My wife was very excited to see The Watch. She was thrilled when it showed up On Demand. So we rented it and within a few minutes, I noticed a perplexed look on her face. Why did this movie begin in space? Then it hit me:
“You do realize this movie is about aliens right?”
I’m pretty sure this is the only trailer she had seen for the movie:
Other trailers did a better job of revealing what was really in store for our heroes but she had no clue. She was a little disappointed at first. Thankfully, my wife also enjoys movies about aliens so we settled in again. When it came to The Watch, I was on the fence. I love the actors involved and the trailers seemed funny but wasn’t that excited to see it. I honestly think that mentality wasn’t justified because I actually enjoyed The Watch quite a bit.
I tend to judge comedies based on their ability to keep the laughs consistent throughout. The Watch isn’t packed with jokes but it is a funny movie and I laughed a lot more than I thought I would.
Once you realize the movie is about aliens the story plays out pretty much as you would expect. Ben Stiller’s character creates a neighborhood watch to find out who killed one of his Costco employees. This leads the 4 leads on a mysterious hunt for an alien. Soon they find themselves right in the middle of a full scale alien invasion.
The Watch won’t win you over with it’s story nor will it won’t win you over with it’s action. The film’s true strength is in the chemistry of the 4 main actors. Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill & Richard Ayoade are a fantastic comedic team. Ayoade especially shines with his subtle humor. Each of them hold their own but they are truly fantastic together.
If you didn’t know the movie was about aliens, chances are you might be a little caught off guard. I actually think they wanted it to be a surprise. It was a risk. For some it will be a welcome twist, for others a disappointment. Regardless there are enough laughs to justify a viewing.
WE’VE ALL WONDERED BEFORE… THAT’S WHY IT’S FUN TO WATCH ON THE BIG SCREEN.
Prometheus was one of my most anticipated movies of the summer. Situated right after The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers and just before The Amazing Spider-Man. We always wanted to know the story behind the Space Jockey but I don’t think anyone was expecting the filmmakers to ask even BIGGER questions in the process. Prometheus was AWESOME.
Ridley Scott’s newest film is all about our creation. Who made us? I can’t get enough movies about aliens and the possibilities that exist beyond our solar system. Those movies always left me asking myself the big questions and, to me, that’s a successful movie.
Prometheus begins with a gorgeous sequence presumably on Earth in which we meet an ‘Engineer’. It’s an amazing sequence that’s equal parts mysterious and fascinating. From there we are taken on a journey to find these ‘Engineers’ and EVERY SINGLE SCENE adds to that fascination. The very idea behind the Engineers right down to their design was spectacular. It was so interesting to learn about them. I couldn’t get enough.
I honestly had a moment where I thought the characters didn’t stop enough to reflect on what they were experiencing. It was almost a little too presumptuous to land on a foreign planet and expect them to have dinner ready. But then again… ‘They were so wrong’.
I was on board, so to speak, with the entire story. Every new location they explored answered questions and posed new ones. Each one more interesting than the next. Going in, I was expecting a lot of the big questions to remain unanswered with Damon Lindelof’s name attached. But it was a perfect pace of action vs philosophy. Plus, you have to leave certain answers out there for the audience to discuss when you are dealing with such ambitious themes and ideas.
I think some people might be a little frustrated by the lack of answers to the ‘big’ questions but I appreciated the open ended finale. There are still so many things we don’t understand about ourselves. Having said that, we definitely understand a whole lot more about the Space Jockey and the origins of the horrific Xenomorphs. (Which is awesome by the way)
However, I did have a couple minor complaints. There were a few moments that were really vague. For example, Charlize Theron’s character was hard to figure out. What did she expect to accomplish on the mission? She seemed to be pretty capable with a flame thrower. Overall, she came across as remorseless and cold but why? Certain aspects of her character are answered but the ‘twist’ in the end flipped my theories upside down. Perhaps another viewing is in order but it’s never good to feel like you missed something.
There were also a few scenes that didn’t seem to fit in the overall story. It felt like Idris Elba didn’t have much to do so they tossed in some flirtation with Charlize’s character.
“Are you a robot?”
At one point, a character returns as a zombie of sorts and causes chaos for the crew without much explanation. He just arrives, causes a few explosions and then it’s never mentioned again.
But these are minor complaints to say the least. The big attraction here are the horrific moments caused by the crew’s understandable curiosity. There are also plenty of disgusting (and awesome) moments that reminded me how much I love this genre and why Ridley is a legend.
It’s a gorgeous movie full of stunning images. There’s a phenomenal wide shot early on where a ship appears as a mere spec of light traveling across the vastness of space. The scope and sheer size of this movie is impressive to say the least and so much fun to watch.
Who knows if we will ever be able to answer the big questions… Upon further reflection, I’ve decided I like the movie better for leaving certain answers out. It’s about ASKING the questions in the first place.
One of my favorite scenes involved characters discussing whether or not there is a God at all now that they’ve found their makers.
“They made us.”
“Who made them?”
Another fantastic moment involved a robot questioning why he was created and what motivates us to create. It’s absolutely fascinating stuff and when you factor in the sense of adventure and danger, you have a perfect summer movie that I can’t wait to see again.
Here’s the thing… Pitching a new live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie for today’s audiences is not an easy task. Not only does it have to connect to new fans but it also has to please the millions of passionate TMNT fans who have been waiting years for a reboot. Especially with all the technological advances filmmakers have access to now that they didn’t have in 1990.
When Michael Bay took over the franchise, people were skeptical but that’s what Michael Bay haters do. I for one, enjoy Michael Bay movies. They aren’t Oscar contenders but 2 hours of action, explosions, battles and laughs is time well spent if you ask me.
Yes, people groaned but then he hired Jonathan Liebesman to helm the film and slapped a release date of December 25th, 2013. The haters were silenced. Michael Bay was bringing the Turtles back!
Ahem… Then he screwed it all up by telling the world his Turtles were from an alien race. Or did he?
The fallout that ensued after his comments has been fascinating to follow but personally, I think the filmmakers behind the movie are thrilled with the response. It made national news! It rocked Twitter! People everywhere were debating every syllable of that sentence. People were angry and frustrated while others were intrigued and curious.
Regardless of what side of the line you stand on, people are talking. The hype for this movie will now be massive as details emerge. The last few weeks probably proved to the studio that a new Turtles movie was a good idea.
Now lets address the big ol’ alien elephant in the room…
Mutant Alien Ninjas…
Alien ooze? A planet full of talking Turtles? Mis-used Alien technology? Michael Bay did follow up by stating the mythology we all know and love remains in tact. It was simply expanded upon. That could mean anything. Did they change the origin to give them a reason to include Krang in the mix?
I think the Ooze is the Alien here. I just don’t see a planet full of giant turtles especially because they still have to explain Splinter somehow. Regardless, even the people who are angry about the ‘changes’ are going to be following this movie all the way up until it’s release.
Michael Bay and Co. know people are watching and it’s up to them to turn the doubters around. How?
1. The design of the turtles. Will they be suits or motion capture? Combination of both? What will they look like?
2. The Villain. Shredder is pretty much a guarantee. (Isn’t it?) With Shredder comes foot soldiers but what about the aforementioned Krang?
3. The Style & Tone. Will this be Batman Begins with Ninja Turtles? Dark and gritty? Is that a world where Michelangelo can still scream ‘Cowabunga’? How will they achieve that balance? I think the tone of the 1990 original was spot on.
4. Stills, Trailers & Viral Content. This one is tricky. Until we get more clarification on the ‘alien’ comment, people are going to be skeptical but skeptics can always be turned if you WOW them.
5. Be true to the mythology. People want The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I really think that’s exactly what we are going to get. The most encouraging comments I’ve heard through all of this came from the director himself:
“Look, it’s so funny—if everyone was such a die-hard fan, they would know that the TCRI canisters where the ooze comes from. That is alien ooze. Now I’m not saying what Michael said is exactly what the movie is, because we’re sitting in a room now figuring everything out. So we don’t know, but we are like Michael said: we’re expanding it, and the expansion will be true to the mythology. I promise you: fans will love it.”
Whatever mythology we’re building on or expanding is coming from that guy, Kevin Eastman’s head, who created the Turtles in the first place. And so everything will tie in with the mythology; fans will be extremely excited with what we’re coming up with. A lot of it is stuff he’s wanted to do for a long time, but just hasn’t had the opportunity because now we have the budget and things on this film to expand it in the right way. And so, I’m happy that everyone is extremely passionate, and they will not be disappointed. It’s all coming from the best possible place for this franchise.
We’re definitely into the action, but for me what’s more important than that is that it’s a story about brotherhood and friendship and responsibility. Right now, I’m with the characters because those are what attracted me to the movie. They’re the best characters I’ll have had a chance to deal with.” (Jonathan Liebesman)
More recently, Michael Bay defended the project while commenting on the title being shortened to Ninja Turtles:
“Paramount marketing changed the name. They made the title simple. The characters you all remember are exactly the same, and yes they still act like teenagers. Everything you remember, why you liked the characters, is in the movie. This script is being developed by two very smart writers, with one of the original creators of Ninja Turtles. They care VERY MUCH about making this film for the fans. Everyone on this team cares about the fans. Just give them a chance. Jonathan the director, is a major fan of the whole franchise. HE’S NOT GOING TO LET YOU DOWN.”
Below is a collection of links that chronicles the ‘controversy’ surrounding the film. They are full of insight, opinions and features from around the web.
I’m not saying the alien comment isn’t at least a little concerning. I grew up with the Ninja Turtles and I don’t want to see their story changed. But tons of film adaptations have changed major elements from the source material that is readily accepted now. For example, the age of the Hobbits in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Some people were extremely angry. (Some probably still are) But they made those changes while staying true to J.R.R Tolkien’s work and people love those films. Even the doubters are anxiously awaiting the new Hobbit films in 2012 and 2013.
Sometimes change is good. I think this is a wait and see situation. No matter what, the new movie is meant to be successful they aren’t out to screw it up on purpose. I can’t wait to see what the new turtles will look like. I can’t wait to find out more about the filmmaker’s vision for the franchise.
I’m looking forward to a brand new live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie!