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Tron: Legacy Review

December 21, 2010 Entertainment No Comments

Image: Tron Legacy poster. Walt Disney Pictures.

Have you tried to watch the original Tron recently? I was first exposed to the 1982 film several years ago. I think I got through it that time, but barely, and can’t claim that it left enough of an impression on me to actually remember anything heading into a recent re-watching.

Watch the trailer. Yeah, it’s pretty much like that. A goofy, very eighties plot stuck on top of a compelling concept, some interesting (for their time) effects, and a truly unique style. That formula apparently worked well enough for the film to develop a fan base and survive in popular consciousness. Thus, with the potential for profit on the line, a sequel was ordered up.

I won’t attack Tron: Legacy for being unnecessary, I think there is enough in the original to draw out a compelling continuation of the series, and any use of the license would surely be better than the likes of Yogi Bear. I will, however, attack it for being an unnecessarily direct sequel. The original film may have worked in its time, but going back to characters from some 28 years ago, when those characters are not the part of your source material which are iconic or well remembered, makes for unnecessarily awkward storytelling.

The problem with Tron: Legacy is, put simply, the plot. For whatever reason, the decision was made to remain beholden to the original film and make this thing as a sequel, where a re-make/re-boot/re-imagining would have better served to bring the world of Tron to modern audiences in a more engrossing way, unencumbered by the events of a film most people don’t really remember anyway.

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Who or what is Justin Bieber?

November 30, 2010 Entertainment No Comments

Image: Cover art for Baby by Justin Bieber. Copyright Island Records.

Justin Bieber. JB. Biebz. You’ve watched the parody videos, you’ve seen Twitter drown in his name, you’ve read 4chan tried to send him to North Korea, but you’ve never bothered to look him up on Wikipedia and figure out who he is, or what he is all about.

Well, after years of wondering, and becoming increasingly convinced of my disconnect from the culture of kids today and their pre-teen pseudo-R&B music, I have performed about five minutes of research. I now feel qualified to enlighten you, the rest of the world, on the sensation that is Bieber. Disclaimer: I have yet to sit through one of his music videos.

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There and Back Again: Remembering the Lord of the Rings films and anticipating The Hobbit

November 6, 2010 Entertainment 1 Comment

Nine years ago this December the first Lord of the Rings film, The Fellowship of the Ring, opened in theatres. Since I recently had a chance to re-watch the trilogy, and with production on the prequels finally moving forward, now seems like an appropriate time to look back at the Lord of the Rings films, and look forward to The Hobbit movies.

Remembering The Lord of the Rings

The Fellowship of the Ring

Image: Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring. Copyright New Line Cinema.

For Fellowship, I believe my count was five. I think it was my second watching, this time at a livelier city theatre, that the audience cheered when Aragorn decapitated that Uruk-hai who had pumped Boromir full of arrows. That remains the only time I’ve ever witnessed an audience respond to a film in a non-embarrassing way.

Upon re-watching Fellowship of the Ring, I am happy to report that it is just as I remember it. Still awesome. The slavish attention to detail, the richness of the world that Jackson has recreated on film, the acting, and the dialogue have ensured a graceful aging. Of the three, I still maintain that it is my favourite, and still the best paced. The film begins slowly, just as with the novel upon which it is based, presenting the idyllic hobbit life, and then steadily layering tension and complexity.

That’s not to say that it’s a perfect movie. The moments that made me grit my teeth and wish they would go away when I saw the movie for the third through infinity times are still there. These aren’t movie-ruining moments by any means, it’s just that the corny bits here aren’t endearing, they’re distracting. The cinematography has a habit of reminding me that Jackson used to direct cheesy horror movies, with those choppy slow-down moments and wacky zoom-outs. Mostly though, it’s Galadriel’s green-faced freak-out that gets to me.


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Movie Maundering #6 – The Expendables

September 20, 2010 Entertainment No Comments

Image: The Expendables cover art. Copyright Lionsgate.

Welcome again to Movie Maundering, home of my opinion. Enjoy. This week, I actually went to the theater to see a recently released movie, The Expendables.

Plot

Mercenaries turn crusaders for some reason.

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Movie Maundering #5 – The Butterfly Effect

September 1, 2010 Entertainment 1 Comment

Image: Butterfly Effect cover art. Copyright New Line Cinema.

Welcome again to Movie Maundering. Further expanding upon my recent urge to punish myself for unknown sins likely committed in a past life by watching exceptionally poor movie choices, I just finished watching The Butterfly Effect.

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