We rarely buy a movie if we haven't already seen it*, but there was almost no chance I wasn't going to want to see TRON:Legacy when it came out on disc**, and as soon as Disney elected to release a special edition collection with the original movie, we preordered it.

Teh_boy has not seen the original TRON, so we queued that up this weekend and will get to the new one in the next couple of weeks, probably.

I'm going to assume the rest of y'all have seen the original TRON, however, and not worry too much about spoilers. Or the plot synopsis that could potentially lead to spoilers, for that matter.

To the 'review'! )
We watched _Diary of a Wimpy Kid_ this weekend, because the boy has read like all the books and the new movie is coming out on Friday, the first movie got actually pretty good reviews with respect to adults viewing it, and the boy's parents wanted to know whether or not we wanted to go out and see the new one in the theater.

Turns out, the reviews were right; we all enjoyed the movie. We won't be seeing the new one in the theater, but we will get it from Netflix when the time comes. There were several laugh-out-loud moments, and it was decently acted all around, considering the subject matter. If you've got kids who are interested, I can happily recommend it for your next family movie event.

But damn, so many of Greg's issues are a direct result of his behavior, and I didn't feel like that was sufficiently apparent to the target audience. This is to a significant extent understandable, since Greg is the unreliable narrator, and he's obviously completely incapable of recognizing that mostly he's screwing himself over, rather than being the innocent victim of circumstance that he imagines himself to be. I expect this is even more the case in the books, where Greg is the *only* source of information, and the boy informs me that the redemptive moment at the climax of the movie doesn't actually happen in the book.

But if you consider it a parenting opportunity to talk to your kids about how Greg's actions and attitudes affect his experiences--(pause) "Wow, did you see that? How do you think the other kids are going to react to that?*" (discuss)--you've got not only an entertaining experience, but maybe an educational one as well.

I wouldn't watch this movie to watch it for myself, but I've seen plenty of movies with the boy over his eight-plus years that had a lot less to offer me in entertainment value.

*Yes, I do try to be Socratic with the boy. It's easier to get ideas into his head if he thinks he's coming up with them himself than if I'm just preaching at him.
georgmi: (madness)
( Feb. 13th, 2011 04:54 pm)
Got this from Netflix and watched it this weekend. M. had previously read the source material, a book of the same name by Christopher Priest.

Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale play rival stage magicians in London around the end of the 19th century. Directed by Christopher Nolan, this movie had almost no overtones of Batman vs. Wolverine. Supporting cast includes Michael Caine as Jackman's trick engineer, and David Bowie as Nikola Tesla.

A psychological drama, the essential question of the movie is, "How far will you go, what will you sacrifice, to destroy the man you hate?" Without going into spoiler territory, I can only say, you have to see this movie.

Jackman and Bale give brilliant performances as the obsessive rivals, and I was very surprised, given what I know of both David Bowie and Nikola Tesla, to see Tesla supply the role of reserved voice of reason in the film. Of course, he also supplies the potentially-civilization-destroying* machine around which the movie's endgame revolves, so take a reserved facade for what you will.

I was amused to note that the bitter, historical rivalry between Tesla and Thomas Edison was on display in the movie, but it was never explained or described; it was just there.

M. says the movie departs sufficiently from the book that one need not worry that knowing the book's secrets will ruin the movie. I think I'll be reading the book myself, as soon as I finish _Canticle For Leibowitz_, which until recently had been sitting untouched on my shelf for years because I am a bad scifi fan.

(ETA: I'll also be interested to see how well the movie holds up to a second viewing, when I do know all the secrets--a big piece of my reaction on first viewing was the shock at the unfolding mystery, each of which revelations came at about the time my brain was serving up the appropriate, "what about..." notion.)

*I'm happy to expound on this in the comments, but don't want to spoil the movie here in the review proper.
georgmi: (style)
( Jan. 19th, 2011 02:11 pm)
Yes, I know. I am horrifyingly behind the times. But I absolutely loathe going to the movie theater. M. used to say that there are movies that you really need to see on the big screen, to which my response has always been that just means the screen we have at home isn't big enough, and that this is a solvable problem. (One which, with the new house, I believe we have solved.)

Review of J.J. Abrams' _Star Trek_. Contains spoilers, because even if you still haven't seen it, you've almost certainly seen most of the important spoilers already anyhow, so I'm not even going to try and conceal things. Oh, and it's long. Duh. )