Showing posts from May, 2010

Film Faves: 2005

Welcome to the fifth edition of Film Faves!  This time I revisit 2005, the year in which George Bush incomprehensibly began his second term, Pope John Paul II died, Saddam Hussein went on trial, and Bob Geldof organized Live 8.

Before I continue, I should say that the purpose behind Film Faves is not to offer you the best in film for that year.  It is my biased, fun list of the movies I enjoyed most from any given year.  Instead of a top 10 list with honorable mentions tacked on at the end, I make a list of twelve (12) movies that I enjoyed and recommend the most.

So, 2005 was a really good year for movies, but it wasn't without its share of crap (Hollywood will be Hollywood, after all).  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe; and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory had not only some of the longest titles to a movie in that year, if not ever, but also were among the highest-grossing movies of the year.  Crash won the Aca…

The Messenger Delivers Compelling Performances

Last week, The Messenger, a film that went under many people’s radar due to its limited release, became available on DVD. Aside from Woody Harrelson’s Oscar nomination, it seems many people are unfamiliar with this movie. It deserves more attention than it’s getting, so I decided to write about it in order to hopefully turn more heads in its direction.

The Messenger is about two Casualty Notification Officers and how the work they do affects them, how they affect each other and the lives of people who receive their messages, and how their personal and wartime experiences affect their perspective of the job. In the past, we’ve seen movies about soldiers on the battlefield (Sands of Iwo Jima, Platoon), movies about rescue operations during war (Saving Private Ryan), mysteries about what happened during battle (Courage Under Fire), and ones about what happens to the soldiers when they return home (The Best Years of Our Lives, The Lucky Ones, Brothers). As far as I can recall, The Messenge…

Iron Man gets bulky with sequel

In 2008, Jon Favreau and Robert Downey, Jr. teamed up to make the first Iron Man movie. It was also the first movie entirely developed by Marvel Studios. The film balanced mile-high excitement with timely subtexts and rich character development, going on to become one of the most successful blockbusters of its summer.

After two years of anticipation, Iron Man 2 has finally arrived. Does it live up to the first movie? Well, not really. But it’s not a complete disappointment either.

In the first ten minutes of the sequel, we are introduced to no less than four plot points:

- a Russian named Ivan Vanko (played menacingly by Mickey Rourke) plots revenge against Tony Stark
- Tony Stark’s heart device (which was implanted in the first film to prevent shrapnel from entering his heart) is slowly poisoning him
- the United States government is fighting over the right to the Iron Man technology as part of the military industrial complex
- Justin Hammer (played by Sam Rockwell), an ineffective m…

Remember That Movie: Innerspace

I’ll just come right out and say it: the funniest movie I’ve seen in 2010 is not from this year. It is from 1987 and the movie is Innerspace.

Innerspace stars Dennis Quaid, Meg Ryan, Martin Short, Henry Gibson, Kevin McCarthy, and Robert Picardo and is directed by Joe Dante (Gremlins, The Howling, The Explorers). It is a sci-fi comedy featuring Quaid as drunken charmer Tuck Pendleton, an astronaut who signs up for a secret miniaturization experiment. The plan is for Tuck to be shrunken to microscopic size while in a pod and injected into a rabbit, at which point he’d run a few tests regarding the technology of the pod and the biology of the animal. However, just as Tuck is miniaturized, a terrorist group storms the lab, looking to obtain the miniaturized pod and the experiment’s necessary tech. Why? It’s explained that Kevin McCarthy - starring as Victor Scrimshaw, a wealthy villain straight out of a cheesy Bond film - wants to sell the miniaturization tech to the highest-bidding nati…