Wednesday, April 9, 2003

The Core

In a Nutshell: Good brainless action/sci-fi flick. Better than I thought it would be.

Quick Plot: The Earth's core has stopped spinning, affecting the magnetic fields, causing problems ranging from watches stopping to GPS unit malfunctions (and worse). A group of scientists must now travel to the very center of the planet to detonate a series of nuclear bombs and set things right.

In Detail: It really was much better than I thought it would be. It had the potential to be a total B-movie (despite several A-list actors), but it pulled things off amazingly well. Even some of the science was accurate (note I said some, not all). The effects were impressive, though not groundbreaking IMO, and many of the concepts were quite cool. It was also both funnier and more dramatic than I expected. Stanly Tucci is annoying, and Rat is awesome! He provides one of the all-time funniest scenes I have ever seen in any movie. Techies will love it. Our particular screening was full of computer geeks, and we were all just dying laughing; we even missed part of the next scene because we were laughing so hard. And I would personally like to thank the filmmakers for NOT ending the movie in the "traditional" way. You'll see. I may have even liked The Core better than Armageddon. Not that Armageddon is one of my most favorite films, but I do like it. I think I need to see them both again and close to each other to decide.

Will I Buy It? I'd say it's on the yes side of maybe. I think I need to see it again. Definitely see it on the big screen if it interests you.

Phone Booth

In a Nutshell: An interesting movie, to be sure. Good, I suppose, but not overwhelmingly so.

Quick Plot: When Stu picks up a ringing pay phone, he has no idea that it will change his life. On the other end of the line is a sniper who has his sites on Stu, and who seems to know an awful lot about Stu's life. When the sniper shoots someone on the street, witnesses assume it was Stu. Now the police and the media are involved in the frenzy, but Stu will be shot if he hangs up or if he tells them what is going on. Will Stu get out alive?

In Detail: A very interesting movie. I had mistakenly ID'd the voice from the previews, but I got it right off after just a few lines of dialog at the theater. First off, the style is very interesting. It utilized "picture in picture" and split screen (4 quadrants) throughout much of the film. I liked this aspect, DH didn't. As far as the story, it takes longer than I think it should for him to get to the phone booth, and the whole thing with the hookers drags on much longer than it should without advancing the plot. It's much better once the police and the media arrive. It was also *much* funnier than I thought it would be, and not quite as intense (though that may have had something to do with the rest of our particular audience). I do think the film is hampered somewhat by the fact that you don't much care about Stu; he's a real jerk! And the ending was a little lame; even Stu should have known better. Overall an okay to good movie. I'm glad I saw it. Not sure if it needs the big screen or not. DH thinks that seeing the phone booth on that huge scale manages to actually reinforce how small it is. In a room full of people, it may have more tension. The picture in picture or split screen will not be nearly as effective if you have a small television, but it doesn't have sweeping vistas or awesome special effects that would be lost either.

Will I Buy It? No. I'm glad I saw it, but I wouldn't watch it over and over.