astri13: (Default)
Since Star Wars: The Force Awakens is poised to overtake Avatar`s domestic box office record today or tomorrow, I stumbled upon an interesting question earlier. Why does Avatar, as the highest-grossing movie of all time (at this point and I think it will keep the global record) have little to no pop-cultural impact?

Personally, I saw it pretty late in theaters and was pretty disappointed the first time around. I knew it was an "event movie" because of the visuals basically but because it was so hyped during that time, I expected it to be like other "event movie" where beyond the technical gimmick there would be a story/character(s)/mythos to really move and grab me. This didn`t. Like, at all. In a subsequent viewing, where I didn`t expected to be woo-ed, I liked the movie much, much better. Basically, like a fun popcorn flick.

It`s not a problem of simplistic stories and/or somewhat clichéd characters can never work because some of the most iconic movies/stories of all time basically have just that, if you get down to it. The storyteller just has to find a way to make them connect with people in a lasting way. This is an area where I think Avatar fell down. It works okay when I watch the movie but afterwards it`s done and gone. I had to actually look up the lead character`s name just now. Gone with the Wind is decades old and I know the lead is named "Scarlett O`Hara". My genre-hating Mom will happily hum the Imperial march from Star Wars. If I lower my voice and attempt a bad Italian accent, most people get the Godfather reference.

As such, I can totally understand why Avatar didn`t really seep into pop-culture. Beyond remembering the visuals that is. They were stunning for their time.

I only just learned there is a trilogy (seriously?) of sequels planned. Which, I will certainly see those movies and am open to them being good but this ain`t 2009. If Avatar did have an impact it was studios forcing 3D onto everything under the sun, to the point where people now go "I`m sick of 3D". So, that gimmick will no longer fly. And technology hasn`t advanced to the point where something is really new and groundbreaking. If a movie comes out in 4D or in interactive holodeck form or something, I believe then we`re talking again. That day has not yet come. So, Cameron has his work cut out for him.
astri13: (x-men first class)
Saw X-Men: Days of Future Past again and liked it a lot more than the first time around. Which is strange for me. But I think after letting go of some expectations I had for the movie, I could enjoy it for what it was. Also in retrospect I really like that First Class was more Erik`s movie while this one was more Charles`. That leaves room for Apocalypse to be both their stories as writer Simon Kinberg said. And James MacAvoy killed it in the role.

Also, as an avid fan of soundtracks, it`s fitting that the standout piece from First Class was Magneto`s theme whereas for DOFP it`s Xavier`s Hope theme. Which I love. And it was used really well in some hauntingly beautiful future scenes.

So at this point, I`m quite happy with the movie.
astri13: (x-men first class)
Finally saw X-Men: Days of Future Past which I enjoyed but wasn`t everything I hoped it would be. At least not after the halfway point. Spoilers )
astri13: (x-men first class)
Seeing as there are already a sizeable chunk of people who have watched X-Men: Days of Future Past, spoiler hound that I am, I went looking. And immediately hit a snag.

Oh, it`s no problem having the plot spoiled. Or mutants in it. Or cameos. Or action scenes. Any of it. And everyone was very, very positive. But for the life of me I couldn`t find reviews/spoilers from someone who appeared to view the movie through the same lens as I know I will. I mean my expectations are very simplistic in their own way: how well will the Charles/Erik relationship be handled? If it`s good, I can forgive a lot of other stuff. And while I could glean some things from general spoilers that I`m all over the place about because I lack context, I`m basically as knowledgeable about the movie as I was before I started looking.

In other words: hurry up, movie. And please, please be good. *fingers crossed*
astri13: (Default)
A belated Happy New Year to all.

Hoping against hope of achieving at least some this time, I made some resolutions for 2014, namely:

- get in shape more; yes, losing weight would be an important sub-goal but it`s not just that, as I noticed on my last vacation when a simple hiking trip nearly made me collapse: I`m in lousy, lousy shape, I was never very sportive but it used to be better than that

- trying out my new keyboard, no, I can`t play but I bought it (two years ago) to actually learn to play a bit and since then it`s sitting there, gathering dust

- getting together with a couple of old buds where we have been saying we should get together some time for ages now

- read more books; again, I love it but in recent years haven`t read all that much because when I get home from work, I usually slump right in front of the computer and stay there till bedtime and on the week-ends I catch up on all my shows

- go out a bit more, I love going to the movies but, like with reading, rarely do these days

For the last two, I would actually welcome some recs. Like what kind of movies you guys are looking forward to. I usually miss so much because I don`t even know what`s coming out.

But I`d especially grateful for book-recs. In the spirit of starting out, I just finished the Ruby Red Trilogy by Kerstin Gier, a cute little time-travelling fantasy romance tale which was actually quite enjoyable and have the Hunger Games lined up. Which is not to say I only read youth lit, my taste buds are actually pretty diverse, fantasy, Sci-Fi, romance, comedy etc. Not too much into autobiography and stuff that gets marketed as "the rousing tale of one woman`s dramatic journey to..."
Or as I like to call it "you move to the African bush, what did you expect, lady?" I can love protagonists who are dark and broody and even mean but stupid is a deal-breaker.

So hit me. Metaphorically. :)
astri13: (Default)
In a spur of the moment decision, I watched Catching Fire today. Like the first movie, it was muchly enjoyed. In fact, I couldn`t tell you which one I really favour. The new movie was quite a bit darker - I guess that`s a thing with GOOD middle parts of trilogies? - and this has its own charm to me.

I really enjoyed the new characters, the build-up and the story structure. It wasn`t a complete redo of the first movie insofar as very general spoilers )

If I have a nitpick, it might sound like a very weird one: the bad guys were at certain points TOO evil for me. Sounds ridiculous, I know. And I`m usually not squeamish. I also don`t mean to say those characters were badly written and/or acted, at a certain point I just felt oversaturated with "and another bottomless pit of dasdardly evol we have sunk to". Not to mention the entire Capitol must be populated by what can only be described as naive sociopaths. They are completely beyond redemption yet have NO awareness of that. Odd.

Still, it in no way killed the movie for me.

Now if all goes well I`ll see the Hobbit 2 on Friday. Busy week, this.
astri13: (Dean)
Thor - The Dark World was seen and very much enjoyed today. Unfortunately, I could only view the dubbed version because our small movie theater never shows OVs and even if they did, I could never drag my colleagues into one. But regardless, the movie was great fun.

My main wish for this one was a good handling of Thor and Loki and in that regard, I was very pleased. Okay, I could see everyspoilers )

Btw, why the fuck is the movie called "Thor - The Dark Kingdom" in Germany? I can understand leaving an English title alone or translating it altogether so "Thor - Die dunkle Welt" would have made sense to me but swapping out one English word for another? And my guess would be people know "world" more than "kingdom". *finger making looping motion next to head* 

Huh?

Aug. 23rd, 2013 03:28 pm
astri13: (Default)
Even as someone who liked the Daredevil movie okay, this bit of casting news makes me raise my eyebrows. I think his strength lies in directing. This is basically a reboot of the character, not that much beyond the latest reboot.

I will certainly give it a chance - the casting of Heath Ledger as the Jokes back then caused me to go "huh?" as well and I think he turned in a brilliant performance - because Batman is my fave superhero and I think a combined Supes/Batman movie has potential but...hm.

That said, there are other actors I would have prefered. And one unrealistic choice I would have personally prefered very much and wish someone would rescue from their current position of drek and constant under-valuation.
astri13: (Default)
Watched my "Easter Egg" today which was The Amazing Spiderman on DVD. I had not previously seen it because I hate going to the movies alone but usually can`t find someone who wants to go to "those kinds of movies" with me. If they are going to the movies at all instead of tending to house/family/garden. Sigh, back at Uni, I went with my roomate all the damn time. Miss those days.

Anyhow, I was uncertain about rebooting the franchise just a couple of years after the last movies but I enjoyed it (what do I know, though, I didn`t even hate-hate Spider-Man 3 :-p). The new Spidey was a bit snappier and snarkier which I liked. Of course parts of the origin story stay the same as they always do, like the whole thing with Uncle Ben, and they should. It`s, after all, the whole impetus for Spidey`s character. Just one moment of pettiness leading to such terrible consequences and that haunting him.

Also, since I`m a big softie, I enjoy those scenes when the people "give back", so to speak. Like the train scene in Spider-Man 2 and the crane scene in this new one. That was pretty awesome.

The suppporting roles were also well-drawn, for example Captain Stacy was a bit more than just the tunnel-visioned Police Chief out for the "vigilante" come hell or high water. And Gwen did defnitely get some better stuff to do than MJ did in the previous series.

Looking forward to the sequel for this one.

Which, speaking of, this movie year is just RIPE with upcoming sequels, isn`t it? Iron Man, Star Trek, Catching Fire, Thor... On the one hand, I`m majorly excited, on the other, apprehensive, too. I went into all the "originals" with little to no expectation. Now? Whole different ballgame. I mean, the trailers look good on IM3 and ST but heck, I thought the trailer for the Star Trek reboot looked atrocious and then the movie blew me away. Hopefully, all sequels keep those things alive that made me love the first parters.

Meanwhile, my "superhero movie" shelf keeps growing, I guess with great movies comes a great responsibility to provide room for them. *g*
astri13: (Default)
Watched my "Easter Egg" today which was The Amazing Spiderman on DVD. I had not previously seen it because I hate going to the movies alone but usually can`t find someone who wants to go to "those kinds of movies" with me. If they are going to the movies at all instead of tending to house/family/garden. Sigh, back at Uni, I went with my roomate all the damn time. Miss those days.

Anyhow, I was uncertain about rebooting the franchise just a couple of years after the last movies but I enjoyed it (what do I know, though, I didn`t even hate-hate Spider-Man 3 :-p). The new Spidey was a bit snappier and snarkier which I liked. Of course parts of the origin story stay the same as they always do, like the whole thing with Uncle Ben, and they should. It`s, after all, the whole impetus for Spidey`s character. Just one moment of pettiness leading to such terrible consequences and that haunting him.

Also, since I`m a big softie, I enjoy those scenes when the people "give back", so to speak. Like the train scene in Spider-Man 2 and the crane scene in this new one. That was pretty awesome.

The suppporting roles were also well-drawn, for example Captain Stacy was a bit more than just the tunnel-visioned Police Chief out for the "vigilante" come hell or high water. And Gwen did defnitely get some better stuff to do than MJ did in the previous series.

Looking forward to the sequel for this one.

Which, speaking of, this movie year is just RIPE with upcoming sequels, isn`t it? Iron Man, Star Trek, Catching Fire, Thor... On the one hand, I`m majorly excited, on the other, apprehensive, too. I went into all the "originals" with little to no expectation. Now? Whole different ballgame. I mean, the trailers look good on IM3 and ST but heck, I thought the trailer for the Star Trek reboot looked atrocious and then the movie blew me away. Hopefully, all sequels keep those things alive that made me love the first parters.

Meanwhile, my "superhero movie" shelf keeps growing, I guess with great movies comes a great responsibility to provide room for them. *g*
astri13: (Default)
I...I have no words

George Lucas sold Star Wars? Disney plans to bring out a new movie as early as 2015? I`m rarely surprised by anything in the showbuiz these days but this? Yeah, never would have seen it coming.

This is either going to rock or suck.
astri13: (CartDean)
In my neverending quest to catch up on this year`s summer flicks, I watched Battleship last night.

And, um, I`m beginning to wonder if it`s me growing out of "those kind of movies" or if they have simply changed too much. Because the thing is, I like mindless popcorn entertainment. I like Alien invasion flicks, don`t mind paper-thin stories, clichés and the inevitable amount of hooray-patriotism they have. For god`s sakes, I adore Independence Day, it has all those flaws but still it has some charme and fun.

The effect-parts of Battleship seemed to be right out of Transformers - another of those popcorn flicks I should like but was bored to tears throughout
it. The entire beginning of the movie made no sense whatsoever concerning the character Taylor Kitsch played.

But the absolute worst part was the entire military`s reaction in their first encounter with the alien crafts. Yeah, lets jump on it and randomely push buttons. And lets keep firing when they appear non-hostile if not engaged. *headdesk*

The kicker was, normally such stories are set up so that alien tech, including weaponry, far exceeds ours. Not so this time, their missiles were more than strong enough to take out the alien ships when timed right. So, if they had been just a little bit smarter and more strategic, they could have won with minimal damage to them.
So while the second half of the movie, when they HAD to be smarter and more strategic was actually fine, it was hard to really root for those people anymore considering how massively, massively stupid they had been in the beginning. It was almost like they changed script-writers half-way through. Weird.
astri13: (CartDean)
In my neverending quest to catch up on this year`s summer flicks, I watched Battleship last night.

And, um, I`m beginning to wonder if it`s me growing out of "those kind of movies" or if they have simply changed too much. Because the thing is, I like mindless popcorn entertainment. I like Alien invasion flicks, don`t mind paper-thin stories, clichés and the inevitable amount of hooray-patriotism they have. For god`s sakes, I adore Independence Day, it has all those flaws but still it has some charme and fun.

The effect-parts of Battleship seemed to be right out of Transformers - another of those popcorn flicks I should like but was bored to tears throughout
it. The entire beginning of the movie made no sense whatsoever concerning the character Taylor Kitsch played.

But the absolute worst part was the entire military`s reaction in their first encounter with the alien crafts. Yeah, lets jump on it and randomely push buttons. And lets keep firing when they appear non-hostile if not engaged. *headdesk*

The kicker was, normally such stories are set up so that alien tech, including weaponry, far exceeds ours. Not so this time, their missiles were more than strong enough to take out the alien ships when timed right. So, if they had been just a little bit smarter and more strategic, they could have won with minimal damage to them.
So while the second half of the movie, when they HAD to be smarter and more strategic was actually fine, it was hard to really root for those people anymore considering how massively, massively stupid they had been in the beginning. It was almost like they changed script-writers half-way through. Weird.
astri13: (Default)
Watched some old summer flicks I had sitting around forever:

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island - the creepiest thing was Dwayne Johnson smiling all the time. I thought Journey to the Center of the Earth was a fun little popcorn entertainment but I didn't care so much for this one.

Wrath of the Titans - I liked the score but it was mostly unintentionally funny.

John Carter - Eh...the trash factor was a bit (read: a lot) too high for me. However, [livejournal.com profile] xkatjafx, you were right, I did enjoy the dog. *g*
astri13: (Default)
Watched some old summer flicks I had sitting around forever:

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island - the creepiest thing was Dwayne Johnson smiling all the time. I thought Journey to the Center of the Earth was a fun little popcorn entertainment but I didn't care so much for this one.

Wrath of the Titans - I liked the score but it was mostly unintentionally funny.

John Carter - Eh...the trash factor was a bit (read: a lot) too high for me. However, [livejournal.com profile] xkatjafx, you were right, I did enjoy the dog. *g*
astri13: (Default)
For some reason - I loved the movie upon first viewing but somehow growing more invested in it with repeats - I've been excessively listening to this piece of music recently:

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It's my favourite score from the movie. And if something draws an emotional response from me, it's mostly the sad music during a sad scene (or I'm not honest, just the sad music, it's kinda my trigger :). This one is just so quietly beautiful, it immediately brings back the scene to my mind. Probably one of my most favourite moment from the movie, if not THE fave was her giving the salute to the camera.

Needless to say, the DVD is pre-ordered. Also, I'm so happy the sequel is set to be released next year. That is how you SHOULD do it, not keep in multiple year-long gaps when a sequel is clearly planned.
astri13: (Default)
For some reason - I loved the movie upon first viewing but somehow growing more invested in it with repeats - I've been excessively listening to this piece of music recently:

[Error: unknown template video]

It's my favourite score from the movie. And if something draws an emotional response from me, it's mostly the sad music during a sad scene (or I'm not honest, just the sad music, it's kinda my trigger :). This one is just so quietly beautiful, it immediately brings back the scene to my mind. Probably one of my most favourite moment from the movie, if not THE fave was her giving the salute to the camera.

Needless to say, the DVD is pre-ordered. Also, I'm so happy the sequel is set to be released next year. That is how you SHOULD do it, not keep in multiple year-long gaps when a sequel is clearly planned.

Movie-mania

Jun. 4th, 2012 05:23 pm
astri13: (Default)
Since I have a hard time finding people to go to the movies with (movies I actually want to see, that is) and I hate going alone while my best friend has the same problem where she lives, we get together at least once a year for a fun movie weekend.

This year's nominees, as watched, were:

Avengers - I had seen it before but not in 3D. Okay, seeing as 3D effects are lost on me thanks to some eye-surgery I had as a toddler, it was like seeing it in 2D but what the hell. :D Still really love the movie. My friend wasn't quite as impressed but liked it overall.

Snowhite and the Huntsman - Hm, definitely something I expected more of because of the trailers. My friend and I were still entertained but I always waited for the story to really get going yet somehow it never did. Performance-wise I liked Hemsworth and his Huntsman character best. Charlize Theron did a bit too much scenery chewing for my tastes but overall I liked her too. Unfortuantely I wasn't taken with Stewart's performance. Which, granted, was not helped by the writing IMO. She is beautiful but lacks spark for me. I saw no difference between Snow White and Bella Swan (the characters in Twilight in general tend to put me to sleep). What I liked best about her character was the interaction with the Huntsman. movie spoilers )

Dark Shadows - Wasn't as bad as I had feared from the trailers but it wasn't the heights of Sleepy Hollow either. Some gags that worked, at times too goofy to me and the genuine parts of horror seemed ill-placed because of it. movie spoilers )

Hunger Games - Wow, I had heard good things about it. Which is why I dragged my friend with me - she was dubious about a movie with "child" characters. But we both loved it. Jennifer Lawrence acted the hell out of it. It was suspenseful and daring. I mean the concept of basically gladiator games to the death for the amusement of the debauched, bored masses? Not new. Only usually the movies take prisoners on death row for that, at best a special forces soldier innocently incarcerated. Taking kids? Age 12! and up? I hated every single people in this Capitol, especially the Prez and I'm unfamiliar with the books and the world they build. The movie alone managed to invoke that reaction. Kudos.

We were very disappointed Prometheus isn't out yet because the trailers looked awesome. And btw, it only comes out in August here? Two whole months after everywhere else? Fuck that.

Interestingly enough the new Spiderman didn't look too bad from the trailers either. I had heard it bombed with test audiences? Hm.

Not sure about Dark Knight Rises. I totally want to see it but I wasn't sold on the trailer.

Movie-mania

Jun. 4th, 2012 05:23 pm
astri13: (Default)
Since I have a hard time finding people to go to the movies with (movies I actually want to see, that is) and I hate going alone while my best friend has the same problem where she lives, we get together at least once a year for a fun movie weekend.

This year's nominees, as watched, were:

Avengers - I had seen it before but not in 3D. Okay, seeing as 3D effects are lost on me thanks to some eye-surgery I had as a toddler, it was like seeing it in 2D but what the hell. :D Still really love the movie. My friend wasn't quite as impressed but liked it overall.

Snowhite and the Huntsman - Hm, definitely something I expected more of because of the trailers. My friend and I were still entertained but I always waited for the story to really get going yet somehow it never did. Performance-wise I liked Hemsworth and his Huntsman character best. Charlize Theron did a bit too much scenery chewing for my tastes but overall I liked her too. Unfortuantely I wasn't taken with Stewart's performance. Which, granted, was not helped by the writing IMO. She is beautiful but lacks spark for me. I saw no difference between Snow White and Bella Swan (the characters in Twilight in general tend to put me to sleep). What I liked best about her character was the interaction with the Huntsman. movie spoilers )

Dark Shadows - Wasn't as bad as I had feared from the trailers but it wasn't the heights of Sleepy Hollow either. Some gags that worked, at times too goofy to me and the genuine parts of horror seemed ill-placed because of it. movie spoilers )

Hunger Games - Wow, I had heard good things about it. Which is why I dragged my friend with me - she was dubious about a movie with "child" characters. But we both loved it. Jennifer Lawrence acted the hell out of it. It was suspenseful and daring. I mean the concept of basically gladiator games to the death for the amusement of the debauched, bored masses? Not new. Only usually the movies take prisoners on death row for that, at best a special forces soldier innocently incarcerated. Taking kids? Age 12! and up? I hated every single people in this Capitol, especially the Prez and I'm unfamiliar with the books and the world they build. The movie alone managed to invoke that reaction. Kudos.

We were very disappointed Prometheus isn't out yet because the trailers looked awesome. And btw, it only comes out in August here? Two whole months after everywhere else? Fuck that.

Interestingly enough the new Spiderman didn't look too bad from the trailers either. I had heard it bombed with test audiences? Hm.

Not sure about Dark Knight Rises. I totally want to see it but I wasn't sold on the trailer.
astri13: (Default)
Wow, 200plus million opening weekend for Avengers? Biggest opening weekend ever?

Last week, I read a couple of disgruntled comments in the the vein of "why do they release a movie like this worldwide before the US release? Now video piracy is going to destroy it *wails*. "

Um...yes.

I can see how it just got BUTCHERED. I mean, before the internet a movie would have probably made ten trillion dollars. In the midnight screenings. Oh wait, without the internet, you also don't get the buzz and the free publicity. Damn!!!

Maybe the point is, Hollyweird, to just make good movies that people will WANT to go see in the cinema. Often. And yes, I realize that a big effects blockbuster like that has that going for it more than some rom-com but on the other hand, the former are much more easily and faster, shall we say, distributed than the later so my point still stands.
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