Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog… YES!!!!!

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

I just got done watching all three episodes of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. IT WAS AWESOME! It is a self described “supervillain musical”.

I don’t know too much about how this show came to be, but I was happy it was made. It appears that Joss, Joss Whedon, the creator of the TV show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer“, was looking to do something different. He was inspired by last year’s writer strike. He set off to create a show without the studios. (The people who the writers were “negotiating” with.) I would say that he achieved his goal of creating a story that was high in quality while independent. I think that what makes the show successful is the story and writing. It doesn’t matter that there aren’t a lot of highly glossy special effects. The writing is so good.

Anyway, go over and see the three acts quickly. They are up until midnight Sunday, July 20, 2008. They have plans to then release the show as a download and eventually a DVD. I definitely plan to purchase the DVD and support everyone responsible for this.

(I was right. The female news caster was Marti Noxon, a producer from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”. She was also an actress in the musical episode “Once More, With Feeling” portraying the “Parking Ticket Woman”.)


Saturday, June 30th, 2007

I just returned from watching Ratatouille. I LOVED IT! I will have to see this again, it was so good. (Also, I got to wrestle my one-year-old during the first three-quarters of the movie, she was tired but didn’t want to succumb to the sleep.) I went with Nancy, Sydney, and Adelaide. (Nancy worked evenings so she could go with us during the afternoon.) The animation was so amazing. The character models, especially the humans, is very convincing, even though they are stylized. The voice actors fit the character acting so well. And the Paris scenery is breathtaking. I have never been to Paris, but I believe that they must have captured the look of the “City of Lights” in this film. And, being a foodie, a foodie that prefers French food the best, who likes France in Epcot World Showcase the best, the food in the film made my mouth water. I found it interesting that the soup that Remy creates is the first dish that gets him noticed. I have wanted to learn more soup recipes and have been trying to make more good soup. I would definitely like Remy’s soup. I was following along as the rat created his delicious soup – the ingredients used and techniques – they were exactly how it would be done in real life. And while I am writing this post, I have the Disney Ratatouille sit e up in another browser tab which is playing some of the music from the show – it has a nice French flair to it. I will have to get the soundtrack.

So, over all, I thoroughly enjoyed it. (And once you see it, you will understand why I feel a bit strange “reviewing” the movie. I am definitely not a professional critic, by any means though.)


Shrek the Third

Sunday, May 20th, 2007

I haven’t updated in a pretty long time. (I have been working on a Google Spreadsheet-based post. It’s a long one though.) I just got back from taking the girls to Shrek the Third.

Overall, I didn’t like it too much. It didn’t seem to have a very compelling story. (I may be biased – HUGE Disney fan here…) I liked Meet the Robinsons much better. The story seemed to be a bit predictable too.  The princesses were my favorite parts.

Again, my bias may be showing in that I liked the princesses the best. I had a princess sitting right next to me. Sydney got to bring a treat to preschool on Tuesday, since her birthday is in the summer when they aren’t in school. Nancy bought her a “Dancing Princesses” tiara. Sydney has been wearing it everywhere since. She wore it to church this morning. She wore it the movie.

The other cute thing, yeah, it wasn’t in the movie, was watching Adelaide. She was stretched out on my lap, laying with her head in the crook of my arm, her sandals bouncing on my knee. The bag of popcorn was right within arms length. She just relaxed, dropped her hand into the popcorn, grabbed a big handful, and brought it to her mouth. She would then go back for more – not looking, just reach out and grab a handful of popcorn.

This did relate a bit to the movie, as Shrek and Fiona become parents. It did make me smile as Shrek and Fiona played with and cared for the babies. But, overall, the movie wasn’t too good, but the girls had a good time – so it was worth it. 🙂


Sunday, April 8th, 2007

I went to see Grindhouse yesterday. I liked it.

Recently, I have seen Once Upon a Time in Mexico playing on cable. I remember commenting to Nancy, “It has been a long time since Robert Rodriguez has had a movie. I wonder what he is doing?” I wondered, because I remember one of the extras on “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” showed Rodriguez’s house/studio. He showed how he converted part of his house into a studio where he could edit his movies and record music for his movies. Days later I saw the first trailer for “Grindhouse”. As soon as I heard that it was a project with Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino, I KNEW that I had to see this movie.

I was not disappointed. I don’t want to give too much away, but as you can see from the trailer, “Grindhouse” is really two movies: “Planet Terror” and “Death Proof”. “Planet Terror”, written and directed by Rodriguez, is full of zombies. You can boil the movie down to a group of people try to escape a horde of zombies by shooting them. The zombies are very squishy. “Death Proof”, written and directed by Tarantino, is a car chase movie. You can boil the movie down to a car with a fast car who chases and is chased.

But, the movies are much more than this. For instance, in “Death Proof”, which in my opinion had better acting in that it had better dialog for actors to work with and more character development, could be broken up into two segments. Each segment has a group of girls cast as antagonists for “Stunt man Mike”, the protagonist of the film. I will call the first group of girls the “Texas” girls and the second group of girls the “Tennessee” girls. There is one segment shot with the Tennessee girls where they are in a diner. The four girls are sitting around a table. The protagonist Mike is sitting at the counter. The camera shoots the four girls from right behind them. It appears to be one take, as the camera swings around behind the girls, following the conversion taking place between them. This shot seems to go one for many minutes. The whole time, the girls are carrying on their conversation, eating, and interacting. Doing this in one take would be very hard for the actors, they have a lot of lines! Also, during there conversation, as the camera pans around, it catches glimpses of protagonist Mike sitting at the counter, eating, and appearing to be watching the girls, maybe listening to their conversation. I didn’t notice this at first, the “one-take” aspect of the shot, until a little ways in. Then I realized, “Hey, the camera is panning in this shot. The girls are just talking away, without any apparent cuts. This is cool.”

The larger premise of “Grindhouse” is that it is a double feature. Rodriguez and Tarantino continue this premise by including “Coming Attractions” and standard movie announcements in between the features “Planet Terror” and “Death Proof”. I was taken back by one of the elements. The features were introduced by a sequence of colorful circles with words that would fly in announcing the feature presentation. It reminded me of going to the “Showcase Cinemas” in Milan, Il. This was the movie theater that we had to go to see the latest releases while growing up in the country between Donahue and Long Grove, IA. It was very late 70’s/early 80’s -ish. 🙂

I can appreciate this type of movie is not for everyone. Nancy seemed to have no desire to see it. I think that I, as a geek who likes video games, comics books, etc. was the target audience for the film. One little moment in “Death Proof” even reminded me of “Buffy”. One of the Tennessee girls is “left behind” by the other three on a farm with a scruffy guy. She doesn’t know exactly what is going on as she hasn’t been paying attention. When she realizes that the scruffy guy is walking up to her and she see the other three girls leaving, you can see the “concern” and uncomfortableness in her demeanor. At that moment, she speaks the word “gulp!”. This just seemed like something you would see in Buffy.

Meet the Robinsons

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

Sydney, Adelaide, and I went to “Meet the Robinsons” Sunday. This was the first time I took both girls by myself to a movie. Sydney was very excited to see the movie. I got us a medium popcorn, buttered, and a medium Pepsi. We found our seats in the second row. Sydney sat with the popcorn, sitting next to her in her seat to her left, and the soda in the cup holder in her right arm rest. I sat in the seat to the left of Sydney and held Adelaide in my lap.

The movie started with the Disney short “Boat Builders“. Adelaide was good throughout the short. She sat right up and watched Mickey, Donald, and Goofy. She ate popcorn, one piece at a time. When “Meet the Robinsons” started, Sydney was transfixed to the screen. During the whole movie she kept her eyes on the screen, but still had time to eat popcorn and sip soda.

About half way through, Adelaide started getting fussy. I strategically chose the 12:20pm movie, because I figured that this was during the Adelaide’s normal nap time and I hoped that she would fall asleep. After settling her down with a sippy cup of juice, she fell right to sleep in my arms. She didn’t stir for the rest of the movie.

I enjoyed the movie very much. I hadn’t gone in to the movie expecting much. I thought that the story would be rather thin and uninteresting. But I found the story to be very engaging. I may be a bit simple minded, but I usually try to just let the story take me where it wants to, so I enjoyed the layers of the plot as they were revealed. Since it is a “time travel” movie, there were some expected plot twists, but I liked how they were handled. It may have helped, too, the show was about family and I have my two daughters with me, one eating popcorn and soda glued to the screen, and the other one asleep in my arms. 🙂

I didn’t go to the 3D screening. Sydney was scared in the 3D shows at Disney World when we went there in January of this year, and with a one year old, I thought that 2D version would go over better. Still, I thought that the animation was very good. It was a CGI movie, but I thought that the modeling was good. Like I said, I hadn’t expected much going in, as this was a Disney animation. Disney animations haven’t been very good lately; not like the renaissance during “Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast”. But I was impressed. I think that it was a very good movie for the girls and I to see together.