A plethora of movie reviews

Coming home for the holidays usually entails eating lots of food and watching lots of movies. I figured I would take a few moments to comment on those flicks that I have seen this break thus far (who says thus?).

The Phantom of the Opera

Phantom of the OperaI wasn�t too sure what to expect from Phantom. I really enjoyed the musical and wasn�t sure if it would transfer to film. I was pleasantly surprised and how well they had done. A few of the local papers (The Seattle Times and The Tacoma News Tribune) gave Phantom fairly poor reviews (although I can pretty much assume I will like a movie of Soren Anderson from TNT doesn�t like it). Both said something along the lines of the movie being too extravagant and overdone. Ummm hello!? (Wow, that is soooo early 90�s) Have these people seen Phantom in the theater before? It is supposed to be extravagant and overdone (After all it is France in late 19th century!)! I can almost guarantee that if you liked the musical, you will like the movie. The script and music was pulled straight from the set. The girl who played Christine (Emmy Rossum) had a great voice and was quite the looker if I do say so myself (come to find out she is 18, of course). Raoul (Patrick Wilson) was also quite impressive (although wasn�t as attracted to him) - he also reminded both me and my mom of the guy that played Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar. I would say the only somewhat disappointing part of the movie was the strength of the Phantom�s (Gerard Butler) voice. I think I am used to Michael Crawford�s voice that the role of Phantom was pretty much made for, his voice was always strong at just the right moments and I felt Butler was somewhat lacking in that department. If you had ever thought you would enjoy the musical, then go see the movie, I think you will enjoy it.

Ocean�s Twelve

Oceans TwelveOcean�s Twelve was quite an enjoyable sequel to Ocean�s Eleven. I enjoyed the sequel a bit more than the first in that there were more clever jokes and a few more plots twists that I thought were done very well. The �inside� moments between Clooney and Pitt were � savvy (I guess you could say). They also played Julia Roberts� pregnancy very well that fit with the flow and feel of the movie. I guess I don�t have too much to say about the movie. It was good, clever, funny, what else do you need? The plot kinks they throw in will make you want to go back to make sure you got everything. Check it out.

The Polar Express

Polar ExpressThe Polar Express was worth the money, especially if you see it in 3D at IMAX. Seeing it in the regular theater it was just another cartoon was a nice message. There were parts that I thought �well this is just here to show off 3D� but didn�t do that much for me in the regular theater. When I did finally see it at the IMAX at Seattle Center, I was pretty impressed. The 3D effects really added to the experience in a worth while way. I am not too sure why Tom Hanks was every single character including the women, the train, the snowman, and the Christmas tree (ok not really). If there hadn�t been a cameo by Steven Tyler, I just don�t know what I would have done. I am not too sure if I will buy this when it comes out on DVD, it was good, nicely animated, worth seeing, but not sure if I need to again, I can just read the book.

Return of the King: Extended Edition

Return of the KingThe Trilogy is finally complete. With Return of the King: Extended Edition Peter Jackson has achieved an amazing feat. I should preface this by saying this version is not for the moderate Rings fan. The extended version is around four hours, yes, you heard that correctly. Let me tell you, all four hours are incredible. The theatrical version I was already impressed with and I was really looking forward to seeing the extended version. Embarrassingly I will admit that I actually brought my entire entertainment system (sans TV) home from Canada to Bonney Lake just to watch the Extended Edition. (Insert laughing and finger pointing here) I was glad that I did. The added scenes (as with the previous two extended versions) added so much to the production. Character insights and plot cohesion where greatly added to by the additions. I think my two favorite additions were the battle at Pelennor Fields (such an amazing battle scene in the original that was even better in the extended) and the Mouth of Sauron (great scene from the book that was done very well). There were numerous additions that I was pleased to see. I am still upset that Jackson didn�t like the return to Hobbiton, it was one of my favorite scenes in the book, but I won�t hold that against him. There is also the addition of the commentaries and conclusion to the appendices. The parts of the appendices that I have seen are quite emotional. It is really nice to see what the cast and crew went through and how close they became. There is also a funny Easter egg with an interview between Dom and an unsuspecting Elijah. The Trilogy makes a wonderful conclusion with this extended edition and any fan will definitely have to add this to their collection.

I have also been watching Seinfeld seasons 1 and 2 on DVD and they really are classic. That show set so many trends. �I don�t want to be a pirate!� And Happy Festivus! Let the Airing of Grievances commence!

I was also introduced to Arrested Development over break by my sister. She got the first season on DVD and we have been watching them. I must say, I saw a bit of the first episode when if first came out and it just seemed too strange to me and hadn�t watched it since. Let me tell you, this show is stinking hilarious! Give it a second chance if you stopped watching it! It will be well worth your while. It is very original and clever and the humor is right up my alley, for some reason, and I am not really sure why, but it vaguely reminds me of Family Guy, let me know if you can figure that out.

Movies next up:
The Muppet Christmas Carol � I love this movie
Hero � just released on DVD, great stuff (you can check out my brief comments on Hero here.)
Whatever else comes up�

Hope your pre-Christmas preparations are going well!
Shalom

PS - this has nothing to do with this post but I found this quote on this guy’s blog and thought it was funny:

If you�re listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you�re a bigger moron than they are.
- Alice Cooper, Rock Star

[UPDATE: The original post and comments are no longer available. :( Sorry!]


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