Wednesday, March 10, 2010

DVD Reviews


I was hesitant about this purchase.  Many comic fans say this is an awesome movie while the consensus at Rotten Tomatoes is it won't appeal to folks, like me, who are not familiar with the graphic novel.  I might tend to agree with that but it's not a bad movie...just different (and a bit gory).  The style is much like a film-noir detective story.  You'd expect it to be 1935 only its the 1980s.  Nixon is still president and facing a Cold War showdown with the Soviet Union.  The Watchmen are a small group of mostly-retired superheroes, cynical about helping a world intent on destroying itself.  But when one of them is murdered, it leads to a plot that will unleash World War III.  I could go either way on this's a well-done movie for what it is, but it wouldn't have been a tragedy if I'd never seen it.

Seven Pounds

Deep, emotional, and more than a bit morbid.  It's difficult to say much about the movie without spoiling it; this is one that dares not to insult the intelligence of the viewer as it peels back the layers of one man's guilt and his need for ultimate redemption.  Did I say too much already?

Okay, be warned, here are the spoilers, because the subject matter in this movie is one that I have contemplated.  Not the need for redemption, but in knowing that my time is coming, what could I leave behind (property or money) to better the life of another person?  If my organs are viable, what if I could choose the people that would receive them?  These are the choices that Ben Thomas gives to himself; to change the lives of seven people by sacrificing his own.  The conflict begins when he meets the woman he's chosen to give his heart.  Yeah, obvious metaphor there but it works.  Well cast, well acted and very powerful.  Thumbs up.  (Looks like the folks at Rotten Tomatoes disagree with me...oh well.)

The Bucket List

Okay, yeah, I had to see this one...just took me a while to get around to it.  Bottom line:  I liked it.  For anyone who doesn't know, it's about two terminal cancer patients (played by Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman) who embark on a worldwide adventure to fulfill a "bucket list" of things to do before they die.  I didn't find their portrayal of chemotherapy to be very realistic but, hey, that's Hollywood...and it's not really the point anyway.  Using it for a bit of comic relief seemed acceptable if not predictable.  The relationship between the two men is the heart of the story and that part works.  I suggest everyone think about their own bucket list, and keep adding to it all the time.

District 9

This was easily the most entertaining of the four movies here, though I had been hesitant about it also; worried that it would be blatent take on South African Apartheid.  Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn't...but if you don't think about that too much, it's a facinating and somewhat original take on the aliens-come-to-Earth premise.  These insectoid-aliens arrive in squalor, over a million weak and starving, aboard a derilict ship that parks itself over Johannesburg.  They clearly aren't going the government builds a township for them, District 9,  and dumps them all there.  The story picks up twenty-some years later when conditions in the district have become so bad that it has been decided to evict all the aliens and move them to District 10.  That doesn't go so well.  I had to chuckle at one of the alien weapons--a gravity gun used in a popular video game.  Looks like fun!! (The fictional technology may also be the basis for the alien's propulsion system.)  Anyway, this movie too has its share of gore and squimish moments...consider that before viewing.  It's also begging for a sequel, so put that one on your bucket lists.

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