Monday, February 25, 2008

Upcoming Movie: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

When I went to see Jumper this week-end, I was treated to a movie preview I was looking forward to see on the big screen: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull! Long title, but I would go see it even if it was called Indiana Jones reads the phone book. Probably... But such is not the case.

I know I'm not the only one who just can't wait to see this movie. Harrison Ford is older, sure, but he's still "The Man"! The trailer, more of a teaser, is very promising. You can check it out at the official site by clicking the title of this blog entry above. Other links goes to IMDB. Other nice things to see on the site too, including a countdown to opening day. 85 days to go as of this writing, which makes it May 22, 2008. Hmm, that looks like a Star Wars date... George Lucas must have something to do with that. Is it too early to go wait in line? I'm sure my boss would think so! ;-)

Are you excited to go see this movie? By now, you know I am! Let's all go see it on day 1, OK? See you there!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Movie review: Jumper

The version I saw, at the AMC in Montreal, was actually called Jumper DLP. I guessed it meant it was a digital projection and I was right. It looks beautiful! No scratches, pops or other shows of deterioration. Digital is the future.

Now, for the movie itself. I had low expectations for Jumper, after seeing how others reacted to it, on different Internet sites. But the previews showed me action and adventure and I thought it would be enough entertainment for me to enjoy. And it was! The storyline is different enough from other movies with similar ideas and it looks good, including the special effects.

The concept is that the main character David Rice, played by Hayden Christensen, discovers that he can teleport - or jump - one day, as he almost dies drowning (this is in the trailer...). So of course, he eventually starts to use his gift to enter bank's vault and "borrow" some money. Turns out he is not the only jumper around and there is a group of Paladins hunting them down, led by Roland, played by Samuel L. Jackson, re-uniting the two Star Wars actors together.

So lots of action, a few twists and decent acting makes this a fun movie to watch.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Movie review: The Spiderwick Chronicles

I saw The Spiderwick Chronicles earlier this evening and I really liked it. It's another movie aimed at a young crowd, but that did not stop me from going, obviously. It's got a good story, great visuals and a very good cast. One thing I did not realize until I saw the credits is that the two brothers are played by the same actor, Freddie Highmore! This is a great feat for both the young actor and for the special effects. The later are handled by ILM and Tippet Studios, amongst others.

This movie was filmed in the city I live in, Montreal, but I did not recognized any landscape and is not meant to be happening in Montreal. Actually, most of the story is taking place in a "middle of nowhere" type of place, in the woods. The fact that it has "Chronicles" in it's name makes me think there could be sequels, but the end does not set it up for such a possibility. Unlike Golden Compass, it actually has an end, but this doesn't mean they can't start a new one.

I saw the Imax version and there was not a single trailer before the movie, just the standard Imax introduction, which I have seen several times. This means no Indiana Jones trailer, which is attached to this movie and which I was looking forward to see on a big screen, but I guess this screen was just too big... :-( But I don't regret seeing this version, as it looked spectacular!

If you like fantasy movies, you should treat yourself to this one. While it is aimed at the young ones, the youngest ones could be scared by some scenes, since we are dealing with an ogre and nasty goblins, who inflicts a few wounds to other characters and get some of their owns.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Knight Rider is coming back!

For those who care and are not yet aware of this, Knight Rider is back with a two hours TV movie on NBC this Sunday, February 17. This follows the original TV series that aired from 1982 to 1986, starring David Hasselhoff, as Michael Knight.

It also stars a car, KITT, who is equipped with weapons, is nearly indestructible and which as an advanced AI (Artificial Intelligence) computer capable of controlling the car itself and can hold a conversation, analyze dangerous situation and take decisions on it's own. Other copy-cat shows followed, including one with a motorcycle and another with an helicopter. Viper was probably the more popular and interesting copy and starred a Dodge Viper. I don't remember these shows to have an AI brain vehicle, though.

The original KITT, which stands for Knight Industries Two Thousand, was a black Pontiac Trans Am and had a few improvements over the one available at standard car dealerships. Besides the AI, it has a Turbo Boost, which can make it jump over obstacles, a paint cover as though as a tank's armor, ejectable seats and an attitude. The new KITT, which now stands for Knight Industries Three Thousand is a black Ford Mustang and I'm sure is at least as well equipped as the original one.

I hope this new version will be fun to watch. It can be hard to compete with one's youth memories. Of course, younger viewers who have not seen the original will not be comparing the two versions, but my generation sure will. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on the way they produce this "remake". Actually, it's more a continuation, since the story should follow up on the existing one. Michael Knight is even supposed to show up, with a cameo appearance from David Hasselhoff himself.

The official site has a few clips from the new show, including TV spots, so you can check them out while waiting for the full length feature on Sunday.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Movie review: The Golden Compass

Late to the game, but I recently went to see The Golden Compass on the big screen. It's a fantasy movie, where the story happens on an alternate Earth. I have not read the book(s) this is based on, but I'm sure there must be a few and that there will be a sequel, based on at least one unachieved goal in the story and the way it ends. Actually, I just checked IMDB and there is a sequel in the work, The Subtle Knife...

I liked this movie and will likely go see the sequel, but I wouldn't call it a great movie. It's directed at a younger crowd, but is still interesting for adults, I would say, like Harry Potter is. Another similarity to HP, is the hero, who is a teen, but in this case, it's a girl. The special/visual effects are well done and the actors do a good job. If your young, or at least young at heart, you should find it entertaining.

The main difference on their earth, compared to ours, is that their "souls" are not within them, but in the form of an animal that follows them everywhere and whose live is linked to their own. One cannot survive without the other. Interesting concept...