Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope
comic-con is madness. i say that with both admiration for the enthusiasm of everyone involved and aversion to ever going anywhere near it myself. this doc is a loving portrait of the con from the many points of view of its different attendees; merchants, consumers, fans, celebrities, designers, and illustrators.
- movie nerds often like to kick morgan spurlock around, calling his documentaries frivolous and flimsy. they’re right, but what’s wrong with that? we all enjoy thin, fun comedies or action movies from time to time, i see no reason to condemn a thin, fun documentary.
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
neil patrick harris’ songs are noticeably more interesting than those of fillion and day. i wonder why that is. i doubt it’s an accident. perhaps nph has the chops to handle more than the other two. perhaps his is the titular character, and as such was given the featured parts. perhaps as the villain, his songs were designed to be more dark and moody, which i find more interesting. i should call joss and ask him.
- i love the idea of a super villain engaging with the dregs of the internet: blog commenters
- the commentary track for this has all the normal anecdote and reciprocal praise you’d expect, but incorporated into original songs, which is a much better idea than most commentaries i’ve ever listened to.
- i’m not one of wheden’s super-fans, but i have a lot of respect for his work ethic and eagerness to take on a diversity of projects. making this was a much more constructive way to spend the writers’ strike than what most of the guild did.
tom hanks has an amazing knack for finding projects that are inoffensive and heartwarming without being bland and treacly. it’s a tough balance to hit, but hollywood seems uninterested in even trying, which is what makes his resumé so impressive. of all the needles he’s pulled from the haystack, i think this is the shiniest.
Oz the Great and Powerful
what a mess this movie is. it’s all over the map. if it was just a family movie with outrageously vivid visuals, it would be fine, but it’s taking on the legacy of possibly the most iconic classic of all time. that’s an incredibly unfair standard to judge any movie by, but the degree by which it falls short of that standard easily outweighs such bias.
- i liked the prologue being presented in a constrained box before expanding to full width when he lands in oz. i’m sure most see it coming, but it still impacts nicely.
- i watched this in 2D (as i always do), but the crass placement of objects lunging at the camera for 3D made me roll my eyes several times.
- the line “if you can make them believe, then you’re wizard enough” is something that nearly all politicians seem to hear in their head.
- the final duel between witches is a blatant ripoff of the yoda-dooku duel from attack of the clones.
i’ve said before that i’m a sucker for a good coming of age story. this one has the added element of a brilliant teenager who is torn between two worlds - the humble neighborhood he grew up in with all his friends that is comfortable but perhaps too much so, and the elite world he is granted entry to which is interesting and challenging but foreign and unwelcoming. his struggle with the decision of whether the aspiration is worth the fight, especially when he has to fight so much harder than everyone else, is what sets this movie apart.
- i think the character of an authority figure (be it a parent, teacher, police officer, or politician) is shown when they are challenged legitimately. i admire the ability to accept, both publicly and internally, that a volley from the lower ranks was on the mark.
the ambition of this movie is truly impressive. there’s a lot i liked about it, and a fair bit i didn’t. it will probably be a while (and another viewing or two) before i can really form an opinion on such a large and complex movie, but it’s a unique experience and it strives for greatness. i can’t possibly complain about that.
The Law in These Parts
whenever the israeli-palestinian conflict comes up in american politics, there’s always a mad rush to see who can be the most pro-israel. i’ve never understood why everyone just assumes that israel is the “good guy.” as far as i can tell, it’s a conflict as old as time in which both sides do terrible things to each other on a regular basis, all over whose book is better. i wish they could get along, but since that has proven impossible, i just throw my hands up and stay out of it.
this documentary is about the rule of law (or lack thereof) in israeli-occupied palestine. there’s a piece in it where the breakdown can be seen in microcosm. the palestinians are engaging in massive rock-throwing resistance. the israeli military courts are getting overwhelmed by the number of defendants and are failing to provide timely judicial proceedings. to solve the problem, they change their own rules so that judicial review is only required if the defendant demands it. the palestinians are rapidly losing confidence in israeli justice, so they don’t demand it. done and done; no more rule of law! this movie is filled with depressing and frustrating stories like that.
- of all the infuriating ducking of responsibility by retired politicians these days, “history will be the judge of whether that was right” is the greatest offender.
- i found the director’s coy admission that he had edited an interview with a retired judge in a one-sided manner that was reminiscent of the slanted trials that judge had presided over to be quite satisfying.
Nothing Else Matters
i am a big hockey fan, and although i’ve never been anywhere near texas, i am a dallas stars fan. it’s sheer nostalgia watching this movie, which details their stanley cup win in 1999, as well as outlining the history of the franchise since the move from minnesota and spotlighting some key players from their heyday.
- i still have the pantera-created stars fight song in my music collection.
- although i’m not much for expensive sports memorabilia, the one piece i’d love to have is the skate that brett hull wore on his left foot during the cup-winning game, for its tremendous notoriety.
- the most scorn i’ve ever felt in my life was when i walked into my earth science new york state regents exam, wearing my stars jersey, a couple days after the stars beat the sabres for the championship. my classmates eventually got used to it.
this is one of my favorite dumb blockbuster action movies. it has everything that usually makes me roll my eyes at such movies - a quippy action hero that isn’t nearly as clever as he thinks, outlandish stunts that defy physics, an epically silly plot - but this one works for me. i don’t know if it’s the stronger than normal character acting or just that i saw it at the right age.
- the second climax shouldn’t be there. it’s blatantly derivative of the first climax and makes the movie too long.
- i’ve always wanted to show this movie on the little televisions on a charter bus, and see how many tourists have panic attacks.