MainDoctor WhoMusicSoftware
Main Page
Home :

Alden Bates' Weblog

TV & Movies Archives

Page 1 of 5

August 30, 2009

District 9

I was going to go and see G.I. Joe, but after reading the bad reviews it was getting, I decided to skip it and go see District 9 instead. District 9 is an action film wrapped in social commentary, with aliens. It's filmed handheld style, like Cloverfield, which did make me a bit queasy at times (or maybe it was the splatter-gore). Thing is, it's filmed handheld style even when it doesn't make sense in the context of the story. Half the time they're pretending the handheld cameras are actual cameras, but then the cameras appear to follow characters where you wouldn't expect them to go, such as into a top-secret lab.

Good fun though! The main character was likable, and the special effects were great (but you'd expect no less from Weta Workshop). While I'm not generally a fan of splatter-gore, that was just window dressing, and the movie didn't depend on it.

As usual, plot spoilering point goes under the cut to avoid spoiling anyone.

Continue reading "District 9"

Posted at 12:36 PM | Comments (0)

June 27, 2009

Wednesday Night Movie: Revenge of the Fallen

Having seen Revenge of the Fallen at long last, I can see that Michael Bay has taken on board a lot of the criticisms from the first film:

  • We complained that there wasn't enough screen time for the Transformers, so the sequel has a lot more screen time for the Transformers

  • We complained that there wasn't enough interaction to establish personalities in the Decepticons, so there's a lot more Decepticon interaction.

  • We complained about the rampant comedy, so the sequel has a lot more comedy.

Oh wait, that last one isn't a positive. The first ten minutes of the film is a great action sequence, as Autobots and humans hunt Decepticons together in Shanghai. Then we cut to the Witwickys' house, and are hit with the sight of Mojo taking his new pal doggy-style on the Witwicky sofa.


Yes, if you loved the scene in the first movie where Bumblebee pees on Sector Seven agent Simmons, you're sure to love the humour in Revenge of the Fallen. If not... well, they don't raise the bar. At all. It's sad when Transformers Animated, a cartoon aimed at children, is more mature than the live-action movie series.

So, anyway, ROTF is two and half hours of robots beating the crap out of each other while the humans have comedy antics and occasionally some plot happens. There's an even better, though spoilery, review on, but it's very spoiler. Speaking of, the plot left me with some lingering questions, which I'm putting under the cut to avoid spoilering anyone who lands on the main page.

Continue reading "Wednesday Night Movie: Revenge of the Fallen"

Posted at 1:09 PM | Comments (0)

June 17, 2009

It's the long awaited sequel!

Hey! Which movie sequel featuring giant transforming robots smashing up cities come out later this month? That's right, it's.... TRANSMORPHERS: FALL OF MAN.

No, it doesn't have Shia LaBeouf, but it does have Bruce Boxleitner! And it's coming out on the 30th of June! What an amazing coincidence!

You can watch the trailer here (I'd embed it, but new wide-screen YouTube is too wide for my blog).

Posted at 12:36 AM | Comments (5)

June 15, 2009

Thursday Night Movie: Terminator: Salvation

Since it's still over a week until Revenge of the Fallen, I decided to go and see Terminator: Salvation. Unlike the previous three films in the series, this one totally eshews the use of time travel in favour of depicting a post-Judgement Day America under the grip of Skynet. While it succeeds really well at showing us a post-apocalyptic US, and at being a decent action flick, that's about all it does. The characters are only barely drawn in most cases, and the movie can't seem to decide who the main protagonist is — John Connor or the other guy.

Spoilers ahoy!

Continue reading "Thursday Night Movie: Terminator: Salvation"

Posted at 8:52 PM | Comments (0)

June 3, 2009

No haiku for you

I've been watching the old Man from UNCLE series, and partway through The Five Daughters Affair, we get this exchange:

Geisha: You know, ah: When homesick / think of friends / loneliness flees ... is ancient haiku
Napoleon: Haiku?
Illya: It's a classic form of Japanese poetry. It has to have exactly seventeen syllables. My favourite is: The old pond / a frog jumps in / plop.

You may notice that despite the correct (if imprecise) definition of haiku, that both examples completely fail to get anywhere near 17 syllables. Tsk.

Posted at 12:14 AM | Comments (4)

May 8, 2009

Friday Night Movie: Star Trek 11

Star Trek! As people who might have glanced at my LiveJournal know, I like Star Trek a bit. Apparently not as much as Moby does, but enough, I think...

There are no spoilers in this review, and I'm going to be fairly brief.

This is the best Star Trek movie since Undiscovered Country at least. It does New and Exciting things with the franchise, which frankly I'm glad about, as it was getting it bit stale in recent times. There were a few things which seemed to harken back to some of the earlier movies (is that vague enough for you?) and there were naturally lots of little nostalgic touches, mostly in the sound design, which made it feel enough like Old Trek that the fans were kept happy. The cast were great, the SFX were, as you'd expect, fantastic and hopefully we'll get a second movie.

I have a complaint though: why why why with the lighting? Seriously, it seemed like every few seconds there was a light shining directly at the camera or massive lens flare effects all over the picture. It almost felt at times like someone had the great idea that lens flares look really cool and stuff, so lets put them all over the movie and make it hard to look at anything for more than a few seconds.

Aieee! And I thought Michael Bay's constant shaky-cam during fight sequences was annoying.

Speaking of which, we got the latest Transformers 2 trailer before the film, and it looks even better on the big screen. June 24 cannot come fast enough.

Posted at 11:40 PM | Comments (1)

March 9, 2009

Friday Night Movie: Watchmen

I want to see a movie for the first time since September on Friday night, and that movie was the long-awaited Watchmen. Having read the original book, I was keen to look out and see how much they'd changed it for the big screen. The answer was "quite a lot but not as much as I expected". The rest of the production was so perfect that I could accept the rest of the changes. The casting was particularly good, with the actors being, for the most part, a perfect match for their characters. Also, unexpected Garry Chalk. Cool!

Spoilers follow.

Continue reading "Friday Night Movie: Watchmen"

Posted at 9:02 PM | Comments (1)

September 18, 2008

Space: 1899

Having somewhat of a lackluster month blogwise, so here's a Youtube video!

Posted at 6:30 PM | Comments (1)

September 17, 2008

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Much as when I went to see The Clone Wars, I opted to go to see Hellboy II on the weekend at the Ascot in Upper Hutt. And the same thing happened - there were unsupervised children constantly running up and down the stairs and chattering loudly during the movie.

As to the movie itself, it's a worthy successor to the first Hellboy movie. It's no Dark Knight, of course, because Hellboy is not about deep plots and symbolism, it's about Hellboy beating the tar out of things, but there was enough plot there to be fairly engaging and it even mostly made sense.

Of course, the area the film really wins in is character design and realisation, and the increasingly blurring line between CGI and physical effects. The creatures, and there are many, are all unique and well characterised. The behind-the-scenes features on the inevitable DVD should be quite interesting.

Johann Krauss is the coolest German ever. Can we keep him? Assuming there's a Hellboy 3 (and hopefully there will be!) of course.

Posted at 8:17 PM | Comments (0)

August 29, 2008

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

I made the mistake of going to see this movie on a weekend, and thus my enjoyment was spoiled a bit by children literally running around the cinema and making noise. That aside, I did enjoy it, oh yes. The fact that the characters had different voices didn't bug me either.

The Clone Wars started out as the pilot to a TV series, and as the story goes, Lucas liked it so much he decided it deserved to be a movie. I'm not sure what relationship it has with the animated Clone Wars series, which I've never seen (I don't think it has even played in New Zealand) but apparently there's a CGI TV series on the way.

Now, while the prequels weren't that great, The Clone Wars isn't written by Lucas, so the characterisation and dialogue is a lot better! Although admittedly the plot is wafer thin, with more of an emphasis on battles and lightsaber fights.

Original character Ahsoka, a youngling assigned as Padawan to Anakin was a cool addition and had great chemistry with Anakin. The only problem for me being the fore-knowledge of what happens in Revenge of the Sith. Meh. Disturbingly when she first appeared, someone in the theatre wolf-whistled despite the fact she's depicted as being about 12.

Admiral Yularen creeped me out in an uncanny valley way for some reason. I'm not sure why, as he wasn't any more realistic-looking than any of the other characters. He didn't get much screen time anyway.

One fun movie.

Posted at 7:59 AM | Comments (1)

August 9, 2008

X Files: I Want To Believe

I won free tickets to go and see this from Mintshot, and I'm sorta glad it was free... X Files was a series I watched on and off and never really got into it enough to regard myself a fan.

Given it's the first X Files we've had in a few years, I was expecting big things, which I suspect was part of the problem. I Want To Believe is more like an extended episode of the show than a movie. In an earlier time it might have been a reunion TV movie.

It's a movie that's more likely to appeal to fans of the show than anyone else... It has some good points though, like Billy Connolly. Yo, someone get Billy for Doctor Who.

Posted at 10:37 PM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2008

Recently Seen Movies

Alien with Rifftrax Presents soundtrack: What better way to improve a classic movie but with a commentary full of jokes? Absolutely the best use of time.

Hancock: A fantastic comedy with only one flaw - it's too short. At only 90 minutes, I came away feeling like it was more like the pilot to a TV show than a movie. I'd still recommend it to comic book fans. Speaking of which:

The Dark Knight: Everyone is right. Go and see this movie.

OTOH, don't take your kids. Seriously, when I saw this last Friday, the cinema was full of parents taking small children to see it. There's a good reason why there was an article in today's Sunday Star Times saying not to take children to see it - It's a violent and disturbing movie.

Posted at 12:35 PM | Comments (2)

July 21, 2008

Dodgy Alien #8

Today's dodgy alien comes courtesy of another Irwin Allen series, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. The season three episode Doomsday Island:

[A giant egg]
Why, the chaps on Seaview have brought aboard a giant egg! Nothing bad could possibly come of this!

[Alien from Scorpius]
Ah, crap, an alien from the planet Scorpius!

Nice ears...

[Previously: Dark Star's Beach Ball, Lost in Space's Carrot Man]

Posted at 5:43 PM | Comments (1)

June 28, 2008

The Incredible Hulk

This would have been a Friday night movie, but no one seems to be playing it at convenient times for me to go see it after work, so I had to go and see it today instead. My life is so hard.


The Incredible Hulk starts out with a recap of how Bruce Banner became gamma enhanced (though not the caught-in-a-nuclear-blast comics version) and picks up with Bruce hanging out in Brazil, trying to keep from getting angry, and searching for a cure. Of course, it's not long before he's detected by General Ross' forces, and the hunt is on!

Continue reading "The Incredible Hulk"

Posted at 8:25 PM | Comments (0)

June 22, 2008

Friday Night Movie: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Time marches on for both Harrison Ford and Indiana Jones, for this movie is set in 1957, with Nazis replaced by Soviets. As the movie starts, he and pal Mac have been taken to the warehouse from the end of Raiders to locate an artifact for said Soviets, which leads to the hunt for the crystal skull of the movie's title. And it does actually live up to the legacy of the previous three movies, though I can see why some aspects may have annoyed some of the stauncher fans. Anyway, go see it!

Shia LaBeouf's character is a lot less annoying than his character in a certain other recent movie, by the way.

Spoilers ahead!

Continue reading "Friday Night Movie: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"

Posted at 3:11 PM | Comments (0)

<< 1 2 3 4 5

Categories Site Map