Friday, January 18, 2008

Yet another movie roundup

Lately, I've watched some movies. Five, to be exact. Two of them I owe thanks to the awesomeness that is called the Internet. May you always give me free stuff...and may you grow old and have lots of birthdays and cake!

Juno. It's about a high school girl who mistakenly gets preggers and then makes the conscious decision to give it up for adoption to a couple she found in the personal ads. Along the way, problems arise. More strangely, where one might suspect that she'd actually grow fonder of the baby she's carrying as experiences pile on, she begins to fall harder for Paulie Bleeker. The story is about growing up...and possibly being pro-life. I'm not sure. At first, the dialogue in the beginning felt a bit too scripted, as if it was trying too hard to be cool and hip, but as time passed I soon grew to like Juno and her quick-witted attitude. More so, I like a lot of the secondary characters who gave strong performances despite having little to do. Overall, Juno was a good film but not some amazing piece of work that several critics claim it to be.

Zodiac. Some of you may remember that I watched The Zodiac a couple months back, completely expecting it to be this movie. I kept waiting and waiting for Jake Gyllenhaal to show up yet he never did. Eventually I discovered there were two different movies. Where the earlier one dealt with a fictional and obsessive cop, 2007's Zodiac focuses on real-life cartoonist Robert Graysmith and his participation in the Zodiac murders. Long, long, long film. Made me stay up real late for it, but wow. It's good. The set pieces, the characters, the frustration around every corner and clue. It's hard knowing that these events have no answers, and the movie offers hints and suggestions, but otherwise we're just as curious as to solving the case of Graysmith was. Excellent and definitely the better of the two crime flicks.

The Thing. Monster crawl. Alien slurp. I don't know. It was interesting, and probably a whole lot freakier to watch in the early 1980s, but it did little to entice me. The paranoia and fear--rather than the mutating, er, thing--were what made the movie most watchable. Otherwise, meh. Nothing to go nuts over.

28 Days Later. I want to call this a zombie movie, but I don't know if that's accurate. A bunch of scientists in Great Britain create a virus that...well, I don't know exactly. Creates rage? Destroys the mind? Whatever it does, twenty-eight days after being accidentally released (via monkey!) everyone goes apeshit. We follow around a bicycle courier who awakes to find all of London deserted. This part of the film was my favorite. Haunting and cinematic. I have to say, I liked it very much. I'm curious about the sequel, but worry that it is more or less just banking on the first film's success for views. Anyone wanna prove me wrong?

Blade Runner. This would be the Final Cut/25th Anniversary version. I'd heard a lot about this film so was very eager to see it. Slow, methodical plot that follows a man named Deckard around as he hunts for human-like robots. Loved, loved, loved it all. The atmosphere, the rainy city, the envisioning of a masochistic future littered with bad weather and ginormous advertisements. All of it. Well, maybe not Sean Young's acting chops, but otherwise it's probably one of the stronger SF films I've ever seen. Has a sort of future noir to it, and leaves many things open. Was Deckard a replicant too? The pictures on his piano, the unicorn dream, and the tiny piece of origami at the end all point to yes. Either way, this could've gone in a completely different direction (think horrible, like I, Robot), but I'm glad it didn't. The bonus features are pretty cool too, especially the feature-length documentary on the making of Blade Runner.

And there you have it.


TK42ONE said...

So is 28 Days a horror movie, suspense movie, or kind-of-funny zombie movie? i'm not big on having the crap scared out of me, but I do like me some post-apocalypse.

Paul Abbamondi said...

Hmm, tough call. I'd say it's a very suspenseful film with horror aspects. Like, there's no cat jumping out of a shadow for cheap thrills, but they have people being chased and attacked by zombies and whatnot. See it for the abandoned London scenes.

Jules said...

It is my favorite movie!!!!!! But don't see the sequel - it's a sad attempt!

1979 semi-finalist said...

LOVE Zodiac, so good.

Pretty much agree with you on Juno.

It's been forever since I saw Blade Runner (and have never seen the final cut) but minus Sean Young I always have fond memories of this film.

The Thing is on my list.

As for 28 Days Later, as you know it's in my top 10 of all time. LOVE it. The sad thing about 28 Weeks Later is that it starts of INCREDIBLY strong - I mean really powerful, intense, beautifully shot stuff, but 20 minutes in it completely devolves and turns into a horrible horrible sham. The only reason to see it other than the first 20 minutes or so which are brilliant is for the young actress Imogene Poots (sp?) - I know horrible horrible name - but this girl was/is INSANELY beautiful... I'd say...intoxicating. I couldn't take my eyes off her. Too bad it was actually distracting from the film though. That may not bode well for her career...oh who am I kidding...nobody loves intoxicating beauty more than Hollywood.