Framing in Shyamalan’s “Unbreakable”

Jim Emerson posted this 8-minute clip of some scenes to M. Night Shyamalan’s Unbreakable with descriptive subtitles.

Although I don’t love it, Unbreakable is a movie I keep coming back to every few years because what is done well in the movie is done very well. M. Night Shyamalan is a skilled filmmaker who seems to have caught the George Lucas virus where nobody working for him has the guts to tell him that he’s making a crappy movie. Maybe there’s a pill he can take for that.

Quick Review of “Moon”

Moon is not a popcorn sci-fi movie like Star Wars or Star Trek. It’s not just “wow.” It’s “whoa.” As in, when a not-so-mentally-stable guy who’s been working alone on the moon for 3 years meets up with someone who looks exactly like him, what the hell is going on? Maybe he’s gone crazy, maybe the new guy is a clone, maybe it’s all a dream. The answer, when it comes, is just the beginning of this ride. I don’t think I’ve felt so much sympathy for a character in a science fiction movie before. I recommend Moon even to people who normally don’t care for science fiction, because it’s a great example of what science fiction can be but hardly ever achieves: intelligent, exciting, empathetic and thoughtful storytelling.

I wish I’d seen it in a theatre.

Avatar the movie

Avatar is James Cameron‘s latest creation to be released on December 18, 2009.

It’s getting a lot of hype for two reasons:
– It’s James Cameron first movie since the over-rated Titanic.
– It features:

…a new generation of special effects, delivers a fully immersive cinematic experience of a new kind, where the revolutionary technology invented to make the film disappears into the emotion of the characters and the sweep of the story.

Ya, whatever. I hope it’s more immersive than George Lucas’s much-hyped and failed use of “revolutionary technology” in his last Star Wars films.

Astro Boy: The Movie – A Review

astro boy movieI hadn’t heard of Astro Boy before this movie, but apparently it’s popular somewhere – was even a TV series.

Astro Boy the movie is a computer-animated movie about a robot kid. The movie has a dark tone similar to Wall-E, where humans abuse the environment and are complacent about their comfortable life style. Robots are self-aware but are predictably treated as inanimate objects. The movie’s about the kid robot acceptance AS a robot and his place in society.

My nine year old daughter enjoyed it, but she found some scenes a bit intense: intense action, characters in dire situations, and uncomfortable moments for characters.

Roger Ebert thought Astro Boy was better than Kung-Fu Panda, but I disagree: Kung Fu Panda was funny, exciting, and thoughtful. Astro Boy wasn’t funny and not too original. Astro Boy’s interaction with the other kids and his dilemma about being different (i.e. his robot-ness) was interesting and well done, but it was the only thing that engaged me. The action scenes were too over-whelming, like most action movies these days (although the scene in the stadium where Astro Boy has to combat other robots was cool).

Astro Boy fans may like this (I don’t know any) and kids will enjoy the robot-side of things, but adults may just find this ho-hum.