This is sometimes the bane of being a single mom, I don't always get to see movies right away. But off we go.
Leslie Mann (George of the Jungle) and Cameron Diaz (Charlie's Angels) made a great pair in this hysterical buddy comedy. I have not laughed this hard at a movie in a very long time.
Mann plays clueless "Stepford Wife" Kate King and I really do mean clueless. The open of the movie has Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's Mark King with Cameron Diaz's Carly Whitten, the "other woman". Things seem to be going great. Then, the scene that changes everything. We see Mark in bed and the voice we were accustomed to hearing is not what we hear. It's Kate, his wife. Oops. We all know the guy (and to be fair) or girl that exactly like this. Kate isn't in sexy lingerie, she's in the granny cotton nightgown that let's face we have all worn at one point in our adult lives. They go through the normal married couple routine and this is when we discover Kate is clueless. It isn't until a few scenes later when Carly shows up thinking she'll surprise Mark at his Connecticut home that the mistress and the wife meet. You can feel the awkwardness from these two comedy mavens but you really feel for poor Carly. She truly had no idea her guy was married.
Don't count out Kate's several breakdowns after confronting Carly because you get some of the funniest scenes! I think my mom and I were the only ones in the theatre laughing. (We went to the 4:05 show and were 2 of 6 people in the whole theatre!)
'How is this classified as a buddy movie' you may be asking yourself. The mistress and the wife end up becoming friends. I won't spoil any more of this lovely movie for you. If you haven't seen it yet do so before it leaves the theatres, just don't wait for Netflix or On Demand services! It's too hilarious to pass up!
Directed by Tomas Alfredson, written by John Ajvide Lindqvist (the film is based on his novel); starring Kåre Hedebrant as Oskar, Lina Leandersson as Eli, Per Ragnar as Håkan, Henrik Dahl as Erik, Peter Carlberg as Lacke, Mikael Rahm as Jocke, and Ika Nord as Virginia.
In the 2008 vampire tale Let the Right One In, we are introduced to a twist in classic vampire lore. We discover a man and his young child. Yet that isn’t really the case. The man is in love with the child and seems that he has been for a long time. How can that be right? She’s twelve and he’s in his 40’s or 50’s. Well, that is the case. He has been caring for this lovely girl for many years. He grows older and she stays the same. She is our vampire. Yet she doesn’t go out and do the killing. That’s what the older man does for her. He kills people, drains them and brings back their blood for her to drink. This causes them to move around a lot. Eli (Lina Leandersson) and her keeper move to a new apartment complex. Here she befriends Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant), an awkward young man that gets tormented at school and dreams of revenge. Shortly after moving in, Eli’s keeper gets caught attempting to collect for her. This makes Oskar so much more important. Her keeper was not just someone that took care of her but he kept her company too.
In Let the Right One In we are treated to some classic elements of Vampire Lore (or mythology.) We see Eli only at night, she can’t come out in the daylight. She doesn’t eat and she has a protector, Håkan. Eli has the characteristic pale skin of traditional vampires and thankfully, she doesn’t sparkle! One thing that has been left out of a great deal of vampire films since Dracula (1931) and I am glad was reintroduced, a vampire must be invited into the home. In this film one of the elements that we see that generally shows up in other horror films is the need for revenge. Oskar is in need of revenge when the film opens. Whether it is revenge on camp counselors for a drowning death (Friday the 13th films), or revenge on the parents that got justice on a serial child killer (Nightmare on Elm Street films) by burning him where he lived.
Let the Right One In doesn’t follow the convention of other films in the genre. In my opinion vampire films should have their own genre all together. It doesn’t focus specifically on Eli as a vampire. It focuses on Oskar, his life, Eli and his relationship with her. Eli is almost like a supporting character. It also introduces the idea of a child vampire. We have seen children before (Interview with the Vampire (1994)) but they have been portrayed as impulsive, unpredictable and whiny. Eli is anything but. She is childlike at times and is calculating. The way she manipulates Håkan into doing her dirty work is anything but impulsive or unpredictable. This film revisits the classical only in the inclusion of Eli requiring the invitation into Oskar’s home. We do, however, see the consequences when Oskar refuses to invite her in.
According to Tudor, this movie is considered Supernatural/Autonomous. Our vampire is external. However, if we bring in the character of Oskar, I believe his torment gives Eli the perfect opportunity to move in and be his “savior”. The cultural impact of this film is a renewal in the mystery of vampire, the renewal of the first vampire lore. I don’t think that there is any other real impact. Perhaps though it scares the pants off you when we discover that Eli is in fact capable of murder.
(This was my final paper for my film director's class. Kathryn Bigelow is a powerhouse female director that I greatly admire.)
Kathryn Bigelow started life as an only child on 27 November 1951 in San Carlos, California. Her mother was a librarian and her father a paint factory manager. Her father had aspirations of being a cartoonist but never made it in the business. Ms. Bigelow’s father encouraged her when she began to draw as an outlet for the awkwardness she felt in her own skin while in school. She stands an intimidating five foot eleven, tall even be supermodel standards. As a teenager she became interested in the works of the old European masters of painting, especially Raphael. On canvas she would paint certain details of their works and magnify them, possibly a subconscious response to her own size. She spent two years at the San Francisco Art Institute, until a professor sent a sample of her work to the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program in New York City. The program gave Ms. Bigelow a scholarship to come and study with them for nine months, the length of the program. She moved and spent the next 12 years in New York City.
The year is 1973, just one year after the move from California to New York, and Scorsese’s Mean Streets is released. Why is this an important film in the life of Kathryn Bigelow? She was attending Columbia University’s Graduate Film School on scholarship and saw this film as part of a double feature, with Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch, when she realized that these films awakened something in her own film consciousness. The films used violence as a language not simply violence for the sake of violence. This realization still forms how she makes films today. Her first short film was shot while she was in attendance at Columbia, The Set Up (1978). In 1979 she graduated Columbia, having earned a masters degree in film criticism and theory.
Ms. Bigelow co-wrote and co-directed The Loveless in 1982 with Monty Montgomery. Willem Dafoe, first screen role, starred. It had mixed reviews. What happened next? Kathryn Bigelow began taking a stand to the usual gender role of female directors and turned down high school comedy scripts. At the time these types of films were considered the only movies women could direct and direct well. She turned to teaching at the California Institute of the Arts to make ends meet and she appeared as a newspaper editor in the Lizzie Borden film Born in Flames. The year was 1983.
After four years of searching for someone to let her direct another feature, which she also co-wrote, Near Dark is a cult vampire classic. Not something anyone in Hollywood would have expected from a girl. But Ms. Bigelow likes to take convention and tell it where to go. It is very difficult to tell what kind of style Ms. Bigelow is developing. She is a strong figure in the action world with Blue Steel, Point Break, The Hurt Locker, and last but certainly not least, her newest collaboration with journalist turned screenwriter Mark Boal, Zero Dark Thirty. The last two are gritty tales that hold some ounce of truth where, Blue Steel and Point Break, are really good thrillers.
How do you classify a theme when you can take a sci-fi thriller like Strange Days and add it to a growing body of work? It’s another thriller, which Ms. Bigelow excels at creating. In the 2000 film The Weight of Water she tackles her family heritage. She’s Norwegian on her mother’s side, so she takes on The Weight of Water and explores what it meant to be an immigrant in the 1870’s. Another example of the lack of true theme, or perhaps this is a strong example of the beginning of her love for real events, K-19: The Widowmaker.
This is also another shining example that action filled military flicks aren’t just boy toys! She begins the documentary-style feel of both The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty right here in K19. Ms. Bigelow brings to the style table an attention to detailed research. Extensive research went into making K19, including trips to Russia meeting the family and crew members of the submarine. Along with Mark Boal, they researched the hunt for Osama bin Laden to ensure that everything was right. Why? Because, it was a story to be told not one to be created by Hollywood. The same detail went into the creation of the environment of Camp Victory and the recreation of the streets of Iraq in Jordan for the filming of The Hurt Locker. She captures the attitudes of military men and women like few others can. In that, she is in good company with Steven Spielberg.
Ms. Bigelow has also shared her immense talent on the big screen with the little screen by directing episodes of Homicide: Life on the Streets, Karen Sisco and The Inside. The Inside was developed, with assistance from Ms. Bigelow, from an article written by Mark Boal and this was the beginning of a fruitful collaborative relationship.
Through all of this, she has leaned on and competed with her ex-spouse, James Cameron. She beat him out for two Oscars in 2010, Best Director and Best Picture, The Hurt Locker. She was married to Cameron from 1989 – 1991 and they had no children. Other than her father, and the occasional creative consultation with Cameron, there seem to be no other influences in the life of Kathryn Bigelow. She continues to show the big boys in Hollywood that girls can be action directors too. She paves the way for all women that want to play in the testosterone fueled sandbox that is the action genre!
"Kathryn Bigelow." 2013. The Biography Channel website. May 08 2013, 12:39 http://www.biography.com/people/kathryn-bigelow-546542.
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"Bigelow, Kathryn." Current Biography (Bio Ref Bank) (2010)Print.
Champagne, Christine. "Crossroads Films Signs Dir. Kathryn Bigelow." SHOOT 44.22 (2003): 7. Print.
Lauzen, Martha M. "Kathryn Bigelow: On Her Own in no-(Wo)Man's-Land." Camera Obscura 26.78 (2011): 146. Print.
SHER, BARTLETT. "Kathryn Bigelow." Variety 429.7 (2012): 74. Print.
In 1946 Howard Hawkes directed Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe and Lauren Bacall as Vivian Rutledge in The Big Sleep. Other names that appeared in this film are John Ridgely (Eddie Mars), Martha Vickers (Carmen Sternwood), Peggy Knudsen (Mona Mars), Charles D. Brown (Norris the Butler), and Regis Toomey (Chief Inspector Bernie Otis). This film was based on the novel “The Big Sleep” by Raymond Chandler. The screenplay was written by William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett and Jules Furthman.
Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart) is a private investigator hired by General Sternwood (Charles Waldron). He runs into Carmen Sternwood (Martha Vickers) on the way into the house. We find out later that she is the cause of the trouble. In the course of the conversation with the General we learn that Marlowe used to be an investigator with the district attorney’s office. Marlowe, in the course of his investigation into the blackmailer, meets Ms. Rutledge (Lauren Bacall) and eventually, by the end of the movie they have fallen in love. Marlowe helps cover up the fact that Carmen was at the scene of a murder. Marlowe returns to Geiger’s house numerous times. It’s as if he’s trying to figure something out and can’t. Finally he ends up putting all the pieces together.
The Big Sleep has elements common to most films in the genre. Dark shots, femme fatales, close ups, rain and scenes that occur in the dead of night. And let’s not forget the must have private eye which Bogart seems quite adept at playing. (He also played private eye Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon.) The femme fatales in this one work against each other. One is Vivian Rutledge and while not seen as much, the other is her little sister Carmen. Both are guilty of something, neither worse than the other.
The central characters in this film are typical of the genre. Bogart’s character of Marlowe is the tough, rugged man’s man. He likes the ladies as we can see when he flirts with the Acme Book Store girl as well as the attempt at charming Agnes (Geiger’s book store girl). Martha’s character of Carmen Sternwood is the “innocent” young girl. She uses her sexuality every chance she can get, even when she’s high. Vivian is not so stereotypical. She’s smart and sassy. She hides her secrets very well, even pulling them out in jest. Marlowe doesn’t believe her. Yet, they fall in love.
This film says that everyone has something to hide. No matter how small the flaw is. The only thing I really know about film noir is that the films in the genre are usually dark and gritty. This film certainly lives up to all of that. The subject matter is murder and blackmail. Never are the two mutually exclusive.
The Magician was written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. It starred Max von Sydow as Albert Emanuel Vogler; Ingrid Thulin as Manda Vogler (alias Mr. Aman); Gunnar Björnstrand as Dr. Vergerus, Minister of Health; Naima Wifstrand as Granny Vogler; Bengt Ekerot as Johan Spegel; Bibi Andersson as Sara Lindqvist; Gertrud Fridh as Ottilia Egerman; Lars Ekborg as Simson, the coach driver; Toivo Pawlo as Police Superintendent Starbeck; Erland Josephson as Consul Egerman; Åke Fridell as Tubal; Sif Ruud as Sofia Garp; Oscar Ljung as Antonsson, burly stableman; Ulla Sjöblom as Henrietta Starbeck; and Axel Düberg as Rustan, young manservant. It was released in 1958 under the title Ansiktet.
Vogler's Magnetic Health Theater is the guise under which the “wanted” Vogler and his companions travel. They are a rag tag bunch, adding a drunk actor Johan Spegel who is determined he’s on death’s doorstep from an illness, and Vogler spends half of the movie as a mute. They reach the home of Counsel Egerman and are accused of conning people. Police Superintendent Starbeck and Minister of Health, Dr. Vergerus, don’t believe the claims in the advert posted by the theatre troupe. They are determined to prove that Vogler has no magical powers and in fact a fraud. Granny peddles her “potions”. A private performance is demanded and Vogler is required to perform alone. He is “killed” by Antonsson.
Max von Sydow is a regular in Bergman’s films, having appeared in eleven. He played the tormented knight in The Seventh Seal and the father or a girl that was raped and murdered in The Virgin Spring. Bergman makes effective use of the close-up when Vogler is performing and when he is being questioned. He has great use of lighting when Vogler is performing in the levitation scene and the scenes with Vergerus in the attic. But the overall tone of the film is questionable. There is some uncertainty if it’s supposed to be a comedy, with the fairly comical “sex scene” between Sara and Simson or if it’s supposed to be a thriller, again with the scene between Vergerus and the supposedly dead Vogler.
Some themes in this movie are typical to Bergman’s career. The questioning the existence of God and putting the character of “witch” Granny, the supernatural v. science are typical but love being translated as sex is not. In The Seventh Seal Bergman presents the struggle with death and questioning the existence of God with the knight on a quest to do one good thing before he dies. We are presented in this film with the same argument when Tubal and Sofia are talking in the kitchen. Sofia says the Tubal can be a preacher and Tubal insists not because his “faith is shaky.” Death is represented in the former actor Johan Spegel when he seemingly dies the first time in the coach and when he finally dies after stealing brandy from the kitchen. The crowd at Counsel Egerman’s doesn’t believe in the magic the Vogler’s are selling and Dr. Vergerus represents the science. Sex is equated to love by the implied intimacy between Sara and Simson after they consume a “love potion” brewed by Granny.
This film fits into Bergman’s career because he rebels most of his life against the moral compass of his parents. He constantly questions the existence of God. With this film coming so close behind The Seventh Seal, and three others in between, artistic growth is not noticed. The themes don’t usually change in his work, most often being religious in nature. His body of work tends to reflect the home life he had as a child, the relationship with his mother and father, as well as the relationship between his mother and father. He took adventures from his childhood and used them as inspiration for his work which is not just limited to film, it includes stage plays and television shows.
Total Recall is based on the short story “We Can Remember it for You Wholesale” by Philip K. Dick. This connection itself makes this movie science fiction. Philip K. Dick is one of the more well know sci-fi short writers.
This film is set post-chemical war and the only two areas that can be inhabited are the United Federation of Britain and The Colony (formerly Australia.) This is easily explained. It could happen at any point in the future with any country. Perhaps it would not on the global scale as in this movie; unless the delivery method was by intercontinental ballistic missile. The mode of travel is completely fictional. There is no way to really travel safely past the Earth’s core. So it is a variation on reality. But science fiction also has the element of fanciful imagination to it that may or may not be possible. Will it truly be possible to travel through the Earth’s core via a vehicle like The Fall? Maybe but not in the near future and certainly not in my lifetime or my child’s lifetime.
Futuristic cars, antigravity, synthetic people (robots or androids whatever they are designated they are still synthetic), and some catastrophe are something that one would expect to find in science fiction. And Total Recall has it. One convention that is expected, especially if there is knowledge of the original Total Recall (1990), is travel to another world and aliens. We don’t see that in this one. We do get a couple of nods to the original. The first being the three breasted prostitute and the second a very familiar woman that looks very similar to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Doug Quaid’s disguise to get to Mars is seen right before the disguised Colin Farrell’s Doug Quaid.
There are two narrative structures that work very well together for this film, pre-existing and discovery. Pre-existing because the world is there when we come in, the catastrophe has already occurred. Discovery because it is obvious in the opening sequence that Doug Quaid isn’t himself, at least he isn’t certain who he is. He’s having strange dreams that seem more like memories than dreams. He goes through the film discovering who he was and that he doesn’t want to be the person Cohaagen wants him to be. In other words he has discovered there is a way to be better than the man he doesn’t remember. He has discovered his new self in the process of remembering Melina and helping the resistance. The screenwriters did an excellent job weaving these two structures together and adapting portions of Mister Dick’s short.
The evolutionary model in Total Recall is global catastrophe. One could argue that there is a dash of mutated species in there. How many three breasted prostitutes are alive today? Oh, right, none! Could it have been the product of surgery or the effects of chemical warfare that her parents lived through? We don’t really know but she lives in The Colony and nothing good comes from The Colony according to Cohaagen.
The movie Winchester ’73 (1950) is about one of the few “perfect” rifles produced by the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1873. It is touted to be the gun that won the West. This film is directed by Anthony Mann, story by Stuart N. Lake, screenplay by Robert L. Richards and Borden Chase. The film stars James Stewart, Shelley Winters, Stephen McNally, Millard Mitchell, and Will Geer.
Winchester ’73 is a film that follows not just a person but a rifle. It starts with our hero Lin McAdam (James Stewart) and his pal High Spade Frankie Wilson (Millard Mitchell) coming to Dodge City just in time for the 4th of July centennial celebration. After a run in with Wyatt Earp (Will Geer), who is very pleasant after the interference, the pair make way to the saloon. There they encounter the object of their journey, Dutch Henry Brown (Stephan McNally). It’s obvious there’s tension there. Earp makes certain that the trouble will not arise during the celebrations by gently warning the men. The scene in the saloon dissolves into the shooting match the next day. The prize is 1 of 1,000, a perfect Winchester 1873. McAdam eventually wins. But whatever rift is between McAdam and Brown causes Brown to beat the tar out of McAdam and steal the rifle before McAdam’s name is engraved on the plate on the buttstock.
The next time the rifle changes hands it goes from Brown to Joe Lamont (John McIntire) then from Lamont to Young Bull (Rock Hudson). We don’t see the rifle again until Young Bull attacks a wagon train going to re resupply a fort on the frontier. After Young Bull is killed one of the young soldiers finds the rifle and turns it over the SGT Wilkes (Jay C. Flippen). The sergeant doesn’t want it to go into general supply and attempts to hand off to McAdam who is leaving the area on his search for Brown. But instead Steve Miller (Charles Drake) gets it. The rifle then goes on to change hands again, Steve is killed for it by Waco Johnny Dean (Dan Duryea) and Lola Manners (Shelley Winters) gets herself kidnapped. This rifle is an awful lot of trouble. It switches hands again when Waco meets up with Brown to plan a heist in Tascosa. Brown removes the rifle from Waco’s possession with a threat of death.
One really major iconic convention is the big bad Indian. While the Indians were seen briefly they are the most iconic. Part of the lore of the Western is the conflict between the encroaching “newcomers” or Easterners. Another icon that shows up is our main characters wearing cowboy hats. It may seem like a silly thing but when I think of Westerns, cowboy hats and boots, six guns and the calvary always come to mind. We also have a bank robbery, horses and a couple of saloons; all elements that make up a Western. We also have another story element that isn’t necessarily typical, brother against brother.
Winchester ’73 fits into the Classical stage. It has accepted elements: cowboys, Indians, shoot outs, a damsel in distress, horses and an attempted robbery of the Wells Fargo. I can’t really compare other films in the genre because I don’t watch Westerns. However, this film does not fall into the same stage as Dances with Wolves. Besides Shane over 15 years ago, that is the only other Western I’ve watched from beginning to end. Winchester ’73 may have helped along the non-lawman hero that appears in the revisionist stage. There is no indication that Lin McAdam is any kind of law yet, he engages in a manhunt to track down his father’s murderer.
In Winchester ’73 the concept of wilderness vs. civilization is seen by introducing the character of Lola Manners. She represents the easternization of the West. We never see her dressed in Western-styled clothing. She removes layers of her dress but nothing more. Even McAdam is prone to treating her with gentleness when he gives her his saddle to lay her head on telling her it’s more comfortable than the ground. Lola also looks to McAdam as the strong protective type and has a connection to him even though she is with Steve. We also see the concept in the attack of the Indians on the Calvary wagon train out to resupply a frontier fort. We see the Indians with “repeaters” that were stolen from Joe Lamont. The cowboy and Indian scenario is typical to most early Westerns. The theme of wilderness vs. civilization is not unique to the genre but the genre certainly gave it a huge boost. With the advent of science fiction wilderness vs. civilization took on a whole new meaning. Thank you Westerns!
This movie is super cute! Chock full of cameos, it's frolicking fun reminiscent of the Muppets of my youth.
As the evil Kermit doppelganger Constantine escapes a Siberian prison, Kermit blows up at Miss Piggy for planning their wedding when he hasn't even proposed! So we have a foreshadowed moment here. Even Ricky Gervais's Dominic Badguy (it's French) was a foreshadowed character. We all knew that he was up to no good even before he talked to Constantine.
I will try not to go into too much detail about the plot but I think we all know what it is from the trailers.
It was well written and entertaining, which is what it should be for a kids movie. There's a love story (okay the usual love story Kermit and Miss Piggy), there's action to include explosions (which Constantine has a proclivity for) and music! How can you not love a musical number with the likes of Celine Dion? (She played Miss Piggy's piggy fairy godmother.)
If you want to see a family movie during Spring Break go see this movie! You'll love it as much as your kids will!
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977) starring Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Peter Cushing (Grand Moff Tarkin), the late Sir Alec Guinness (Ben Kenobi), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Kenny Baker (R2D2), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), David Prose (Darth Vader), and James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vader). Written and directed by George Lucas.
Back to the Future (1987) starring Michael J. Fox (Marty McFly), Christopher Lloyd (Doc Brown), Lea Thompson (Lorraine Baines), and Crispin Glover (George McFly). Written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale. Directed by Robert Zemeckis.
ANH is a story about the Rebel Alliance fighting against the Empire of Lord Palpatine. It really is a coming of age story, not just about the Rebels. Luke Skywalker wants to leave his home and join his friends. But things go awry when his Uncle Owen buys two droids from the Jawas. Luke chases down R2D2 and encounters the Tusken Raiders (a.k.a. Sand People). He is rescued by Ben Kenobi. After the brutal murder of Luke’s aunt and uncle by Stormtroopers, Ben whisks him, and the droids, off to find the Alliance and Princess Leia. A lightsaber duel, a battle or two later and we get to the final bits, the destruction of the Death Star and the medal ceremony.
BTTF is time travel! Yay! How much more sci-fi can you get? Doc Brown uses a Delorean to put his flux capacitor in. He is hunted down and shot by terrorists (he stole their plutonium which is the only thing that can power the flux capacitor and allow the Delorean to time travel). Marty was still in the car and to save himself he traveled back to 1955, the day Doc Brown first thought of the flux capacitor. Marty accidentally meets his parents and puts his own life in peril. His mother falls for him instead of his father. She pursues him as Marty tries to give his father the courage to stand up to the bully Biff and ask Marty’s mother Lorraine to the enchantment under the sea dance where they seal Marty’s future with a kiss.
Common elements in ANH that are found in science fiction: space (the final frontier!), futuristic (even though it is set “a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away), starships, and the Force. While the Force is not science-y it’s mystic and mystic powers have been creeping into science fiction in the last few years.
Common elements in BTTF that are found in science fiction: time travel and technology. Or rather advanced technology. Just because a flux capacitor is theoretical (and highly improbable for Doc Brown’s purpose) doesn’t mean we can’t consider it advanced technology.
Both films are coming of age stories. The wonderful thing about them is the coming of age happens over the course of three films rather than one. We see the change in Luke from impatient teen to the only Jedi Master in the galaxy. Marty, the change isn’t so drastic. He goes from being a hothead that would stand and fight just because someone calls him “chicken” to using his head and not taking the insult to heart. This is where the similarities end. The differences are huge! BTTF and ANH have completely different settings. BTTF is set here on earth in a more present time, 1987. ANH is in an undetermined time period and an unknown galaxy. One is time travel and one is an epic space opera. Both have vastly different genre elements
I Am Legend stars Will Smith (LTC Robert Neville), Alice Braga (Anna), and Charlie Tahan (Ethan). Francis Lawrence directed. This film marks the debut of Willow Smith as an actress. Never, ever use a virus to cure anything.
The first few minutes of the movie are all there is to Act I, we get Emma Thompson’s uncredited character talking about curing cancer; then we get three years later and someone running a Mustang through the very overgrown and deserted streets of a city. If we are to look at it like a book, it’s more of a prologue. Right about here is where we get the first flash back and part of the story behind why the streets of New York are deserted. The second turning point is well into Act II when Sam gets bitten by the infected dogs and Robert has to kill her. He breaks and finally loses himself. He goes on a vengeance fueled rampage killing the infected. That’s about where we have the next turning point. He’s rescued by another survivor. Act III begins here. Anna talks about God’s plan and Robert hears the infected coming. Robert realizes that Anna is indeed the one that is meant to be the courier of the cure. The climax is reached here. He ends up blowing himself up as well as his lab to give Anna and Ethan the chance to live. Anna and Ethan do make it to the colony of survivors in Vermont.
Some of the best shots in the movie are the medium shots of the action. It gives a feel of actually being there and the immediate sense of urgency. All of the shots are spectacular. The over the shoulder shot when Robert and Sam are hunting the deer was great. Gives good perspective of how it feels to hunt. The long shot of Robert pulling up to his house which is actually several yards away was another good shot. The low camera angles when Robert is moving around the house make it seem to be from a child’s view, which works. I think the low angles also add more of a dramatic element. The lighting in the lab was excellent. There was a lot of directional lighting in the interior scenes. In the videos store we get a shot that includes Robert but he’s not the focus of the shot. The mannequin to his left is the object of the shot.
A majority of the transitions are cuts. The one exception, Robert loses consciousness while hanging upside down. The scene fades out, the next fades in and it’s gone from day to almost dusk. The scoring was great as well. The effects were outstanding, especially when the infected grabbed onto Robert and followed him out of the window. The beating the head on the concrete was excellent. They used people for the infected yet, there are just some things we can’t ask actors to do. I don’t think it could have been done any better. The costuming was excellent. The infected were appropriately grubby. Good consistency with Robert’s clothes from scene to scene. Even though this was released in 2007, the effects are still believable.
College graduate, Army vet, single mom, Husky mom, Movie lover, writer