mackenzie foy

Movie Review: Interstellar

interstellar_posterI suppose it was only a matter of time Christopher Nolan would come out with a movie, I’d see that movie,  I’d not completely fall in love with it and not want to immediately see it again. I’m the guy who still loves THE DARK KNIGHT RISES in spite of the fact that it’s my least favorite of Nolan’s Batman trilogy. I will still claim INCEPTION as one of my absolute favorite movies. I often won’t go to bat that Nolan’s movies are the best that have ever been made, but for my tastes specifically they fall perfectly into place. And then there’s INTERSTELLAR, a movie that should hit that proverbial sweet spot for me- Nolan, science fiction, drama and Anne Hathaway. So what went wrong? Well, before I get ahead of myself let me clarify that I did not hate this movie, but so far in the Nolan canon (granted it will take a few more viewings to say indefinitely), it’s very close to my least favorite.

The film begins in a non-disclosed future where the Earth and its inhabitants are in a real struggle. Farmer’s are Earth’s most valuable profession as the food supply is dangerously thin and the farmer’s struggle to keep crops alive. Violent dust storms roll in and eventually wreak havoc on people’s lungs. School curriculum trashes human exploration and only a certain percentage of kids are even allowed to go to college- the rest are designated farmer status. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is one of those farmers with a scientist’s brain who hates his profession. Cooper’s son is well on his way to taking over the family business while his daughter, Murph (Mackenzie Foy), has her father’s curious nature. Murph clues her father in on a strange gravity anomaly in her room which leads them to coordinates to a facility in the middle of nowhere that turns out to be the defunct remains of NASA. The folks there have secretly been carrying out space explorations in search of a planet that can facilitate human life. Naturally Cooper has history with NASA and is then recruited to pilot a crew to the many planets other explorers have been staking out. (more…)


Movie Review: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)


I have a confession to make- I have seen every TWILIGHT movie, granted up until now I’ve never sat in one in theaters and the biggest bombshell of all, I do not hate them. Before you start planning my slow agonizing torture let me first say that while I don’t hate them, I would never call them great movies, but it takes a dehumanizing amount of ignorance to say these are the worst movies ever. In fact if you are one of those people that consider these the worst, odds are you haven’t watched enough movies. The series like any other has its ups and downs and BREAKING DAWN PART 2 just so happens to have more of the former than the latter than just about any other film in the series.

The last entry in the series follows the immediate events of the last film as Bella Kristen Stewart) gives birth to Renesmee and to save her life Edward (Robert Pattinson) turns her into a vampire. The conflict comes in when Bella is out with Renesmee one day and a relative sees the child, assumes she’s been turned by the Cullens and reports it as a crime to the Volturi who intend to slaughter the family for doing so. On the Cullen side they have hope to convince the Volturi that Renesmee was not turned, but born and is therefore half human and half vampire therefore proving they didn’t break the Volturi’s law of not turning children into vampires.

I have never gone back and rewatched any of the previous films, but for my memory none of them felt quite like an awesome cheesy horror movie disguised as a mediocre soap opera drama quite like this one. Make no mistake, I was pretty bored for most of the first hour or more with a few laughs both intentional and unintentional sprinkled in here. However, there is a sequence here that more than justified my ticket into this thing and that’s the moment that this movie turns into a full on bloodbath, just minus the hilariously over the top blood geysers that most horror movies would have taken advantage of. You can thank the target audience for the lack of blood, but the battle scene here is pretty freaking awesome and hate me all you want, but that scene alone would make me want to rewatch it if I had to.

It’s a tall tough climb to that glorious fight scene, but you can take comfort in that as bad and cheesy as the script is, there are moments to enjoy. It seems for once in the time I’ve been watching the series everyone involved is having fun rather than thinking they are in awards contention. It’s ironic and hilarious to me that it takes Kristen Stewart to play a vampire to finally show a little bit of life as an actress in these movies. For my money though my absolute favorite performance is Michael Sheen chewing up every scene he is in to hilarious effect one second and genuinely creepy at others. One strange bit of casting for me was Joe Anderson shows up for maybe three scenes and completely disappears which was somewhat disappointing because I really seeing him whenever he shows up.

Something that never seems quite right about the TWILIGHT sequels is that for as much money as they rake with each release, the CGI tends to look as though it came from a bargain bin. There are some pretty impressive landscape shots and staging in some scenes, but overall for a production that could afford top shelf talent to make their films look immaculate they seem to settle for the bare minimum.

Prior to BREAKING DAWN PART 2 the next best in the series was ECLIPSE which I enjoyed for the sheer fact that there was actually some halfway decent action and cast actor (Xavier Samuel) from one of my favorite films if the last few years (THE LOVED ONES), as the villain. ECLIPSE was also not what I would call a fantastic movie as there are still acting issues, script issues, CGI issues and a little too much melodrama for my liking and the same can be said for the last film based on Stephanie Meyer’s insanely popular book series. BREAKING DAWN PART 2 is easily the best of the series and as much as these movies aren’t made for me is probably the only entry I would find myself watching again. The film adds a layer of brutality that had the previous films tried to include I may have actually enjoyed them more. Diehard fans get an ending they can live with and love for years and for the rest of us, a final entry that surprises and kind of makes you think back in dismay of what the film adaptations could have done to satisfy fans and non fans alike.

Rating: B