Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Star Trek Into My Heart

This post contains spoilers from both the 2009 movie, Star Trek, and the 2013 movie, Star Trek Into Darkness. Dude, you've got to see these two movies.

Let's get one thing straight: if someone had told Young Me that, as a seventeen-year-old, I would love franchises like The Avengers, Batman, and Star Trek, Young Me would probably ask what a franchise was, because I was a bit stupid.
But then Young Me wouldn't believe what you said after you explained it because, well, I never thought I would ever like movies like those because those movies are for nerds and I only watch cool movies like John Tucker Must Die.
But the previously listed franchises have given me my favorite movies ever because they combine the things I absolutely love: explosions, men, swearing, and jokes.

Watching Star Trek Into Darkness, it reminded me how confused I was watching the movie's predecessor from 2009 for the first time. Like, utterly confused. In Star Trek, the element of time travel is brought up when Future Spock opens a black hole with the red matter to try to defeat Romulus but instead it sucked both of them into it and spat them out 129 years into the past. So then everything that happens after that happens differently than it did to Future Spock because now Romulus is in the past and eventually kills James Kirk's father. Even watching the movie five times last February left me a little frazzled still.
Anyway, director J.J. Abrams and writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman continue with the confusing yet riveting plot points with STID. The movie follows Kirk (Chris Pine, bebe) and the rest of the Enterprise and they try to cope with Captain Pike's death and capture the enemy, John Harrison.
Talking with my mom afterwards, she let me in on the fact that Into Darkness actually took from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), which featured a lot of the same cast as the original 1966-69 television series. When, if you think about it, is just a nice little piece for everyone: the people who watched The Wrath of Khan get a bit of nostalgia, the writers get a short break from coming up with their own confusing plot lines, and anyone else just gets a fucking sad death scene (but okay).

Even with a few death scenes, everything about these two movies is perfect. The actors, the dialogue, the wit, the butts, the good guys, the bad guys, the music, and the effects are the reason Star Trek and its sequel uphold 95% and 87% on RottenTomatoes, respectively. They're the reason the franchise now holds a dear place in my heart.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

They Should Just Call it "You're Out of Luck, Joel Edgerton Doesn't Show Up Until Two-Thirds of the Way Through"

I watched Zero Dark Thirty. A quick break-down of the reasons for doing so would be:

I get extra credit in my US History class- 70%
Joel Edgerton is in it- 20%
It's a recent, very well-received movie- 10%
I have the time- 0%

Well I made the time and I watched it, only half a year late for the buzz.

It's hard going into a movie knowing already what people think about it. I do it all the time (I'm looking at you,, and I try as hard as I can to make sure it doesn't actually affect my opinions about the movie. That being said, with a 93% “fresh” rating on RT, I'm sure that it doesn't. At least not in this case.
Not that Zero Dark Thirty (about the journey leading up to the killing of Osama Bin Laden) was bad, I just didn't like it that much. It was a bit lengthy. I get it, you've got ten years and a war to cover in this film, but they had scenes just where the characters were talking about how little was going on. The acting, effects, and idea were all good, but sometimes it seemed like the film was moving in slow motion.

I like the name of the movie, though. The name's good. In all honesty, maybe I just wasn't paying close enough attention, but where does it come in? Well, whatever. It's got a nice ring to it. It's like when someone says something and you don't understand it but it's sounds nice and sharp so you just repeat it over and over.

Go rent Inglourious Basterds instead.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Netflix Beer Me Strength

Freaking exams, man. I've never actually wanted to throw myself off a bridge more. So instead of crafting some sort of coherent post about a set topic, I'm just going to put out some stuff over what I've watched recently.
My new boyfriend's name is Netflix. He's like this really great guy with an amazing personality and he's maybe the reason there's been a small slip in my grades. Maybe.

Anyway, about a week and a half ago I decided to watch Warrior just because I wanted to evade my responsibilities and also, I mean, shirtless men punching each other? Why wouldn't I want to watch it? It turned out to be way more emotionally tearing than I thought and I kind of hate myself for watching it. I mean, it's a really good movie, but God Nick Nolte is just so sad and Tom Hardy is just so pained and Joel Edgerton is just so attractive.
I kept on my Edgerton-craze by watching Acolytes (2008), an Australian horror film about three teenagers who get into some deep shit and eventually get two deranged men (one of them Edgerton) trying to kill them (yolo swag). It's pretty decent.
And then I found some short films by Nash Edgerton, Joel's brother. The films, Spider and Bear, are about this doofus boyfriend who plays this pranks on his girlfriend that end up almost killing one or the both of them. It's weird how much I like them and how funny they are, given the previously stated premises.

On Saturday I went to go see The Great Gatsby.

We're not going to talk about The Great Gatsby.

Okay, I'll just say this: there were parts I really liked (mostly the acting (and yeah, I'm biased) and especially how the scene at Myrtle's apartment was done) and parts I really didn't (the whole Nick-at-a-sanitarium was an interesting idea, I just didn't like how it was executed. Also, there was music playing almost constantly. I get it, you've got Jay-Z and Florence and the Machine and Lana Del Ray on your soundtrack, but then there was just piano at times, too, and they really didn't need it over the dialogue in every scene.)
I found a quote in a review that pretty much sums it all up:

The central problem with Luhrmann's film is that when it's entertaining it's not Gatsby, and when it's Gatsby it's not entertaining.” (Christopher Orr, The Atlantic)

And these are the reasons I just failed my AP US History final thankyouverymuch.

Monday, May 6, 2013

You've Got Your Work Cut Out For You, Baz

In order to prepare myself for what is sure to be an extremely emotional day (aka seeing Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby), other than packing my bag with tissues, cheap candy, a paper bag, and a few adult diapers, I also watched the 1974 version, even with the knowledge that it figuratively sucked balls.
And man, did it live up to those expectations.
The biggest problem that this older version has is the actors...and the script...and the directing. (Oh God, this is going to be a long post.)

The script follows the book too closely. Almost exactly, except for some of Nick's narrative. Listen, The Great Gatsby's a fantastic book, but if you just take the words and lay them into a script format, it's going to eff shit up. What holds the book together is Nick's constant narrative of everything going on. When you take that away, all you're left with is this shitty choice of actors whispering about their problems and sweaty faces.

Speaking of the actors (we'll get to the sweat later), I basically have a problem with each one in this movie.
Tom Buchanan is supposed to be this booming, powerful man who acts like he owns everything in the room. Instead it's this guy with a mousy face and a whiny voice and really isn't scary at all.
I suppose Mia Farrow did an okay job at being Daisy, only because Daisy's the most conceited, annoying character of all. So...
Jordan in the book is known to be an athlete, a liar, and overall reckless. In the movie she's this wispy, airy, shallow pool of annoyance. She's set up as Daisy in a minor role.
I don't really know how to describe Robert Redford's Jay Gatsby. He was just there.
Nick? Nick was okay.

But everyone, everyone was whispering. Why? You've got characters in this movie that are supposed to have over-exaggerated everything, but they're all speaking softly, like they're in church. I suppose it's like when you're in a classroom and no one's talking. Then, when someone does begin to talk, they do so quietly because they're the only one. Now if someone else wants to join the conversation, they're probably going to match the volume so as to not be a complete annoyance. But there are always those one or two people in the class that talk so loudly no matter if anyone else is talking. That's how Tom and sometimes Daisy and Gatsby should have freaking talked.

And everyone was so sweaty. No one is ever that sweaty in real life. I don't care if it really is so hot you decide to take your cars and go to the Plaza. You wipe that shit off your face.

So, Dear 2013 Gatsby, please don't let me down. Let Tobey and Leo and Carey and Joel and Isla and Elizabeth fucking rock this movie. And if not, at least I'll have some nice butts to look at.