Posts Tagged ‘movie nerdfighter’

When You Feel Your Life is Up in the Air

March 20, 2010

I just came back from seeing Up in the Air for the second time in the theater.  It had such an impact on me the first time, I wanted to see if it held up through a second viewing.

A curious thing happened as I was leaving.  A girl from one of my classes (the Movie Nerdfighter is back in school if that hasn’t been previously mentioned) was in the theater and we walked out together.  We talked and she said something that I’ve been thinking about since we parted ways.  She said, “I don’t really think a man who has been alone for so long would suddenly start to feel lonely.”

This comment struck me because I’ve recently been questioning the way I live my own life.  I’m a lot like Ryan (Clooney) when it comes to interpersonal relationships.  I live a rather lonely existence.  Now, I’m not saying I don’t have friends or family who I could call and talk to at any given moment, but with all the things I want to do I often end up sitting alone in my apartment working on my many different projects.  Now, that’s something I’m trying to change because I don’t particularly want to end up a Ryan Bingham.

However, there is a part of his life philosophy that appeals to me.  I live with far too much stuff.  I’m inundated with it.  If I attempted to fill my backpack, I’d be crushed under the weight of it.  I remember growing up with all my toys and comics around me and imagining what I would do if a fire started and the house was burning.  I had a complicated maneuver where I would begin to chuck boxes of comics and toys out the window and jump down afterwards.

I was a strange child.

The older I get, however, the more I realize how unnecessary it all is.  Even before I saw Up in the Air the first time I was beginning a campaign to reduce the amount of clutter in my life to things more essential.  I’ve started a slow process of selling my comics (which is not going so well in the current economic climate) and have started to revise my thinking of “what is important to me.”  My life is surrounded by knick-knacks and junk and honestly, I’m tired of living like this.

I loved Up in the Air as much this second time if not more.  It’s one of those movies that just sits on your brain and causes the synapses to fire all through the night.  It gives you a lot to think about, and that’s why I love it so.

William, the Movie Nerdfighter

who’s searching for his “Plus 1”

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William’s Top Ten of 2009

January 16, 2010

So, your humble Movie Nerdfighter has joined a collab project on YouTube called “In the Great Perhaps

This week, we’re all sharing a list of top ten for the past year.  The choice of list items was completely left up to us.  Of course, I had to share my Top Ten Movies of 2009:

In no particular order:

– The Hurt Locker
– Inglourious Basterds
– A Serious Man
– Up In the Air
– Sherlock Holmes
– Star Trek
– Where the Wild Things Are
– District 9
– (500) Days of Summer
– The Hangover

A few honorable mentions that didn’t make the list:

– Avatar: A visual effects game-changer
– Observe & Report: Great dark comedy from Jody Hill
– Whip It: Love, love, love this movie

There you have it.  Those are my picks.  Thoughts?  Do you agree?  Disagree?

New goal for this year, to post much more regularly to this and my other blogs.

William, the Movie Nerdfighter

who really seems to enjoy making lists about movies

The Movie Nerdfighter Needs To Revise

July 20, 2009

Well, let’s just say it’s been a while and move on.

I’ve fallen into a hard slump as far as my writing is concerned.  Don’t ask me why, it just happened.  However, with my birthday here and that thought of being 30 with no clear path ahead, it’s time to get off my ass.

The blog is going through a little revision process at the moment.  I’ve decided that there are hundreds of reviewers out there, and I don’t want to be just another face in the crowd.  From this point forward I’m going to be bringing you a completely open and (hopefully) unique perspective to my take on the movies.  I’m going to focus less on the actual review process and instead use the movie I want to talk about to springboard into other topics.

Here’s hoping it actually works.

Tonight (well, midnight, so technically it’s tomorrow) I pick up my copy of Watchmen at the local Movie Stop (I’m also filming the midnight release party).  Expect a review the next day that will probably focus on Alan Moore, the state of the comic book movie, and why Watchmen is so freaking amazing to me.

Until then, I remain

 

William, the Movie Nerdfighter

who hopes to redeem himself for this long absence by returning with a vengeance.

The Great Smokey Roadblock… is Great!

June 9, 2009

I picked this little gem up at Movie Stop for about $3 expecting it to be a mix of Cannonball Run and Smokey and the Bandit, perhaps with some added madcap comedy thrown in to sell it to the audience.  However, what I got was one of those great 70s movies that people seem to instantly dismiss because it suffers from the typical low-budget issues.

As I started writing this, I looked up the IMDB page for the movie (which apparently is also known as The Last of the Cowboys, a much better title) and one of the IMDB commenters talks about how lacking the film is.  I have to wonder if he was really paying attention.  Everything he states is not in the film or is neglected in the film is actually handled as it should be.  There’s a lot of story to tell, can’t fit in every little bit of a cross-country road trip.

The movie is about Elegant John (Henry Fonda), a truck driver who has fallen ill (cancer we would find out later) and had his truck repossessed.  He sneaks out of the hospital and steals his truck back, determined to make that one last, great run.  On the way, he picks up hitcher Beebo (an innocent yokel played by the one and only Freddy Krueger, Robert Englund) and the two, despite an early “misunderstanding” about money (John tries to trick Beebo into buying a full tank of gas for the rig), the two decide to help one another.

Right at the start, we meet one of John’s main “roadblocks” on his mission, a young buck who thinks he’s the greatest thing ever named Charlie (played by Gary Sandy, Andy Travis from WKRP in Cincinnati).  Charlie wants John’s rig, and when John refuses to sell, Charlie decides to help the police catch John.

On top of all this, John is having trouble actually getting a job hauling anything because he has stolen his truck.  The weakest point in the movie I saw was John’s reaction to a nasty little ass who calls him unnecessary names when he finds out the truck has been reported stolen.  Completely demoralized, all he does is take the abuse.  This is me throwing in my own personality, but I would have said something to this schmuck.

This is one of those 70s movies with a “damn the man” message that was so abundant at the time.  I really enjoy these movies.  Also, it’s one of those stories that handles sexuality in a very blunt manner, but not so much as some modern movies do.

Eileen Brennan (such a marvelous actress) plays Penelope, a madame who has just been told to leave town when a group of undercover cops bust her and her girls (interestingly, waiting until the “deed” was done before identifying themselves as police).  Now, they must find a way out.  Enter, John.  John and Penelope have a history and the two decide that running Penelope and the girls will be John’s last run.

Of course, this doesn’t help his situation, now the police are looking for John, Penelope, and the girls.

Amongst the girls is a still very fresh Susan Sarandon (she had done The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Front Page, a few others, and some television, but she was still kind of an unknown).  She and Beebo hit it off.

This movie is reminiscent of Vanishing Point; that ideology of deciding to do something regardless of the cost, being in such a state of affairs that you have nothing left to lose.

Looking at the cover art for the movie, it appears to be a complete comedy in line with the Burt Reynolds movies of the time and things like Animal House.  And with actors like Dub Taylor, it seems implied as well.  Instead, this is much more dramatic than you would expect.  Not to say that there isn’t any comedy, there is a great deal.  But, it is one of those movies that rides a fine line between the two.

In the end, I would not classify this movie as a comedy.  I recommend everyone try to find a copy of this rather obscure flick (it shouldn’t cost much).

 

William, the Movie Nerdfighter

who will always consider The Last of the Cowboys a better title for this movie.

Superman, and the Movie Nerdfighter Have Returned

March 22, 2009

Let’s get the personal stuff out of the way first.  I’ve been gone for quite a while.  Although I’d like to say I’ve been busy, I can’t.  My reason’s are varied and pointless when it comes to this blog.  If you are interested at all, please feel free to read more about my lackadaisical nature here.

Now, on to the review.

I do wish I could say it was planned, but completely by chance I have chosen to review “Superman Returns”.  It has taken me this long to finally watch the movie.  Sure, I’ve seen pieces of it here and there, but I’ve never actually taken the time to watch this reboot of the Superman movie franchise from start to end.  Now, I have and I think it holds up quite well.

First, we have Brandon Routh as the Man of Steel himself.  While he’s not a newcomer, he was a virtual unknown.  What he really had going for himself in the audition process was the fact that he has a remarkable resemblance to Christopher Reeve.  Oh, and the guy can act.  I’m sure that helped.

Brandon’s acting is stellar as Superman.  It’s the little things that make it.  My favorite thing was seeing all the little touches he added, that extreme quirky klutziness he gives Clark Kent; just like Reeve did so brilliantly in the 1978 version.  There’s that sly grin and the slightest eyebrow twitch when the bullet bounces off his eyeball and he and the thug with the gatling gun watch the bullet fall to the roof they are standing on.

Speaking of that bullet to the eye, I can’t get away without mentioning the special effects and visual style of this film.  It looks absolutely gorgeous.  The cinematography is beautiful (as well it should be with the Panavision Genesis doing the work).  But, for me that’s not what makes this a good movie.  It’s Superman, you’re going to have amazing visual effects (we’ll discount the supercomputer robot from “Superman III”).  Why let that take over a review?

When the press kicked in to full gear on this “reboot” (that still managed to be a sequel), and it was announced that Kate Bosworth was playing intrepid reporter Lois Lane, I didn’t see it.  But, now that I’ve seen the movie, I must say she did a great job (she’s a marvelous actress, of course, but I couldn’t make the connection to her as Lois until I saw it on screen).

Frank Langella.  What can I say about Frank Langella?  Probably not a lot that hasn’t been said before.  He has such a quiet grace about him.  And as Perry White he is almost the opposite of Spider-Man’s J. Jonah Jameson.  When Superman stops the falling Daily Planet globe, and Langella says the classic Perry White catchphrase, “Great Caesar’s Ghost”, he just knocks it home.

Also, I have to mention Kevin Spacey and Parker Posey.  Spacey plays a perfect Lex Luthor.  Especially one who’s turned so incredibly bitter after 5 years in prison.  His plan is slightly reminiscent of the 1978 plot, but this time he’s using Jor-El’s crystals with a dash of Kryptonite to create a new land-mass that he owns.  Parker, as Kitty, plays the quintessential Luthor-clinging femme-fatale.  And, like a good Luthor gal-Friday, she turns on him when she finds out Lex’s plan is going to kill people.

With all the trials and tribulations this production has gone through since it was decided to do another Superman movie, Bryan Singer really pulled things together to make a great movie.  Let’s hope we have not seen the last of Superman on the big screen and that he doesn’t get the Joel Schumacher treatment EVER!

And ending with the signature Christopher Reeve fly-out?  YES!

Oh, one more thing before I sign off, I know DC wants to follow the Marvel plan of creating a Justice League picture after introducing all the characters solo.  I would like to send a plea to DC Comics and whoever is in charge of their feature film division:

      Before you take all the time and energy to work on a Justice League movie, plan it right.  Don’t make it before all the solo stories are done, and consider making a World’s Finest movie before that.  You have Superman, you have Batman, make it happen.

 

William, the Movie Nerdfighter

who still kind of wishes the Kevin Smith script was produced, but thinks this was a good way to “reboot” the franchise.