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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I Origins


I Origins by teasertrailer
I Origins - Window To The Soul by teasertrailer



" Pryia: The Dali Lama said if science disproved his spiritual beliefs he would have to change his thinking.

   Ian:  Good Answer.

   Pryia: What would you do if something spiritual disproved your scientific beliefs?" 

     Love, science and Spirituality, all essentially heavy in topic but fundamentally the fulcrum of this entire story… No way Director Mike Cahill can pull off a film that has all of these things and keep us interested all the way through… but he did. Just a little racy and weird at first, I was concerned if I wanted to finish it. Then the amount of science jargon spewed at me was ‘dumbed-down’ just enough for me to barely keep up. Once the true plot revealed itself, it became impossible to look away from the screen.  The process of the scientific, emotional and spiritual on-screen discoveries captured me.  Director Cahill did an extraordinary job bringing that great script to life and making it so relatable that even a blunt instrument like me can grasp the main ideas used in this outstanding piece of work.

    While watching I began to feel like the film was trying to find itself at one point.  As I look back after everything is seen it was I who lost my place. Mike Cahill’s story board was not complicated.  The way it came across the screen may have seemed like that because of the nature of the subject matter.  The only other director that automatically comes to mind that can balance the seriousness of science and the light-heartedness of a great love/action story and make it appeal to the masses is J.J Abrams and the work that he has done with the recent Star Trek reboots.  It’s a shame though, the same masses won’t be able to see Cahill’s work because my understanding is this film will only be available in limited release.  

    When discussing Spiritualism there are somethings I believe, some things I don’t.  I’m not cynical enough to point out all the points I differ about.  I rather embellish the points that made this movie a real discussion starter. I genuinely admire a film that can accomplish that.  I’ve said in this blog many times:  ANYTIME you come out the theater with more than you came in with[intellectually], that is true value.

    There is talk about a sequel, maybe an origins sequel using the scientific subject of “Emergence” as the central theme [non-life turning into life]… he may even call it EMERGENCE, who knows.  Usually I would scoff at the idea of gambling a follow up of an original that was so good that it should stand alone.  Not anymore; This past year so many successful sequels have emerged that I am now optimistic about those things, at least until I can’t be.

    I Orgins is worth watching.  Popcorn and drink are suggested.

     letter grade: B+

Monday, July 28, 2014

Begin Again





"Dave: I wanted to turn it into a hit.
Greta: Why?"
    This might be thee surprise film of this summer.  Boxed in the walls of “limited release” you will have to search your neighborhood theaters to find it.  My discovery came by a good friend that happen to see the teaser on a random channel on an even more random network.  From the beginning to the end the story captivated me and wowed me not only with a coherent and plausible script but original songwriting as well.  It is safe to say the music was mesmerizing.  The soundtrack as well as the musical score are all threatened to be bought by me as soon as they become available.  

    Director John Carney did a masterful job portraying the smaller nuances and semantics that makes a romantic comedy work. Betrayal, misdirection of the story to propel the plot, descent from prominence, redemption.  All these things seemed far more defined than in your usual romance stories that can seem a little too dramatic and predictable. The cast did a remarkable job of bringing the script to life.  According to Scarlett Johansson was casted for the lead but dropped out.  Turns out to be a fortunate hang up because although I like Scarlett and I believe she has skills[acting] her sexiness, due to her being typecast for so many movies, may have worked against her in this role.  Keira Knightley was perfectly imperfect for her character, if that makes any sense.

    The topic of music and the music industry interest me. This film also captured me by pointing out what is wrong with the music industry.  I tried to let it go but I’m still squirming in my seat at the notion that they know yet still choose to produce shallow hits.  I know music execs go to the show and this isn’t the first film to tackle this issue. Anyways, I was also very amazed and pleased over the reintroduction of the “concept” album.  Unsure of what that is?? I predict you are somewhere south of 26yrs old which is not a diss because it certainly isn’t your fault. This film supplies an excellent example of just what that is.

   Lastly I marvel, once again, at how John Carney was able to capture the joy/essence of music in a way that transcends all cultures and genres.  Easy to understand descriptions made me remember some things I use to love about it but forgot.

    This film’s competition isn’t some goofy love story starring a heart-throb with lukewarm lines and a shallow script. No, this film resides in the top tier films in this genre… Love Actually, The Notebook, About Time, There’s Something About Mary, Silver Linings Playbook, The Holiday (yes, It thought The Holiday was gem missed by a lot of people), and so on… Catch my drift? This is a film you don't want to miss in the the theater all though I KNOW that it would make a wonderful rental night.

     Worth Watching.

     letter grade: A

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes




"... you all know what we're up against! And I want you to know, it's not just about power! It's about giving us the hope to rebuild, to reclaim the world we lost!"

    Remembering how Rise of the Planet of the Apes wowed me, I usually expect lesser from a sequel when the first is that good. For some reason this time I was expecting the sequel to if not be better, at least be on par with the first. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was certainly the latter. While it is debatable if it was better or not, one thing is for doggone sure: They have caught lightning in a bottle.  Meaning if it’s done right they can go 6 movies deep and never lose any momentum.  I would of never thought that the reboot of this franchise could be this interesting.

    If you still have not viewed either one of these films there is no way to win you. Even though that is not my aim, what I do here is  I genuinely give my experience when going to the show.  However if something is really good, I’m going to definitely let you know, especially if I feel like it may get overlooked.  It took a lot for me to see the first one but I am so glad I did.  Fans of the original are happy because of the way this series explains what happened to the world. It’s a win win for everyone young and old.

    ROTPOTA is definitely worth the money.  I didn’t see it in 3D but will certainly like to.  I can not wait for the next one!

  letter grade: A-

Transformers: Age of Extinction


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"How many more of my kind must be sacrificed, to atone for YOUR mistakes?"

      The 4th installment of Michael Bay’s Transformers movies named Age of Extinction was good but long.  I have to put the praise and critique in that order because I’ve heard more people complain about the length than about anything else. Admittingly I can not fathom why the editing room was left unused when the last movie, which was understandably long due to the assumption that it was the last in a trilogy, force fed us some of the longest and most action packed finale battle scenes [a half of hour worth] ever! Again, which wasn’t a bad thing because it was the supposed glorious end. I just don’t see why we then are exposed to another almost 3 hour flick when now, we don’t know if there will be 5 of these or Mike Bay puts the cap on this one.  One thing is for sure, if there is a 5th one there is no way that movie should be over 2 hours… none.

      Anybody that lazily looks over all the other great things in this movie and says the movie sucks should be playfully slapped.  Unless your a hardcaore fan and you didn’t like the way one of your favorite characters were portrayed, the movie was nice.  As a honest cinema flick, the movie itself was engaging, interesting, full of action, comedy despite Shia Lebeouf not being there (will discuss this more later), and a parody of governmental/corporate intelligence, or lack thereof…. who doesn’t like sticking it to the big guys?  I know we are spoiled as a consumer base when it comes to CGI and post-production but seeing robots and real life motion-action on screen together seamlessly is still awesome to me.
     Mark was Mark, I have nothing bad to say about Mark Wahlberg taking the lead in this one.  I feel like it may take time the same way it took a couple of movies for me to warm up to Garfield over Tobey Maguire as Spiderman… or even Daniel Craig over Clive Owen(the guy I originally wanted to start the new Bond films).  Shia is either underrated or overbearing.  His comedic properties are usually always over looked from my view point.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get use to him not being the lead but Wahlberg brings some comedy but another more burly, fatherly element that seemed to work with this story.

     Well done. This movie was definitely worth every penny!

 letter grade: A-

There is no bonus scene among the the credits.  This makes the first time in the  Micheal Bay's Transformers movie's franchise

Dwayne Johnson was offered the role of Cade Yeager, but he declined due to scheduling conflicts with his movie Hercules (2014)