people who have been to both places numerous times can relate to that. It’s nice seeing a city you know destroyed in a movie more than a city you don’t know, it’s more fun.

In my opinion “The Day After Tomorrow” is a little better. Between the rapid camera shots and loud explosions and rumblings I kind of felt rushed in this movie. It covers a TON in the running time, and so your brain will be tired once it’s over. I would say they were a little ambitious with the plot (things go by very quickly to accommodate a long storyline), but in this case I think less would have hurt it more than having too much. You get a very even treatment of the story and nothing is sloppy.

According to both “2012” and “The Day After Tomorrow” the only place in the world largely untouched by terrifying climate and landmass changes is the middle of Africa, so I think we should all move there. Oh, and both movies teach us that our governments will hang us out to dry because all advisers to the President are total jack-asses. And the guys we should be listening to are misunderstood but too nice to say anything about it.

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