Saturday, June 28, 2008
This blog is becoming less about my artwork and more about crap that I like. I have a website for my art now so I guess its OK. By the way, I have a website now and if you want to see it (all two of you) click on the link to the left or here.
Anyway, I just saw some really cool movies these last few weeks and I want to recommend them.
First is the movie Wall-E from Pixar. I've always been a big fan of Pixar's so this was the only movie this year thus far that I allowed myself to have high hopes for. After seeing it yesterday I was not disappointed but I'm going to take a guess that it won't be the most successful Pixar film to date. The film in general for most part runs at a slightly slow burn so your average over stimulated idiot child or adult will probably get bored at some points of the film so I don't expect it to be a instant favorite for most people. Richard Roeper of "Ebert and Roeper" said in his review of the film that the first half of the film felt like I am Legend for the juice box crowd and I couldn't agree more. In fact Wall-E demonstrated the feeling of isolation far better then the lack luster adaption of Richard Matheson's amazing novel I am Legend of last year. As a character Wall-E is probably the most likable of any character in a movie I've seen this past year. The messages in the film were slightly heavy handed but I forgave it because most of it was commentary that needs to be addressed and Wall-E was such a likable character that I couldn't NOT be enthralled by the lovable robot. Wall-E the movie isn't just a good movie its Art. So please go watch Wall-E.
The other movie I'd like to recommend is Dreamworks' Kung Fu Panda. I'm not a big fan Dreamworks' animated films. I thought the first Shrek film had its moments but since then everything Dreamworks has dished out has been hopeless shallow marketing cash cows filled with pop culture jokes for the "adults" and fart/burp jokes for the kids. To be honest if I wanted to see that crap I'll watch a episode of the Family Guy. Kung Fu Panda on the other hand is a amazingly entertaining film that relies on its likable characters and story instead of gas and pop culture gags. At its core it has your very familiar theme of the underdog, just believe in yourself and you can achieve anything kind of astory but in many ways it transcends that with its likable and surprisingly complex characters. It looks like whoever directed this film really wanted to separate themselves from Dreamworks' usual fair and made something truly special and it shows. The acting, animation, and kung fu action sequences were all handled with great care and respect thus making not only a good kids film but a good film period. Go see it.
My other recommendations will be shorter.
IronMan: Surprisingly good. I hadn't expected it to be as good as it was and it turned to be one my most favorite super hero films to date. Go see it (or at least DVD it).
The Incredible Hulk: Again surprisingly good. This Hulk didn't try to be more than it was like Ang Lee's Hulk. This hulk was out to entertain and not be a Greek tragedy. Bruce Banner gets mad, Hulk smashes stuff with really loud noises while kids and comic fanboys in unison go "aww man thats cool!" The End. Go see it (or at least DVD it).
One movie that I can't and won't recommend is the most recent Indiana Jones film. My GOD was that film Rubbish! If you have any respect for the original Indiana Jones films or just good films in general don't watch this travesty. Period.
There is one more movie that I just can't wait to see and thats Chris Nolan's Dark Knight. Here's hoping its as cool as its hyped to be. Everything else after Dark Knight this year kind of gets a "meh" from me and that includes the new Cohens' film Burn After Reading and I'm a huge Cohen Brothers fan.
"The Dude Abides"
Sunday, June 22, 2008
This has nothing to do with my art but I just watched a documentary I must insist that everyone go watch. It is Bill Guttentag's and Dan Sturman's:
If you are not familiar with the Rape of Nanking you should definitely watch this film. It is one of the greatest uncommonly known atrocities to humanity of the 20th Century. I have seen a few documentaries about the Rape of Nanking but this documentary was one of the finest I've seen. Some of the other documentaries I've watched relied on the extremely graphic pictures that were taken during the japanese army's destruction and rape of Nanking China. This documentary didn't however and even though it didn't soften the evil and horror of it all it never felt exploitive or biased. The mixture of eye witness accounts read by actors, real film footage and personal stories of the victims are spellbinding.
Please, go watch it.