Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Opening up with mixed reviews, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this film. Of course I went to see it in 3D, and I recommend anyone going to see Alice in Wonderland, go see it in this format. Everyone knows the story of Alice, following the white rabbit down the hole, so I won’t bore you with details. There are a few fresh twists on the story, not that they work very good.

This movie really used Johnny Depp (Pirates of the Caribbean, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) in its marketing, and I was disappointed in Depp’s  performance. Why I am not sure, he was weird and kooky like you would expect from the Mad Hatter, he just lacked character. Helena Bonham (Planet of the Apes, Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein)Carter was good as the Red Queen, but hard to really pay attention to her performance with her enlarged head. Crispin Glover (Back to the Future, Willard)  plays his usual character and Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, The Devil Wears Prada) gives a very lackluster performance as the White Queen.

Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands) does a great job with creating a fun quirky world, visually stunning to look at, but maybe that was the only thing he was paying attention to. If you are a huge Burton fan, you will enjoy seeing the world he has created, but anyone else, the movie will probably bomb for you. For me the 3D made it interesting to watch once, but that is about it. If you want 3D fun, go check it out at a matinée price, plus you get a lengthy Toy Story 3 trailer in 3D, otherwise save your money.

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

harry-potter-and-the-half-blood-prince-poster-1Well, what there can’t really be a whole lot to say about this film, this is Harry Potter at his best. This film was directed be relative newcomer David Yates who directed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Like the last one, this film remains very dark overall and although ends rather open ended, everyone knows that it is setting up  the final two films The Deathly Hallows, scheduled for release in 2010 and 2011.

Jim Broadbent (Gangs of New York, Iris) is a very nice and fitting addition to the already well rounded cast. He brings a perfect blend of humor as well as respect to the role similar to those big names in the past like Kenneth Branagh in Chamber of Secrets and Gary Oldman in Prisoner of  Azkaban. Broadbent is an instant show stealer! Michael Gambon (Gosford Park) and the usual characters, Daniel Radcliff (Bet you didn’t think he was in anything else…look for him as a very little kid at the end of Tailor of Panama), Emma Watson and Rupert Grint do their jobs, which I am sure by now is almost secondhand.

I have heard many reviews by now, and have heard that this is the best Harry Potter yet. I find it hard to get away from still praising the first film which has the same magic as The Wizard of Oz. And when you think about it, it really is the only one that stands on it’s own and you don’t have to know the back story. Ok, I know, what fan hasn’t seen them all, and if they haven’t seen the others, there is probably no interest in this one. This is a very enjoyable film, even though very dark, still has plenty of laughs, great special effects and good performances overall.  6 down, two more to go!

Terminator: Salvation (spoiler alert)

terminator-salvation-flash-poster

I can’t really say I expected much from this movie, and it didn’t really live up to my already low expectations. The story begins with a scenario from left field. A man on death row donated his body to science….science being Cyberdine systems. With no real explanation, he is turned into a Terminator. Keep in mind that when the T-600s came out, they were supposedly top of the line, yet this one was supposedly made before those? Doesn’t really say, I could be wrong there. The story was so weak that there wasn’t much going on unless someone was blowing the shit out of something. The supposed new terminator didn’t even look that great, in fact some scenes I would label as bad. Especially the scenes with the Terminators face with the machinery showing through. Very obvious it was simple green screen with digital pictures put in, and not even done that well.

The big plot line….humans get captured, rescue humans. Really nothing to it, There you go. Christian Bale….well, he seemed to still be talking like Batman in the Dark Knight. He brought nothing to the role. All of the performances were sub par, and that coupled with the over simplified plot, makes for a pretty bad movie. The only thing that kept me remotely interested was al of the throwbacks and homages to the original 2 Cameron films. From the Guns and Roses song, to the quote “I’ll be back” and even to the scar left on Bale’s face. All that did really was make me think how great the 2 Cameron movies are and made me want to go back and re-watch them again. I might need to go purchase the new T2 Skynet edition that just came out on blu ray. In fact that is my advice to you….go watch the first two Terminators, better use of your time.