Sunday, July 29, 2007
Movie Reviews: THE SIMPSONS MOVIE, THE HOST, FACTORY GIRL
THE SIMPSONS MOVIE
Is this the end for Springfield? Homer (voice of Dan Castellaneta) must save his beloved hometown from a total idiot, i.e., himself, who has doomed it to destruction.
Cast Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria, Harry Shearer (more)
Director(s) David Silverman
Writer(s) Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Al Jean, Ian Maxtone-Graham, George
Meyer, David Mirkin, Mike Reiss, Mike Scully, Matt Selman, John Swartzwelder, Jon Vitti
Status In theaters (wide)
Release Date July 27, 2007
Running Time 87 minutes
MPAA Rating PG-13 - for irreverent humor throughout
The Simpsons Movie had 18 years worth of episodes to get ready for
their big screen debut and to be honest it was time well spent. Most phenomenon's cash in early and fall off a cliff, The Simpson's avoided this pit fall, even though this movie has been talked about since 1997, and the result is something that going to please fans and non fans alike. The scope of the plot is epic enough to not feel like an extended episode and each of the characters follow a meaningful arch that, glup, lead them to a sort of self discovery. Not to say this movie is a different tonally from the show, it very much the Simpson's, from the first joke forward it's a virtual non stop barrage of jokes. The In-convenient Truth like plot is sufficiently satirically and smart to satisfy most fans. Visually, the Simpsons and their towns folk have never looked so good, so of the vistas, like Alaska just look amazing. For hardcore fans, like myself, you'll be treated to tons of in jokes and if you watch ever so carefully you'll spot characters pretty much from every episode in the Simpson's archive. A few odd omissions do occur, Apu and Smithers don't get a single line and Mr. Burns only get a few quick lines. Overall, I'm bias though, this movie is tons of fun and I couldn't contain my glee throughout.
A neglectful father suddenly regrets not spending as much time with his daughter as he should have when a hideous mutant beast emerges from South Korea's Han River and whisks her away. Although believing that his girl has been killed and eaten, the bad dad receives a mysterious phone call from her so he embarks on a dangerous expedition into a secretive military base to get her back.
Cast Kang-ho Song, Byun Hee-bong, Bae Hae-il, Bae Doo-na, Ko A-sung (more)
Director(s) Joon-Ho Bong
Writer(s) Hah Joon-won, Baek Chul-hyun
Status On DVD
Release Date March 9, 2007
DVD Release Date July 24, 2007
MPAA Rating R - for creature violence and language.
The Host is a great throwback to classic giant monster movies, like the original Godzilla not the American version. This film is like a monster movie mixed Little Miss Sunshine. The characters are wonderfully deep and detailed making you care about their struggle. The acting ranges from touching to over top, purposefully, as this movie is a blend of multi genres; black-satire-horror-comedy probably best describes this film. Visually it looks spectacular and effects are top notch, the creature looks fantastic and is totally believable, due mostly to the filmmaker's smart decision to show it mostly in environments that best fit its design. The best part of this film is it's subtext which permeates throughout, smartly written within the film context it's both a biting criticism of pollution and United States military intervention and a successfully monster movie. A great foreign film that brings back meaning to monster movies ala the 50's classic fare.
This biopic follows Edie Sedgwick (Sienna Miller), who dropped out of Harvard in 1965 and partnered with a young artist named Andy Warhol (Guy Pearce). Warhol made her a star, but fame proved to be more than she could handle.
Cast Sienna Miller, Guy Pearce, Hayden Christensen, Jimmy Fallon, Peter
Bogdanovich, Beth Grant (more)
Director(s) George Hickenlooper
Writer(s) Captain Mauzner
Status On DVD
Release Date Dec. 29, 2006 — Los Angeles; Feb. 2, 2007 — limited expansion
DVD Release Date July 17, 2007
MPAA Rating Unrated - for pervasive drug use, strong sexual content, nudity and language.< O:P>
Factory Girl should be a moving cautionary tale about fame and drugs but it's as superficial as most of Andy Warhol's art. On the positive side, this film is full of great performances from both Miller and Guy Pearce, who is just mesmerizing as Warhol. Hayden Christensen also gives a fairly impressive turn as a Bob Dylan like character. Needless to say acting is not the issue in this movie. George Hickenlooper gives his film a certain kind of pretentious atmosphere but seemed to forgot to include any real heart or depth. The characters issues are touched upon but never explored to a fuller extent. Hence, by the end of the film we don't really care about them as no one seems to have any redeeming value or is particularly likable. Furthermore, Hickenlooper doesn't capture the time period effectively, instead we get a very claustrophobic feel to the proceedings which doesn't mesh with the subject matter. In the end, Factory Girl is a mishandled biopic which fails to create any type of connection between the audience and the characters.