The Movie Critic

One of the perks of being a commentator on various aspects of society is that I get to join the masses in screenings of new motion picture releases. The downside is that I have to pay for my ticket, just like everyone else. *sigh* Maybe, just maybe, TDI will rocket to stardom in the Blogosphere, and people will beg to buy me tickets. Maybe, just maybe… Anywho, here are some quick thoughts on 3 movies I’ve seen in the past week or so:

War of the Worlds

Tom “I’m in LOVE! I’m in LOVE!” Cruise stars in the modern re-telling of H.G. Well’s classic alien invasion tale, under the direction of movie legend Steven Speilberg. But even legends can fail to add a few crucial elements to a movie.

The movie centers around Ray, a divorced father who has his kids for the weekend. After mysterious lightning wipes out all electronic devices, New Jersey finds itself with a big hole in the middle of the street. A tripod (a alien robot walker device, that’s REALLY tall. 10 stories, maybe? I didn’t get to measure it) comes out of the ground, and starts zapping civilians. ‘Cause, that’s what invading aliens do, ya’ll.

After finding the only working vehicle on earth, Ray takes his family on a scenic road trip. Their goal is to get to Boston, where Mommy is. The rebellious teenage son, and the inquisitive 10, 11-year old daughter want to know what’s happening, and after seeing Tripods, floating corpses, and people being blasted to death, they eventually figure it out.

The aliens are slightly dissapointing, though done well with impressive computer generation (CG) effects. Speilberg definately put a different face on murderous alien invaders. And their faces have never been more marketable! Without giving away spoilers, the ending did reek of implausibility, and of ugly sweaters. Really, really bad choices made by the costumer…

Ultimately, it was a fun ride, but much like FOX’s cult classic 24, even the best episode ever contains about 2-hours of mockable content. It’s still a good movie, it just lacked the soul to be a GREAT movie. It’s worth seeing, but not worth buying the DVD… for full price. (if it’s on sale for, like, five dollars, then it’s different.)

Batman Begins

Christian Bale, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Katie I’m in LOVE! With scientology and Tom! Holmes star in this succesful revival of the Gotham City franchise. This movie explores Bruce Wayne’s darkest fears, his psyche, and the events that led him to becoming a Bat-Man.

Everybody except Ms. Holmes gives a scene-stealer performance in this movie. The acting was superb, with a good script to back it up. From battling the mysterious Ra’s Al Ghul to a mob boss, to the creepy Scarecrow, the new savior of Gotham City had no shortage of baddies to deal with.

The non-Batman parts of the movie were this movie’s greatest strenghts. The interaction between the various characters was an enjoyable experiance. However, many times, the cameraman pretty much just gave up when Batman was fighting, leaving EVERYONE clueless as to what was happening. And honestly, we KNOW Batman is going to live. It’s not called The Rise and Fall of the Batman! So the least they could have done was to zoom out, and focus on Batman as he fought the bad guys. There were a couple times in which I was seriously confused to WHAT ON EARTH was happening on screen. It was very frusterating.

Battle frustrations aside, it was still an enjoyable movie. And if you discount Katie Holmes, who looks to be about 13-years old (and may act like it), and plays a prosecutor in the movie, gives a forgettable (or worse) performance. But she was the only weak link in an otherwise solid chain of terrific actors giving 110%.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Brad Pitt and I’m not commenting on if we’re a couple or not Angelina Jolie star in this light-hearted comedy/action/romance. Yeah, oddly enough, that blend works perfectly!

John and Jane Smith are having serious problems with their marriage. They keep growing further and further apart, and keep secrets from each other. Secrets like that each other is a secret agent! But while assigned to the same hit, John and Jane unwittingly try to kill each other. Once they find out each other’s identities, it’s a flurry of witty banter, accompanied by machine guns.

The real strength of the movie is how Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie play off each other. What I wrote above is about as much story as you’ll get in the entire movie. It’s lacking depth, but it by far makes up for it in their two main characters. These two have as much natural chemisty as Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn did in their old movies. Their comedic timing is perfect, and the action scenes are so over-the-top, you can’t help but enjoy them!

Interestingly enough, it was John Smith who risked his life to save the marriage. Yeah, Hollywood has the guy being the stronger of the two! Dispite the fact that they have Angelina Jolie with weaponry as well! If you keep an open mind, and don’t expect anything deep at all, you’ll going to love this movie. It’s hillarious and fun to watch.

So there you have it. Check back throughout the summer for more mini-reviews of other summer blockbusters, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Island!

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