Sunday, July 24, 2011

Captain America: Holds Up to the Template

Captain America is the newest superhero film to hit theaters.  This being one of the many superhero films this year, I thought I would try and make a template to use when writing about these movies.

Our Hero Before He Gains Power:  Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is a weak, sickly boy in WWII America who wishes he could join the US troops fighting Nazis in Europe.  He is constantly rejected by doctors because of his small size and sickly composition.  He shows the traits of being a hero, but lacks the power to properly back up this words.  I liked Rogers, he is a good guy, who I root for to catch a break in life.

How the Hero Gets His Power:  Steve’s traits as a good person allows him to meet a government doctor who place him in an experimental program which allows him to given superhuman abilities.  I like the simplicity of  the steps that go into getting Rogers his powers are not convoluted or goofy, they are believable.

Love Interest:  Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) is a plucky officer of the Strategic Scientific Reserve, the agency responsible for giving Rogers his powers.  She is not a timid damsel that needs to be saved.  She is a capable operative who is resourceful and supportive of Captain America.  In addition, Evans and Atwell have great personality together on screen.  

How Compelling is the Villain and Does His Plan Make Sense:  The villain, Red Skull is a direct foil  to Captain America.  The good traits that make up Captain America’s personality are in direct conflict to the evil of Red Skull.  He is a badass who definitely lets you know that he is evil as often as possible. His plan for world domination however, is rather complicated and downright silly.  He goes through a ton of steps basically so that he can create a giant plane so that he can bomb the US.

Action Scenes:  They are entertaining and there plenty of them.  The special effects during these scenes are really good.  The effects are not overdone and do not overwhelm the film.

I really enjoyed Captain America.  It is a really good superhero film that works because the hero is likable, the special effects are reserved and the villain is compelling.

*** Stars

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rubber: The Tire that Kills

Perhaps the tire is lonely...
Why do certain things happen in movies; no reason.  Rubber tells us this in an opening monologue and then spends ninety minutes demonstrating this with a movie in which events happen for no reason.

A rubber tire comes to life, discovers that it has telekinesis, then uses that power to kill people.  This happens for no reason

A chorus of people are watching and commenting on the actions of the murderous tire like guests at a play.  Why are they there?  No reason.

The tire is stalking a beautiful woman at a local motel for no reason.

Getting past these ridiculous things that happen for no reason is difficult.  However, Rubber is upfront about it.  You can't say that about a lot of movies nowadays.

** Stars

Transformers: I'm tired of this franchise

Um, stuff is blowing up behind you

The battle between the Autobots and Decepticons continues in Dark of the Moon. The Decepticon leader, Megatron has a plan to defeat Megatron and his Autobot team using ancient technology hidden on Earth's moon.

I was relatively satisfied with the plot events of Transformers. The bad guys had a plan to rule the world and they almost won.  However the movie is very long and the action not beginning until ninety minutes into almost two and a half hour film.  I am also tired of many of the things in this movie:

- I am tired of Shia Labeouf running around acting like a loud, fast talking fool.  His character has gone from slightly annoying to highly annoying.
- I got tired of Michael Bay trying to force me to find Rosie Huntington-Whiteley sexy by doing so many gratuitous, lingering shots of her.
- I got tired of the Shia's parents, they serve no purpose, are not funny and take up too much time in an already long film
- I got tired of seeing robots that for some unexplained reason have human features such and dreadlocks and beards.
- I am tired of Autobots appearing out of nowhere just because it suits the plot.  (I am talking about you Wreckers).

Even with all this, I still left the theater satisfied.  The 3D done here is really good, I didn't think that it was distracting or poorly done.  I hope this franchise is done because this movie ends definitively and satisfactorily.  I do not think I could handle another film in this franchise.  I'm done.

* 1/2 stars

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Celebrate Brooklyn! Hosted by the Lyricist Lounge

I went to the Celebrate Brooklyn! show hosted by the Lyricist Lounge yesterday. The show had performances by Large Professor, Joell Ortiz, Smif-n-Wessun and headlined by Raekwon.  I had a great time, here are some photos I shot of the event.

Celebrate Brooklyn! Show