wall·e (2008)

by zEke

Comenzaré diciendo que wall·e es la película más rica, cuca y mona que se ha estrenado en mucho tiempo. Tanto, que a más de uno puede resultarle más empalagosa que una sobredosis de azúcar. Y una vez dicho esto continuaré diciendo que wall·e es una gran película, pues de vez en cuando, a todo el mundo le apetece una fondue de chocolate. A mí, por ejemplo, me espera una mañana.

¿Qué pasaría si la raza humana se viera obligada a evacuar el planeta Tierra? Pues podría pasar lo que en la película se nos cuenta. Wall·e es el último de los compactadores de basura que queda sobre la faz del planeta Tierra. Su misión, compactar la basura que acabó por condenar a la raza humana al exilio a bordo de una estación espacial. Así, pasa los días compactando basura, recolectando objetos curiosos y anhelando la compañía del amor que nunca conoció. Robot, pero con sentimientos por supuesto. Su vida cambia cuando Eve llega al planeta Tierra en busca de una prueba que permita a la raza humana considerar su regreso. Y entonces, el amor. El amor y todo lo demás. Continue reading

the incredible hulk (2008)

by zEke

the incredible hulk poster¿Era necesaria otra película sobre el alter ego de Bruce Banner después del infravalorado experimento de Ang Lee hace ya cinco años? Pues sí y no. No, porque una nueva versión cinco años después se antoja demasiado pronto, sobre todo viniendo ambas de Hollywood. Sí, porque si tienen pensado explotar el personaje en el futuro, no está de más distanciarse del trascendentalismo de Lee.

Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) tras sufrir un accidente en el que su cuerpo resulta bombardeado con rayos gamma se convierte en un fugitivo del ejercito de los Estados Unidos de América. Como consecuencia del incidente Banner sufre episodios de cólera en los que se convierte en Hulk. Mientras Banner intenta buscar una cura a su condición, el General Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) desea convertirla en un arma de guerra. Continue reading

iron man (2008)

by zEke

iron man posterMovies that are based on comic books are on fashion these days. Mostly, because they seem to be profitable enough. Truth is, most of them are just about that and forget about the essence of the stories they tell. Thus, after the initial hype they are forever forgotten. Does anyone remember daredevil (2003), the punisher (2004)? I could keep going, but I will not. Even those who manage to stay in our memory are not more than ephemeral entertainment. Good entertainment, but far from providing anything else, which on the other hand they do not have to. batman begins (2005) might be an exception. All this to say that iron man is one of the latter, good entertainment and nothing else.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is an eccentric industrialist who only cares about the effectiveness of the weapons his company provides to gain peace in the world by means of war, and how to spend his ridiculous fortune. This is until he is captured in Afghanistan by mercenaries who use his very own weapons. To scape he builds an armor. An armor that once back at home and after a severe tuning process turns Stark into his alter ego, Iron Man. Continue reading

southland tales (2006)

by zEke

southland tales postersouthland tales es, hasta la fecha, el proyecto más ambicioso de Richard Kelly, el prodigioso director y guionista de la aclamada por propios y extraños donnie darko (2001), su primera incursión en el mundo del celuloide. Lo cierto es que el planteamiento original de southland tales por parte del director estadounidense suena a delirio de grandeza. Así, en un principio fue concebida como una experiencia interactiva dividida en nueve partes: seis novelas gráficas, una página web interactiva y una película para atar cabos sueltos. Al final son tres las novelas gráficas, con la página web he interactuado poco, y la película, bueno, la película. Quien mucho abarca, poco aprieta, que decía, y sigue diciendo, mi abuela.

southland tale es una libre interpretación del fin del mundo. Un fin del mundo que ocurre en dos mil ocho, cuatro años después de que la amenaza de un ataque nuclear en suelo estadounidense dejara de ser simplemente eso. Ciencia ficción, por supuesto. Y surreal, desde luego. El fin del mundo gira en torno al personaje de Dwayne Johnson, antes conocido como The Rock. Johnson interpreta a Boxer Santaros, un actor casado con la hija del candidato republicano a la presidencia de los Estados Unidos de América, que deambula por Los Ángeles sin memoria después de que se la arrebatara misteriosamente el desierto Tejano. Una avispada actriz porno, interpretada por Sarah Michelle Gellar, y dos hermanos gemelos destinados a encontrarse (primos de Max Walker), a los que da vida Seann William Scott, son además de Santaros, algunos de las claves de este particular apocalipsis. Continue reading

the host (2006)

by zEke

the host posterthe host es una película con monstruo. Así, a grandes rasgos se trata de un híbrido entre una película con monstruo gigante (esto es, kaiju, y por antonomasia cualquier aparición de Godzilla en la gran pantalla) y una película con monstruo no tanto (esto es, alien (1980) y sucedáneos). Por las dimensiones del susodicho lo primero, y por como se suceden los acontecimientos lo segundo. Puestos a comparar, a mí me recuerda a Pulgarcito, buey incluído.

Sirva de adelanto que cuantos pretendan tomarse la película en serio cometen un error. Ni siquiera Joon-ho Bong, responsable de la criatura y director también de la recomendable memories of murder (2003), parece tomarse en serio a sí mismo. Y es ahí precisamente donde reside el encanto de lo que nos cuenta, en lo absurdo de la forma, pero a la vez entretenido. No hay el afán de ser fiel a lo hipotético que uno detecta en, por ejemplo, y sin ir más lejos, la epiléptica cloverfield (2008), y esto es sinónimo de libertad cinematográfica, de travesura. Continue reading

the nines (2007)

by zEke

the nines (2007)the nines. I take a deep breath. I don’t even know how to start. Certainly a movie difficult to label, which a priori is neither good nor bad. A movie that made its debut at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and became later a minor cult classic for some, despite its limited theatrical release.

The experience is divided into three shorts that share the same actors, who play different characters. Are they really different? The answer to that question is obvious, otherwise we would not be talking about a feature film. Everything turns around Ryan Reynolds’ characters, a successful actor under home arrest firstly, an effeminate scriptwriter secondly, a responsible family man thirdly. And that said, you better know nothing more about the plot itself. Continue reading

cloverfield (2008)

by zEke

cloverfield posterThe gigantic monster menace is not as widespread in Occident as it is in old Asian legends. First thing I thought about when I saw the preview of cloverfield a long time ago was Godzilla, one of the most recognizable symbols of Japanese popular culture. Once considered by the Japanese people as a metaphor for the United States it went all the way from Japan to New York City in godzilla (1994), which is probably one of the few examples of this kind of cinema to the west of the Greenwich Meridian. Second thing I thought about when I saw the preview, and the well cared for wrapper, was that a hype is usually followed by mediocrity. Is this the case? It is definitely not the case in terms of profit. J. J. Abrams, the guy behind the ropes and the director of the still to come star trek (2008), is probably rubbing his hands together as I write this and he thinks about how beneficial a just $25 million movie has turned to be. Truth is, cloverfield has been successfully sold as a product ever since its first presence on the internet, and its promotional campaign should certainly be studied by those who sell rather than offer stories. Nevertheless, when I think about what I experienced in the movie theater, I cannot but go back to the mediocrity term.

The dispensable and trivial plot is just an excuse. Robert Hawkins (Michael Stahl-Davis) is leaving for good following a promising career in Japan. His brother Jason (Mike Vogel) and his brother’s girlfriend Lily Ford (Jessica Lucas) throw a going away party for him. Going away party that Hudson Platt (T. J. Miller) will record with a video camera for posterity. But when Robert thinks the worst that is going to happen that night is seeing the love of his life with a random date a giant monster decides to attack Manhattan.

It is very commendable that Matt Reeves, who is new to this world of directing feature films, and as friend of Abrams as scriptwriter Drew Goddard (they all have collaborated previously in Abrams TV-series), keeps the story simple in terms of length. Less than one hour and a half that most of you will thank for. Mainly because the shaky camera will not go away. Nowadays, people like to tie shaky camera with realism. I tie too much shaky camera with seasickness. Nevertheless, the idea, although not as original as they would have liked (the blair witch project (1999)), works, at least, the first half an hour. Everything is shown through Hudson’s camera, and while some will enjoy the consequences of that, it will after a while get in most’s nerves. Thus, most of the action is up to the viewer that will use the shadowed image and distorted sound as an adrenaline stimulant as effective as he wishes.

To prevent the leaking of information about the movie the casting process was kept as secretive as possible. Judging by the cast performances as secretive that no suitable actors were aware of it. It is not that they perform badly, it is that rather than rescue an already difficult to buy script, they help making it even less plausible. To an extent that I was unwillingly laughing when I was not supposed to, unless I would have been watching a B movie.

In the end, I left with a peculiar feeling. The feeling they had just taken an old B movie and dressed up with an up to date trendy outfit that although spectacular did not really fit it. I still think better movies of this kind can be found to the east of the Greenwich Meridian.

For the deadhours of epileptics and people with an hour and some money to waste.

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