Thursday, July 22, 2010
Whoever it was that said Inception is like "James Bond Meets The Matrix" was right on the money. Except that such a comparison only goes so far. And film-maker Christopher Nolan's grand dream epic goes so much farther.
What a movie! For most of it, I was breathless. I couldn't even manage a "Whoa!" during the many Whoa-deserving scenes.
I won't even try to sum up the labyrinthine plot that has something to do with invading Cillian Murphy's dreams to plant an idea there that will change the business plans of his energy company. I'll just say that Inception boasts a huge and impressive cast headed by the always excellent Leonardo DiCaprio and the sadly gorgeous Marion Cotillard, supported by Ellen (Juno) Page, Joseph (Brick) Gordon-Levitt, Tom (Bronson) Hardy, and Ken Watanabe. And Tom Berenger, for goodness sake!
Composer Hans Zimmer's pounding pulsating score is one of his very best!
I think I may have just seen the Best Picture winner of the year.
Posted by Terrence Seamon on July 22, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
When Pandorum came out in theaters a year or two ago, I remember thinking, "I've got to see that one." But I never did.
Until last night. Thanks to my sons, they sat me down, with takeout food (excellent Vietnamese dinner from Nha Trang Place Jersey City) and beer (Exit 4 from Flying Fish) to watch Pandorum.
An intense and terrifying spaceship thriller starring Ben Foster, Dennis Quaid, and German actress Antje Traue (who would make an excellent Lisbeth Salander), I was riveted throughout as director Christian Alvart kept me guessing as to just what the heck was going on.
And I loved the ending.
For some reason, when Pandorum ran in theaters, it tanked. The critics didn't like it. And audiences passed on it.
If you like Alien, The Descent, and similar sci-fi/horror films, this one is for you.
Posted by Terrence Seamon on July 13, 2010
Saturday, July 10, 2010
At the Movie Addicts group on LinkedIn, someone asked, What were some of your favorite movies when you were a kid?
When I think back to my kid days, the late 1950's to early 1960's, I was truly a movie (and TV) addict, watching just about everything that the New York stations had to broadcast, especially channels 5, 9 and 11.
I loved anything having to do with horror, ghosts, sci fi, adventure...you name it. And classic comedy, especially Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, the Three Stooges, even the Bowery Boys.
So here are some of the films that really resonated with me when I was a kid:
- The March of the Wooden Soldiers. To this day, I can sit and watch this timeless classic comedy with Laurel & Hardy and still laugh my butt off over their old jokes ("Good night, Ollie.")
- Mighty Joe Young. I still choke up during the climactic fire rescue scene.
- King Kong. A classic of cinema, period.
- The Wizard of Oz. Ditto my last comment. One of the top ten films of all time.
- The Time Machine starring Rod Taylor, with its excellent music score by Russell Garcia.
- Jason and the Argonauts. For mythic adventure and strange creatures, this one has it all, courtesy of animation master Ray Harryhausen and composer Bernard Herrmann.
- The Day the Earth Stood Still. When Patricia Neal approaches Gort the giant robot, to stop it before it destroys the Earth by saying "Klaatu barata nikto," you have one of the most terrifying moments in film history. Plus score by Bernard Herrmann.
- Hold That Ghost. One of Abbott and Costello's early efforts has gangsters, ghosts, and the Andrew Sisters!
- The Magnificent Seven. What a cast. What a story. What music (by Elmer Bernstein)
- Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. Maybe the best mix of comedy and horror ever. And the score by Frank Skinner is a favorite.
And one more I just remembered:
- The Fabulous World of Jules Verne. A Czech film with striking visuals that look like drawings come to life.
Posted by Terrence Seamon, July 10, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
When I was a kid, I begged my dad to take me to see Jason & the Argonauts (1963) at the local movie theater. I could tell he wasn't enthused. But he relented and took me to see it.
It changed my life.
The creatures animated by the great Ray Harryhausen were among his very best, including the tormenting harpies, the giant man of bronze Talos, and the army of skeletons. Each scene is a classic of cinema.
Elevating these and other scenes is the music provided by the legendary Hollywood composer Bernard Herrmann whose score for Jason is among his very best. From the opening theme with its strong pounding drums and triumphant horns, to the wild fandango that propels the battle with the skeletons, this is film scoring at its greatest, transporting you to a mythic place where you believe in seven headed hydras guarding a golden fleece.
Tom Hanks said, at an Oscar ceremony a couple years ago, that the greatest film ever made was Jason and the Argonauts. I agree.
Posted by terrence Seamon, July 3, 2010