Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Screen Shots! - Knight of Cups

RATED: R, for boobies
GENRE: Drama, Arthouse
STARRING: Christian "Really though, Mr. Malick, what is this scene about?" Bale and 6 talented women (Blanchett, Portman, Pinto, Lucas, Palmer, Poots) as personified stages of his spiritual journey
NOTABLE CREW: Terrence Malick. Need I say more? Yes? Then try on a little oscar winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT (written by the production, I kid you not): Once there was a young prince whose father, the king of the East, sent him down into Egypt to find a pearl. But when the prince arrived, the people poured him a cup. Drinking it, he forgot he was the son of a king, forgot about the pearl, and fell into a deep sleep.
WHAT IT'S ABOUT (written by a viewer): A writer indulging in all that Los Angeles has to offer undertakes a search for love and self via a series of adventures with six different women.
WHAT I THINK: It's a visual poem packed full with thoughtful themes, metaphors, and mythological references. A modern poetic retelling of Pilgrim's Progress and, in some ways, the Prodigal Son. I liked it visually and for what it was trying to explore, but there were a few places where even I could have used some cleaner editing to understand what's happening on screen. It's hard to focus on your themes when I'm spending half the movie attempting to discern what/who I'm looking at. In short: Good, but not Tree of Life good.
WHO SHOULD WATCH IT: Lovers of artistic cinema / Terrence Malick movies. Also, discerning Christian thinkers. (Must have a tolerence for sexual scenes which serve the greater theme.)
WHO SHOULD NOT WATCH IT: The guy who sat in the row behind us who, as the credits began, uttered the words "Um... what was that?" It was later revealed that he and his friends had seen the previews and expected it to be some sort of party movie. It... it's not a party movie.
COOL FACTOIDS: Christian Bale had no lines to learn for this movie and Terrence Malick only gave him the character description for each scene. He generally had no idea what the movie was about during production. He only understood his role after seeing the final cut.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Screen Shots! - Zootopia

TITLE: Zootopia
RATED: PG, because there's a few jump scares that might frighten a five year old, also, excessive animal nudity ;)
GENRE: Family, Animation, Adventure, Buddy-cop
STARRING: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba
NOTABLE CREW: Directors - Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush; Writers - Jared Bush, Phil Johnston, and 7 other people, Exectutive Producer - John Lasseter; And a large team of very talented animators
WHAT IT'S ABOUT: In a city of anthropomorphic animals, a rookie bunny cop and a fox con artist must work together to overcome predjudice and uncover a conspiracy.
WHAT I THINK: Though my expectations were set low by some disappointing advertising, was pleasantly surprised by a cast of likable, funny characters, a well-rendered world, a meaningful theme, and awesome in-jokes and movie references that (hopefully) only the adults in the audience will be able to get. Also, the texture animation was so good that I really wanted to reach into the screen and pet the bunnies.
WHO SHOULD WATCH IT: The whole family. This is one of those rare movies that strikes the delicate balance of something that both the young children and the adults who bring them will be able to enjoy.
COOL FACTOIDS: This is the fourth consecutive Disney animated film featuring the voice talents of Alan Tudyk (who many of you might know as Wash from Firefly). He was also in Wreck-It RalphFrozen, and Big Hero 6. In Frozen he played "the Duke of Weselton" and in Zootopia he plays "Duke Weaselton". During the movie, Judy once mispronounces Duke's last name as "Weselton".