Showing posts with label Movie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movie. Show all posts

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Busy Days Even in Retirement

I grasped Friday firmly and ensured that the day did not pass with a whimper.

The day began with a great 21-mile bike ride. I added a few new twists and turns to an existing 17-mile route and enjoyed the best part of the day cruising through Jupiter and Tequesta. The route has more traffic than I like and so I do not ride it often, but I enjoy the loop down Loxahatchee River Road and then along Indiantown Road and back towards home along Island Way which continues to have wild and open spaces that I enjoy riding past. It felt good to be out on the bike for a significant ride after a couple of short workout days. 

During the middle part of the day, Chris and I went to our storage room to sort and repack. It seems that with every visit we reduce the amount of items stored there, even though we continue to add boxes to the mix. In an important side note we have replaced all of the cardboard boxes with solid containers. Some items are there for the long haul. Our storage room is convenient to the recycling center and we take the cardboard directly for recycling. The box containing Easter-themed decorations was bright home in anticipation of decorating for the holiday. As a side note, Ash Wednesday is next week. I didn't write that it was next Wednesday intentionally.

And then last evening Chris and I went to see A Man Called Otto, finally. The movie was a good as I had hoped it would be and it represented my first trip to the theater since Top Gun Maverick!

It was a full Friday, even without a trip to the beach to enjoy the 86 degree temperatures, and today promises to be a busy day as well.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL


Friday, May 27, 2022

Highway to the Danger Zone


Last evening, I returned to the movie theater for only the second time during the COVID era. The event was to see Top Gun Maverick on the big screen.


What a ride and what a movie. The sequel, 36 years in the making, pays homage to the original Top Gun by continuing the storylines, but it is much more than that. A taken from the news world situation, a should-be but not over-the-hill renegade pilot, the music, and all of the drama you might expect are rolled into the plot to create a movie experience that should draw people back into the theaters. 

Yes, the movie is a formula movie. It is predictable, but wow, the plot twists and the flying action are definitely not green screen. 

If you like the original Top Gun (and the music, did I mention the music?) and have been waiting for a reason other than a Marvel superhero movie to go back to the theater--this movie is it. It must be seen on the big screen to be fully appreciated. 

At the conclusion of the movie, Chris commented, "I wish I could stay here and watch it again!" Chris does not generally watch movies more than once in the theater.

One reviewer wrote: But mostly, honestly, it’s two hours of sheer, visceral fun on the big screen, which feels very retro. In the best possible way.

Bob's recommendation: A must see! 

Side note: If it has been a while since you saw Top Gun, watch it before you go.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Star Wars - The Rise of Skywalker, Review

In short, if you have seen, or in some cases suffered through, the other 8 Star Wars movies you MUST see the latest installment, which is also touted as the last installment of this fantastic series that began during 1977. 

Think about it--42 years of Star Wars--and the official end has been announced. 

Rotten Tomatoes critiqued the film: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker suffers from a frustrating lack of imagination, but concludes this beloved saga with fan-focused devotion.

Let me say that while I can see some truth in the critics assessment, the film completes the story in a creative and consistent manner. I found the movie filled with action, although the "flight" scenes seem to be almost continual, they did not drag and added to the story. There are surprises and tears. Laughter and groans. I experienced a wide range of emotions as I watched the heroes of my adult life conclude their saga. I have learned about good and evil and the force form these cinematic heroes. They have been consistent if not at times unwilling heroes through these 42 years.  

RECOMMENDATION: See this movie. It is worth the time investment. The is the triumphant completion to the saga that redefined science fiction moviemaking and has crossed generations of moviegoers. It remains as relevant today as it was in the 70's.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, May 3, 2019

The Thunder Booms--The Movie Plays

The region experienced its first really warm and humid day of the year. The temperatures were in the upper 80's--my car thermometer indicated 90 degrees, but it had been sitting in the sun.

Along with the hot, humid temperatures came the afternoon thunderstorms. They were full of rain, but little wind. It is afternoon during late Spring--well maybe it is mid-Spring. 

The rain cleansed the earth. I love the smell of the outdoors after a cleansing rain. The smell of the earth, the mulch, and the clean air. It was not crisp, clean air as it was warm air. The rain was even warm as it splashed again my face as I was running to the theater. 

Chris and I took the afternoon and evening to finally attend a showing of Avengers: Endgame. We bought the tickets on Saturday and saw the movie last evening. It is the movie everyone is seeing but no one wants to talk about. No one wants to spoil the ending. Chris made me watch Avengers: Infinity War before going see the current movie. It was a good choice and I heartily recommend seeing the movies in order. The current movie picks up where Infinity War left off and if you have not seen the first, you will be lost during the Endgame. 

I will not write of the movie, except to say that it is definitely worth seeing at least once! Yes, it is a long movie, but that is what a tub of popcorn is for!

Recommendation: See Avengers: Endgame. It really is a good as everyone says, no kidding.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Spur of the Moment

Chris with the Sign in the Theater
July 23, 2018
The rains have returned to the region and are drowning out any idea of outdoor activities.

I had experienced a long day at work, getting home much later than normal, and after a fantastic dinner that Chris had prepared I knew that it was going to be another evening in the house. I surprised Chris and suggested that we go to a movie.

She was elated and we headed off to see Mama Mia!: Here we go again!

It was not so much which movie as it was any movie. And I stumbled onto a great deal. Monday was senior night at the movies. For $16.75, we both attended the movie. That is not each, but both!

Parking was easy, traffic was light, the theater was empty, and the rains did not bother us while we were watching the movie. It was a win all the way around.

Yes, I like Mama Mia! and I enjoyed the movie. Will it win an academy award? Probably not, but it was fun and took my mind off the ever pervasive rain for a couple of hours.

We are going to remember senior night at the movies. Both of us attended the showing for the price of one regular adult ticket!

On to Tuesday, and more rain!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Star Wars Season

It is that time of the year. Star Wars has returned to the theater with the next installment of the saga which began during 1977.

It is hard to believe that the saga continues and has now begun to grow stronger with each successive movie. The chronological sequence had gotten a bit complex, There were the first three movies, and then three prequels, then another movie at the end, followed by a movie in the middle and now another movie at the end. 

I'm not sure how they are actually numbered, but sequentially it looks like they were released in the following order:
4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3, 7, 3.5,  and now 8.

I am excited because I will be seeing the current release today!

It is an event, after all. I am excited to be a part of it.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Dunkirk: Movie Review

See this movie!

That, in short, is my review. 

Dunkirk is 1 hour and 47 minutes long and it is a riveting and fully involved story. The filmography is spectacular and the up close and personal look at a select number of the characters provides a unique perspective of the events and the situation faced by the 400,000 trapped British, Belgian, and French soldiers on the shores of Dunkirk, France during May and June 1940. In the end, 330,000 of the troops were evacuated.

It took me a while to understand the manner in which the events were presented because the movie does not proceed in a classic chronological manner. The events are overlaid upon each other and viewed from the multiple perspectives of the participants. 

The movie provides a gritty, earthy, realistic look at the events that are unfolding from multiple perspectives. The action is intense and very personal. 

I had the opportunity to view the movie in a D-Box seat. While is it not as plush as some other movie seats, it transmitted the action including the bombs exploding, the aircraft dogfighting, and the swells of the sea for me to enjoy adding a new viewing experience. I enjoyed the D-Box seat.

Recommendation: See the movie and get in touch with the history of the greatest generation.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, December 18, 2015

Star Wars - Review

The wait is over, I saw Star Wars - The Force Awakens last evening. I will not divulge the plot and hopefully this review will focus on my reactions as a huge Star Wars fan to the movie without being a spoiler.

Spoiler Alert--it is almost impossible to discuss the plot without being a spoiler. I'm going to avoid discussing the plot.

What I Liked:

Unlike the prequels, the movie is true to the character and style of the original trilogy. 

It felt like a Star Wars movie.

Yes, there is the obligatory club scene with the assorted characters from around the galaxy--it just wouldn't be Star Wars without a scene like that.

The movie answers the question: "So what happened next!" The Force Awakens is set about 30 years after Return of the Jedi, (1983) during which the Empire was soundly defeated and the was Republic firmly established. The main characters have aged, and a new generation is taking control of the galaxy. The never ending struggle of good against evil continues and is at the core of the movie.

The original characters are more than cameos in the movie, but are integral to the plot and the action.

Chewbacca is--Chewbacca, the lovable, but scary Wookie.

The character development was good. The questions were answered, in most cases, about what has been happening during the past 30 years.

The new characters, as seen in the image on the left, as believable. The new droid, BB-8, is fun.

The trailers and all of the pre-movie releases DID NOT give away ANYTHING!

I liked the ending! 

I wasn't fully satisfied and I want more! 

What I didn't Like:

At times, the movie felt too much like A New Hope, (1977) which was the first movie to be released, but titled Episode IV because of the prequels.

There are a couple of critical unanswered questions--but, these are what sequels are made to answer.

The movie has slow spots. 

I didn't like one particular plot twist--I'm not going to write about it, because it would be a spoiler--but suffice it to say, I understand it, but that doesn't mean that I like it. 


Drop whatever it is you are doing, take a day off form work and go see this movie. EVERYONE is going to be talking doubt it and if you don't see it soon, there won't be any surprises left.

May the Force be with you!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Return of Star Wars

Yes, I stayed up a late Monday night to watch the new Star Wars trailer. The trailer has over 25 million views, as of this morning, on You Tube.

No, I haven't purchased my opening day tickets, yet.

I can see, by the article in the New York Times this morning titled 
'Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Is a Hit at the Presale Box Office that I am one of millions of fans of the Star Wars series and that the upcoming release os on track to become the biggest opening movie of all time and possibly ever, well at least until the next movie in the series is released. 

The movie is slated for a December 18th release and it may well provide a much needed temporary distraction from a governmental shutdown of galactic proportions. 

The inaugural Star Wars film was released on May 25, 1977, and it was an unheralded film in advance of its release. But once audiences grasped the magnitude of the struggle between good and evil as brought to life by the "Force" and the realistic nature of the characters an "empire," so to speak, was created. In an unusual twist, at its release the original Star Wars film was simply titled, Star Wars. Subsequently, as the juggernaut grew, it was renamed Star Wars Episode IV, A New Hope!

Yes, I am excited. It has been 38 years since I walked into a movie theater in Denver, Colorado, yes I remember where I first saw the movie, to view Star Wars. I remember I missed the opening sequence because the popcorn line was incredibly long. I had no idea that evening that my entire family, including children and grandchildren, would be caught up in the Force and the magical story that is Star Wars.

May the Force be with you!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, October 15, 2015

It Could Happen . . .

Although the line, "It could happen" was from a movie titled Angels in the Outfield, it seems that another movie, Back to the Future II is having a greater impact on predicting the outcome the current MLB playoffs. 

In Back to the Future II, the main character travels into the future to the year 2015 where the Chicago Cubs have won the World Series. 

Sounds crazy, except that the Cubs are playing in the National League Championship Series (NLCS) right now and the winner gets a spot in the World Series. The last time the Cubs won the World Series was 1908. The last time they played in a World Series was 1945.

I guess, therefore, I am cheering on the Cubbies! Especially since the Orioles didn't make the grade this year.

It is time for the Cubs to win again. They are the ultimate underdog!

Let's go Cubs!

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Martian - Movie Review

I have been waiting for the movie The Martian, starring Matt Damon, to hit the big screen ever since I read the book last year. The movie opened this weekend and I was sure to see it yesterday.

I was not disappointed! The movie tells the story of the first man stranded on Mars. He is the Robinson Crusoe of Mars, stranded with little hope of rescue and out of touch with NASA and earth who believe that he is dead. What happens is a resourceful story of pure survival. I especially liked the book and generally the movie because the underlying science is solid. I did not have to check my intellect at the theater door to watch the movie.

The movie has a simple plot, how to survive when the odds are almost 100 percent against you. I was generally pleased with the film adaptation of the book. Obviously, the book is far more complex and in places more suspenseful. I'm not sure the movie crowd could handle the suspense of some portions of the book.

Is the book better? You bet! Is the movie great! Definitely! 

The acting is exceptional and believable. The scenes are filmed and completely made me believe that I was on Mars. I believe that there is an academy award or two hiding in this movie.

RECOMMENDATION: See this movie. Today! Yes, it is that good.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Unbroken - Movie Review

I had the opportunity to see the movie UnbrokenI found the movie to be an almost religious experience, however, in the spirit of full disclosure, my wife was bored and likened the movie to The Life of Pi which she felt was too long because the movie spent too much time in a boat.

Unbroken is an excellent movie, but perhaps a lot was lost on the audience which had not read the book. Unbroken is not for the younger audience as it deals with harsh and difficult themes with are as difficult then as they are now with some of the recent revelations of torture by our own government.

Angelina Jolie directed the movie, which is based upon the bestselling book of the same name by Laura Hillenbrand and recounts a portion of the life of Louis Zamperini, at least though the period immediately after World War II. Louis Zamperini died during July 2014, before the movie was released, but he was able to view and approve a rough cut if the movie it is reported.

If it were not a true story, no one would believe the details which are depicted in the movie. 

Jack O'Connell plays Louis who was an Olympic Runner for the United States in the 1936 Games in Berlin. He began running during his teen-age years to find an outlet for his enthusiastic approach to life which nearly caused him to be sent to reform school--he was a troublemaker and exasperated his parents and everyone who loved him. As a note--he was a great runner and widely expected to be one of the first to break the 4 minute mile. He joined the Army Air Corps and became a bombardier on B-24's in the Pacific Theater. On a reconnaissance mission to find the crew of a lost B-24, his aircraft crashed into the Pacific Ocean and he found himself, along with his pilot, adrift for 47 days only to be "rescued" by the Japanese and subjected to incredible mental and physical torture during the remainder of the war. But the story does not end there! Louis not only survived to the end of the war, but after dealing with post-traumatic stress syndrome (although undiagnosed) found it in his heart to forgive his prison camp tormentors and traveled to personally convey his forgiveness to everyone of them--except one, nicknamed The Bird.

Takamasa Ishihara gives a superior performance portraying the sadistic prison camp guard, Mutsushiro Watanabe (a/k/a The Bird). The movie toned down the extreme sadism he showed to the prisoners under his control. The attempt at reconciliation between The Bird and Louis is a footnote at the end of the movie, but the magnitude of the gesture is far greater. Zamperini attempted to meet with Watanabe to convey his forgiveness, but was rebuffed. 

The movie has long periods where there is little action. How else can 47 days adrift in a raft be filmed? How much excitement really occurs except for an occasional shark attack and getting strafed by a Japanese fighter. The movie is gritty, dirty, real, and often difficult to watch.

RECOMMENDATION: See this movie! The book and the movie help me to understand why so many people of the Greatest Generation could not do what Louis Zamperini did and forgive the Japanese people for the travesties committed during World War II. The movie short changes the story a bit by not completing Louis Zamperini's tale about how he came a motivational speaker--but that is for additional research. This movie is NOT suitable for the pre-teen crowd.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Big Hero 6 - Review

Lucas in front of Baymax
What are you doing this cold weekend? Getting ready for the holidays or hoping they won't come?

Here's a thought. Go to a movie! Yup. I went to see Big Hero 6 with the grandsons and I confirm--it is worth the time and money. 

The movie is well paced and has a good story with a not so obvious twist. 

The story revolves around a Hiro Hamada, a 14-year old genius whose older brother, Tadashi, motivates to achieve something higher than where he was happy being. Tadashi, who tragically dies, was a genius as well and created a personal health assistant robot, Baymax. Teaming with his older brother's friends, Hiro, accompanied by Baymax, unravel the details around Tadashi's death and begin down the road to becoming super heroes.

The story is fast paced with action to keep the younger crowd engaged, but also has an engaging story for the older audience, like me.

RECOMMENDATION: See this movie, preferably with kids or grandkids. In my case I was lucky--I went with both kids and grandkids. Have fun. Buy some popcorn and escape for a couple hours on a cold weekend's afternoon.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Ender's Game - Review

Disclaimer: I have never read the books that were the basis of the movie and therefore I cannot comment on whether the movie accurately represents the story or not. 

The trailers for Ender's Game intrigued me. They suggested a complex story set in a future time when the existence of the planet was at stake and the best and brightest called upon to defend civilization were our children. I decided that I wanted to see this movie on opening day because it had been a while since I had treated myself to being some of the first to see a new release.

The movie did not disappoint. It should be a blockbuster, but the difficult story and the mania surrounding the personal views of the writer, Orson Scott Card, will likely keep many people from viewing the movie. Asa Butterfield as Ender Wiggin and Harrison Ford as Colonel Graff created the intriguing interplay between characters that movies demand to be successful. The story is complex and the character development sufficiently detailed to make the ending of the movie not only plausible, but necessary.

The story follows Ender Wiggin, the hero, a newly recruited member of a battle school designed to train young people to prepare to war with a deadly alien force that 50 years ago almost destroyed Earth. Ender finds himself often alienated and must overcome incredible pressure from seemingly every person he meets. The development of his life and family relationship is provided in sufficient detail to understand the basis of Ender's unique personality. Colonel Graff is the driving force and authoritarian leader who recognizes Ender's genius and trains and motivates him. This is no Karate Kid mentoring relationship. This is a difficult and hard, extreme military relationship in which there is no tolerance for failure.

The movie is fast paced and filled with action. There are only a few moments where I felt that I could reflect upon the story as it was unfolding and prepare for the coming action. The imagery is compelling and at times beautiful.

RECOMMENDATION: If you like SCI FI, see this movie. The movie contains violence--the premise of the movie revolves around warfare and training for a major military campaign. Probably not suitable for the under 12 group due to the complex story and the violence, although the violence is not too graphic.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Gravity -- Movie Review

Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, and space. Sounds like a perfect mix? Right?

Well . . . not so much.

Gravity is a movie about space, trying to survive a series of disasters and return back to earth alive. That is the short story. Actually that is the long story, too.

The imagery and photography are spectacular--especially in 3D (which I highly recommend) and Sandra Bullock plays one of the best roles that I have seen her perform. George Clooney is adequate. Neither gives anything close to an Oscar worthy performance.That is the good news. 

The problem is with the script, the plot, and the science. Nothing that is depicted in space in the movie is accurate. That is sad because it highlights the lack of knowledge that most Americans have about space.

The plot is nonexistent. The movie is a plotless action movie set in space. The event which sets into motion the is loosely based on a historical event from a few years ago, but that is where any similarity to reality or the laws of physics ends. Added to that,  there is no character development--and by the end of the movie I really did not care if the main characters lived or died. And they really did not do anything to make me want to care about their outcome. 

The action scenes--and the movie is mostly action, are fun to watch and the 3D really makes them come alive. If I checked my knowledge of space science at the door I probably would have enjoyed the movie more--but, where the movie makers could have taken time to provide a rudimentary education about space and space operations, they decided to take a Buck Rogers approach to orbital mechanics and fictionalize the results. Sadly, it did not work for me.

The ending is a page right out of American space flight history with Gus Grissom's Mercury flight. 

One interesting note--only two actors are ever depicted on screen (alive) during the movie--Bullock and Clooney. I think they probably could have used some help.

RECOMMENDATION: Not suitable for the under 12 crowd. There are some graphic and disturbing scenes. I cannot recommend this movie except for the incredibly awesome on orbit images of the earth, the shuttle, the Hubble, the ISS, and the Chinese space station. Fortunately it is a short movie running just over 90 minutes.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters -- Review

I am a sucker for some genres of fantasy adventure movies, especially those involving Greek gods. As a result, I had to see the newest installment of the Percy Jackson series.

I took my Mom with me--who is a very critical movie watcher. She liked it, like many non-movie critics, while the seasoned critics do not like this film.

I found the plot to be engaging with the usual twists and turns of relationships between adolescents. The movie does rely heavily upon the storyline from the previous movie for background, however; it is easy for a first timer to get involved in the plot without understanding everything else that has happened in the first movie with respect to Percy Jackson learning that he is the son of Poseidon and all that entails. 

I felt that Logan Lerman did a good job reprising his role as Percy Jackson, but the show stealer was Jake Abel who portrayed a very evil and troubled former friend, Luke. The story revolves around a quest to recover the fleece and its magical healing powers. The quest has its share of monsters and troubles along the way. But it moves along quickly and the action scenes are not so long that I lost interest in the movie. 

Here is the real important aspect of the film though. When it ended, I was left wanting more! I did not want the adventure or the action to end. That is the sign of a good movie. In terms of the watch checking quotient--I did not check my watch at all during the movie and so it received a perfect score of zero.

RECOMMENDATION: See this movie. This film is suitable for the under 13 crowd. No bad language, no sex, it does have mild violence and scary monsters.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Lone Ranger - A Review

I had the opportunity to view The Lone Ranger the other day.

Despite the poor attendance and dismal reviews, I liked this movie. It was far deeper and more complex than I imagined it would be. The interaction between Johnny Depp (the Ranger) and Armie Hammer (Tonto) was complex, funny and serious.

The story is set in the late 1800's but told as a narrative by Tonto to a young boy named Will during a fair in San Francisco during the 1930's. This narrative setting worked well and Johnny Depp's portrayal of Tonto is fantastic. The story is about how the Lone Ranger came to be "Lone" and I admit that I never knew the back story behind the larger than life hero portrayed by Clayton Moore for so many years on television. The relationship between The Lone Ranger and Tonto was an portrayed in the movie uneasy one which developed over time. I had expected a campy, corny, fun movie and saw instead movie about genocide, treachery, murder, and human trafficking to in the pursuit of greed and fortune. There are many very difficult scenes to watch in the movie which, in retrospect, I am not sure really needed to be part of the plot or story line.

The movie is a serious endeavor with humor often juxtaposed to help the audience overcome the depth of the tragedy just witnessed. The plot if deep with many twists and turns. The acting is very good, although there are no Oscar worthy performances. The villains are villainous, and the heroes are larger than life. I especially enjoyed the antics of the white horse--which eventually was named Silver in keeping with the history of the story. At one point Tonto utters that there is something not quite right about that horse. It is fun to watch the horse. It was also fun to watch the interplay between Depp and Hammer--they reminded me of the the interaction between Jude Law and Robert Downey Jr in Sherlock Holmes. I admit though, for the closing scenes hearing the familiar Lone Ranger Theme (William Tell Overture) was a blast from the past and provided the spectacular movie ending that I had come in search of--but it remained a serious ending to a difficult movie because of its tough and often graphic reality.

I read a fair and even review of the movie that carefully lays out the positives and negatives of the film in   The Nerdist. I found it to be very accurate and I generally agree with it.

RECOMMENDATION: I liked the movie. The movie is not suitable for the pre-teen group due to its graphic nature and difficult subject matter which includes inferences of prostitution based in a western setting in addition to a particularly disturbing murder scene. One reviewer suggested that it was the most generous PG-13 rating in a long time. I agree! Based upon the violence and the subject matter an R rating might be more applicable.

-- Bob Doan, writing from Jupiter, FL

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Man of Steel - Review

Superman is back! The imagination and excitement that accompanies the fictitious super hero is palpable. Why? Because Superman is probably the first and purest super hero on the stage which has now become crowded with heroes.

The tale of the first and perhaps best super hero is epic. Man of Steel is a reboot for the Superman enterprise and it accomplishes the task with flair and director Zach Snyder has taken the timeless story and provided some new twists for those of us who grew up as Superman junkies. Working with a cast including Russell Crowe (Jor-El), Kevin Costner (Jonathan Kent) and Laurence Fishburne (Perry White) in key supporting roles certainly helped the endeavor along, but the task of bringing Superman to life once again on the screen ultimately fell to Henry Cavill (Clark Kent/Kal-El a/k/a Superman) and Amy Adams (Lois Lane).  

The movie possesses the classic Superman storyline. Kypton, the home planet of Superman's race is dying and in an effort to preserve the species, Jor-El sends his baby son off to Earth before Krypton implodes. But there is drama to this story as the spaceship containing the baby Kal-El barely escapes the attempt of General Zod (Michael Shannon) to stop its flight.  The youthful Clark Kent is shown in flash backs while the main story continues. It is the classic Superman story except it does highlight the conflict that wages within Clark about wanting to use his powers for good versus his father's fear that he must remain unknown to the human race for very practical reasons. One area where this reboot differs significantly from my remembrance of the story is in the death of Jonathan Kent which is an out growth of the fear of discovery.

I will admit, the movie has the obligatory fight scenes, which in my mind continue for a bit too long as they do in many movies. The plot is complex, yet direct and provides a solid basis for the movie which is much more than--look up in the sky . . .

I liked the movie. It was complex and the story was compelling. The acting was solid--no oscar worthy performances, but strong performances nonetheless.

RECOMMENDATION: If you saw Avengers and any of the Iron Man or Batman movies, see this movie. Although rated PG-13 (primarily for violence) it is suitable for for the more mature pre-teen crowd. I gave the movie a solid 8 out of 10.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Iron Man 3 - Review

Iron Man 3 exceeded every expectation that I had. Just so that you know, in my estimation, it was better than Iron Man 2 but not as good as the the original Iron Man.

The movie, actually, is fantastic. I enjoyed it from the beginning until the end. The plot was complex with twists and turns--I call it a mature plot. It was not the usual superhero plot which is action looking for a reason to happen. The action sequences were just the right length. All too often in action movies the fight scenes, are way too long.

The story has Iron Man, played by Robert Downey Jr, back doing his rich boy thing when confronted by a villain who got his beginning in his past. Through a series of research efforts a process to regenerate limbs had been created, but is has a dramatic side effect which renders the cure worse than the problem. Gwyneth Paltrow reprises her role as Pepper in spectacular fashion. The plot winds through the world of terrorism, intrigue, and even all the way to the highest office in the land. I especially enjoyed the not-quite-ready-for-primetime version of the Iron Man suit, which provided some  humorous scenes.

There are spectacular scenes, there is drama and an interesting sub-plot involving a boy in Tennessee. The movie took it up a notch and should be enjoyable by all ages. As always, if you are looking for Oscar winning acting, this probably is not the movie for you--but if you are looking for action filled entertainment which has a plot and some intrigue--go see this movie.

RECOMMENDATION: See this movie in the theaters. Do not wait for release on Blu Ray.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Movies of 2012

During 2012,  I saw a number of movies. I did not see every movie released-but I saw a fair number. Here is my list of the best and worst of the year, based solely on what I saw.

As nearly as I can tell, I saw 14 movies that were released during 2012. Yes, there are some significantly popular movies that are  missing from my list--but life is busy and since I am not a professional reviewer I cannot make it to every movie that is released.

Bob's Best Movie of 2012: Les Miserables - Not to be missed

2. Skyfall - Probably the best James Bond movie ever
3. Avengers - fun, action, and my favorite heroes.
4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - deep examination and thoughtful.
5. Argo - Great history lesson, although a bit flawed
6. The Life of Pi - I really liked this movie, it is deep
7. MIB 3 (Men in Black) - fun continuation of the MIB series
8. Red Tails - Good history
9. Battleship - just plain fun, I watched it again last evening
10. Trouble with the Curve - A surprisingly good movie
11. Hunger Games - I don't like the premise, the acting, or the story
12. Hope Springs - Good acting but a bit plodding

The Worst Movie of the Year is a tie between
13. (Tie) Red Dawn and
13. The Odd Life of Timothy Green.

I really can't explain why I saw either movie--but they are probably both in the ten worst movies of all time with no socially redeeming value to either.

Some movies that I still want to see:
The Hobbit (maybe today or tomorrow)

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

My Zimbio
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