June 2011 - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)

Transformers: Dark of the Moon again shows that Michael Bay is a pro at the type of movies that he makes.  Say what you will about his films, be it they are loud and/or stupid, there is no denying that he can craft an action scene with as much skill as anyone out there.  The film might be juvenile in parts, about 45 minutes too long and drags in the middle, but the slam bang ending to this film wipes away any problems that I had.


Sucker Punch (2011)

Note: Sucker Punch is the rare re-visitation of a film that we have covered previously.  But I missed it the first go-around and it is well worth it if you're in for a challenge on DVD this weekend.

Sucker Punch deserves to be remembered as one of the most subversive and angry attacks pointed against the patriarchal structure of the film industry.  Zack Snyder delivered exactly what he promised with the initial trailers.  You want your zombie Nazi fight sequences?  Fine, have at it and enjoy the slow-mo dance of skeletal destruction in the meantime.  You want cheap titilation?  Bully for you!  Here's a film where the principal cast members spend most of the run-time in hot-pants, short skirts and thigh-high boots.


Season of the Witch (2011)

I'm thinking of starting a new feature for the website.  It's called "Nicolas Cage Needs A Castle".  If you're unfamiliar with Nicolas Cage's debt issues then you should know that the man likes his castles, and has been appearing in every movie he can get his name attached to in order to slowly chip away at the tremendous hole slowly growing in his bank accounts.  Now comes Season of the Witch and I wish he would just sell his damn castle.


Atom Egoyan: Ararat (2002)

I could not get a copy of Felicia's Journey in time for today's Egoyan discussion so I am jumping one film ahead to 2002's Ararat.  Considering how horribly wrong I was about this movie on first viewing, I think it appropriate that I now have to get to it first.

"His pregnant sister was raped in front of his eyes before her stomach was slashed open to stab her unborn child.  His fathers eyes were gouged out of his head and stuffed into his mouth.  His mothers breasts were ripped out and she was left to bleed to death.  Who the fuck are you?"

I'm just another member of the audience.  I have to believe whatever truth is presented on the screen otherwise the whole effect of cinema comes tumbling down.  The truth presented above is but one version of how someone feels about the Armenian genocide.  It's spoken by an American actor, with no previous connection to any Armenian culture, who suddenly feels more passionately and directly than the historian with family losses who was hired to consult for the movie being made about the genocide.

The historian's version of the truth clashes with the actors'.  The actors' and historian's both clash with a co-star, who wants to believe that it didn't happen so he doesn't lose his pride as a Turk.  He's not wrong in wanting to lose that pride, and his truth is no less valid.  Those truths clash with the historian's son, who desperately needs to believe he's smuggling film back into Canada, his step-sister, whose father committed suicide after getting involved with the historian, or the aging security guard, who wants so desperately to believe his son may still be straight that he's willing to entertain the young smuggler in thinking what he has is really "film".  Then there's the old director, who wants to tell the story of the genocide in such a way that it blindsides everyone, including the historian.


Cars 2 (2011)

I never wanted to have to do this and in still pains me to even think it but the first time in 16 years I have not liked or enjoyed a Pixar film.  Thanks to Cars 2, their DiMaggio like streak of having critically acclaimed film after critically acclaimed film has been snapped abruptly.  Instead of another wonderful picture with heart, tight storytelling and wonderful characters, we are instead treated to a crass, soulless film created to sell merchandise.

Cars 2 tells the further adventures Lighting McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) and Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) as the travel overseas for McQueen to compete in a worldwide Grand Prix to determine the worlds fastest car.   In Tokyo, Mater stumbles into an international spy ring determined to stop the nefarious plot to sabotage said grand prix and make the world even more reliant on oil.   Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) and Holly Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer), two British spies, mistake Mater for an American spy and have him tag along on their mission to stop the evildoers and save the world.