Saturday, May 31, 2008

one late, one early

so Finally i went to see iron man. and, as promised, although some of my screenings come a little Later than i'd desire, some come early. so here's a pre-release review as well.

iron man--
Do believe the hype: this film is really entertaining. And it Is all about robert downey, jr. that being said, you've gotta hand it to the tremendous teamwork of a Whole Lot of superstar artisans who made it shine. (i'll talk departments, You look up names, numbering too many to mention.) exceptionally good script, Outstanding music supervision And composition, good art direction, great f/x (apparently every f/x house in christendom pitched in), cool wardrobe, good cinematography, good gwyneth....
so for any shortcomings that jon favreau may have revealed during this monstrous undertaking (rumors of $30M in reshoots come to mind), he certainly did deliver a final product with flair. kudos to his knack for comic moments and one-liners, his passion for the material, and most importantly, for his Leadership. for a director, hiring a good team is Essential, because a film will ride on the strength of collective craftsmanship.
teamwork: 3 stars

kung fu panda--
kids will love it, sure; and as is true of every exceptional animated feature, this is a movie for everyone. youngsters will certainly respond to (maybe as much as the old guy behind me did) the countless panda pratfalls, while adults will also vibe with the lessons of eastern wisdom. all the classic martial arts film tropes are there, perfectly tweaked for maximum titters. superb voice casting and acting, tight script, and slick animation. the delightful requisite fight-training montage that ends act two is topped only by the "awesomeness" of the opening sequence.
delightful: 4 stars

Thursday, May 22, 2008

on the road again

i admit it's been Tough, for so many reasons, to be away from l.a. for so long. having a lovely time on the island of bali; not exactly prime spot for taking in the latest flicks.
very excited to return home to see iron man and the new indy (see last blog for dates you can expect my review on each), among others.
i Did, however, catch some movies on the plane--one of which is recent enough release to warrant a review While i'm still away. if it's still playing in theaters, it's fair game. and it is. so it is.

my blueberry nights--
although the titular metaphor is indeed made relatively clear early on, it's not so well played out. norah jones, in her bigscreen debut, proves a passable protagonist. more to the point, she doesn't Detract from the curiously lightweight tale. jude law and natalie portman are dependably strong, yet they can't hold together the looseleaf bits of story director wong kar-wai attempts to fashion into something worth watching. part-time wannabe romance, part-time road movie, it simply meanders to its only reasonable (read: foregone) "conclusion".
meanders: 2 stars

Monday, May 5, 2008

the value of free screenings

i was all set to go see iron man during this opening weekend madness when i got my first email of the season from the SAG film society.
every year i pay a nominal amount to receive access to dozens of private (screen actors' guild members only) screenings here in hollywood. season begins in may, so when i got the notice announcing showings of iron man at month's end i was torn.
should i pay to be among the first to see it--thus on pace with my usual reviews to match newer releases--or wait to see it "free" (in quotes cuz i've technically already paid) some four weeks later?

well you're reading This instead of a review, so clearly i'm waiting. you'll get your review of iron man by may 31. by then you'll already have seen it. maybe even more than once if you're a comic junkie.
the new indy film will be late for me too, as that screening is scheduled for june 6. so consider this a friendly heads up: most of my reviews will align with opening week of release, more still by second week, many even pre-release; but occasionally, especially here at the beginning of screener season, there will be a brief delay.
more reviews of new releases again next week. thanks for your patience and understanding. bless yer little heart.