Category: films


Haywire

I love that the theater by my house shows movies for $6.50 before 5pm and starts them early enough that I can watch on before I have to leave for work.

Because that’s how I got to watch what might be my new favorite action movie, Haywire.

The plot is pretty standard, but the format it adopts takes action movies to a new place. The opening scene provides enough information for viewers to know that Mallory Kane, our lead, has no problems taking control of whatever situation she finds herself, and that we are dropping into the middle of a story.

Most of the film unfold as the lead, Gina Carano, recounts the events the led up to the opening moments. This entails many action scenes as she finds herself fighting what eventually seems to consist of everyone.

But that’s perfect for an action movie. And the fight scenes feel real as though I could actually learn how to do them, which is very different from most action films. And as much as Carano looks like she can take on the world, when she gets hurt, she shows it, which only adds to the realism.

This movie won’t win awards for dialogue or plot, but that’s not why I went to see it. I wanted to see an action movie that was entertaining and had some cool fight scenes. Haywire delivered, and I will probably pick it up on DVD to add to my collection.

Red Tails

Red Tails opened this weekend, and I made the effort to see it after George Lucas’ interview with Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.

The movie has some good fight scenes, and I like that it highlights a part of history that we frequently ignore in the U.S. The characters are not as fleshed out as they could be, and the dialogue is a bit flat and clichéd.

But it captures the same feeling, in all of its flawed glory, of U.S. movies in the time of World War II. It tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American air-force division, with the heroism and patriotism of movies like Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Tuskegee Airmen

From the San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives Flickr

I appreciate that the movie highlights the accomplishments and drive of the men who fought to fly and then cam home to fight for equality. The movie focuses on the strength of the men who made up the Tuskegee experiment in the guise of a blockbuster. And the format makes the information approachable for a broad audience.

I do wish the movie was more cohesive in its approach to the story, but I think as an introduction with entertainment value it works. I would recommend the movie for all audiences who are old enough to handle loud noises and some gore. As tame as this movie is, because the focus is on the people, it remains a war film, which means on-screen deaths occur but with less intensity than a crime show on tv. I’d recommend it for people who would like a brief overview of a moment in U.S. history or people who like to watch WWII dogfights.

Remember (years) back when everyone was talking about the Lord of the Rings movies and how amazing they were? I wasn’t one of those people. I absolutely love and adore the series by J.R.R. Tolkien. And  though I do not like the movies, I was content to merely let my dislike stand amongst the shadows unless pressed.

While visiting friends in Arizona recently, I ended up meeting new people (it does happen from time to time). We were discussing various topics in the midst of which I stated my dislike for the movies clearly. One of the guys seemed shocked and ready to question, but I was using the statement as an example for a different discussion. The conversation never got back around to my outlandish claim, so this is my explanation.

I have the über-nerd complaints about the missing and mis-represented characters and secondary storylines, but those would not be enough for me to dislike a movie. I completely understand that not everyone will see the story the same way I do and that there is only so much time one can sit in a theater.

The movies fail in one major way – they miss the point of the story by not ending the movies with the scouring of the Shire. Continue reading

Captain America

The first Avenger has hit the big screen. Through a curious series of circumstances, I’ve already seen Captain America: The First Avenger. Twice.

Captain America has never been the most interesting character to me, but I love comic book movies. My initial expectations were solidly in the realm of “Entertainment”. I didn’t go in expecting a movie that captured the feeling of a time past and explained the origin story of the character so well that I am now even more excited for next year’s The Avengers movie. Yet that is what I left the theater with. Both times.

Fair warning: From here on out, there will be a discussion of the movie, which will most likely result in spoilers. Continue reading

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