Sweeney Todd

Last night I went to see Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Sweeney Todd Movie Poster

The critics are giving it rave reviews, but don’t be deceived. If you have a sinking suspicion, this movie is not for you, go with your gut.

On the other hand I enjoyed it for what it is, a chance for Tim Burton to do the kind of work he does best. It’s dark, macabre, and stereotypically Burton. What was once the bloodiest musical in stage history is now the bloodiest in film history.

And what a lot of blood! Fans of gore will not be disappointed. Wow.

It should be noted that, if stylized animation and HDR imagery are your thing, the opening credits will please you.

If this movie intrigues you, Brian Sibley’s review, offers the kind of insight that only someone from London who has seen the musical could offer.

The Mormons

“I find the whole business of religion profoundly interesting. But it does mystify me that otherwise intelligent people take it seriously.”

-Douglas Adams

Twenty years ago today, I was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. That’s right, the Mormons. At this time, I won’t go into any detail how that’s worked out for me.

I will point out though, that a couple of days ago, the American channel PBS aired a documentary titled “The Mormons” which offers at least a relatively fair look at the church, its inspiring history and many of its blemishes. If you’ve ever wondered what the Mormons are all about, this documentary is a good place to start.

The Mormons (PBS Documentary)

I believe the author and producer, Helen Whitney, tries to come off as impartial, however, she did make the impression to one of her interviewees that she really didn’t want to hear any negative comments about the church, even if they are true. In an off camera pre-interview he asked her, “If you love the church so much, why don’t you join it?” She responded, “well maybe if I were younger.” It gives cause to wonder at her true impartiality.

Still the documentary will probably show you whatever you are looking to find, whether it’s support for the church or evidence that Joseph Smith was a con man who was so convincing that he even had himself fooled.

You can view it online in its entirety at pbs.org/mormons/.

Transformers: The Movie

Transformers Movie

In the tradition of making movies out of Saturday Morning Cartoons from the 80’s, some folks in Hollywood are producing a feature length live-action Transformers Movie (flash site with teaser).

I haven’t actually decided whether or not I’m going to see this movie, but I’m posting this here because hearing the transforming sounds and seeing my childhood imagination being transformed into reality brought on some great memories and if nothing else, I think we could all use a little science-fiction nostalgia to brighten our day.

Movie Review: “La Grande séduction”

Last night I enjoyed watching “La Grande séduction” with my friend—Amber L., (whom is coincidentally from Lethbridge and even works as a lifeguard at my old pool, but whom I only met recently on my trip to Québec).

The movie was great. It’s about a tiny fishing village on a small island in Québec where almost all of the residents are on welfare. When a much-needed boost, in the form of a new factory, is promised, providing they can secure a full-time Dr. into taking residence there, the mayor starts a massive recruiting project. The main problem being, the microscopic island doesn’t really have much to offer—so the villagers scheme together to make their little village a tiny piece of heaven for their potential MD, Dr. Lewis by creating an elaborate façade of how wonderful the place is. They even go so far as to tap his phone to “understand him better”; hilarity ensues.

Though it’s actually a French movie, we wimped out and watched it with English subtitles, because the two of us weren’t that confidant in our French skills, but I’d totally watch it again only in French this time. But despite the fact that it’s not in English, I highly recommend it. You might need to look for it under its English name, “Seducing Dr. Lewis”. (Personally I like the French title better). So go out and get it, I promise you won’t regret it.

The Superman Story

If you’ve got 20 minutes to kill, check out this Kevin Smith clip as he shares his interesting and very funny experiences rewriting the new Superman movie. Previous Superman story post, but Kevin tells it best. (Oh and by way of warning, if you’re not familiar with Kevin Smith you might want to know he’s infamous for his colourful language).

Hit play or go to Link [YouTube]

This clip is from a double DVD entitled “An Evening with Kevin Smith.”

(via The Sneeze)

Munich

Last night, just as something fill the evening, we decided to take in a movie. There didn’t seem to be anything that jumped out at me, but then Drew started tossing the idea around about going to see Munich.

At first I was slightly sceptical, just because I didn’t want to go through the gory details of the 1972 terrorist massacre of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes. But what I didn’t know is that while the terrorist attack is a key part of the film, the story is really about the people that go after those involved and bring them to justice one-by-one, and really it’s about so much more than that, but I won’t go into too many details.

It’s such a powerful and memorable movie—in my opinion (for what it’s worth) Munich is Stephen Spielberg’s most gripping film (aside from, of course, Schindler’s List). I’m not usually much for action films, but when it comes to political thrillers like this one, I can’t put a strong enough recommendation on it. In my opinion, this is a must see for everyone old enough to understand the mature content.

Jeff Milner Movie Review: Dodgeball: A TRUE underdog story

Watching actors take rubber balls, wrenches, and other miscellaneous objects in the face can make for a very entertaining evening. Dodgeball (Apple Trailer | Rotten Tomatoes) opened last Friday and Anna-Maria, her brother Josh, and I took in the comedy at the newly remodeled Galaxy Theatres here in Lethbridge.

Dodgeball does aim low, but it certainly hit the mark with me. There is something about its unapologetically rooting for the über-nerds that make Dodgeball the feel-good, if lowbrow, movie of the year. I should mention that I found Ben Stiller’s performance a little much – ok a lot much at times. His sexual obsession with food crosses the line. Nevertheless the writers are aware that it’s not that great of a movie, but periodically they take advantage of that fact. If you found the advertisement amusing, and like seeing grown-ups repeatedly take real shots to the head from big red rubber balls then I’m thinking you’re probably going to like Dodgeball. I loved it.

Jeff Milner Movie Review – Peter Pan

Last night instead of driving home to Canada in a blizzard, Anna, her siblings, and I went to see Peter Pan at the Jordan Commons Megaplex Theater. This Peter Pan movie closely follows the book version of the Peter Pan story. This was the best Peter Pan movie I’ve ever seen – (only Peter Pan movie I’ve ever seen, if you don’t count the Disney Cartoon or Disney’s Hook). I was quite looking forward to seeing it, however I felt a little disappointed when I actually got into the theater to watch it. Perhaps it’s because I’m too old (or to stubborn) to appreciate the idea of a flying boy talking to mermaids and fighting pirates but it seems to me that had I seen this movie at the age of 10 or even 14 I would have appreciated it a lot more. The Action / Adventure aspects of this movie were great but there was more to it than that. There was a subtle Romance / Coming of age story. Being that it was a PG movie there was a surprising amount of sexual tension between Peter and Wendy. The thing is though, that it was all done so discreetly that it’s hard to pin down what it is about the movie that makes one think there even is any sexual tension. Anyway not to go off on a tangent but it seems like a story that someone going through adolescence could really appreciate. I think the reason I haven’t given this movie a better review is that I just saw the Lord of the Rings Return of the King before this movie and frankly the two just can’t be compared and perhaps that is clouding my judgement.

Peter Pan will make a lot of money at the box office, it was sold out for many of the shows here in Utah and we were lucky to find seats once in the theater. If you are looking for a good flick and have already seen some of the other must see movies at the theatre then go see Peter Pan, otherwise just wait for it on video.