Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop





Movies This Week (4/27)

Posted 27 April, 2007 at 5:41pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Movies)

I thought I'd start a weekly routine of providing my two cents on movies that I've seen this week (since last Friday). This week I saw Blades of Glory (3/5), Charlotte's Web (3/5), Laurel Canyon (3/5), The Nativity Story (2/5), and A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash (3/5). Here's my run down on each one:

Blades of Glory (Theater) - An extremely funny movie with both Will Ferrell and Jon Heder superbly executing physical comedy as well as a general state of uncomfortableness needed for this type of film. If you liked Talladega Nights, you'll probably find this one enjoyable. A lot of inside jokes on the figure skating world (as well as cameos), so if you watch the Winter Olympic Games or figure skating, this should be a ball. I was also happy with Jenna Fischer (from the Office) and am always glad to see Will Arnett and Amy Poehler. 3/5
[When we went to the theater, we were over an hour early for the next showing of Blades, so we bought tickets to Meet the Robinsons. After enduring the children screaming, crying, and wailing through the remarkably bad string of trailers for children's movies, the TMNT began. That's right, the wrong movie. After about thirty seconds, I asked the woman next to us if this was the movie they were expecting (perhaps I had gone into the wrong theater?) and she said she had brought her family to see Meet The Robinsons and this must be a preview. I said that it felt like the begining of TMNT and not simply a preview. Then I started listening to the exposition that recapped the story of the Turtles after they defeated Shredder, fully preparing myself to watch TMNT when the theater stopped the projector and turned on the lights. A representative came out and explained that they started the wrong movie and it would only be a minute. I looked up at the projection booth, but couldn't tell what configuration of projector they had - how were they going to move THAT much film and bring in the correct platter of reels in a few minutes? Maybe they had one of the fancy machines with multiple platters? After five minutes the man came back and said it would be a few more minutes. It was at this time that I noticed that we were only about ten minutes from the showing for Blades of Glory, so we left the theater and exchanged our tickets for the one we wanted to see anyway.]

Charlotte's Web (DVD) - At first I thought this movie would be another Babe (which was a fine movie, but the sequel really didn't need to have been made), at least that's what the trailers had me thinking. Instead, this movie is a great adaptation of the children's book. The voice talent is well selected and, even though they are all famous actors, their voices are not so outlandishly played up that you look at the horse and think Robert Redford or at the sheep and think John Cleese. (Although Julia Robert's Charlotte is very recognizable.) The execution was fun, but not crazy or over the top as many children's stories made into movies can be (for some reason Hollywood has a tendency to think the original story is just too boring). 3/5

Laurel Canyon (DVD) - An interesting movie about two young doctors in love (Christian Bale and Kate Beckinsale) moving to Los Angeles and temporarily staying at Christian Bale's mother's home. Christian Bale's mother (Francis McDormand) is into free love, drugs, and no rules - she's also a wealthy record producer and Christian Bale is embarrassed of her. Kate is intrigued by Francis' lifestyle and begins to be drawn into her world. Both Christian Bale and Kate are tempted into alduterous situations as their attentions are no longer focused on each other. The performances were quite good and believable and the story was interesting enough that I felt compelled to find out what would happen to the couple, however, the writing was such that I was more interested in the personality and characters that I never bothered to remember enough of the dialogue to remember the character's names - except I think the mother's name might have been Jane. (Also, I just realized that I can't say Christian Bale's name without saying the whole name… weird) 3/5

The Nativity Story (DVD) - The drama, focused on Joseph and Mary's journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem did a good job capturing the human aspects of a young girl who conceived out of wedlock (both a blessing and a curse since it was the Son of God but if the people around Mary don't believe her, then she's an adulteress) and the man who decided to believe and keep her and take care of her as his wife. The movie also touches on Elizabeth and Zechariah, but I thought Zechariah's performance was fairly poor. The movie would have been a touch too serious for most movie watchers without the comic relief which came in the form of the Three Wise Men. Unfortunately, I felt that the comedy they provided detracted from the film as a whole and brought a slightly above average film down into mediocrity. 2/5

A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash (DVD) - It's hard to tell whether or not I like documentaries because not only does it have to be well made, it should also be accurate. I can't tell if the facts presented are accurate (but as far as I've heard, they are accurate and are inline with what most scientists believe), but they did do a good job at getting their message across - we're running out of oil/cheap energy. No solution is proposed or even hinted at - in fact, they do a pretty good job shooting down the solutions that are being worked on today. The production is not on par with the quality of Who Killed the Electric Car or An Inconvenient Truth, but they do a good job getting their message across - no matter what the oil companies say, we are running out of oil. Actually, now that you've heard that, you probably don't need to see the movie. 3/5

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