MovieCriticND's blog


Beware. Almost nothing in this film is what it seems to be. The Esa-ala caves in New Guinea, where this was supposedly filmed, don't actually exist. The breathtaking entrance to the caves, a yawning hole that just seems to pop up out of nowhere in the middle of a jungle, is the entrance to the Cave of the Swallows in Mexico. As for the rest of the cave system, it's all either CGI or crafted soundstage stuff based on the various caves the crews scouted.

The Cave of the Swallows, playing the Esa-ala caves.

The Rite

There's a scene where Father Xavier (Ciarán Hinds, Amazing Grace, also soon to be Aberforth Dumbledore in the next Harry Potter flick), while talking to reluctant student Michael Kovak (Colin O'Donoghue), asks him what he thinks of the exorcism class. Now that's not a question you hear every day. Michael's reply is that he doesn't know what to make of it. I mention this because I don't know what to make of the movie, either.

Anthony Hopkins in full-on exorcism mode.

The King's Speech

Being the King of England isn't all it's cracked up to be. No, seriously. Michael Gambon (Book of Eli) as George V sums it up nicely when he tells his younger son, the Duke of York (Colin Firth) that they've been reduced to actors. We're used to that these days, but back in the 1930's, people still remembered a time when being royal meant that you could levy taxes and declare wars -- if not all by yourself, at least without too much trouble from Parliaments and Prime Ministers.

Bertie eyes that evil microphone warily.

The Green Hornet

I knew going in that all the good stuff for this flick was already out there in the trailers. It just had this feel about it, you know? Apparently, though, most people don't watch trailers before going to these things, because at least two-thirds of the audience laughed uproariously at the gas-gun incident. It was funny the first time, but I'd already seen it twelve times, and it just made me sigh.

Jay Chou steals the show while beating up the bad guys.

Season of the Witch

Once upon a time, two crusading knights named Behmen (Nicolas Cage, Knowing) and Felson (Ron Perlman, Tangled) decided they'd had enough of being crusading knights when they figured out that the church was ordering them to slaughter women and children. I guess the infidels didn't have many soldiers around, since Behman and Felson are crusading somewhere around 1347, and the last crusade technically ended in 1272.

The girl in her cage.  Would you trust this face?

Black Swan

I have to admit, I only had a vague idea of the plot of Swan Lake before this. You don't need to know it before you go, though; they explain it in the film rather a lot. For instance, Natalie Portman as ballerina Nina Sayers -- and yeah, the Nina Ballerina thing is unfortunate -- explains the ballet to a random guy she just met who's clearly too busy trying to figure out how he can get into her pants to bother listening.

Natalie Portman and Natalie Portman have a staring contest.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, 2010 edition

It was fun last year, so I'm doing it again. Here are the best, the worst, and the ugliest movies of 2010, as selected based on average critics' rating, careful reviews of a scientifically selected sample of viewer comments, box office receipts, and the alignment of the stars at the time each movie premiered.

Okay, so I just sat down, looked through the index, and picked some out. It's still fun.

True Grit

Now, normally I would consider the combination of the Coen Brothers and Jeff Bridges to be a terrifying one. It's been ten years or so since I've seen The Big Lebowski, but I still cringe at the memory. Actually, for a long time, I cringed every time I heard the word "dude". But even so, I felt pretty safe going to this one, since it was a remake and all. And if the imdb database of quotes is anything to go by, not much of it has changed.

Rooster and LaBoeuf both look at Mattie like she's crazy, since she kind of is.

TRON: Legacy

Twenty-eight years ago, a bunch of guys with a computer that had just 2MB of memory -- the same size as the little memory stick I use to back up my stuff -- somehow managed to create TRON. I shudder to contemplate the size of the computers they used for the sequel.

Light Cycles 1.0 and 2.0

Snowed in and Reading Comic Books

I couldn't make it to the theatre yesterday. I was pretty sure I'd barely make it out of my driveway, so I didn't even try. Therefore, I'm curled up under a blanket reading comic books. Okay, more accurately, curled up under a blanket reading about comic book movies. I know, it's only been four months this time, but hey, I need something to write about, since I didn't get the chance to see all the weird camera angles they apparently used to make Johnny Depp look more than two inches taller than Angelina.

Avengers Assemble! Nick Fury, Iron Man, Black Widow, Thor, Captain America