Transformers: Dark of the Moon – 4 Horns
Ironclad – 4 Horns
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II: 4.5 Horns
The Zookeeper – 3 Horns
Cave of Forgotten Dreams – 4 Horns
Tree of Life – 4 Horns
Transformers: Dark of the Moon – Saw this again in IMAX and as great as the AMC ETX sounded, the digital 3-D IMAX looked much better. My rating of 4 of 5 Horns stands.
Ironclad – This hidden gem played in only a handful of theaters compared to other summer releases. Paul Giamatti plays the tyrannical King John and we meet him as he is signing the Magna Carta…that would be 1215 folks, thank you Ms. Spafford, social studies coming though big time here! As the movie tells you in an intro voice over, we know that the Magna Carta was signed, but its what happened after that is rarely discussed. John, allied with a foreign power, rode the English countryside with the intention of taking revenge on each of the barons who forced his hand signing the Magna Carta. With the support of the church, if not for the Siege at Rochester Castle, the subject of the film, he may have succeeded. During the battle, the soon to be ex-communicated Archbishop travels to France to seek the support of the French. The question is: will he return soon enough? If you want to know the answer, you have two options: 1) grab a history book or 2) see this movie. The film is worth watching, so I vote for option 2. A 4 of 5 Horn rating on this medieval battle film. PS: Lots of digital blood and bone crushing action.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II – I have read so much on this movie so far, I feel belaboring the issue will do good for no one. It’s a great movie, consistent with the production values and story that we have come to appreciate. J.K. Rowling’s rich continue to grow as HP7.2 has become the all time biggest weekend open ($168.5 million) after becoming the all time biggest midnight release ($92.1 million). It’s nice to be a part of history. Personally, I liked Part I a hair better than Part II, but it is still a great filmic end to the saga of Harry Potter. 4.5 of 5 Horns. PS: I was pretty excited to catch Part I on the big screen as a part of the famed opening night double feature. For a few pictures of the festivities, check out my previous post on the affair.
The Zookeeper – So I get accused of being easily amused often enough I recognize it as a blessing and a curse. The blessing: as a guy who likes pretty much everything I see, I can honestly say I rarely feel cheated of my hard earned movie cash. The curse: when I tell someone I liked a movie, they take it with a greater grain of salt than when heading movie advice for other more critical critics. The Zookeeper is a family friendly film that was completely passable as summer fun. I am preferential to Kevin James as a leading man and if Reel Rhino had been blogging in the era of Paul Blart, I would have told you how much I enjoyed that film as well. We are too expectant of Hangover-like gross-out laughs, when done right, are excellent. But Eff-Bombs and dick jokes should not be mandatory for enjoyment of a comedy. I enjoyed this film and feel comfortable giving it a 3 of 5 Horn rating. It is meant to be silly and it is, which is why I call this film a success.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams – With every major release in the bucket (minus Winnie the Pooh), I had to venture to the art house downtown…so I forgot my wallet and had to barter my way in $2 cheaper than the actual ticket price. Thanks to that sympathetic ticket taker!! Werner Herzog was given access to the Chauvet caves in Southern France, capturing on film the oldest known paintings in human history, dating back around 32000 years. The footage bobbles back and forth between footage of the actual caves and standard talking heads, but the time spent in the cave is breathtaking. Herzog filmed this in 3-D, but sadly I missed the far too brief run at the big house, and catching this at the art house meant seeing it projected digitally, but in flat ol’ 2-D. If this ever makes a return to the big screen in 3-D, I will be seeing it, and you should too. A well-told narrative of the caves discovery and subsequent study, Herzog has created a very enjoyable film that is appropriate for all ages. I am sure that this film will become standard viewing in high school World History classes and it is deservedly so. See this film if you can. 4 of 5 Horns
The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick’s fifth directorial feature in 38 years and every film he delivers is a gem. This film is no different, but it is definitely not for everyone. It is long at 2 hrs 19 minutes and unless you are into it, that is an eternity. Especially when there is actually a 20 minute sequence in the film that depicts all of eternity…or at least from the creation of earth up through the existence of dinosaurs on earth. It was about 4 minutes into this sequence that my theater had its first walkout. But beyond the existential, this film tells the tale of a family in Texas in the 1950’s. Brad Pitt is the patriarch and he is raising his three boys with a stern demeanor. We spend most of the film with the boys themselves, in particular Jack, the middle brother. We witness the bond of these brothers but also the effect of living in a strict Christian household in Texas in the 50’s. Jack is a normal boy, who at the heart of the conflict of the film, seems troubled. I think his behaviors are no different than most boys go through in their youth, taken to extremes. This film won the coveted Palm d’Ore at Cannes this year, but that doesn’t mean it’s for you. It touches heavily on spirituality and the nature of God in the lives of the devout. How can God let bad things happen to good people? It is quite a film, but please heed this piece of advice. If you are feeling adventurous and sick of the same old stuff…be brave…go see this film. It is unlike any movie you have ever seen. 4 of 5 Horns
I’m going to try and catch a couple more flicks this week, so I’ll report back when I can. Only a few more days and we continue on with the Avengers saga with Captain America. If you recall, I was not competely taken with Thor, so I hope that The First Avenger can spin up my excitement level and hold me over until next summer. I am pretty stoked and as I sit hear and type, my background distraction is none other than Iron Man. Tony Stark inspires my muse…okay, that’s just weird.
Until later, take care!