By: Moviegoer Grim
May 2012 Movie Reviews
Hi there! It’s Movie Goer Grim. Welcome to this issue’s Movie Reviews. This month we are going to look at some of the hottest releases on DVD, and two movies which were re-released to theaters in 3D. So let’s get to it!
The first movie we are going to grade is the release of George Lucas’ “Star Wars Episode One: Phantom Menace.” Originally released in 1999, this film is about the evil Trade Federation. Led by Nute Gunray, the TF is planning to take over the peaceful world of Naboo. Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi are sent to confront the leaders. But not everything goes to plan. The two Jedi escape, and along with their new Gungan friend, Jar Jar Binks head to Naboo to warn Queen Amidala. But droids have already started to capture Naboo and the Queen is not safe there. Eventually, they land on Tatooine, where they become friends with a young boy known as Anakin Skywalker. Qui-Gon is curious about the boy, and sees a bright future for him. The group must now find a way of getting to Coruscant and to finally solve this trade dispute, but there is someone else hiding in the shadows. Are the Sith really extinct? Is the Queen who she really says she is? And what’s so special about this young boy?
While I did miss it in theaters in 1999, I was able to enjoy this film with today’s advancements in technology in 3D. I have to admit, while I have seen a few movies of late in 3D, this was by far my favorite—it was the light saber battles—film. While I was not overly fond of the “rushed” storyline and that (damned) Jar Jar Binks, the overall effort was enjoyed.
And if you haven’t seen it in 3D, it is worth the few extra bucks to enjoy this recent classic in a whole new light. So, for The 3D edition of “Star Wars Episode One: Phantom Menace” I award three 3D-filled stars for this sci-fi adventure and really look forward to the re-release of Episode Two!
Next on the list is another re-release in 3D, James Cameron’s 1997 epic: “Titanic.” After winning a trip on the RMS Titanic during a dockside card game, American Jack Dawson spots society girl Rose DeWitt Bukater who is on her way to Philadelphia to marry her rich snob fiancé Caledon Hockley. Rose feels helplessly trapped by her situation and makes her way to the aft deck to think of suicide until she is rescued by Jack. Cal is therefore obliged to invite Jack to dine at their first-class table where he suffers through the slights of his snobbish hosts. In return, he spirits Rose off to third-class for an evening of dancing, giving her the time of her life. Deciding to forsake her intended future altogether, Rose asks Jack, who has made his living making sketches on the streets of Paris, to draw her in the nude wearing the invaluable blue diamond Cal has given her. Cal finds out and has Jack locked away. Soon afterward, the ship hits an iceberg and Rose must find Jack, while both must run from Cal even as the ship sinks deeper into the freezing water.
Whether it is watched in 3D or not, “Titanic” is a riveting and powerful story. The special 3D effects added made the film come to life and out of the big screen! For this award winning masterpiece represented in 3D, I give “Titanic” four exciting and tear-jerking stars …though I have to ask, “Why Rose? Why? Why couldn’t you have taken turns with Jack? WHY?
Oookay, and I’m back. Sorry about that. The third film isn’t really a movie, but is worth mentioning. “It’s Bad for Ya” is the fourteenth and final HBO stand-up comedy special by stand-up comedian George Carlin. It was televised live on March 1, 2008 on HBO, less than four months before he died of heart failure.
“It’s Bad for Ya” is the follow-up to the 2005 HBO special “Life is Worth Losing”, and the working title was “The Parade of Useless Bullsh*t”. Filmed in the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, California, the stage behind Carlin was designed to represent a cozy living room theme. “It’s Bad For Ya” received the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album, but sadly was awarded posthumously. I can’t rate this as I would a typical film, so I approached rating differently—as how much I laughed—and in the end, I am pleased to award “It’s Bad for Ya” four and a half laughter-filled stars !
The other night, I was bored and found myself surfing around Netflix and came across a 2009 Horror/Comedy starring Steve Howey (Something Borrowed and Bride Wars), Diora Baird (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning) and Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live) in “ Stan Helsing.”
“Stan Helsing” begins on Halloween night, as a slacker video store clerk, Stan, along with his insanely sexy ex-girlfriend, best buddy and an exotic dancer/massage therapist—detours into a town cursed by the biggest monsters in movie history: Freddy, Jason , Pinhead , Leatherface , Chucky and Michael Myers.
“Stan Helsing” is full of laughs as you quickly learn it’s a parody of American Horror Movies. There isn’t anything epic or compelling about this flick, but it is fun—and, sometimes fun is all you need. So for “Stan Helsing” I give it two and a half stars for movie monster fun !
And the last film this month is Martin Campbell’s take on DC Comics’ legendary character “Green Lantern.” It stars Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Carol Ferris, Peter Sarsgaard and Tim Robbins. A cocky test pilot, Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds ), acquires superhuman powers when he is chosen by “the Ring,” the willpower-fed source of power, of the Green Lantern Intergalactic Corps. He, reluctantly at first, takes on the challenges these superheroes face. Putting his self-doubts aside, and spurred on by his sense of duty and love for his beautiful, intellectually equal, colleague, Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), he is soon called to defend mankind from Parallax, a super-powerful being who feeds on fear. He is the universe’s last chance, as many Lanterns have been killed and the Corps is weakened. And he might just be the right Lantern for the job of keeping the world safe from harm. (Based on the characters of DC Comics series “Green Lantern.”)
Though this flick was jammed packed with special effects, I believe what made the movie work was the storyline and good acting. I didn’t have a preference either way coming into this film (though I knew a little about the director’s background in doing fantastic movies like, Edge of Darkness, Casino Royale and GoldenEye), so I was pleasantly surprised as to how good it ended up being.
It’s a good movie. The only down side is, most people who are not into the world of collecting comics, may not understand the underlying superhero theme of the film. For “Green Lantern” I’ll give three stars of comic book geekdom pleasure !
Well, that’s it from me this month. Remember, don’t take my word on these movies, go out there and judge for yourself!
Until next time, I remain…
Movie Goer Grim
Moviegoer Grim has been told he watches too many movies and if he invested the money he spends at his local theater Grim would own his own by now.