Thursday, July 23, 2009

Movie Notes

Not actual reviews, just a few recent observations.

Transformers 2: I don't get all the complaining. I'll admit this is not a great movie, but when you go to a Michael Bay film sequel based on a line of Hasbro toys, are you really expecting Girl with a Pearl Earring? If you want big, dumb, loud action, this is it. I agree that it is an assault on the senses, but that's a description of the experience and not a criticism. If you go to a Metallica concert and claw your way through the pit to the front row (I did this in Germany and Alabama), are you later going to complain that the music was too loud? At a heavy metal concert? Note - I have yet to see any geesers at an Anthrax concert shouting "Turn it down - we're trying to talk here!"

For all the summer blockbusters I've seen, I think only Star Trek was better. Terminator 4 was competently made, although a waste of acting talent, and Wolverine was a disappointment. The special effects in T2 were a bit overdone, but the composition of the shots was usually clear and not dizzying. I also don't get the claims that the plot was incomprehensible. It wasn't even convoluted. If you can't follow this one, you either spent half of the movie freebasing cocaine in the bathroom, you have a life-threatening case of ADHD, or you couldn't keep up with the romantic subplots in Green Eggs & Ham.

IMAX Lite: Some theatres are now showing IMAX movies at full IMAX price, but not informing audiences that it is not in the original IMAX format. The persons responsible for this should be publicly executed, preferably by anal rape. However, I saw T2 in what I've dubbed IMAX Lite format and was surprised to find it less of a disappointment than than expected. The biggest letdown was the sound quality. In a regular IMAX theatre, you can experience true surround sound. In the IMAX Lite, they just upped the volume to a newly discovered level (threat-level red or Death Star or something). The bass pounded in my chest, which I might have liked a couple of years ago, but now doesn't go well with my chronic chest pains. The screen is smaller, but you can sit closer to it (too close, in my case) so the diminished size isn't as big of a deal. The thing that bothers me is the change in dimensions. If you look at the picture in the link, the real IMAX format gives you a better sense of vertigo than the cropped version. Directors who film a movie with the IMAX format in mind might find their art unintentionally altered by the change.

Digital and Disney Digital 3D: wastes of money. When I left Star Trek, I didn't say to myself "Gee, that would have been really good if only the picture wasn't so fuzzy." I don't know how good your eyesight would have to be to tell the difference between a regular film and a digital one, but obviously it must be better than mine. If you can see a difference between 24- and 32-bit color depth on your monitor, then go ahead and pay the extra $3 for the digital film. And the 3-D is a complete joke. In most scenes it is indistinguishable from 2-D, plus the glasses dull the color pallette, which is a real shame with movies like Up.

Advertisement: before T2 began, they advertised the coming of two well-known operas (I forget their names). Opera advertised at a Transformers IMAX film? If someone asks you "Would you rather we get balcony seats at the symphony, or do you want to muck into the mosh pit at a Slayer concert?" and your response is "Which ever one's closer to a place that serves Korean BBQ", then this ad was aimed at you. And me, for that matter.


GreenJello said...

Saw Star Trek in IMAX. Very cool.

Kids want to go see Transformers, but I'm not so sure I want to go see giant versions of the toys my brothers played with.

Jay said...

I haven't seen any of them. Maybe I need to get out more. I'll see them when NetFlix has them. That's how I do my movie watching.

dr.alistair said...

i enjoyed the first transformers precisely because it was about giant robot toys. if the second one is similar i may well enjoy that too.

christian bale in terminator? not sure, but i will see it at the cheap theaters with my kids tuesday ($2.50 per...)

bale is good in just about everything he`s in. i can even get by the mild speech impediment for the amped intensity. the grinding back teeth is reminiscent of eastwood at his finest.

Real Live Lesbian said...

I am suddenly feeling like quite the shut in. We haven't been to a movie since the horror that was Independence Road. Ugh.

<---definitely needs to get out more

Grant said...

GreenJello - TF1 was a good movie if you don't get hung up on the origin. TF2 was less so - big, loud action, but good for a brainless adventure film.

Jay - I like NetFlix too, but it's hardly an assault on the senses if you're watching it on a 27" screen in your den.

Dr. Alistair - Xtian Bale was wasted in T4. It required less acting ability than any of the previous three. TF2 is less story / more action than TF1, but it has loads of giant robot toys (in fact, they made them bigger this time).

RLL - come here and I'll treat you to an IMAX assault.

Hit 40 said...

Just so I do not risk death by anal rape...

I loved your reviews. You have to join Jay with what star I want to fuck fridays. One of you needs to make this a meme. (I love typing meme. I just figured out WTF it meant!!!!)

Don't you wish I was your geometry teacher!!!!! LMAO!!!

SJ said...

You would always want to be close to the Korean (or Japanese or Chinese) BBQ.

You guys pay more for the digital? That's exploitation I mean digital helps the studios and the theaters CUT costs.

metalmom said...

Sometimes I think that I have listened to way too much Anthrax. My ears begin to bleed due to the volume of some movies.I now bring earplugs, just in case, to soften the assault. I would only like to see a very few movies in IMAX. Hubs can't seem to bring himself to loosen the wallet enough to pay the price.

tiff said...

Not a single Asian girl. You're slipping.

JennyMac said...

I went to a "Martinis at Imax" event and let me just say, don't drink martinis before you see a film that seems 10 inches from your face.

Grant said...

Hit 40 - you can be my geometry teacher if you bring cookies.

SJ - Bunny BBQ rulz! And yes, they charge almost as much for digital as IMAX.

Metalmom - threaten hubs with no sex and the price won't seem as insurmountable. If Star Trek re-releases on IMAX (that sometimes happens during slow periods), I recommend it.

Tiff - absence makes the heart/penis grow fonder/stiffer.

JennyMac - just imagine how much fun it would have been if it was called "LSD at IMAX".

Ricardo said...

I loved Transformers growing up and didn't mind the first flick Bay put out because it's a summer fun film. I am not crazy about the robot designs. I know they don't have to look like the toys I played with but they're too busy. This is a minor complaint. Megan fox makes up for alot.

April said...

I was thinking about taking Ethan to see that G Force movie that's in 3D. The problem I have is that those 3D glasses give me a headache.

I really want to see Transformers 2 and I don't care how much everyone says it sucks.

Avitable said...

Transformers 2 was not only cheesy, which was the fun part, it was too long, poorly edited, completely racist, and reached a new level of stupidity. Robot heaven?

The first one was fun. This one was shit.