Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Monday, July 27, 2009


I love summer flicks. The first blockbuster I remember watching was Independence Day. I was twelve-years-old, and I remember sitting in the cold theater, grateful that I was out of the heat, and laughing at Will Smith's comic relief line of "Welcome to Earth" as he punched out the alien. That's good stuff right there. Yes, the flick might be lame, but Bill Pullmen still had the best inspirational president speech I've ever seen. But one of this summer's most anticipated blockbusters, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is lame.

The Decepticons breached the security of the U.S. governemnt to find the location of Megatron, who was previously dumped at the bottom of the ocean, and brought him back to life using a splinter from the Allspark left on Sam Witwicky's sweater. Megatron is then reunited with his leader, The Fallen, who wants to kill Earth by destroying the Sun, so the Autobots join forces with Sam Witwicky once more to stop them.

A terrible follow up to the first film, Revenge of the Fallen is almost, but not quite, trashy. The all encompassing, goodness incarnate, Optimus Prime of the first film has been degraded to shooting enemies execution-style and saying wannabe bad-ass remarks that I would only expect from an Arnold; the quick-witted, dorky Sam is no longer lovable and boyish - he's just a selfish teenager; and the film took a turn for the worse when it decided to show Agent Simmon's behind in a Sector Seven thong. Riddled with crude humor, it was aweful to see how the sequel of a good family film was spun into this monstraisity. Those scenes with Mrs. Witwicky were espcially hard to watch. It's only saving factor was the intense action scenes aided by the amazing CG.

So in closing, Independence Day is an example of a good summer movie - fun, filled with action, entertaining, and no need for brainpower. Revenge of the Fallen exemplifies a bad summer movie - cheap humor, bad plot, expensive explosions.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 12:15 PM 2 comments  

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Friday, July 17, 2009


I read Harry Potter almost every night. Sometimes, I'll only read parts; other times, I'll start reading a whole book all the way through. And each time is always just as good as the first. I do this because I need to remind myself that, though fantasy, there exists a world where good always triumphs over evil. I do this because when I start to feel the insignificance in a world so large, I'm reminded that love and friendship is what gives my life meaning.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince opened at midnight, setting the new record for midnight sales at $22.2 million. In his sixth year, Harry returns to Hogwarts and faces the wizarding world as "The Chosen One." During private lessons, Dumbledore shows Harry memories that he has collected, in the hopes that they find something that will help them destroy Lord Voldemort.

Though not as intense as its predecessors, Prince is basically just a set-up for the the last installments of the Potter series. I don't think this film is able to stand on its own, but its very good just the same. When the movie stopped to look into the calmer moments of the trio, Hermione, Ron and Harry, it had a number of funny, light-hearted scenes, but almost equal were scenes of heartache and grief. Also, I thought this film did an excellent job of making Harry a likeable character (at this point in the novels, Harry is quite stubborn and obsessive), and the filmmakers did a fairly good job of abbreviating the plot. However, as an avid book fan, I did think they left a lot of important details out. I'm not sure how they'll manage to explain some things in the next film, but if they do, I won't complain.

Coming of age is a bittersweet ordeal, and what struck me the most about this movie was the general tone of maturity. There are certain things in life that you have to go at alone; the first day of kindergarten, moving away from home - anything that involves growing up and making your way through this world, anything involving a defining decision. And that is where Harry is; on the verge of a defining decision. So, just a few hours ago, when I finished watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I was left with loneliness. Though Harry is supported and in the company of truly loyal friends, I'm reminded that Harry is still alone with his burden.

And I feel alone with him.

Movie Review by Jenn Bollish at 11:31 PM 3 comments