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Movie reviews: Go watch Stardust. - Baxil [bakh-HEEL'], n. My Sites [Tomorrowlands] [The TTU Wiki] [Photos]
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August 12th, 2007
01:06 am
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Movie reviews: Go watch Stardust.
Among the distractions keeping me away from Livejournal lately (though certainly not the biggest of them) have been a few trips to the local movie theater. Here summarized briefly for your convenience.

Stardust
The verdict: A+. A solid A+. Not since The Matrix have I been so thrilled with a movie that I want to immediately go and watch it again.
The good: Neil Gaiman. Good script based (loosely) on a good book. Hit the right notes with the audience. Captain Shakespeare. And (I do not exaggerate) the BEST MOVIE SWORDFIGHT IN YEARS. Yes, even counting kung fu flicks.
The bad: Makes you stop and wonder why "Mirrormask" couldn't be this good.

Ratatouille
The verdict: B+. Not just for kids and chefs, though the latter will appreciate its kitchen subtleties.
The good: Beautifully animated action sequences. One or two golden moments where reality triumphs over movie cliche.
The bad: Not stellar, but no specific complaints.

The Bourne Ultimatum
The verdict: C-. See below.
The good: Fast, tense action sequences -- with no soundtrack; hurrah! Why don't more action movies do this?
The bad: I'd love to fairly evaluate this movie, but it very literally gave me motion sickness, and I'm not a person who normally has that problem. Oh, gods, the shakycam. I'm renaming this one "The Bourne Witch Project."

Current Location: ~/brainstorm
Current Mood: excitedexcited
Current Music: Duran Duran, "Ordinary World"
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From:dewhitton
Date:August 12th, 2007 08:42 am (UTC)

Shakycam

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I noticed this in the second Bourne movie. I got the impression they'd given the camera to the work experience kid.
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From:baxil
Date:August 12th, 2007 10:30 am (UTC)

Re: Shakycam

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Funny you should mention that. roaminrob and I were commenting during the credits about the number of camera-related jobs listed. They had titles like "Second Second Rigger."

"Yeah," I snarked, "it must have taken three people to make each camera that shaky."
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:August 12th, 2007 09:17 am (UTC)
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You're the second person I've seen complain about the shaky camera work in The Bourne Ultimatum. Maybe they gave the camera to the crying baby.
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From:kadyg
Date:August 12th, 2007 09:34 am (UTC)
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Two movies I never want to see again: Natural Born Killers and Blair Witch Project Why? That damn shaky cam effect. You shouldn't need Dramamine to enjoy a flick. Some things just don't go over well on the big screen.
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From:elynne
Date:August 12th, 2007 05:41 pm (UTC)
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Shakycam is a damn stupid effect, and I really wish directors would stop using it like a goddamn drug. Mneh. (this will probably not stop me from watching, or at least really wanting to watch, "Cloverfield". man that trailer looks fraggin awesome every time I watch it.)

I'll have to see if I can prod somebody into seeing Stardust with me... :)
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From:krinndnz
Date:August 12th, 2007 06:35 pm (UTC)
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Wait, what? What was wrong with Mirrormask? I want to see Stardust because I saw the trailer and thought "Sweet, another Neil Gaiman movie - I hope it's as good as Mirrormask!"

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From:baxil
Date:August 12th, 2007 07:39 pm (UTC)
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Personally, I found "Mirrormask" to be visually rich, lush, and imaginative, but it also felt ... disjointed. Too in love with showing off its ideas.

It was a little too dreamlike for me -- none of the fantasy was ever questioned, examined, explained, or put into proper framework; it was all just backdrop as the plot moved through.

Even so, you can get away with that if you've got good characters and story, but I found it hard to care about Mirrormask's.

Stardust is a more traditional story -- it takes fewer chances. Which does mean it suffers a bit more from movie cliche predictability, but it's so well put together that I didn't really care. It pulled me in.
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From:baxil
Date:August 12th, 2007 07:52 pm (UTC)
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Also, on a side note -- I really feel I have to emphasize this -- the movie Stardust is not the trailer Stardust.

I saw the trailer last week in front of Bourne and my reaction went along the lines of: "Guy meets fallen star ... *shock of realization* They didn't. Did they? They did ... Pirates, swordplay, pirates, witches, pirates, swordplay, witches, swordplay, swordplay, pirates ... this so totally isn't the Stardust I remember. Oh hell -- there's the movie name, yep, they did it. They've gone and ruined it, haven't they."

As it turns out, there is about three minutes of swordplay in the movie. Thirty seconds of it is the crap they show in the trailer. What they don't show you is the epic fight, the one that almost had me on my feet cheering.

And the pirate sequence is both mercifully brief and well-done.
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From:krinndnz
Date:August 12th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
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I will keep both of these things in mind - thank you for clarifying.
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From:baronlaw
Date:August 13th, 2007 02:15 am (UTC)
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I loved the sword fight, not up to Princess Bride levels but .. well you know. Good fun!
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