Sunday, December 23, 2012

End of the World Movies

Now that we know that the Mayans were wrong and the world is not going to end / change in some drastic way, we can celebrate! What better way to celebrate than watching some movies that deal with the end of the world /Judgement day/Armageddon , what ever you want to call it. Here is a list of some of my favorites.

2012 - As I type this , 2012 is actually on television. This 2009 film starring John Cusack and Amanda Peet is one hell of a special effects movie. Now it can be filed under comedy I suppose, but its still an entertaining movie to just shut your brain off and enjoy it for what it is.

Ghostbusters - Might seem like an odd choice but the main villain of the film, Gozer is summoned to bring about the end of the world, so it counts! The cast is a perfect combination of actors , all feeding and playing off one another making this one of the best films of the 1980's if not of all time.

I Am Legend - Not so much a film about the end of the world as it is about the end of humanity. Still an entertaining tale of one mans survival in New York city after the entire human race is wiped out by a virus. Will Smith does an excellent job in the film, carrying about 3/4 of it by himself as the only human character for a majority of the movie. I would also recommend the other two films based on the book "I Am Legend", The Last Man on Earth and The Omega Man.

Armageddon / Deep Impact - These two films have similar plots and were released roughly around the same time. An asteroid / comet is heading to earth and unless its destroyed everything on the planet is dead.

Personally I prefer Armageddon since its a more of a fast paced film. Featuring a great cast including Bruce Willis , Ben Affleck and the late Michael Clarke Duncan. Michael Bay directed the movie, so you know there will be tons of action and explosions happening.

 Deep Impact focused more on the story and had less of an emphasis on action. It had a great cast including Robert Duvall, Elijah Wood and Tea Leoni. You cant really go wrong with either film.

The Day After Tomorrow- Another good special effects movie, but also with a good story. While it deals with the climate changes to the world , it also focuses on one mans journey to find his son who is trapped in the storm. It may seem like a boring plot but the action and special effects in the movie more than makes up for the basic story.

These are just my favorites , there are a ton of other movies out there with different themes. You have aliens in Mars Attacks and Independence Day, Zombies in Dawn of the Dead and The earth itself in movies like The Core. Surprising we like to make so many movies about our world ending, isn't it?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Film Review: Darkman

While searching the local Walmart to see if there were any good movies on the cheap, I found the Darkman trilogy for only 5 dollars. Darkman was one of those films I grew up seeing my brother watch and think "that's lame" then I'd go about my business. As I got older I began to look at films differently and let me tell you this film is a gem in my opinion.

First let me say that Sam Raimi did an amazing job with the film. Its even based on a short story of his. Since the studio was unable to secure the rights to the shadow or batman, Raimi made his own superhero. While it may not be as well known as Spiderman or The Flash, this film and its sequels have gained quite a cult following over the years.

While there are obvious parallels to films like Robocop, its more of an homage than rip off from what I've seen. The story is fairly basic but effective. Dr. Peyton Westlake is a scientist working on a technique to synthesize skin and is on the verge of a major breakthrough. That is until the Villain of the film, Robert Durant   kills him, or at least thinks he does. Instead he brings about the changes to Westlake that turns him into Darkman. Equal parts scientist,monster and hero he sets out on a path of revenge against Durant and his goons.

Like i said basic plot but what makes this so interesting is the unstable nature of the character. Liam Neeson played this character to a T with the facial expressions and the tones he just did an outstanding job. Just take a look at this scene from the film, you see the change in the character and his surroundings. Subtle at first not wanting to alarm or frighten his girlfriend, but towards the end it gets intense and he just snaps. Going from one extreme to the other takes great skill, Neeson's ability shines here.

 Larry Drake portrays Robert G.Durant, a ruthless mob boss with a sadistic nature. Durant's trademark is to sever his victims fingers off with a cigar cutter and collect them as trophy's. He treats killing people like its just day to day business, with an almost calm attitude about it and it was pulled off masterfully in this film by Drake.

With a great supporting cast , great makeup and special effects Darkman is what I consider a total package of a film. With its sometimes surreal atmosphere and darker tone, this one a must see for fans of superhero or just plain old action movies. Definitely check it out!

Final Grade: B+


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