Cowboys and Aliens is boring mess of a summer blockbuster. It attempt to blend science fiction and western genres falls flatter than a pancake. Its complete lack of creativity is made up for with shoddy special effects and wooden acting.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
There is a lighthearted nature to the film that is often lacking in Woody's films. Perhaps it is the performance of Owen Wilson, who's likability Allen used to full effect. The fantasy element also is also something new for Allen. At times, the film is a who's who of 1920s Paris, but that is the part of the great fun in this film. Gil observes the Fitzgerald's marriage at first hand, gets writing advice from Hemingway, and a critique from Gertrude Stein. The writing life is another big theme, since Gil who is tired of writing scripts for Hollywood wants to stay in Paris and work on his novel - a common dilemma in Allen's films. His bourgeois in-laws will have none of it. Yes, the film is predictable and sentimental, but also full of lighthearted humor and smart writing.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
It is 1979 and a group of kids in rural Ohio are trying to make a zombie film. Both Spielberg and Abrams made films as children - and it is so great to watch a film that captures the romance of filmmaking. Early on we quickly learn about the different personalties in the group. There is the leader, the nerd, the eccentric, and the quiet kid. They recruit Elle Fanning (Alice) who amazes the boys with her acting ability. All the scenes with the kids play out perfectly without going over the top.
Super 8 is a fun summer movie. It is destined to be a classic and hopefully will inspire studios make more films in this mode that emphasize the human drama rather than CGI effects. Superhero films are unlikely to go away, but whatever happen to the idea of ordinary people caught in extrodinary circumstances? Abrams rejuventated network television with LOST and if Super 8 is any indication, I look forward to anything he does in the future.