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This show deals with the drama of having hope.
From a person who has watched an average of five hours of television a day since I was six years old, I will simply say this . . .
I saw the cliffhanger of Commander Riker giving Lieutenant Worf the order to fire on a "Borg assimilated" Jean-Luc Picard.
I saw the cliffhanger of Agent Moulder aiming his weapon at his alien-altered mother as she screams and shrieks at Moulder to shoot her before "The Conspiracy" overtakes them.
And . . . Just when I thought this show was a pretty good drama that happened to have zombies in it, I saw what was left of Sophia come out of that barn . . . only to have Rick bring a final order to an episode of chaos.
This is one of the greatest television episodes I have ever seen.
It is what it is . . . Unless you choose to buy into it . . .
A lot of the pieces are there . . .
The original, which should be viewed first, that "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (2008) was remade from was ahead of it's time in the style of it's storytelling. This remake has assembled a handful of very good sequences. And, like the original, I enjoyed a great deal of the "implied science-fiction". The attempt at "stadium-fulls" of overly subtle storytelling, however, will find this much more modern (if not futuristic) premise tough to buy in to. So much so, that the viewer may have to "look for the story". Most viewers want the story to be "presented to 'em", right?
Keanu Reeves "saves it" for me.
I believe Keanu Reeves was a motion picture super star that has turned into a real, live movie actor. Ever since his performance in "The Devil's Advocate"(1997), he has done his job in portraying his characters very, very well. Hangin' out with Al Pacino can do that. The highly-argued and debated "Constantine"(2005) sold me on his ability as an actor. What saved "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (2008) for me is how consistent his face and body expression was early in the movie. I believed that he was Klaatu, period.
But; unless you are personally touched "or reached" by the sum parts of this movie, most viewers will be disappointed.
A new standard in blockbusters has been achieved . . .
I hold one man responsible. He has directed everything from a man commuting to work being terrorized by a ghostly-demonic, semi-truck; to the life and trials of a young black woman; to, quite possibly, the greatest, most intimate, most stunning, war motion picture ever presented to an audience.
In my mind, I will no longer think of him as a director.
Steven Spielrock, I mean Steven Spielberg, should be referred to as a master filmmaker.
Imagine, for a moment, having done so very much as a storyteller. But, there's a catch: YOU LOVE MOVIES as much as the next rabid, movie-going mutant. So, an idea has landed in your lap about a dormant franchise of warring, "robot-sapiens" that screams to be made into a blockbusting, popcorn enabling, epic of action science-fiction. This is probably the most elaborate and complex production since Matrix: Revolutions AND your directorial schedule is chock FULL for at least the next two and a half years. What do you do? Seriously, what do you do?
First. You hire a director that has a "third eye" capable of filming dazzling and amazing sequences of controlled chaos, but some say he has weaknesses. Then, You grab a great editor He has worked with because this person is capable of converting the director's controlled chaos into jaw-dropping, eye-popping, action sequences, Plural. Second. You gather a cast that can drive the elements of the story (especially comedy) that need to be carried very well to the end of the story. You also put the best people that you have worked with in key departments like, Production Management, Set Decoration and Art Direction. 'Cause you still gotta keep the largest automaker on the planet happy with their product placement throughout the movie, right?
And last but, ABSOLUTELY Not least; you hire not one but two, TWO visual effects supervisors. Why? Well . . . go see the movie.
When you love your job, do you take pride in doing it right? I believe Steven Spielberg does . . .
Miami Vice (2006)
Anyone who believes they may have problems with movie violence, pay attention . . .
'Cause they go deep, Deep, . . DEEP undercover in this flick! Hell! This MOVIE is chock full of Deep undercover flavor! My goodness, I saw LAYERS of quality film-making. To the viewer that is not accustom to this type of action, I say; go back and watch any of the Miami Vice episodes. It's all there. The weekend before Miami Vice opened in theaters, NBC had broadcast the pilot episode from 1984 sprinkled with Jamie Foxx, Colin Farrell and new movie clips in between. I believe that this was a brilliant idea. Why?
To anyone that had never seen Miami Vice or the "Michael Mann style" of action, this was part education and part warning. I believe most "television-to-movie-screen efforts" SOMETIMES keep what we get shown as being not too smart on purpose. The story is made TOO explanatory because not everybody was a die-hard fan of the show. Hey. In the end, and even with the best "TV to movie" efforts, what we are shown can be perceived as one great big epic, episode anyway. Take "X-Files: The Movie" (1998) for example; or ESPECIALLY, "Star Trek: Generations" (1994).
NOW. What I think was really brilliant about the pilot rebroadcast was made evident to me, in my opinion, because I love movies that can be complicated on more than one level. Michael Mann is warning you. The Miami Vice pilot IS the basic level of what to expect. He's showing what he sees TO YOU on more than one level. WHAT YOU SEE IS UP TO YOU, but you are gonna see Somethin'!!! Like Crockett says in the movie: "No one has tread before where we are now." This IS Mann's intent HERE as well as some of his past works.
To those that don't know Michael Mann's works, be prepared for a texture of cinema that you may have NEVER seen before. To the "Viceaholics" and the "Fans of Mann", Tubbs DOES say it best: "Smooth. That's how we do it."
Superman Returns (2006)
Why the movies need Superman . . .
He gives us a character to Believe in. He supplies our imagination with a hint of what IS possible. On the giant screen, we all WANT to SEE him DO the impossible. AND you know what, he is so damned easy to root for.
In this age of Sinicism and scrutiny in the movies we watch, Superman Returns delivers the goods, period. Brian Singer assembled this compelling story sequence-by-sequence, edit-by-edit. Spiderman 2 is the only other comic book motion picture to come close to suspending my disbelief along with being thoroughly entertaining.
Plug in all the clichés that exist. The film is respectful of previous films, the comic books, and even to past actors that have played characters on film and television. And then, there's Brandon Routh. Imagine the pressure placed on his being, to not only play three characters, but also be CONVINCING as "the Man of Steel".
Routh's and the Almighty Kevin Spacey's performances nearly made me forget, at times, the astonishing special effects, the length of the movie AND criticisms I have read on which actors should be playing which characters. You know what, What Ever. Whether you are a casual moviegoer, an avid fan of comic books and Superman, or a motion picture mutant, Superman Returns is THE definitive Superhero movie.
Go see this motion picture.
King Kong (2005)
"Ladies and Gentlemen, HE brings you KONG!!"
The most deliberate intent from a director I've seen in a long time. PERIOD! It has been 64 hours since I have seen this particular motion picture. Since getting into my car outside the theater, I have been trying to come up with "descriptives" to explain what I just saw . . . . So, here it goes.
It has been said that many movie directors of the most popular movies weren't always able to put on film that which came out of his or her mind with Extreme Certainty. Doubt plays a factor in a typical director's mind from the wrap of principal photography, through the editing room, up to and including "premier night". In this presentation, Peter Jackson was not one of those directors.
Jaws (1976), Star Wars (1977), China Syndrome (1979), Wall Street (1987), Minority Report (2002). These movies quickly come to MY mind because I believe that there was no "storytelling doubt" What-So-Ever in these director's minds while "assembling" each of these amazing motion pictures.
What amazes me are the little things I noticed about what is, without a shred of doubt, "Peter Jackson's 'KING KONG' ".
The effects work done on Kong's facial movements . . . .
The effects work done to make Kong seem to communicate or "speak" with human-like body language . . .
The exceedingly intricate and "slithery" detail in all of the rather Large insect creatures . .
And finally, leading up to the end; all the many audible and visual "intangibles" through out the movie that convinced me AND made me FEEL something for the fact that they PUNISHED that @#$damn primate with bullet after bullet on the top of one of the most beautiful man-made structures ever built.
Why? 'Cause Peter Jackson had the phrase; " 'Tis beauty that killed the beast" bouncing around in his head since he was Nine Years Old!!! Amazing.
Without any doubt, "Peter Jackson's KING KONG" is the best of the three Kong features. And personally, I will allow time to tell me whether this film is the most stunning motion picture fiction regarding apes and humans I have ever seen.
Please do not "listen" to the original version of this film!
Imagine, if you will, your own personally, very favorite movie for a second. To you, your personal favorite has very few flaws; If Any! It has peaks and valleys and favorite parts. It has moments that seem to speak only to YOU.
Now . . . Imagine a motion picture released in 1978 about a superhero that a majority of us kids wanted to be the very most. It is one of the most breathtaking samples of American Cinema of all time. Every state of the art motion picture tool, at the time, was used to convince us quite handily for two hours of what a lot of us want to believe. A Man Can Fly.
"Superman: The Movie" is the one motion picture to watch in order to send anyone's imagination in orbit around the Earth "several hundred times".
BUT WAIT! There's more. Towards the end of the 1990's, filmmakers began re-releasing classic and blockbuster, motion pictures through the benefit of digital, picture quality and sound. SOME remastering efforts even added additional scenes and sequences previously left on the cutting room floor. A few films went so far as to re-create a sequence and even re-imagine entirely new scenes and sequences based on current technology in place of visions the original director felt was unachievable in the original release.
But, Not This Film! The SOUND. Oh My! The remastering producers felt that this film was still so visually flawless that the Dolby track was the ONLY thing that was re-imagined AND Re-vitalized.
Oh, there were a handful of scenes picked up that were left on the cutting room floor in 1978. BUT, the now Digital Surround effects can be enjoyed "in concert" with that IMMACULATE John Williams score . . .
ANYONE who has seen the latest crop of comics evolved into motion pictures and not seen this movie MUST SEE the impressively restored "Superman: The Movie" (Special Edition).
This film is now the template of which all motion picture comic books should be judged from this day forth.