Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My First Post: Hanna, Bride of Re-Animator, Crossing Borders

So I suppose since this is my first blog, I will tell you a little about it :) I'm an avid movie watcher. I love all things film, which explains why I'm a film major at UNT and also work at the local movie theater. I get to see a lot of films a week, and I love talking about them, so I figured I'd start a review blog! My hope is to open up people to movies they haven't seen or ever thought of seeing, with of course the occasional blockbuster movie that hits theaters :)
The title of my blog comes from the Japanese word 映画館 ("eigakan"), which means movie theater. I chose the title not only because of my minor in Japanese, but because I have the weakest spot for Asian film.
Even though I see at least 3 films a week, there are still my off days where I don't watch anything. Possibly I will then review movies that I have seen in the past and love, or TV series that I have finished a complete season of. Whichever! Today since it's my first, I thought I'd do a trio of films I saw this past week. 1 at work, and 2 from my film classes. Enjoy!

Hanna (2011): 3.5/5
Beating out 3 of the 4 movies to release this weekend with $12.2 million, Hanna is a remarkable film with tense action sequences. However, what makes this film a step above many 2011 films so far is the remarkable characters intertwined in the intense plot.
The main character, Hanna (Saoirse Ronan), is the most unique at best. She is as strong and super as any rouge-man-on-the-run I've ever seen. Hanna takes names and breaks normative child boundaries not so different from Kick Ass's Hit Girl. She's totally hero material. Not only does she beat down bad guys ever so easily, but she also speaks multiple foreign languages which makes her even more of a super awesome hero.
But Hanna is not my favorite character in this film. That award would have to go to the little girl, Sophie (Jessica Barden), who is Hanna's best friend. She's so adorable with her spunky "I'm-too-good-for-this-world" attitude and her subtle pop cultural references. Not only that, but she's an excellent supporting character who perfectly balances Hanna's rough-and-toughness.
I should also mention how the movie's music is fantastic. The Chemical Brothers made a perfect techno score that went along with every beat of the film, doing something that I feel Daft Punk's Tron: Legacy score could not do.
Usually movies of this type do not interest me. I'm not one who is super excited to sit down and watch a rouge hero run from The Big Bad American Wolf (which speaking of children stories, I loved this movie's unique parallels to Brothers Grimm fairy tales). However, I feel this movie creeps out of the cliche of these usual thrillers and creates a world all its own.

Bride of Re-Animator (1990): 2.5/5
This film was a little hard to pay attention to after a long class of lecture. The beginning and the end feel a lot more well-paced than the exhausting middle. The allusions to famous classic horror films are also easy to spot (Bride of Frankenstein being the obvious one from the title).
Some perks to watching this movie would have to be the gore. A couple of my favorite creations were five fingers with an eyeball connecting them which ran rampant around the doctors' house while a police man was interrogating them. Another hilarious creature was Dr. Hill (David Gale), a head brought back to life, who in the 3rd act of the film is able to fly because bat wings are fused to his head and creates chaos for the doctor buddies Cain (Bruce Abbott) and West (Jeffrey Combs). You can never go wrong with the non-threatening flying head. The body of the bride was also unique, showing many veins and muscle rather than skin and body, which was pretty cool for the gorehound in me.
Another perk to the film is Dr. West's quirky little one-liners ("My God...they're using tools!") which come in handy to describe the action always when needed.
All in all, I feel this film only skims the surface of funny allusions that Gremlins made use of so well.

Crossing Borders (2009): 3/5
This documentary, unlike many my teacher has shown in my International Documentary class, was light-hearted and easy to watch. It's about 4 American students, that while on their their study abroad trip to Spain travel over to Morocco and meet up another 4 Moroccan students there. I feel this film doesn't go as deep as it should with regards to how most Americans view the Islamic world, but after meeting the director post screening, I realized he only wanted to skim the surface and spark the imaginations and encourage others to go abroad and see the world for themselves, to become more cultured. This documentary does what it wants to do, and nothing more. It's essentially an advertisement of sorts for his non-profit study abroad organization.

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