Friday, May 15, 2009

The Biggest Film This Summer (So Far)

I know you've all been wondering when I'd write it up. I mean, it's the biggest cinematic event of the summer so far. Of course, I've seen it. Heck, I've even watched it twice, it was that good.

You guessed it, I'm talking about Monsters Vs. Aliens. Zoe and I went on a daddy/daughter date to see it in 3D last night. It was pretty good on the second viewing. Sure, plenty of the jokes try too hard, but it's a cute movie and has a lot of great nods to the old sci-fi movies it's light-heartedly lampooning.

Not fooled, eh? Yeah, Star Trek.

It was fantastic.

Stacy, Susannah, Casey, Jon, Jim, Jim's older kids, and I caught it opening weekend. We went to see the IMAX experience during a late show on Saturday. Our mistake was getting there 10 minutes before the show. We sat in the front row.

The Front Row.

Do you know how big a closeup of someone's face is on an IMAX screen?

The pores, man, the pores!

Still, that could not dampen my enthusiasm for this film. On a whim, Stacy, Susannah, and I decided to see it again Tuesday night. This time we got there plenty early to avoid the front row. Just as awesome the second time, maybe more so.

I'm not going to bother to dissect it here. If you haven't seen it already, you should plan to see it. If you aren't planning on seeing it, then you're doing yourself a disservice.

As so many people have already said, this is not any old Star Trek movie. You don't need to be a fan of the old series. Heck, you don't even need to know who the characters are. This is a reboot and a beginnings story and it's done well. The performances were excellent (Karl Urban as Bones is my absolute favorite. Checkhov? Not so much.) The plot is good and the character motivations realistic. The music, while not even hinting at the old soundtracks until the closing credits, evokes grand adventure, tragedy, danger, excitement, and poignancy. The special effects are top-notch. Really, it's a fantastic sci-fi movie.

The only complaint I have about the nuts and bolts of the movie was the shaky cam fighting style. As I've mentioned in previous movie reviews, I'm not a fan. I think it's a lazy way of shooting action. Ostensibly, the reason behind shaky cam is to make the viewer feel as though they're in the fight, experiencing what it would be like as action flows to action. What it really does is allow the film maker to get really lazy about fight choreography. Who hit who? I don't know, but something actiony is happening!

Why does everyone look so short all the sudden? How'd I get up on this box? Hang on! What's that painted on the side? SOAP? Hold on one sec while I get down.

That's certainly not a deal breaker, though. My distaste for shaky cam rarely prevents me from enjoying a movie. Heck, I enjoyed all three Jason Bourne movies and they practically pioneered the shaky cam fight scene.

Go see this movie. Go for the action. Go for the space battles. Go for the character-driven story. Go for the excellent acting. Go for the summer blockbuster effects. Go for the sake of nostalgia. Go to see something new.

Then, go see it again.

I give Star Trek nineteen out of twenty-one Zachary Quinto's hands taped up to form the Vulcan salute on a scale I just made up that doesn't mean anything.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Your Daily Dose of Awesomeness

I post this video with no more commentary than this. It stands on its own.

Thanks for the drop, Clay.