Back In The Day

Way back in the day, when things were simple, and there was far less to bitch about.

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Posts Tagged ‘Modern films’

Inception

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on September 26, 2010

INCEPTION (2010)

At last, my long-awaited review for Inception is here. Who DOESN’T want to talk about this movie? Now, I’m going to attempt to write about this in a way that allows people who have yet to see it to skip over the spoilery parts, but if you’re super-strict about such things you might just want to come back here after you’ve seen it. And yes, you should see it. I am breaking my pattern here and telling you upfront that this is a film to watch. I saw The Prestige and I did not enjoy it, but I really liked this film (and yes, I understood The Prestige far too well, which is part of the reason why I didn’t like it–but I’ll get into that when I write that film up). So, for those of you who are terribly behind on your cinema exposure, go see Inception and then get back to me. Read the rest of this entry »

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Predators

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on August 8, 2010

PREDATORS (2010)

Well colour me shocked, kittens, but this I actually found this retread to be fairly enjoyable! If you haven’t heard of the Predators franchise, then please rapidly extract yourself from the hole in which you are currently residing and GET TO DA CHOPPA!! Er, I mean, introduce your face to the original film. In actuality, it’s not necessary for the understanding of this film, but there are references to what happened in the original, as well as a number of homages and throwbacks, so it makes the film a bit more enjoyable to watch if you’ve seen the first. I will admit that my memory of the first one isn’t that great, so I’m sure I missed many of those ‘inside jokes’. Either way, the throwbacks I did get were fun. Read the rest of this entry »

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Legion

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on July 10, 2010

LEGION (2010)

I like to follow good classic films with terrible movies.

Legion is almost inexplicably hard to describe. I really don’t know what it was that I watched that night. What I do know is that Paul Bettany has been on this weird ‘religious badass character’ binge for awhile (The Da Vinci Code, the upcoming film Priest), and this film falls firmly into that category. Bettany plays Michael, an angel who decides to disobey God’s orders and protect humanity when God decides to go all Old Testament on us and destroy human kind. I think the reason why is because we take everything for granted and we’re all pretty terrible. Or maybe we don’t love God enough. I don’t really remember. Either way, Michael decides God is just being moody and will eventually realize how ridiculous this entire plan is, so he comes to Earth with a purpose… to take off his shirt, as all the advertisements promised. Read the rest of this entry »

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Toy Story 3

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on June 22, 2010

TOY STORY 3 (2010)

OH MY GOD I AM TOTALLY REVIEWING A MOVIE IMMEDIATELY AFTER ITS OPENING WEEKEND!!!

I had forgotten what a solid franchise Toy Story was until I saw this film on Saturday. It doesn’t necessarily have a prerequisite for the other two films, but seeing them certainly would help to inform this installment. This film has it all–a decent story, enjoyable characters, great humour, content for both adults and children, and even decent tear-jerking and fear evocation. The plot is absolutely solid–the toys are facing a life-changing dilemma as Andy, their owner, is about to head off to college and has to go through his belongings. Read the rest of this entry »

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Taking Woodstock

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on June 12, 2010

TAKING WOODSTOCK (2009)

It’s so hard to watch films about music during this time period and not wish I had been around for it. True story: My father is so impatient that he turned around on his way to Woodstock due to traffic. I will never forgive him for that. The film Taking Woodstock isn’t so much about the music as it is about the man who ‘saved’ it. That man is Elliot Tiber in reality, and this film is based off his book (co-written with Tom Monte) about how Woodstock came to be in his home town. It’s a film that is much more about a young man’s struggle with his family and his own identity; it’s a story of self-discovery, of independence, Read the rest of this entry »

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The Runaways

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on May 23, 2010

THE RUNAWAYS (2010)

Dakota Fanning as a sex symbol, oh my!

I realize that with my addition of pictures within my reviews, I have gotten a bit more tongue-in-cheek for the last bunch. Part of that is because the pictures lend themselves to a comedic slant, and another part is because the films don’t play into a more serious sort of review. I don’t intend to have that attitude in all of my reviews, but I will try to work with pictures, regardless. People seem to enjoy how the visuals break up my long-winded reviews. Additionally, I am playing with themes to get the pictures to format properly, so bear with me and let me know what you think when you see a new theme pop up!

The Runaways is a film about the 1970s all-girl teen rock band of the same name, specifically about the inception of the band and its beginning years with its original members. It specifically focuses on the two leads of the band, Joan Jett and Cherie Currie. While the film gives us a good understanding of Currie’s background, it leaves Jett’s story mostly in the dark, which I found somewhat odd as Jett was really the brains of the whole operation and the most musically successful member of the band. I knew who Joan Jett was before I walked into the theatre; I couldn’t tell you anything about Cherie Currie except that someone in the band was named “something like Cherry”. I really don’t want to get into specifics about the band history and all, because not only will I just be rewriting this biopic, but I’ll be constantly checking my information and this is not why I write film reviews! So, allow me to get into a little more of the nitty-gritty of the film, and please forgive me for not nitpicking some of the inaccuracies that it included (though I believe those were kept to a minimum since both Jett and Currie were involved in the making of the film). Read the rest of this entry »

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Iron Man 2

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on May 17, 2010

IRON MAN 2 (2010)

I’ve had AC/DC on the brain for days, so seeing this film only helped keep that going. If you don’t know, the film could essentially be considered a giant music video for the AC/DC “album” ‘Iron Man 2’, which is really just a soundtrack compiled of a lot of their “greatest hits” that were used in the film. Oh, there are a few other songs in the movie that are not by AC/DC, but they don’t really matter :P. But I guess I should talk about the second installment of the superfranchise instead of the soundtrack, so here goes.

Unless you live under a rock, you know about Iron Man and you know the general storyline of the main character, Tony Stark/Iron Man. At the end of the last film the world had just been informed that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) really is Iron Man, so now both Stark is even more of a celebrity. And everyone loves him. So now the question is, who could possibly be his adversary, and how? I mean, the guy’s suit is at least 17 different kinds of awesome and powerful. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Nightmare On Elm Street

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on May 10, 2010

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (2010)

Sob!

Full disclosure here: I am a huge fan of the original film, written and directed by one of the masters of horror, Wes Craven. I highly recommend it to anyone who has not seen it (P.S. it has a young Johnny Depp in his first film role), and even though it’s kinda dated because it feels so damn 80s in some ways, it’s still really effective and it’s far creepier than people seem to remember. The reason why I decided to watch this remake is because all accounts were indicating that the filmmakers were taking it a bit more ‘seriously’ than I feel the other horror classic remakes were handled (such as The Amityville Horror,  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Halloween–which I refuse to see because Rob Zombie is almost as bad a director as Eli Roth). Alas, the film was not good, as I expected it to be, but there was an odd twist to what made it sub-par: the similarities to the original. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kick-Ass

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on May 7, 2010

KICK-ASS (2010)

I’m writing this one piecemeal, so please bear with me if it’s a little disjointed–I’ve been working at a conference and I’m exhausted.

Kick-Ass explores similar territory as the film Mystery Men– there are “normal” people who dress up as superheroes to fight the criminals of the world (or the city in which they live); however, Mystery Men gave the indication that the heroes had some “lesser” superpowers, whereas Kick-Ass does not include the superpower aspect. Rather, it’s literally just people who want to throw on costumes and rid the world (or city) of “evildoers”. It’s a concept that the main character ponders about in the beginning of the film, posing the question, “Why hasn’t anyone else thought of this?” The thing is, I’ve read about people who have actually donned costumes and tried to “fight crime”, mostly within the boundaries of the law. So it’s not an entirely new concept, at least for me. However, the idea is a fun one, which is why I decided to see this particular film. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Box

Posted by Cantankerous Panda on April 30, 2010

THE  BOX (2009)

I hate that I keep doing this to you guys, but I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off for the past week and a half or so, which is why I have been holding out on you with my reviews. But have no fear, dear minions–I fully intend to get my ass back in the theatre and my DVDs back in my player in order to bring you snazzy little reviews for your reading pleasure!!

I watched The Box recently, not knowing that I was walking into another Richard Kelly film. For those of you who do not know, Richard Kelly was the indie wonder-child who delivered hipster-favourite Donnie Darko to an unsuspecting world. I’m not trying to dismiss Darko or Kelly’s work on that film, as I really did enjoy it and I think it was an interesting and well-made film, but if I had known that The Box was Kelly’s film I would have been better prepared and, probably, a little more wary. The concept of The Box reminds me much of the classic horror story “The Monkey’s Paw”. The Box is ‘based’ on the short story “Button, Button”, by Richard Matheson, but the screenplay is Kelly’s (which, again, would have been good to know–shame on me!). I have not read Matheson’s story, but what little I have read about it leads me to believe that it is infinitely better than what Kelly offered. I should note that Matheson’s story was also used on the Twilight Zone series, and Kelly’s film almost feels like a far too long and overworked episode. Read the rest of this entry »

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