Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Movies: December 3 - 10

Dr. No (1962): The First Bond movie. Sean Connery makes his introduction to the world as James Bond and I spent most of the movie a little bit unsure as to what exactly Bond was saving us from. I kept referring back to the DVR guide which reminded me of the general plot outline (something about stolen missiles or something, I'm still fuzzy) and you know what? If this was the first Bond movie I ever saw and had no interest in watching them all...I'd stop here.

An Evening With Kevin Smith 2: Evening Harder (2006): Now this on the other lies comedic joy. Forget Woody Allen and his quality, give me four hours of a fat man answering questions and I'll be glued to the television set. This follow up to the first "Evening With Kevin Smith" DVD is two full Q&A sessions, one in Canada and the other in London. The Canada session was more questions regarding the movies and almost pertinent questions. The London was on the dirty side. With that said, I fully enjoy listening to Kevin Smith graciously answer any and all questions sent his way and the level of care and appreciation he has for his fans...the fans, after all, are the ones who keep him employed as they make every one of his movies turn a profit (some in theatres others after they hit DVD). There is funny stuff here. I laughed and smiled and chuckled and these four hours (2 hours per day) passed be all too fast.

1941 (1979): These two hours, on the other hand, passed by all too slowly. Spielberg's farce/spoof/madcap comedy effort of an invasion by the Japanese of Hollywood during World War II was painful to watch. I think I would have loved this as a child (a 13 year old child) as the screwball comedy would work better for a younger crowd, despite the constant sexual innuendo. But this was painful to watch.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006): This second Pirates movie takes up some time after the first left off. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is back on the Black Pearl and he is seeking the treasure of of Davy Jones but he can't find it because in his heart he doesn't have a single overwhelming desire like he did in the first movie with the cursed gold. The movie opens with Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swan (Keira Knightley) arrested because they helped Sparrow escape at the end of the first movie. They are given a chance to redeem themselves if they can claim Jack's compass. Hijinks and adventure ensue.

The first thing to note: This move is long - two and a half hours worth of long. It could easily have been edited down by a half hour. Second - this movie is dark and scary at times. The wee kids might not like this one. There is still a sense of adventure and fun with quips and humor (Jack Sparrow telling a member of his crew "You smell funny!" - priceless).

It's a good movie and there is entertainment value here. It just takes a while to get through.

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master (1988): The fourth Elm Street movie takes the surviving kids from The Dream Warriors (with an actress change because Patricia Arquette was too good to return for this one. You're no Heather Langenkamp, Miss Arquette!). They thought Freddy was dead, but as Fred tells the kids in this movie, he's eternal. He must be since he battles Jason Vorhees a few movies from now. Once again Fred starts haunting the dreams of the Dream Warriors, but each death makes one of the girls stronger and stronger so that she, the Dream Master, can battle Fred and possibly defeat him in the end. I don't know who is writing this stuff (Wes Craven on participated in a couple of the movies, most notably the first and Wes Craven's New Nightmare), but they are coming up with more creative and grotesque ways to kill the kids. Most notably: the girl who is afraid of bugs. Nasty! As the series progresses Fred Krueger is becoming wittier and funnier rather than the silent stalking killer from the first movie. Now he delivers parting one liners as he dispatches another victim. Like most of the Elm Street movies, this one isn't high on the quality quotient, but it is entertaining. That's what we want from a flick, right?

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977): With this movie I have seen every feature length movie Spielberg has directed (excluding his bit on the Twilight Zone flick - not out on DVD, and some early tv work like Savage). This is one of the classic Spielberg flicks and is a scifi/UFO movie about Richard Dreyfuss slowly going nuts after having several close encounters. His new obsession pushes his family away but he is ultimately validated when he discovers the government's involvement and sees an amazing UFO display. Sure, I just minimized the entire movie, but I didn't love it. I wanted to and this crap is right up my alley, but yadda yadda UFOs. It was interesting, but nothing that I would stand up and cheer about. If I saw this in the theatre, I imagine I would have been more impressed and the 1977 special effects would have been awesome thirty years ago (good lord, 30 years ago!). They still worked, but the movie just did not have the emotional impact I had hoped for.

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