Saturday, August 29, 2009

District 9

With Peter Jackson and his Wingnut production company associated with this film, I was excited to see it.
The premise was not altogether new, but still it has been long enough that an "aliens-come-to-earth-to-live" theme is fresh enough for me. We begin twenty years after a massive alien space ship appears over Johannesburg South Africa. Inside the ship was found to be thousands of bug-like aliens we call Prawn. They were a destitute, malnourished lot.
So we took them in and made a place for them on the planet, a.k.a District 9. However after twenty years D9 has become a crime ridden slum and they must be moved as the people are fed up with the cat food loving aliens.
The movie begins very documentary like. With a camera man following the story of the person in charge of evicting and moving the aliens. I was sitting there for about twenty or thirty minutes of the movie asking myself what in the world I was watching. I wondered if the whole movie was going to be like this and add to that it was very gross. I am not very squeamish (he's lying) but there was a lot of uncomfortable nasty scenes during the first thirty minutes. But after that it ceased being a documentary and kicked into full movie mode.
It turned out to be an excellent ride after that. I loved the rest of the movie from then on! You finally start to care about the characters and their plight. The special effects were great, especially the alien weaponry which becomes the focus of the story line.
If you can push past the first part of the movie, then checking out District 9 is definitely worth it!

Friday, August 07, 2009

GI JOE: Rise of Cobra

I grew up on the REAL GI JOE! The ones that were three times the size of the little plastic toys they pander in the Targets and Wally Worlds. The real ones have moveable joints in the wrists, knees, elbows, and even a fuzzy faced head that pops off! You can dress them up in dozens of uniforms, belts, hats, boots and even scuba gear. They carried a variety of weapons and equipment and drove huge vehicles like jeeps that pulled search lights, boats, and helicopters.
My younger friend says they were "barbie dolls for boys," and had no stories or enemies like the GI Joe's in the cartoons and comic books. Well maybe so, but I had a world of fun slapping a gun in their kung-fu grip and I made up some great stories on my own. They tossed grenades in the deserts of Africa, sailed the Pacific Ocean, and went on secret jungle missions every Saturday morning in my backyard.

Hollywood has finally brought that childhood magic to the big screen with GI JOE, The Rise of Cobra. I was afraid it would be a cheesy cartoon rendition of the animated series, especially with names like Rip Cord, Heavy Duty, and Gung Ho (Special cameo by Brendan Fraser). But I was pleasantly surprised!
The movie was far from corny. The story wasn't bad at all, they kept the one liners to a minimum, and the characters actually had depth to them! That's right, a popcorn action hero movie actually had character's you could really get into. They nicely transitioned the history and backgrounds of several major characters into the story with very little exposition.
The special effects were also top tier! They were jaw dropping gorgeous (not to mention a couple of the female leads). It was quite a thrill ride and a great way to end the summer block busters! It is a must see!
But remember it is PG-13 so don't take the little ones, there are several cringe-worthy death scenes! But everyone else will enjoy seeing your childhood favorites come to life. Jump in your humvee and check out GI JOE Rise of the Cobra.....Go Joe!!