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What follows are my immediate reactions to recent film viewings, some revisits, most first-time viewings, in the last few months, as originally posted on my Movie Fan Central page.

I really enjoyed MONEYBALL. Pitt and Hill make a great tag team of a downtrodden ex-player and an idealistic young'in making a play for something untested and scientific and therefore rejected by all the old fogies stuck doing things "the old fashioned way". It's not only a really good baseball flick, but an interesting examination of America's other great pastime, big money vs. no money.

***

THE RUNNING MAN: Holy crap, how have I missed out on this slice of cheeseball 80s awesome for so long??

***

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 is just as thrilling, funny, and heartfelt as the first, with not only the upgrades to its action sequences and emotional hooks you expect of a sequel, but with an additional maturity that warrants it all. This is turning into a film series that doesn't forget its audience is growing up, and treats its stories and characters the same way.

***

DEAR MR. WATTERSON is a very interesting watch. Not just an examination of the influence of and on Bill Watterson's Calvin & Hobbes, but how his craft was affected by his early career and the state of the comic strip industry at the height of C&H's run, as well as an analysis of his ongoing refusal to merchandise the characters. Very much a labor of love for the filmmaker and communicated thusly in the production values and choice of interviewees.

***

I revisited Michael Bay's first TRANSFORMERS for the first time in years last night. I still love the shit out of the over-the-top direction, robot designs, and bot-on-bot action, but the goofball aspects have not aged well. Most of the human characters are insufferable, and I found I had the best time where the military troop with Duhamel and Tyrese were concerned. But, some credit where it's due; Mikaela is a legit proactive female lead and not just a damsel in distress (like Rosie HW in Dark of the Moon), and during the finale I kind of liked her having one very brief breakdown moment before putting on her "let's get down to business" face and driving Bumblebee back into battle.

***

I'm gonna be the weirdo in the room and say TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON is the best Bayformers movie so far, and yes I think that IS saying a lot. It has the greatest spectacle, the biggest stakes, the most coherent story, the least amount of annoying bullshit (relatively speaking, anyway), and it's Shia and Bay's best work in the series. And while it's more than a little backward that Sam fights the hardest for Carly because she actually NEEDS saving, Rosie HW is a genuine charmer who has the HELL filmed out of her at every opportunity, so I don't hold it against the movie that her character is largely a do-nothing.

***

I had a good time with GET THE GRINGO. Mel Gibson may be insane, but he's still crazy-fun to watch in stuff like this. In a lot of ways, it felt like some sort of long-lost sequel to Payback.


***

Color me VERY impressed by SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED. It rises above its initial screwball premise with a touching look at wanting to reshape the past vs. living for the here and now, meanwhile throwing the viewer completely for a loop by the midpoint only to deliver a visual and emotional jaw-dropper at the end. If Colin Trevorrow can make this great a sci-fi flick with 95% zero CGI, I'm giddily excited to see what he pulls off with freaking DINOSAURS.


***

I am in indescribable awe of how utterly BORED I was by TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION. Even when trying its best to be the least racially/culturally insensitive of the series, the plot is as slapdash and convoluted as Revenge of the Fallen, the robot action feels mostly lethargic, and the human elements are just plain DRAINING. Not even Sophia Myles being hot or John Goodman being JOHN FREAKING GOODMAN AS AN AUTOBOT could save this. Your energy for this franchise is depleted, Bay, and it shows. MOVE ON.


***

THE SHARK IS STILL WORKING is informative, thorough, often quite funny (particularly the interview bits with Richard Dreyfuss), and in one instance jaw-dropping when Spielberg relates the story of the original Orca's demise. A fantastic documentary and fitting tribute to the masterwork that is JAWS.


***

If Terry Gilliam combined the setting of 12 Monkeys with the style of Brazil and crafted the whole thing as a satire of Atlas Shrugged (inasmuch as Atlas Shrugged isn't already patently ridiculous, anyway), the result might be something like SNOWPIERCER, an engagingly bizarre class-struggle parable that's equal parts grim and absurd, often sliding to either extreme and back again at the drop of a hat with no sympathy for any failure on the audience's part to acclimate. A fair lot of good buzz surrounded this going in, and I'm happy to report it lived up.

***

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is the anti-Transformers; a smart, involving drama and action thriller, free of gaping plot holes and juvenile antics, full of story-driven spectacle from its brilliant opening bookend to its mirror-image closer. Andy Serkis reigns as the king of motion-capture performance, and WETA's digital work often looks like practical makeup, giving the apes greater life. But the Academy need take note: WETA made a monkey out of him, but there is no Caesar without Serkis. Bring on WAR OF THE PLANET OF THE APES!
  • Mood: Satisfied
  • Listening to: Swordfish soundtrack
  • Reading: Stephen King - The Stand
  • Watching: Under the Dome / The Strain

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shokxone-studios
Josh Gilbert
Artist
United States
Current Residence: Milwaukee
Favourite genre of music: I can only name one?
Favourite style of art: Hey, it's all good.
Operating System: Mac OS
MP3 player of choice: iPod Touch
Shell of choice: Whatever goes BOOM!
Wallpaper of choice: Stucko. ;)
Skin of choice: The one I'm wearing, thank you.
Favourite cartoon character: Spike Spiegel
Personal Quote: Do we really wanna try injecting logic into this? Serious question, think before you answer.
Interests

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:iconanonnim:
Anonnim Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013
Neytiri and Dr. Grace Augustine's avatar kiss art please!
Reply
:iconneumatic:
Neumatic Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Happy birthday Josh!
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:iconstardragon77:
StarDragon77 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013
Happy Birthday, :iconshokxone-studios:

Time for some :cake:, :party: and :airborne:
Reply
:iconanab:
AnaB Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Congrats on the Tee Fury design! =) Looks awesome!
Reply
:iconrobertmurray:
robertmurray Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Hey man, you have some great art going here! Keep it up! :) By the way, you should do more Darkstalkers posters or updates on the ones you have in your gallery. I bet they would look phenomenal!
Reply
:iconjoshanne:
joshanne Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2012
Man I would DIE if this was real [link]
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:iconjoshanne:
joshanne Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2012
sooooo, did you watch the new batman movie yet?
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:iconshokxone-studios:
shokxone-studios Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2012
Midnight, baby.
Reply
:iconjoshanne:
joshanne Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2012
DAMN YOU! XP

That was a DAMN good movie!
Reply
:iconmewtow4590:
Mewtow4590 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2012
sup
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