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Harry Potter VS Transformers

The last couple of weeks, I had the fortune to get out to see 2 films.  “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II” and “Transformers 3 – Dark Side of the Moon”.

The reason I wanted to just do a quick review, is because I think for anyone that reads this site, you pretty much know that I am a serious film goer and I don’t enjoy crap.  So if your a person who loved “The Phantom Menace”, there’s nothing here of interest for you, move along.  For those that do enjoy a good movie, and I’m really not trying to just pick apart either, some of what I say may resonate.  Let’s get started.  (Spoilers to Follow – Look away now)

So we got to see both HP and T3 within a 3 day span.  I enjoyed both movies, but one clearly fell short.  Can you guess which one if you’ve also seen both?

Harry Potter.  Let’s just jump right in.  The film carried itself very well in my opinion and much of the VFX was just phenomenal.  This was the first of the 2 movies that we saw.  Why did it fall short?

They had a 10 year storyline and in the end, it seemed very apparent to me that they lost focus to generate a great ending.  I would even say, the ending fell VERY SHORT of what they built upon in the film.  Each arch presented more of an excitement for me and when I was expecting that final arch, Harry Vs. Tom, it just dropped off the cliff for me.  I was not wowed, and I was not impressed.  I’m not saying at all that I could have done any better, let’s be clear.  But what I would have loved to have seen was that story arch peak to a point that drew you up to the final battle, and to me, it just happened.  I thought it was going to really begin when Nevell took out the sword and Harry turned out still alive.  But it was like, “Here you go Voldamort – Now we’re going to kick your ass!” but then they all ran away…  Is it just me?

And the final part when Harry and Tom did finally duel, they again were alone in a courtyard with no witnesses..  I felt that after 10 years of this poor kid having to face these demons on his own, they really should have brought everyone together in the end.  I could go so deep on the story here, but I think that would only be a waste of time because I’m not a writer and probably wouldn’t do the film justice.  And perhaps that’s what the writer intended, I don’t know.  Would I spend $12 to see it again?  Probably not.  But I’ll probably rent it again on HD Streaming or something when available to see if I was sleeping behind the wheel.

Compare this to T3..

Let me just say, no one does it like Micheal Bay.  He is definitely one of my favorite directors when he can curb his 13 year old humor (Which is hard to deal with at times) but he clearly listened to his audience complaints about the 2nd film and I thought he did a brilliant job.  The story was for the most part, well crafted and the delivery of the action was really really pumping and seamless (for the most part).

I thought the CG was incredible and some of the stunts performed in the film (3D) were just jawdropping.  I don’t know of another director who could pull off what MB did.  Was it perfect?  No.  I think the only perfect films are the likes of “Jaws”, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”..  pacing, music, dialogue, story, they are just brilliant and I consider them perfect classics.  This was clearly the best of the 3 films, but I was surprised to see the Rotten Tomato scoring for both.  Actually, based on my my last write up, not very surprised, but didn’t expect the tomato ratings to be reversed from what I just watched.

Anyway, the point being, if you have the chance to see either, I would say both are good movies but Transformers 3 clearly wins.  And you really should go see it in 3d before it’s out of theaters.

Just my 2 cents..  I needed to vent.

INCEPTION – A Review

Inception

You know, I’ve been reading a number of posts about this movie and moreover about Film Critics and reviewers, probably more than I would like to acknowledge.  However, while I don’t want to turn this website into a film review site, or a critic site, (we have others for that) I did want to take a moment and just blog a bit about this movie and why this movie was so important to storytelling as a whole, that many of you may have not considered the real ramifications of this film not doing well.

If I dump a spoiler, I’ll let you know before hand..  So why don’t I just post the general warning now.  They’re be minor spoilers mate…

When I first saw the trailer for this film, I was impressed and wanted to see it.  However, not like it was when I went to see Lord of the Rings, Star Trek 2009, The Dark Knight etc..  But I did want to see it.  With Hollywood stuck in remakes of Marvel and DC Comic characters with the finality of a realized dream to end up with the Justice League..  that’s all good and everything.  But beyond that, go ahead and tell me the last “Great” film that you’ve seen come out of Hollywood in the last 2 years.  Also, think about what you’ve seen this year where you asked yourself, “Seriously, they actually spent money to make this?”

Now, I’m not saying that all things out of Hollywood are bad, not at all….  But if you notice, the best movies over the last couple of years haven’t really come through the mainstreams of Hollywood.  They’ve had directors who really have had the flexibility to make the decisions and the proper decisions.  I mean c’mon, Iron Man a great movie?  Not at all.  Entertaining?  Yes.   But who like me wants more than just entertainment?   Granted, story telling is a form of entertainment but nothing beats a really good story.  I want something that is thought provoking, something I will think about, talk about after I leave a theater.

This is where Inception comes in.

The thing I’ve love about Christopher Nolan is his ability to really capture emotion.  His use of Score in the Dark Knight was absolutely brilliant and knew when to kick in a theme right at the correct moments.  He did the same with Batman Begins, very well done films.  Highly recommend if you’ve not seen them.

So with Inception, the concept alone of what they are talking about for dream sharing and how they interact with one another dependent on who’s dream it is, how it’s constructed and how you know when you’re awake or asleep, the levels of dream states and the way time works with dreams, was brilliant.  Which leads me to remember how they got away with certain things in Batman Begins…

Let’s examine for a quick moment…  The way Wayne enterprises was constructed with the “nothing in production on any level whatsoever”…  “Nomex survival suit for advanced infantry”…  “The Memory cloth”..  “The Tumbler”…  No Harsh language and no T&A..  (Ti_ s and A$$) The reason that I point these out is because it is all within the cusp of the willful suspension of disbelief.  When you tell a story in a way that is so just unbelievable, there is something that we are robbed of.  A movie is enjoyable if we can allow ourselves certain realms of the acceptability.  Think of dating someone and your personal realm of unacceptability.  It’s acceptable that they have friends.  It’s not acceptable if they’re sleeping with those friends.

It was not acceptable that they Nuked Indiana Jones in the opening scene of Indian Jones and the Crystal Suck.  That wasn’t the breaker for me, which of course we all should know now that the Crystal Skulls were aliens…  They blew it so bad with that film that I don’t know what the hell they were thinking.   So the point is, they could have done it so much better had there been a care in the world for what and who this character and stories represent.

I believe Christopher Nolan cares about such things.  I believe that he worked that script, that story backwards and forwards and may have had a couple of crazy ideas in the film.  The bottom line is, that’s okay…  Shoot big and trim things down to size.  Movies don’t sell because of T&A.  So at the end of the day, he kept it in my opinion for the type of film it was, very real.  It didn’t lose site of direction and spin on all axis’ of the compass and just lose it in special effects (2012 hm hm, don’t even get me started).

The story was difficult to follow in some ways, but it was very well told.  So while I’ve not given exactly a ‘review’ of Inception, I think you get my point about movies in general.  Inception was CNolans baby and he delivered.  He delivered which has given me hope that someone, somewhere, will allow  a director, more artists options to express themselves and hopefully not because a producer or studio decides they want T&A as the selling point.  One of the complaints I’ve heard from Transformers II was that people were turned of by Megan Fox’s strattling of the motorcycle.  It sure didn’t do it for me and I was hoping to see more story development when they actually aired that.   Just something to think about…

In closing, if you’ve not seen it, you should.  If you have a comment about it and want to leave it here, you should.  If you don’t like what I’ve got to say about it, let me know.  Bottom line is, go see “Inception”….