Monday, December 22, 2008

CRITIQUE & REVIEW: “The Day the Earth Stood Still” wondering why Hollywood can’t entertain anymore

The remake of the 1951 nuclear-weapons-dreading “The Day the Earth Stood Still” into a post-Stone-Age-human-dreading bore is yet another example of how pervasive the global warming… er… climate change faith has enveloped Hollywood. I usually grade science fiction movies on a pretty gentile curve, especially if they deliver the computer generated effects. But this tired, preachy and uninspired film really makes me wonder what has happened to Hollywood’s ability to simply entertain. Apparently entertainment is not a core value in Tinseltown anymore. Watching it I was dogged by so many questions, here are a few:
  • Keanu Reaves has finally found the perfect role for his acting range… an emotionless alien who takes human form to communicate in short declarative sentences. Whoa.
  • No matter how “reality-based” the Leftists in Hollywood claim to be, ultimately, it’s because of an emotional exchange that our Rational Betters finally reconsider exterminating mankind… er… the human pestilence gripping the planet.
  • Does every depiction of the military have to be a cartoon characterization of cavemen in khaki?
  • Let me get this right, an omnipotent supernatural/extraterrestrial force lowers itself to our level by becoming human in order to communicate a transcendent message to the humanity only to be rejected… who said there was no originality in Hollywood?
  • And now for something completely different… our new priestly class is affirmed when John Cleese’s character is presented as a legitimate leader of Earthlings based solely on the fact that he was awarded the Nobel Prize. After all, Yasser Arafat was not available.
  • We never do find out what precisely we’re doing to hurt The Planet (and it should be capitalized as any deity worthy of worship deserves.) Is it global warming, ozone depletion, species extinction, MTV’s The Hills?
  • One question kept going through my mind throughout the movie and even still, a couple of days after seeing this movie… would someone please toss Jennifer Connelly a blueberry muffin or ham sandwich? This formally bright, cheery and pleasure-to-see-on-screen actress has morphed in the last decade into a depressing, brooding and heroin-chic waif who is no longer the knockout girl next door but the skeevy junkie from the alley.

If you’re looking for the latest bedwettery from the Luddite, anti-capitalist, anti-human faith currently all the rage among our social betters then “The Day the Earth Stood Still” is just the film for you. Otherwise, “The Dark Night” was recently released on DVD. Buy or rent it to see the best movie of 2008.

Look: 6
Story: 4
Acting: 4
Politics: 3
Goal: 5
Intangibles: 3
Overall: 4

Monday, December 15, 2008

CRITIQUE & REVIEW: “Bolt” a Pixar-like Success

I saw “Bolt” in all its 3-D IMAX glory and liked the movie a lot. As a dog lover, it’s irresistible. The quest/journey/self-discovery plot is predictable but that’s not why you go see these Disney animated films. It was fun and less dark than most other Disney classics. Rhino the hamster-in-a-clear-plastic-ball is an instant classic character.


The movie wasn’t done by Pixar. Instead, it was a thoroughly Disney production. I’m not sure what that fact holds for the future of a sequel franchise but I trust the expected profits will cause the powers that be to work through any sticky Pixar/Disney issues. I hope they find a good story to continue the adventures of this promising new Disney character.

Look: 8.5
Story: 7
Acting: 7
Goal: 9
Intangibles: 9
Overall: 8.5