Saturday, December 20, 2014

Predestination (2014)

I would like to be less tired when writing this entry, but I don't see any chance for that in the near future. Which invariably leads to the question, can I foresee my near future ? :) And if I can, can I change it ? Or can't I ? Well, I had the same dilemma 6 or 7 days ago after watching "Predestination" between 1 to 3 AM = I told myself I'll wait catching some time to write an entry before midnight. And since then, every day, the moment came still after 3 AM. So, maybe the destiny decided I should do it at such hours. Let me try a hack in the loop :P = I'll start the entry now, save as draft at 3:16 AM and continue when I'll be more awake ;)

It's 00:20 after one week (no kiddin'): I don't think I'm less tired but I gave up trying to cheat the karma and finish posting this before midnight :) Sooo ... what are we talking about here ? It's a SciFi made in Australia, based on a short story by Robert A. Heinlein. That's an info that I fortunately found out after watching the movie. Because for me by then Heinlein = "Starship Troopers" = the only SciFi subgenre that I'm not attracted to. And in "Predestination" we have something totally different ...

Considering my enthusiasm in the double introduction (+ the hints between the lines :) ) I think it's clear enough that the movie's topic is time travel related. I'll limit at giving "Looper" as reference although I've seen already many contrary opinions on that. Mine is that the foundation is very close, although the two stories are indeed quite far one from another. What's exactly there, I'll leave it as surprise. However, I should give two warnings ...

The movie has a long intro. Very long :) I think it's almost half of the movie (we're talking though about a relatively short movie = less than 100 minutes). I liked this part, but I still noticed the length. Giving a light spoiler I can say it's a life story, out of the ordinary, told at a glass of whisky in a bar (don't worry :) we don't stay 50 minutes in a bar, it's mostly based on flashbacks).

The second warning is more an assumption that the story might seem ... I don't know .. let's say a bit "sick" once it gets far enough. Just might ... Because I assume if you're open minded enough + you stay aware that what you're watching is a SciFi, you shouldn't be appalled by the author's imagination. The real problem is another one, once you get the key detail you'll probably guess what follows .. and as your guesses are confirmed you'll know everything before the end. But even so ...

I must admit that in a sense is an original approach. And that's because that short story was written before "Looper" ;) This time I didn't bother though searching for logical answers about the time travel effects & consequences and trying to convince myself that what I've seen in the movie is at least theoretically possible :). I assume I was too tired to do that after that 3 AM I mentioned. Anyway, the "life as a loop" idea is an interesting one. And, let's say ... feasible in regard to some paradoxes. The question stays though on how to start a loop like this, and if you can get out of it ;) (just in case where you'll get sucks) ...

Rating: 4 out of 5

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Winter-Spring 2014-2015 Movie Preview - Part 2

I'll start the spring and the month of March with "Chappie", a movie that seems to be a sort of "A.I." (in case somebody remembers what Spielberg was doing around year 2000) but set in much more tensed world. World that actually looks very similar with what Neill Blomkamp got us already used to in "District 9" or "Elysium". For me not enough, I still don't trust the directing skills of this guy ...

Did you know that "Moby Dick" had a real source of inspiration? Well, after watching the trailer for "In the Heart of the Sea" and having a quick look on the novel's Wikipedia page, I tend to think that's more a marketing strategy (= "Moby Dick" actually had not one but more real life sources, this being just one of them). In any case, Ron Howard knows how to do one thing very well, and that's real story based dramas. So the expectancies are .. big :), as the whale.

Lately I'm quite disappointed by DreamWorks, but I wanted to have also an animation in my previews list, so I'm closing "March" with "Home". Despite being discouraged by the trailer ...

I don't have many options for next April that already have a trailer out, so don't shoot me (no pun intended), but what I'm left with is "Furious 7". The only thing that gives me a reason to see also the seventh part (unbelievable but true I managed to get through the first six .. it can actually be much worse = "Transformers"), is that the director is James Wan ("Saw", "Dead Silence", "Insidious", "The Conjuring"). I'm really curious to see how the most active/appreciated horror director of the last 10 years works on a different genre.

I guess my position regarding superhero movies is already known. Fortunately, the density seems lower for next year. At least as production number, because regarding the superheroes count we have again all the gang reunited in May for "Avengers: Age of Ultron". Big yawn ...

I never got to understand the praise for the "Mad Max" movies, and neither for George Miller as director. So next year's reboot doesn't excite me at all. Despite the trailer's level of pumped up adrenaline ...

After a relatively pessimistic series I'm closing May and this preview round with the top title on my "to watch" list: "Tomorrowland". The only fear I have is that it might be to teenage targeted. Except that, looks good, director, writers, story, cast, everything :).

That's all for now. I'll be back, soon, with a title that seems quite promising ;)

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Winter-Spring 2014-2015 Movie Preview Part 1

A bit later than usual, but I'll finally start the preview round of this winter. So, let's not spend much time with the chit chat and enter December with a horror. Seems a good choice, considering my mood and that I didn't have anything like this on my blog for a while. And it also compensates the cold outside with the Egyptian sun. Well, sort of, since "The Pyramid" seems to take place mostly in the underground.

The next one is placed a bit closer to where I live. In the "Black Sea" we have a German submarine that lays on the bottom since WW2. A small important detail: it's filled with gold. So we'll stay a bit more deep down below, but this time under water.

After starting in an indie note, I'll compensate the month of December with the ending of "The Hobbit" trilogy. The 2nd part gave me hope. Although, no matter how you turn it, "The Hobbit" remains a children's book to read before bed time.

The first "Taken" was good. The second awful. The third arrives in January. So we still have to wait a bit to see if this one is in the middle.

We had "Life of Pi" and after "All is Lost". I don't think that "Against the Sun", with 3 in a boat, has any chance for an Oscar nod. But since it seems I'm in a indie mood this time ...

I don't expect much after seeing the trailer of "Project Almanac". But I cannot resist a time travel movie. Out at the end of January.

I'm closing the winter with "Seventh Son", to be released next February. I don't know why the trailer left my senses somewhere between tha last "Conan" and "Wrath of the Titans". It doesn't seem to have neither barbarians, nor Greek mythology in it. In any case it's not a good feeling.

I'll be back soon with the spring :)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Zero Theorem (2013)

I wanted to skip over "The Zero Theorem". Having enough experience with Terry Gilliam from movies that left a deep touch somewhere like "12 Monkeys" or "Dr. Parnassus", up to totally unfortunate experiences as "Tideland" or "Brothers Grimm", I was convinced I'm able to smell the corner where a new release fits. Missed though that I didn't actually have any title by Gilliam to place somewhere in between. Until now ...

Call me lazy. I don't have the necessary mood and I also doubt it will help more than the trailer to talk about the subject of "The Zero Theorem". From my vague memories, would be probably close to talking about the subject of "Brazil". Sure, you can do it. But, what's the use ? As there, here, and in many other of Gilliam's movies, the picture relies on the personal take of each viewer. And the range of interpretation is very diverse. Actually, to offer such a diversity of possible ways to perceive a movie that keeps relatively coherent action threads it's really something. Doesn't always work (e.g., "Tideland"). Here it did.

Call me lazy, again. I won't start now with my own interpretation of this. I'll just limit to some general appreciations. The movie starts well. Again, is probably the most close picture to "Brazil", since "Brazil", but without reaching the same high (saying this in the context where I don't remember much of "Brazil"). Unfortunately it ends too rushed. Around three quarters is like getting it fed to an accelerated compression algorithm, giving the impression that all the action threads are suddenly cut. Maybe it's intended, for excluding quickly all the characters, and leaving the main one in eternal solitude. I don't know. Anyway, it seemed forced and artificial.

It's most probably the type of movie to see when you're n a very specific mood. And also a movie that definitely won't appeal to everybody. It did in my case. Not that well to get it at the same level of impact as "12 Monkeys". But enough that subjectively to have a higher appreciation degree than it probably deserves :) (and it's not because is a production made in Ro). Maybe it's because life is a chaos & the challenge to control it is somehow addictive despite you knowing it will never really work ... maybe because I need a Bainsley in my life ;) ... maybe others ...

Rating: 4 out of 5

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Hunger Games - Mockingjay: Part 1 (2014)

I'm still trying to find time for an alternative since I watched THG3.1 (= like 4 days ago) but it seems I constantly fail. So, let's deal with this one, maybe it removes the curse ...

I went too sleep during this. Literally (well ... getting my eyes closed). Twice. I have to admit I was tired. Still, last time, when watching "Interstellar" I was even more tired, and the movie was longer. No eye closing. So ... So, the last "The Hunger Games" episode is nothing more than something like a prequel for the last part, leaving the impression (probably resembling the truth) that this movie was split in two and made longer just to cash in more ( IMDb was saying something like: highest opening this year. so ... ). Should I tell anything about the subject ? I'm not sure it helps. There isn't any Hunger Games in this "Hunger Games". Which is actually good. Finally a different story. The action is focused on Katniss becoming the symbol of the rebellion. Ok, that's enough. More, in the movie.

There's a mistery for me on how I got to see all the three parts by now. The first was so & so. The second left me the impression of a mediocre reboot. And the third is something like a teen movie meets a political thriller meets a dystopian sci-fi. Which might end up in an interesting combination if it wouldn't be below average on each of the three genres. And to put the cherry on top, as much as I was convinced by Jennifer Lawrence's acting skills in "Silver Linings Playbook" (getting over the subjective side, seriously :P) as much, after this "Hunger Games", seems to me that she should win the next year Golden Raspberry.

Rating: 3 out of 5 (= due to the fact I was close to snoring at some points, and maybe there was the best essential part of the movie which I unforgivably missed, who knows)