After briefly considering the butt calluses we would collect by going to a theater and watching all three Dark Knight movies back-to-back-to-back, we opted instead for the freedom of our couches and availability of our own bathrooms, and picked up the Christopher Nolan Director’s Collection, a set of five movies on Blu-Ray.
With the price of the Dark Night marathon at about $20 per person ($5 for each of the first movies, $10 for the new one) plus snacks if any, the $40 bucks for the five Christopher Nolan DVDs is a bargain…especially since I’d been hinting for a copy of Inception for a while. And the collection includes Memento and Insomnia, two movies on my to-watch list. It does not include The Prestige, apparently due to some contractual issues.
Plus the Collection includes a coupon for a free ticket to see The Dark Knight Rises (up to $8), making this a great investment (the coupon is valid through August 5, and gave a selection of movie theaters near our zip code).
The movies in the collection are:
With the Facebook IPO consternation, coupled with news of certain Zombie-like events in the U.S., it is time for a SMACKDOWN of two movies that are bursting with mysterious parallels.
|Movie Theme||Zombies have taken over the world||Social networking has taken over the world||There's always someone with dreams of world domination.|
|Star||Jesse is shown in these pictures with two "Z"'s: Zombie and Zuckerberg. Go ahead...you can figure it out.
Jesse was also the voice of Blu in Rio...redemption!
|Sidekick||Coming soon: a Woody Harrelson vs. JT SMACKDOWN...not!|
|Star cameo||Murray's Zombie disguise was classic, as was the line about GARFIELD.
Ms. Amirav is a star in her native Israel with a small part in this movie, but, dressed almost like a zombie, her public service announcement on Domestic Abuse is powerful and moving.
|Quote that should be from the other movie||"Without friends, you might as well be a zombie."||"Hey man, sorry. A couple of girls are freshening up in there."||Can't pay for marketing like that!|
|Superhero connection||Though not a fan of reboots (which usually means (a)need more money or (b)it stunk the first time), I'm a fan of anything Ms. Stone is in...as long as she's carrying a shotgun.
Gwen Stacy with a shotgun...yum!
|Best Facebook IPO Quote||"Time to nut up or shut up!"||“They’re suing me because for the first time in their lives, the world didn’t work the way it was supposed to for them.”||'nuff said.|
|Least likely to occur in a million years||That a geek like Columbus (Eisenberg) would be lucky enough to get a babe like Wichita (Stone) as his last girl on Earth.||That a geek like Zuckerberg (Eisenberg) would be lucky enough to get a company like Facebook to IPO|
We rarely watch depressing movies in our house, as we find reality harsh enough. But in a recent week we viewed two Oscar Best Picture nominees: The Descendants starring my wife’s favorite (and everybody’s wife’s fave) George Clooney, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock.
The one to watch, in our humble opinion, is NOT the one we predicted. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is, by far, the better movie of the two, with an interesting story and an ending that, while not exactly uplifting, tells a story of hope. The Descendants, in contrast, meanders all over the place, not really telling us anything.
There are some good pieces to the Clooney movie, his performance being one of them; as a man who has ignored his wife, who is now in a coma and finds out she was having an affair, Clooney plays confusion and uncertainty on what steps to take exceedingly well. The subplot of the Hawaiian land that “the descendants” own, and what to do with it, hits close to home, with our good friends who live and were born on the islands providing background on this issue, past and present. And Shailene Woodley who plays Clooney’s teenage daughter, out of drug rehab and trying to help, is enjoyable and gorgeous.
But the movie is a cacophony of angry reactions and aimless events (with the exception of the decision on what to do with the parcel of land). While the characters may be believable, it’s hard to give a crap what happens to them.
The opposite occurs in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. The story of Oskar Schell, close to his father, not so much to his mother, hunting for the lock that fits a key that he found amongst his father’s things after his father was killed in 9/11. By finding what the key fits (and it has do with “BLACK”, which is the name on the envelope the key came in), Oskar hopes to find some closure on his father’s death. Aided in his search by his Grandmother’s “renter” (who he knows is his estranged Grandfather, played well by Max Von Sydow), without giving away spoilers…Oskar does find closure, and ends up much closer to his mother.
Hanks and Bullock could have overwhelmed this movie, but it is Oskar’s story (played by Thomas Horn, whose IMDB bio says he won Kid’s Week on Jeopardy) and the two stars (and Sydow) fit in seamlessly.
I am ecstatic that the movie Inception was not based on a novel, because that novel would most certainly have made me strongly consider retiring my one pen. If Christopher Nolan continues the writing, directing and producing quality he has exhibited with this and the last Batman movie, the rest of Hollywood should be concerned that he, Peter Jackson and a select group will corner the market of our minds.
Unlike The Matrix, The Sixth Sense and others of the genre, Inception not only pushes the boundaries of what movies expect from movie goers, but assumes enough intelligence on the populace to let us draw our own conclusion. I loved the ending (and, yes, no spoilers here).
To put a summary here would be to commit movie hari cari. All I can say (besides go see the flick) is this: Dom Cobb (Leanardo DeCaprio) is an expert at getting into dreams and finding secrets. Because of a tragedy involving his wife, he cannot enter the US and be reunited with his children. A Japanese businessman whom they were trying to steal secrets from recruits Dom and his team to insert an idea into the mind of an heir to a fortune, with the promise to Dom of reuniting him with his children. Dom has to recruit another “architect” because he cannot create any dream scapes without his dead wife intruding and because the Japanese businessman (well played by Ken Wantanabe) got rid of his last one. This happens to be Ellen Page who during a test dream is able to quickly bend Paris over on top of itself, making wine bars accessible in multiple dimensions.
The difference between this movie and others is that not only does it expect you to keep up (as one of my son’s friends said, you have to watch and pay attention to the whole movie), the story line keeps you emotionally involved while your brain is trying to differentiate dream from reality. The special effects are as good if not better than the previews, and DeCaprio, unfairly classified since Titanic, is excellent.
Best movies of the year thus far, and any movie that has Michael Caine in it is a must-see. But I am holding out for R.E.D. (Retired Extremely Dangerous) before final judgement. When my man Bruce Willis can jump out of a spinning car shooting, that is Oscar material.
Watching District 9 with my 18 year old this weekend and observing how is interest level changed made us realize that the movie is four movies in one. He was interested in some parts, bored in others and excited/laughing in others.
An alien ship stalls out of Johannesburg. The aliens are rescued from the ship, and, 20 years later, they are in a slum called District 9. Tension with the locals incites a movement to relocate them out of the city (to the cleverly named District 10)
The movie is: