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Monster House (2006)
Wrong season, should have been released around Halloween
1. Why would you release a Halloween movie in the middle of the summer blockbuster season, instead of around, say, Halloween? I really believe that contributed to it's lack of enjoyability. Wrong season.
2. The skinny kid who saves the day gets the girl, the fat kid continues being clueless. There is one black character in the entire movie, everyone else is white. The fat woman is mean. Thanks, Misters Spielberg and Zemeckis (sp?), for continuing on our stereotyped traditions.
3. How is it that an old man who has what seems to be a stroke or a heart attack shows back up wearing a sling on his arm? Can't see a pacemaker and had to use a visual? Truly a boring movie, and I am a huge proponent of children movies for adults (see Hoodwinked, The Incredibles, Monsters, Inc.). If you're interested in seeing Monster House, I recommend waiting to rent it around Halloween.
The new sci-fi movie "Serenity" does a fantastic job of livening up the growingly formulaic genre. In this movie there are none of the hokey, tough-guy one liners, no menacing villain whose costume is his scariest feature. Instead there is a language that sometimes sounds like Old English slang, and a bad guy whose only sin is that he truly believes in his job. Based on the show, "Firefly," which was only on long enough to accumulate a cult fan base, "Serenity" takes a note from Star Wars with it's underdog vs. the Alliance plot line. While the graphics are well done, the visual transitions done with them are what pull you in. The plot is what keeps you there. In five hundred years, the Earth has grown so populated that people are sent to live in a manufactured (terra-formed, as the movie refers to it) solar system. A civil war among these new planets has only recently ended, and the following calm is still uneasy. Enter River, a psychic girl who has been behaviorally conditioned as a weapon by the Alliance, and whose salvation throws the crew of the transport ship Serenity into peril. From there the plot continues to thicken to include Orc-like creatures, pseudo-Christian mentors, secret planets, air ship chases, intergalactic bank robbery, and a 90 pound girl kicking the snot out of a two-hundred pound guy. The cast has a very comfortable chemistry with each other, and the histories between them are probably so believable because the majority of the cast played the exact same roles on the TV show. Nathan Fillion seems to be channeling Hans Solo as the captain of Serenity, Mal. His many crises of conscience are the perfect foil to the Operative, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor. The Operative is a very interesting villain because he calls himself a monster for what he does, killing people the Alliance tells him to. Yet he remains calm to the point of meditative, and the lack of creepiness to him is his creepiest part. While the set for the final battle scene is very reminiscent of Star Wars (remember where they were when Vader cut off Luke's hand?), the ending is where the movie slowed a little, as director Joss Whedon felt that EVERY relationship needed to be tidily tied up. Despite this misstep though, the movie remains a great pick for sci-fi fans and good movie fans alike.