Thursday, June 14, 2018

Thoughts on The Strangers: Prey at Night

The Strangers: Prey at Night is a forgettable horror romp. The movie borrows much of the looks, themes, and shots from other, better movies. The acting is nothing memorable, which is a shame since much of the cast have shown more talent in other projects. At the very least the pacing is good and it isn’t a total waste of time. As a whole, it is not a bad movie, however, it is forgettable. Rent it if you are in an apathetic mood for a movie.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Thoughts on Happy Death Day

Happy Death Day is a movie that relies on it’s gimmick. This gimmick is basically making Groundhog Day into a horror film. The characters are unlikable for the most part but as the story progresses it gets better and the protagonist becomes less of a caricature of a vapid sorority girl. It has some stupid moments and some cheesy moments but it still has enough charm to be interesting and one of the better horror movies to come out from Blumhouse productions. It is an interesting rental at the very least. At least it is very self-aware of it’s concept.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Thoughts on Please Stand By

Please Stand By is a well-made indie film. Dakota Fanning gives a great performance as an autistic Star Trek fan teying to get her fan script to a contest in L.A. It is a sincere movie that has great performances. It is a gem that showcases a lot of amazing talent. Check it out if you want to see something original and different.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Thoughts on Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is an impressive movie. The cast is amazing. The performances are stellar. The subject matter is dark but handled with sincerity. It isn’t a story where good and evil are specified. Almost everyone has elements of gray which make the story more realistic. The humanity of the characters is exposed and it is often not pretty. It ‘s disturbing and challenges the notion that good and bad are such clearly defined ideals. Check it out if you want a good movie that takes writing and preforming to a new level. The ending is ambiguous but it will leave you hoping things work out.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Thoughts on The Guest

The Guest is a fine movie. It is entertaining and the performanves are good for the most part. It has some cool visuals and the effects are pretty solid. The problem is that the story is pretty ridiculous. That fact doesn’t make the movie less entertaining at least. It is charming and utilizes good pacing for the story. It would make a fine rental or background movie for the viewer that doesn’t want to invest a ton of time in a movie.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Is The Incredibles a Work of Genius?

I hadn’t thought of The Incredibles for a long time; however, an upcoming sequel and the development of the Incredicoaster at California Adventure’s Pixar Pier have brought it into the limelight. Looking back at the film I realized something: The characters and their powers all thematically tie together and make the movie more than just a tale of a superhero going through a midlife crisis.

Mr. Incredible/Bob Parr
Mr. Incredible is super strong. He has the power to lift trains but he still must work a mediocre desk job. He does this because he loves his family. He takes on heavy burdens and has to be strong to contain his desire for adventure and days long past. When he loses his patience it causes destruction. For example: the damage to his vehicle and to his former boss whom he nearly kills. He needs to be the strong one because it lets his family lead a normal life. 

Mrs. Incredible (Elastigirl)/Helen Parr
Mrs. Incredible is metaphorically and literally flexible.  She needs to be to deal with the kids, the constant moving towns, and the midlife crisis of her husband, Bob. She is constantly pulled in multiple directions and it clearly wears on her quite a bit. Still, she is able to alter herself as needed for any situation, be it hero, housewife, savior, or purely utility. 

Lucius Best/Frozone
Lucius is a smooth character. Well-groomed and suave, he exudes the persona of a cool character. His coolness is seen when he is stopped by the police and he simply and calmly talks to the officer until he can get the upper hand and escape. There are times when he loses his cool, like when he can’t find his super suit or when a fire has eliminated the moisture in the room. Whether he is putting on the Hai Karate for date night or freezing water mid-spill, this character is going to keep his cool.

Violet 
Violet has the power of invisibility and force fields. She is appropriately named Violet because she is extremely shy and often shy people are called shrinking violets. While not having the literal ability to shrink, she does have an ability all shy people wish they had which is to make themselves unseen. The fact that she can project force fields could be an element of her need to hide and protect herself from the harm of others, be they other kids or actual physical threats.

Dash
Dash has the ability to be super fast. He is a kid that wants to show the world what he is capable of but has had to restrain his ability to look normal. His frustration and acting out all are the signs that other children show when they are not meeting their potential. We have yet to see all that his super speed can really do.

Jack-Jack
While just an infant, Jack-Jack holds the potential for limitless power. Like most babies he has mood swings and has yet to control his body much less his emotions. He holds an astounding array of abilities, which have not yet even begun to be fully developed. For starters, he can float, shoot lasers, teleport, shapeshift, become intangible, turn into metal, and become combustible. Like most babies, they are the combination of their parents with the possibility of amazing potential.

Mirage
One of the definitions of Mirage is something that is real or possible but is not in fact so. Does she have powers? It is never really brought up. If she does have powers she doesn’t use them or it simply is never revealed to the audience. All that is known is that she is supposed to have good intentions while working for a villain. She even turns on the villain, proving that her moral compass is every changing and she is more than she appears to be.

Syndrome (Incredi-Boy)/Buddy Pine
Syndrome is a fan boy with a gift for invention. His plan is to eliminate the super humans of the world and then his inventions will be sold so that anyone everywhere can be super. When everyone has access to super powers, superheroes will no longer be exceptional. He is a disease to the world of super humans and he has an ability to make technology that can appropriately counter and duplicates the abilities of super humans.  His desire to spread his inventions and his amoral attitudes towards life and death, in his goal to be a superhero, have made him a dangerous adversary that is befitting of his name and abilities.

It will be interesting to see where these characters go in the next film. Whether or not these characters were thematically supposed to match with their powers is unknown. If it is intentional, then it is extremely subtle and clever. If it is mere coincidence then it is really a fascinating look at how character’s abilities match their personalities.  If you have a chance to give The Incredibles a re-watch give it a look and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Thoughts on Brigsby Bear

Brigsby Bear is a fascinating movie. It isn’t funny in a conventional sense. It is a bit of a depressing concept. There are moments of brilliance, like making the villain of the Brigsby Bear show called Sun Snatcher which is essentially what the kidnappers are. I felt awful for the main character, James’s parents. They want ti heal from the loss and want to make up for lost time but James and his naïveté and obsession with his childhood show is strange to them. The acting is great and very sincere. Even the funny moments are played very seriously. It is a clever movie that should be seen by anyone wanting to see something original.