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Tuesday Media Roundup #34

It’s been almost three months since the last update and I have 15 movies and one tv documentary here so it looks like I average just over one movie a week.

The Extreme Adventures of Super Dave –  I loved the Super Dave shorts when I was a kid so when this came on I had to watch it. The original cast is all still there and the stunts are rediculous, but the parts that work keep it flowing enough. I’d just like to add that Super Dave has a herd of mimes.

Kung Fu Panda –  The art style is great, the fu is good. It ends up being similar to Berry Gordy’s The Last Dragon and I don’t consider that a bad thing.

The Secret of Santa Vittoria – The description was just that a village tries to hide their wine from the Nazis. It has that but it also brings the small Italian town and it’s residents to life.  I suppose I should mention that it’s mostly comedicthough there are heavy moments.

Darkon –  A documentary on LARPers in Maryland. Darkon is the land that all the LARPing nations inhabit and war in. You get to see alliances and conflict and people trying to come out on top in and out of Darkon. It doesn’t tend to get too uncomfortable with the level of involvement they have. At least they’re being social instead of sitting at home alone.

The Man From Earth – A thought experiment portrayed as a thought experiment in a movie. I don’t always understand the reactions of some of the characters in the movie but the story holds up fairly well I think.

Enchanted – Crossovers between the cartoon and real world are usually to the cartoon world or a small managable space. I guess it’s not so much a crossover as it is a parallel universe story. Anyway, the end result really came out well from the fish out of water moments to the songs!

Kinky Boots – In a depressed town, a few people decide to take a risk that make people think they are crazy or get looked down upon before the town rallies behind them to success. This fits that English film class and like most of the others it does it well and is very entertaining.

Hancock – This definitely didn’t go where I was expecting it to based on trailers or even the first part of the movie. There are hero rehabilitation stories, but not many about super heroes. This manages that well and throws on an interesting and fairly unique back-story.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army –  Nice art style in the opening story. This movie is all about enjoying the characters from the first movie. It works as that though I would have shortened one of the fight scenes.

Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D – I wanted to see this fow two reasons, Brendan Fraser, and new 3D technology. Brendan Fraser was fun and the 3D was really good! There were some 3D trailers and if you have a chance to see “Fly Me to the Moon” in 3D, skip it. They were forcing the effect enough to hurt your eyes. This uses a new radial polarization technique so you can rotate your head and not lose the effect as you do with traditional polarized lenses. The 3D at times made you feel like you were in the middle of it and at other times looking at something with wonderful depth. It starts with a few things flying at you that every 3D movie has to do to make you flinch. The worst 3D effect was the last one in the movie. All that stuff you just watched and then you wonder how that scene could have made it into the movie. The movie itself is a fun modern tour through Vernes’ center of the earth.

The Mummy & The Mummy Returns – Nicole hadn’t seen these and since the third one was coming up we deciced to see them. The Mummy holds up well, effects and all. The Mummy Returns doesn;t look as good effects-wise, maybe they were trying too much? Also it’s not consistent with the fist movie. They say he won’t be as powerful and isn’t at full power yet even though he is doing more than he did in the first movie.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor – The first third or half of this movie irritated me. I really didn’t see Evelyn’s character ending up where it was or their son’s conflict with them as fitting. Once all the action started it settled into a comfortable groove and hey, there are yetis! I think I have to rank it about even with The Mummy Returns. The high are higher but the lows are lower.

China’s First Emperor –  This was a documentary on tv recently and it was interesting because it it showed me where various stories surrounding that period were based on fact and where liberties were taken for the story. I knew he unified the language. I didn’t know he unified currency and weights and measures but that makes sense. I didn’t know about his early life or how he ended up. Also seeing the scale of his burial city was very impressing. All those terracotta soldiers only come from a small part of the entire site. There was an indication that they are not going to explore that until preservation can be done. Apparently there are rivers and an ocean made of mercury in the scale-model china inside. Since there is evidence that mercury is leaking out slowly, it is thought that the description of the inside is accurate.

Mongol – This is a look at what led Ghengis Kahn to become what he was. The movie feels like it’s missing quite a bit, like it was cut down to be about 2 hours when it really wanted to be 2.5. I hope that extra time is on the DVD version when that comes out, but considering it’s a foreign film there’s probably not much chance of that. I’ll still ok forward to picking it up when it comes out.

Starman –  An alien comes down to play the fish out of water game and offer insights into humanity. I think this probably played better in the 80s though I think with a few minor changes it would work just as well today were it to be remade. That’s not a suggestion that it should be remade. Jeff Bridges plays the star man well, and Karen Allen is good as usual.

Kaw –  Killer ravens are attacking a small town! Since you probably aren’t going to see it I’ll just say that it’s because they ate some cow that died from mad cow disease and now they’re going to take out all the people. Despite being obviously low budget, they actually had a number of trained ravens and decent production value. Worth seeing? Maybe if you’re bored or want a background movie.

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