Monthly Archives: May 2009
Starting on Wednesday, each week in June (hopefully) we will give you a review of a Woody Allen film. The first movie reviewed will be Annie Hall with the others still TBD. These reviews will be spoiler filled and DA free (just straight reviews without the opposing views).
I’m putting what I really thought of the film at the front, so that I don’t get a slew of hate mail right away.
Since this site is boring as hell (not really) we’re going to spice it up a bit. Starting with the addition of a new page that will feature a Director Spotlight each month. The first month will be the films of Woody Allen. Director Spotlights will be immune to our two main rules: First, they will contain spoilers and second they will not reflect the Devil’s Advocate Review method. Just a straight up critique, run down, and maybe some biographical information on the director.
The first thing I thought when I went to see this movie is “Oh, no! Its directed by McG (Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle) and the trailer was way too good for this film to live up to (remember Spider-Man 3?).” But wow, was I way off! This film fully encompasses all the greatness of the Terminator franchise (i.e. cool futuristic machinery, post apocalyptic earth, fulfillment of destiny, man vs. machine, awesome action, and a relatable character-driven story, etc.), mixed in with a little redemption story and it delivered without any filler. It is every bit as good as the trailer promised and that is saying a lot! Although the film is a sequel/prequel (yeah it’s both… kind of) it stands alone pretty well and if you’ve never seen any of the other Terminator films you can get by just fine without the prior knowledge. Of course some awesome innuendos, allusions and well placed lines will be lost on you, but you should be able to get on just fine.
“It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear, and it absolutely will not stop. Ever. Until you are dead.”
Those words were spoken by Michael Biehn’s character, Kyle Reese, in the original Terminator film and it summed up everything you ever needed to know about the futuristic killer that was on the loose. And now everything we thought we knew is marred by the desire to create all of these extra, unnecessary constructs, simply for the sake of creating them.
In the coming weeks the pickings will get slim in theaters and then gradually pick up again. During that lull, our hope is to review some films that we missed on the big screen. The first poll is regarding the week of June 9th, where we hit our first light week. The second addresses what the first “retro” review should be. If you choose other in the “retro” poll, leave us a comment as to what the other should be. So vote early and vote often.
Much to my dismay, a lot of what are viewed as Angels & Demons‘ short comings, coupled with comparisons to the book, actually lived up to the challenge that the conversion from book to film always loses. Instead of following the complete translation of book to film basically word by word to preserve the essences (dude, look for another word besides “essences”) of Author Dan Brown’s masterpiece, Director Ron Howard decided to invoke a more updated and modernized conflict of the book’s basic plot. Even if the conflict is not page for page according to the book, they are similar none the less.
When I hear that a book is being made into a movie, I hesitate and think what interpretation are we going to get and will it stay true to the author’s story. For every movie that gets it right, there are many that do not. Like the majority of people out there, I was introduced to Angels & Demons after learning about Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code. To my delight I found it was a story that captivated my mind, gave me a behind the curtain look at how the Church operates, and in the end left me thinking. Thinking about the duality of good and evil, specifically how man can be both simultaneously. The movie, Angels & Demons, stays true to Dan Brown’s basic story, but by leaving many so called “minor” details off the screen we miss out on the inner debate of good and evil.
Alright. It was not expected that within one week’s time we would see two reviews (the Underworld Rise of The Lycans DVD and Angels and Demons), but we have some very enthusiastic reviewers here. The Angels and Demons reviews will be up soon, which leads me to the other part of this post.
I enjoy vampire lore quite a bit, but when it comes down to mythical beasts, werewolves rank tops with me. So, by that rationale, Underworld: Rise of The Lycans ought to be the most appealing of the three Underworld films for me. Unfortunately, the Lycans are awfully mistreated and it does not sit well with me.
Underworld: Rise of The Lycans is basically the origin story of the franchise, with a twist from the previous two. Instead of seeing the story through the vampire’s point of view, we see it through the werewolves.
I’ll start with the “pros” and then move into the KAAAAAAHHHHHHNS!
They told me to not be “that guy”, but I’ve already decided to be “that guy.” The new J.J. Abrams Star Trek boldly goes where no (alright few) Star Treks have gone before. And it shall live long and prosper in theaters and at the box office. Why you ask? Simply because it gives the mainstream audience what it wants. Great sci-fi with a human (and at times Vulcan) side. It’s accessible. It doesn’t talk over the heads of it’s audience members. And here’s a little secret…it’s actually quite fun too.
So when time came to do the X-Men Origins: Wolverine review, one of the reviewers asked, “What happens when we disagree on the film? Does that mean we have to agree that week?” Well the nature of the blog is to disagree, so in the future (because it’s easier to change at the start than months into the process) if the two reviewers disagree on the film, that week both reviewers will write a “Devil’s Advocate” review.
Also, since we are going with a rating system of 1-5 Pitchforks, so as not to confuse anyone, the Devil’s Advocate reviewer will post both their real rating for the film and their DA rating.
I was on the fence before seeing X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and continue to straddle said fence days later. Since I fall under the so-so, “not the worst movie I’ve seen, but not the best either” category and my partner for this week was “pro-Wolverine”, I will have to argue against.
While it isn’t the pure essence of comic book culture lure, X- Men Origins: Wolverine is certainly a movie that would please most of the garden-variety movie audiences. Whether it’s the avid comic book fan, or a fan that’s entirely new to the genre itself, everyone would get a sense of enjoyment watching this film.
Just had to clarify for those looking to read yet another review about that film, though it would be several years out of date.
What is the Devil’s Advocate Movie Review Blog about? Well it was spawned out of a challenge. The challenge was to see whether or not a person could continually and successfully take the opposite stance, of another individual, on a film regardless of how they felt about it.
Example: My partners in “devilish advocacy” and I all loved Slumdog Millionaire, but if I were the Devil’s Advocate for that review, I’d have to speak to the films flaws or weaker points.
Not 100% sure what will be the first movie we review. I’m guessing it will either be Wolverine or Star Trek. And not every film we review will be a new release. We will likely start out with some new releases and gradually incorporate some retro reviews.
So keep your eyes peeled, for the first review, coming soon.