Air's Choices or Opinions on anything & anyone!
When he's not on his 360's LIVE...

Monday, July 31, 2006

Miami Vice (Mini Review)

Wow what a disappointment, Mann can still lay down some beautiful cinematography and ambiance but this film's direction was led astray. Let's just say that Miami Vice is sooo deep undercover, it doesn't even know what it wants to be or is... Is it a gritty underworld cop drama or a clichéd buddy cop flick disguised as a gritty underworld drama? To say that Colin Farrell's and/or Jamie Fox's performances are horrible would be harsh but the honest truth. To say they were right on would be misleading at best and at worse a down right lie. From Fox's forced toughness, too Farrell's shifty accent, nothing is as it should be and therefore unacceptable. Mann dropped the ball at casting call, with script holes, characterization issues and real world plausibility backed by a lame, no HORRIBLE, soundtrack. I will say Mann filmed Miami in a look all his own. Bravo to that... but sadly only that. The writing feels forced and is unimaginative, period. The look, as mentioned above, is right on cool but it gets beaten to a pulp by such a lame story and out of place soundtrack. The only track that worked with the location and scene was sadly the Jay-Z/Link'n Park's "Encore/Numb". Any one expecting Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight", which could have and should have been used right after the beginning sequence would have been accelerating. Instead fans and any one who knows the Miami Vice source material will be insultingly disappointed by the lame cover version used not during the film but at the credits. Fans of the original series hoping to be at least rescued from this lost picture by a slick subtle cameo of Johnson or Thomas, unlike the forced and silly Starsky + Hutch, would have been a simple bone for fans. Regardless, Mann can shoot a gritty scene smelling of authenticity like no one else. He just needs better writers or co-writers with acceptable plots.

Note: By now everyone knows that if a bomb goes off in the immediate proximity of anyone, odds are they will be badly mangled at best and at worse and without a doubt totally obliterated. Yet sadly no one dared to tell Mann about this... and some other real world procedures and facts.

Grade: F +

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Stranger than Fiction (Movie Watch)

A comedy about a novelist who is is struggling to complete her latest--and potentially finest--book. There's only one problem: she only has to find a way to kill off her main character, Harold Crick, and she’ll be done. Little does she know that Harold Crick is inexplicably alive and well in the real world and suddenly aware of her words. Fiction and reality collide when the bewildered and resistant Harold hears what she has in mind, and realizes that he must find a way to change her, and his, ending.

Grade: C +
Trailer HERE

Russian Dolls (Mini Review)

In Russian Dolls, we come to find L'Auberge Espagnole's Xavier has gone from pursuing his intended profession of corporate economist to the writer he dreamt of has a child, sort of. In actuality, we find Xavier is still a boy in a man's body dealing with the real world's interferences with his childhood dream. Love it seems has become a subject for work and in private just one one night stand after another causing love to appear that much farther and farther from him... and the truth. We further find the roommates of L'Auberge Espagnole have gone into their professions and/or their lives without many apparent sidestep and are now meeting up in Russia for the wedding of Wendy's younger brother William. They will all celebrate knowing each other, love and life and Xavier might not get any clear answer from them but he may yet learn something about himself around them proving that if friends can't help with life's answers, they might just show themselves around them.

Grade: A +
Trailer HERE

Superman Returns (Mini Review)

Mini Review: Jor El's only begotten son Kal El (Clark Kent and Superman) has finally come home to his adopted planet Earth to find that his adopted mother (Martha Kent) might be dating but he doesn't care to notice, that his love (Lois Lane) is a mother and soon to be wife to a new rival for her affections but he never uses his common sense, err super sense, to figure out and see the truths in this, although any and every one who has seen the previous first two films that this Superman continues from knows, to finally being told that the self proclaimed Greatest Mind of his generation or that the world has ever seen (Lex Luther) is out of prison due to Superman failing to attend his court hearing and for the lack of Miranda Rights issued to Lex in Superman II. Now since episodes 3 and 4 are no longer continuity according to Warner Bros, D.C. Comics, Bryan Singer or anyone with a logical sense, we should have been safe to breath but we would be wrong. This film shows us what is wrong in spades no matter how subtle the shameless errors are even if they are coated with beautiful cinematography and special effects. Who would have thought that Superman could will himself past Kryptonite but not words on a paper. To say Superman Returns is a horrible film is a lie and a bit much but to say it's amazing would be like pulling off one of Lex's ridiculous plots. I'm glad that Superman has returned... but I'd be much more happier if he made me feel like he planned to stay.

See that a man can FLY again HERE.
Grade: C

The Prestige (What to Know)

In late 19th century England, two stage illusionists become entangled in a competition to outwit and expose one another. Drawn by dark forces to each other’s lives, the two childhood rivals are driven by an antagonistic curiosity. Intensely consumed by the escalating competition, they turn to excessively dangerous tricks. Eventually, it transforms both men into murderers. Yet in the end the outcome is always The Prestige.

Grade: A +
Trailer HERE

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Hustle & Flow (Movie Watch)

In the street Drama Hustle & Flow, we come to meet aspiring emcee DJay who works the angles to get his first record made with help from assorted people in his Memphis 'hood. Approaching his 40s and being that this is probably his last chance to make it to his dream, DJ's life is looking downhill until he is told that hip-hop superstar Skinny Black is heading to the area, he throws together a supreme hustle to grab Skinny's attention & his dreams.

Grade: B +
Trailer HERE

Pirates stole my booty!!! (A Not So Mini Mini Review)

Mini Review: Pirates 2, an otherwise cardboard ride, was saved from sinking by Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow and Bill Nighy's Davey Jones characters because the effects go without saying are okay... although the ending CG shot was as blue screened as the reviews for this forced sequel. Now with those sad facts out of the way, Pirates 2 leaves an audience stranded at sea or forced to walk the plank in accepting a trilogy like sequel they didn't ask for. This ship, errr franchise, was apparently forced to sail for nothing more then greed inspired booty. After Pirates 1 surprised the box office, despite the many holes to its sails, we were forced to happily accept Johnny's Sparrow having saved us from an otherwise lack luster Hollywood picture and from the bad acting of poster boy Orlando Bloom and pouty lipped Keira Knightley whose careers are in a bit of a tailspin at the moment and rightfully so. And no, Pride and Prejudice cannot save a career Keira fans. Don't believe me? Ask Emma star Gwyneth Paltrow. Now with Johnny Depp interested in making films for his kids and being a proven commercial hit, we are forced to witness a forced trilogy of such overkill proportions which haven't been seen since George Lucas shocked us into believing a trilogy could be killed no better then by its creator in the weak eye candy that is the new Star Wars trilogy. Depp, who rarely does wrong, is in a role we can all admit is something we cannot stop starring at and wondering, "Where has this Pirate been hidden in history?" but the plot is at times more then not felt as forced down our throats. So without wanting to spill plotlines and spoilers to this affair, here's to hoping Pirates 3 explaining plot holes in motivations, subtle mysteries and character interactions. Because I for one am hoping that Pirates 3 shed light onto all of those issues and bring me, if not all of us, back to dry land. To be kind, I will say that without Johnny's Sparrow (who I felt still didn't get most of the screen time as he should and better get in Pirates 3), Nighy's Jones and Rush's Barbossa have saved us from screaming SOS.
Eitherway... Arrr!!! maties! See you in 07 at World's End!!!

Grade: C

Children of Men (Movie Watch)

The world's youngest citizen has just died at 18 & humankind is facing the likelihood of its own extinction. Set against a backdrop of London torn apart by violence & warring nationalistic sects, Children of Men follows disillusioned bureaucrat Theo who when the planet's last remaining hope is threatened, reluctantly faces his own demons & protect her from certain peril. Will we will Survive?

Trailer Here
Grade: A -

TMNT (Movie Watch)

The TMNT return in full blown CG teaser HERE.

Grade: B -

The Fountain (Movie Watch)

During the 16th Century, Spanish conquistador Tom battles Mayan warriors as he searches Central America for the fountain of youth that will save the life of Izzi, the woman he loves. As a doctor in a modern day American city, Tom desperately hopes to find a cure for the cancer that is killing his beloved wife. In the 26th Century, while traveling through space’s vast oblivion as an astronaut, Tom’s journey brings him closer to the answers in his quest for eternal life. Three distinct periods that span a millennium, merge in an epic romance. A man’s search for the fountain of youth takes on mysterious and mythic proportions as his love endures above all. The FOUNTAIN will be found.

Grade: A -
Trailers HERE

Monster House is a hit!!!!! (Mini Review)

Walking into this film I knew a Trick (Cars) or Treat (The Hedge) was to be had. Having Robert Zemeckis The man who brought me my favorite childhood film of Back to the future) and Steven Spielberg (a man responsible for far too many good experiences in film and entertainment), I knew this was collaboration. Now the Treat was knowing this and that my showing was in RealD (3D). The Trick I feared was it was not going to help a boring film, no matter who had made it. Yet without adding suspense to this exciting happy ending, for me, I was treated to a film of incalculable artistic expression and wonderfully geeky screenwriting. For anyone looking to feel young for just a second, this is it. Not sense The Goonies (another Spielberg handling) have kids been shown this oddly recognizable. The kids act like kids, even if they are from the 80s. The emotions are true as are the imaginative setups and plot. In the end the film never needed the RealD (3D) effect, but the novelty made the Treat that much better. Kids laughed, Parents chuckled and I felt my eyes water at the thought that this was going to end but I, along with everyone in the room, was not going to allow this to end without savoring every surprised wink. Now enough of my take on this surprised treat. See the trailer to the real ride of the summer that brings back the golden 80s HERE!!! But do catch it in RealD!!!!!! it makes the candy that much sweet.

Grade: A +

Transformers (Movie Watch)

Dueling alien races, the Autobots and the Decepticons, bring their battle to Earth, leaving the future of humankind hanging in the balance.

Grade: B
Teaser 1 HERE
Teaser 2 HERE
Featurette HERE

Monday, July 24, 2006

Spiderman 3 (Movie Watch)

Spidey & company are coming... Pirates beware.

Grade: A -
Teaser HERE

The Science of Sleep (Movie Watch)

The Science of Sleep is all Gondry, from the animated credits to the study of what makes us tick, in this case LOVE. So take a peek at my Thoughts and Dreams with help from the brilliant Writer/Artist/Director Michel Gondry's new Film.

Grade: C
Trailer HERE 

Bond, James Bond. (What to Know)

Bond is BACK and Daniel Craig just might get to bring us the meat of Bond and his adventures that has always been missing from Sean Connery, Roger Moore, not so much on the never really used Timothy Dalton to the wasted but perfect Pierce Brosnan. Bond could just finally be able to take on the current top spy, Jason Bourne.

Grade: A -

Lady in the Water (A Not So Mini: Mini Review)

Mini Review: Lady in the Water sees M. Night in his domain, controlling mood and manipulating tension with every wave of his wand, err camera. The thing this film also apparently and sadly shows is that M. Night may have tapped his creative streak. So called professional film critics have suggested he move onto feature films not written or created by him... and until now, I felt they were only trying to coax him into failing just so they could say something negative about a man on a personal streak of success. Sadly I don't agree in the same ways they do but I do believe he needs to take his one man show on the road so to speak. See the thing is not that M. Night has made a bad film, it's that he has created one that collapses on its own weight. When M. Night created this tale for his children as a bedtime story, which he would improvise each telling, he missed important SIGNS, no pun intended. Fueled by what I feel was a personal challenge to himself and to prove to his commericial handlers that he wasn't missing a step or commerically being lost on an already finicky American Audience, he pushed past good judgment into a film idea best left for bedtime and an audience beyond questions of logic. Lady in the Water is a competant film with flare and style that M. Night has proven is all his own. The thing is it lacks and only lacks the strength of its own structure. It is built on rules that it itself breaks, leaving any audience to feel conned by its end. The paradox to this problem that I see is that the con is what an audience came for, no?

Grade: C +

Scanner Darkly Review

A Scanner Darkly is WATCHING!

Mini review: All in all, the film had a good social commentary and it is a fun ride for anyone who knows what drugs can and do to people and how society and government/law enforcement react to such things. All in all Scanner Darkly was a good ride that at times loses itself but isn't that the point.? The animated film cells help out the trip while the actors chosen in key roles make it fun.

Grade: B -

Sunday, July 23, 2006

AIR is on the air! Errrr Online.

Bonjour everyone.

Air here just wanting to say thank you to Lui for allowing my brain to speak to all of you unsuspecting internet riders and fans. So to everyone, this is a fair warning that from now to the near future and beyond, when you see this page it will be me, AIR, reporting on movies, music, pop culture or whatever else in the world that my brain wants to say anything about. So come back once in a while or more often then not and check up on the latest on everything and anything that means something.

Ciao ciao,

-Air and Brain.

p.s. My Brain (My alter ego: Johnny Mercury) has informed me that it wants to up load all of its current movies on the to watch wish list as soon as we are able. So expect a rush of movie info catch up in these following days. "Enjoy." it says. Oh and it also wanted to add that you all should feel free to check out its own Blog Here but be warned, its thoughts are its own and not affliated with myself, Lui, Friends, Family and Idiots or Galaxy Kid Productions Family in any way, shape or form... It wanted to add that.