Armageddon

Armageddon. Touchstone Pictures 1998.
Armageddon. Touchstone Pictures 1998.

Before watching the movie:

As I recall, Armageddon and Deep Impact both came out at about the same time and both concerned averting an asteroid collision with Earth. Likely neither one of them takes precedence over the other, but in my mind, this one is the original and Deep Impact is the imitator.

I only just now learned this film is directed by Michael Bay. I knew he had Hollywood films before Transformers, but I didn’t think it was anything I’d heard of. It only reaffirms my expectations though, since I was already expecting great spectacle without much depth. However, I worry it might drag somewhat, since it’s an hour longer than most movies of the caliber I’m expecting. Unless there are flighty songs or weighty angst, movies don’t tend to have more than 90-100 minutes of content.

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Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction. Miramax et al, 1994.

Before watching the movie:

This is one of the films that college students flip out over, and any “true film buff” needs to have in their top ten. We’ll see about that.

Tarantino is perhaps held in too high of regard, but this is early days, and a good example of his talent. I’m prepared for the non-Euclidean timeline, which is usually considered good, unorthodox storytelling.

Because of the way it’s formatted, the large cast shouldn’t be as indicative of an over-reaching, complicated plot. Or it may be more indicative than most. Or both at the same time.

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Look Who’s Talking

Look Who's Talking. Tristar Pictures 1989.

Before watching the movie:

I never had much interest in this movie, but it caught my attention. It does have some big names in it, but lots of duds do too. I always thought it wasn’t very good mostly on the basis of the fact that it has two incredibly derivative sequels, but I guess that’s a compliment really. The only unfavorable opinion I’ve seen of it is a contemporary MAD parody, but it’s in some way their job to criticize everything.

Looking more closely at it, the film does look like it has the potential to be more focused on being sweet and silly, rather than an obnoxious talking baby gets up to mischief farce like I always imagined it being.

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Die Hard

Die Hard. 20th Century Fox 1988.

Before watching the movie:

I feel like I know so much about this film/franchise, but as I sit down to write, I realize I know hardly anything. I think this is the one with Alan Rickman as the bad guy, there’s a big logical flaw with the bad guys’ plot, and Bruce Willis’s catchphrase is R-rated.

I’ve been told this is a Christmas tradition for some people. Even if it does go down at an office Christmas party, the connection seems tenuous. On the other hand, it’s a better connection than Hoosiers has, and I know certain TV stations would leave that one on loop over Christmas so they could go see their families.

Some surprises even before I begin: I didn’t realize it was this old (I thought it was early-to-mid 90s), and Willis is doing action and not shaving his head. He looks like Nicholas Cage like that.

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Unbreakable

Unbreakable. Touchstone Pictures 2000.

Before watching the movie:

M. Night Shyamalan’s works have had a wide range of quality. It originally seemed as though his output just got worse over time, but in the light of not only the glaring plot holes in The Sixth Sense, but also the fact that some have noted a similarity to an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark,  it may be considered that Unbreakable is Shyamalan’s real zenith of quality.

So why is it the movie I’m the least familiar with? My guess is that while “6th Sense” has a lasting buzz, and I was paying attention to the ad campaigns of the later films, Unbreakable stands in my blind spot. Too old for me to notice, too average to remark on. Here I go remarking on it.

From what I understand, it’s a deconstruction of superhero stories. Not terribly original and not well-timed. (Superhero movies were about to have a classical comeback after America went into security blanket mode, but nobody could have predicted that.) All the same, I hear good things about this film, and I expect good things.

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