Movies!

So… I spent the last three or four weeks powering through Breaking Bad and not sleeping much. The show was epic TV as everyone has told me. If you haven’t seen it yet: make it a priority. I won’t say much more about the show since I would spoil the show. Since I was so focused on watching Breaking Bad, I didn’t get to watch any movies and now I have a stack of movies to watch.

I have started watching movies again and the first two were both mixed bags. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a hot mess that aimed to be grand and build a world… but, ended up being a superficial film that had one too many villains who were not fleshed out. I like Andrew Garfield much better as Peter Parker than Toby Maguire. Garfield gets Parker/Spider-Man being a smart-ass and also has the physique to make it all work. Jamie Foxx was totally squandered on Electro. And the instance bromance between Parker and Osborn was a bit forced.

Snowpiercer was a bit better, on an allegorical level it is a decent film — a sci-fi film that focuses on characters and story, rather than CGI effects and explosions (hey Michael Bay, you reading this?). The fight scenes in Snowpiercer were exciting and brutal with a sense of dread because the director made it clear that he is not afraid to kill off main characters. There were a bunch of problems with the film though, and I will list them at the end of this post in the spoilers section. Overall though, I did enjoy Snowpiercer.

I have some movies on deck to be watched: 300 Rise of an Empire, Draft Day, Noah, Sabotage, The Monuments Men, Constantine, Batman Assault on Arkham, Muppets Most Wanted, Rio 2, Her, Planes, Locke, The Zero Theorem and Under the Skin.

SPOILERS

Snowpiercer thoughts: The two kids at the end would have been dead in a few days, if not from that hungry looking polar bear, than because they lived their lives in a controlled environment and are now on their own in a harsh environment. Ed Harris: Whoa dude, chew much scenery? I like Harris as an actor, but his part in Snowpiercer was just bizarre. Chris Evans can act! Yes, he can. But, his speech about eating people? It came out more comical than serious — especially the bit about babies tasting better.

had a good run today on Flickr.

run as fast as i could today and improved my 1k and 1mi times. whee!

some of my loot crate goodies on Flickr.

some of my loot crate goodies

Movie Thoughts

I’ve seen a couple of movies recently and wanted to jot down some quick thoughts.

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Guardians of the Galaxy

Yes, it is a great film. I can gush about it for hours. I love this film. There were two Marvel films for 2014, I loved both and both are on the top of my favorite movies of the MCU list — but for different reasons. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was exciting, serious, and enjoyable — and had an excellent twist.

Guardians of the Galaxy is plain fun — this film will be the Star Wars (Episode IV) of this current generation. A space opera full of characters that are lovable (Drax having the best lines, Rocket being the most rambunctious and Groot the most lovable) and adventure to places beyond our imagination. The soundtrack, not the film score, is wonder and fit the film perfectly (the film score is decent, but not very memorable). If you haven’t seen Guardians, do yourself a favor and go see it.

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Divergent

My wife read the book series and was looking forward to this movie. I watched without any knowledge of what happens in the books. I rather enjoyed the film and liked the world building that they did. The plot was a bit predictable and some of the characters cliched (Jai Courtney’s character most especially).

Shailene Woodley is miscast for the main character — she doesn’t have the onscreen presence for the role that she is given. I could not completely buy into her being the tough, brave, smart, and kind person that represents her character Tris.

I did enjoy the film score by Junkie XL.

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Need for Speed

I grew up playing the Need for Speed games and liked most of them — except the ones that embraced the corporate image of what a racing underground would look like. The games by Criterion were exceptional. I came into this movie with low expectations of the story, but high expectations of the vehicles and stunts.

I was not disappointed by the vehicles and stunts. Having a director that understands that stunts using real cars, real on reel is more exciting than CGI cars… well, that makes for a world of tension. The race scenes were exciting and fun to watch. The cars in the film were gorgeous and well shot. There were some shots in the film that were distracting, most especially the ones that simulated the first person view point. When I watch a film, I don’t want to feel that I am watching someone play a videogame. I wish that director Scott Waugh did not utilize this style of shooting — it is something that he also employed in his previous film Act of Valor and was equally distracting in that film. Fortunately, he used this style less in Need for Speed. I hope in his future endeavors he drops the first person view point all together.

The story was rather weak, it took parts from different Need for Speed games and was just enough to justify the film. Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad is an excellent actor and does what he can to pull this movie from mediocrity. I did like Imogen Poots in the film. And it is nice to see Michael Keaton being… Michael Keaton.

The film score for Need for Speed is really good. There are quite a few pieces from the score that sound like spiritual brothers to Danny Elfman’s score for The Kingdom. But, overall the score by Nathan Furst stands by itself and is a great listen.

If you like cars, you’ll like this film for the race scenes.