Monday, May 29, 2006

X-Men: The Last Stand


While I am by no stretch of the imagination a rabid X-Men fan--the type that has the comic books, collectibles...-- I have enjoyed the past two movies. Hoping that the newest in the series, X-Men:The Last Stand, would be just as good, my brother, dad, and I went to see it on Saturday.

The trailer for this movie promises a lot of action and special effects, and just like the other two X-Men movies, and on this front, it certainly delivers. The mutants abilities are explosive, and the battle scenes are amazing, hard to achieve after movies like the Lord of the Rings trilogy set the bar so high. Also, the acting is excellent. I am especially partial to Ian McKellen as Magneto and Patrick Stewart as Charles Xavier (aka Professor X).

However, no movie can be truly great unless the story can stand on its' own. On this front, The Last Stand is not quite so impressive. Many new characters are introduced on the sides of both good and evil, but none of them are very developed. This could easily have been taken care of if the movie were just a bit longer (15-20 minutes). With movies such as The DaVinci Code and Star Wars: The Revenge of the Sith being such big hits, despite running times of well over two hours, making the action-laden X-Men longer wouldn't have been too much of a risk. There are a few interesting twists though, that I won't go into details on in order not to ruin the movie for you, but let's just say both the Brotherhood and the X-MEN will have lost some of their members by the end. One thing though, be sure to wait through the credits; there is a scene that, though it last only a few seconds, changes everything.

Links:
IMDB
The Official X-Men:The Last Stand Site

Monday, May 22, 2006

Question of the Day: Napoleon Dynamite


I have chosen this movie for the question of the day because people seem to have strong feelings about it either way. So...Napoleon Dynamite: Stroke of genius or failed attempt at humour?



------
Photos from imdb.com

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Question of the Day: Self-defense and the Armed Forces


If you join the armed forces, can you justify killing someone by claiming self-defense? If you could have avoided the whole confrontation by not joining the armed forces, does that make you guilty of murder?


----
Photo from Flickr

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Question of the Day: Criticism and Foreign Affairs


What impact, if any, does a low approval rating, the war in Iraq, and constant attacks on his administration have on President Bush's ability to conduct foreign affairs?

Photo from Flickr

Saturday, May 06, 2006

United 93


Just a few days ago, my family went to see the new movie United 93. Some have criticized this movie, saying that it came out too soon, that the gaping wounds left from 9/11 had not yet healed.

However, this movie is an accurate portrayal of perhaps one of the most important days in recent United States history. Instead of the whole "There were files so this is all President Bush's fault for not having read them and acted on them" scenario, United 93 shows the confusion as the tragedy was taking place, the lack of communication between organizations, the disbelief of Americans as the planes hit the buildings, and the courage of the passengers on board United flight 93. Thankfully, this movie does not seem to take a political viewpoint; it tells of the motivation and actions of the terrorists, and the desperation and the courage of the passengers.

This movie has come out at the perfect time because people in general seem to have forgotten 9/11. President Bush is accused of keeping troops in the Middle East longer than necessary, or they say that we should never have gone over there in the first place. Some French people accuse us of invading Iraq for the oil. But this movie reminds us of why all this was necessary: the United States was attacked by terrorists, almost three thousand people died, and it would have been more, except for a planeful of passengers.

This movie is extremely well done in that you can sense the religious fervor of the terrorists as they hijack the plane, and then their fear as it is taken back. You can sense the dread, then the disbelief of the air traffic controllers and the military commanders on the ground. You can sense the passengers' fear as the plane is hijacked, their desperation, their resolve.

I remember 9/11. Do you?

------
Photo from IMDB