Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cloverfield Monster looked at me!

So I've finally seen most of Cloverfield, or The Blair Godzilla Project. It was actually pretty good, and the shaky cam didn't annoy me as much as I thought (it's actually made some people physically sick at the cinema I work at). I never believed the actors were real people for a moment, but then a film about a giant monster loose in New York isn't gonna fool anyone that it's a documentary. The scenes of mass carnage are pretty intense and the sound design (which shakes the whole theater) deserves an Oscar. I also saw the Star Trek teaser before the film and wasn't too impressed. It doesn't really show anything apart from sweaty men with blowtorches building the Enterprise. Apparently we'll have huge spaceships in the future but not robot workers.

I forgot to mention that I've also seen most of I am Legend. It looks like a more faithful adaptation of the book than the previous two films, though as always with films these days the CG monsters never fully convince. Will Smith can't quite shake his "Big Willie" persona, but he gives a fairly good performance as the last man on Earth. I probably would have watched both these films in one sitting if they hadn't been restricted for the first couple of weeks (which means no free staff passes). But the good thing about walking as an usher is I can see pretty much all of the films, at least in parts.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What a surprise, Oscar voters screw up yet again!

I just saw this year's Oscar nominations, and once again pretty much all my favourite films get snubbed. Let me count the things that piss me off about the list:

1. Sweeney Todd gets overlooked apart from Depp (who everyone knew was gonna be nominated no matter what) and a couple of technical nods. At the very least, Burton and Helena Bonham Carter should have been nominated. It's the Big Fish travesty all over again.

2. No nomination for The Simpsons Movie for best animated feature! Yet Surf's Up gets nominated!? What the fuck?

3. Zero nominations for Zodiac.

4. No songs from Walk Hard are nominated. But three songs from Enchanted are?

5. The Golden Compass for best visual effects? The talking polar bears looked more realistic in the Coke commercials. 300 would have been a better choice (another film with zero noms).

I don't know why I get annoyed at how clueless Oscar voters are, but it happens every year.

Friday, January 11, 2008

2007: The year in movies

I just realised I never did my year end movie review. Perhaps it was because it was one of the worst years of my life. But here are the best and worst movies I saw last year.

Children of Men - I know it was a 2006 film, but it didn't open wide in the US until 2007. Quite simply one of the best sci-fi films in recent. Thought-provoking and exciting in equal measure.
Pan's Labyrinth - another 2006 film I didn't see until 2007. The bleak ending left many people upset, but this is one of the most beautiful dark fairytales ever filmed.
Zodiac - David Fincher's true-life serial killer tale is a very different film from Seven, but no less impressive.
300 - like Sin City, the closest you can get to a graphic novel on screen.
Grindhouse - a one of a kind experience. I feel sorry for anyone who didn't get to see Planet Terror and Death Proof together as they were intended.
The Simpsons Movie - one of the funniest films in years. Why can't they write the show that good any more?
1408 - it was a good year for Stephen King adaptations, and this adaptation of his short story was one of the creepiest films I've seen in a while.
The Mist - Frank Darabont's long-awaited adaptation of King's novella proved a thrilling and faithful adaptation. At least until "that ending".
Sweeney Todd - Tim Burton films are always a treat, and this was the perfect way to end the year.

Spider-Man 3 - oi! Sam Raimi! No! You may be a talented director, but deciding to co-write this one and stuff in three villains was a big mistake.
The Golden Compass - I haven't even finished reading the Philip Pullman book this was based on, but I can already tell it was a poor adaptation. It dumbs down the plot and is frankly a little boring (aside from the awesome ice bears)