Tuesday, June 16, 2009

3 Rambling Reviews; 1 Blog

I recently went on a 3-D movie kick. The movie Up and Coraline are both viewable in 3-D and so I went. I figured I would review them tonight. In addition I would like to review a third movie that I saw that was not in 3-d but was very enjoyable. Let's start with Up.

The movie Up spent a great deal of time being slightly depressing. I almost started bawling within the first 20 minutes of the film! The movie is about an old man who set big dreams with his wife but in the course of living a life they never pursued them. The wife passes away and he is left in a world ready to leave him behind. He is the last holdout in a neighborhood that is being developed into some mega-structure. A little thorn in the side of someone dressed in a suit with dreams of making money hand over fist and is building around this old man hoping he can take a hint. In a weird twist the old man ends up being declared a menace to society and is being shipped off to Shady Acres a retirement community that sounds like a cemetery. In a last defiant step the old guy fills his house with balloons and floats his house toward South America. Unfortunately he has a guest a local scout that is determined to earn a 'helping the elderly' badge even though the old man doesn't want his help. Either way they are stuck on this floating house and end up in the South American spot he and his wife dreamed of visiting. Except not exactly. They land on the wrong side of the Plateau and he and the boy scout set off to get to the other side. Along the way the old guy runs into a childhood hero who should be dead or at least way older then the old guy but he isn't because then who would be the villain? The old hero dude is a kook who lives with hundreds of talking dogs. The talking dogs were awesome because the film makers remembered that they were at the base level dogs. They get distracted easily and are really easy to keep happy. Anyway the old hero/crazy guy is looking for a bird that the scout befriended and he is willing to kill to acquire this bird. So an all out race breaks out between the old guy, the scout, the bird, and one dorky misfit dog versus hundreds of dogs and a crazy old guy in a Hindenburg looking blimp. It was quite fun even though it has probably the most bitter sweet and heart breaking beginning. I recommend it, especially in 3-D!

That brings us to Coraline. Coraline is a stop motion animation about a girl who is not entirely happy with her life. Her mom is too busy and her dad is busy and weird. They have recently moved from Detroit to a place in the country and she seems alone. Of course there is a weird neighbor kid and strange apartment neighbors but nobody she wants to be with. I did not really get the sense that she was unhappy but apparently later in the movie it is the basis for all the events that take place. The weird neighbor kid brings an old doll that looks like Coraline and some how that doll is a link between her world and an alternate reality. In the alternate reality the mom is sweet, attentive and quite a cook. The father is a musician... kind of, and a garden virtuoso... kind of. Her weird neighbor friend is not a talker in this world and her strange neighbors are talented performers. It seems perfect except for the creepy button eyes all these alternate characters sport. hey all seem good natured in an evil sort of way and sure enough they are evil. This was a fun 3-D movie. Not a half bad effort by the new studios from the Knight family (Nike people). I liked it but I also didn't. I have seen better stop motion movies but the 3-D bridged the gap. See this in 3-D if at all possible.

So I was sitting here thinking, "Why aren't all movies in 3-D?" The 3-D was amazing and added a lot to these movies. I do not know much about 3-D but I certainly hope they continue to expand it's uses. It was quite a treat. Next up in 3-D land as far as I know is a U2 concert movie. I will check it out and report back on the real world 3-D versus the animation 3-D. Whenever it comes to theaters near me.

I wasn't quite done with the movie kick after seeing Coraline. I wanted to see another movie and take advantage of the Living Room Theater's 5 dollar Tuesday pricing. Coraline was regular price. No... it was more expensive because of the novelty of 3-D. 12 bucks expensive... but so was Up. But in Up I kept the glasses. Anyway I had seen a preview while I was drinking beer and waiting for Coraline to start. It had Steve Zahn, Woody Harrelson, and Jennifer Aniston in it. The movie is called Management. It is a romantic comedy and quite a good one actually. Jennifer Aniston plays a lonely corporate art salesman, named Sue, who is traveling through Kingman, AZ. In Kingman she is a guest of The Kingman Inn a little motel owned by a family. The son Mike, played by Steve Zahn, is instantly interested in Sue. He awkwardly makes his moves and despite herself she indulges him. Apparently feeling this is over and done she is surprised when Mike flies out to Maryland where she lives. Strangely she allows him to hang out for a day before giving him bus fair and sending him back to Kingman. Her work brings her back to Kingman.... conveniently. She hangs with Mike all day and then flies to Seattle. Mike gets his gumption up to try gain and discovers she has moved to Washington to be with her ex-boyfriend Jango. Jango, played by Woody Harrelson, is an ex-Punk....as in Punk rock guy and kind of strange. Mike tries to show her that he is the guy for him but she chooses Jango and his palacial estate, dogs and corporate yogurt franchise. It is weird to see two movies in a week where one character in the movie is obsessed wit dogs and has a lot of them. Anyway the movie is a romantic comedy and I am fairly certain you know the vague idea of what happens next. The movie is cute, funny and sweet. It also scores some great shots of Portland's Japanese Gardens in it that are being used for a Buddhist Monastery. Anyway go see this movie about the little weirdo, stalker, loser guy that could.

Speaking of Buddhist Monks I saw some monks doing a book signing when I was in Powell's between movies. It was strange to then have monks be a part of the Management movie.

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