Seth Noble's Movie Reviews 2001
Due to the suck fest that is summer television (a few gems like
Farscape and maybe Witchblade being the exception) Cindy and I have
been seeing a lot more movies lately. Or maybe its just that no good
video games have come out recently.
Whatever the reason, here's my take on a few of the summer's popcorn fare.
- Final Fantasy
- Yet another case of marketing weenies who don't actually watch the
movies they're selling. Before you go and see this movie (which you
should), you need to understand its genre: Anime Science Fantasy.
Final Fantasy is not a video game movie (despite its origin), nor does
it conform to the standard American story structure. If you are an
anime fan, you'll very much enjoy this film. The incredible CGI
actors are just a bonus. If you've never seen anime films before, you
may be a bit jarred by the slightly different rules that such stories
follow. But as is so often the case in films, knowing the genre going
in (I only figured it out about half way through, "Oh! This is Anime!
Now I get it!") makes the movie very enjoyable.
- This is one of those movies that disappoints only because it has
the potential to be Great, but is merely Good. Haley Joel Osmond
deserves an Oscar nomination, but the script and the editing need
improvement. It IS a good and entertaining movie, but in classic
Kubrick style it takes one too many left turns and needs about twenty
minutes cut out. I would have preferred if the story had not been
told chronologically (which would have done away with the need for
narration) and if one of the secondary characters had been cut out
completely (which would have taken care of the excess 20 minutes).
Beyond these minor flaws, it's a good hard-core Science Fiction film
in the class of Blade Runner and 2001.
- Tomb Raider
- This movie makes it to Good by way of Doesn't Suck. Let's
remember our genre here: Video Game Movie. When compared to the likes
of Street Fighter and Mortal Combat, this movie is exceptionally good.
It's no Indiana Jones and there's no reason to expect it to rise so
far from its video game roots. If you've played Tomb Raider at all,
then you must see the movie: Angelina Jolie is perfect as Lara Croft
and the film itself is essentially one long screen capture of a game.
(However, Cindy would want me to point out that they changed Lara's
hair color: it no longer matches hers.) If you haven't
played the game, then the novelty of seeing a stacked babe jump around
and shoot things (can that style ever get old?) may get you past the
gaping plot holes and cheesy dialog. But don't expect anything
- Like most modern Disney animated features, Atlantis is good
adventure flick and not a bad way to pass an afternoon. The story is
predictable but entertaining. The animation style, which I'll
describe as anti-realist, was very annoying at first, but fit better
once the story reached more fantastic realms. If you are an animation
fan, Atlantis is worth seeing. If you are not an animation fan, go
rent Anastasia or Titan AE instead and become one.
- It's not Ghost Busters, but it's born of the same mold and is
entertaining in the same way. It is a classic collection of
slapstick, one-liners, and sight gags. If you laugh at flatulence on
a grand scale, you'll laugh at this movie. You can wait for the
video, or go be amused in someone else's air-conditioning. SPOILER
WARNING: David Duchovney's Ass. Seeing that almost spoiled the
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Draggon
- If you can find this still in the theaters, and for some strange
reason you haven't seen it yet, GO NOW. Just remember to bring your
glasses becuase it is subtitled (you'll get used to it). It is not
your typical Hong Kong kick fest nor is it an Americanized action
film. The story follows the structures and traditions of classical
chinese legends so be ready for a style you may not have seen before.
Enough said, go see it (again).
- The Mummy Returns
- It is not often that sequels are really truly sequels to
the original story. The Mummy Returns picks up several years after
where The Mummy left off and does an admirable job of continuing the
story along familiar Action-Adventure themes without rehashing the
same old plot. The characters have actually grown, and that makes for much
of the movie's fun. I recommend that you rent The Mummy before seeing The
Mummy Returns both because that was a great Action-Adventure flick and
because it will help you get some of the references in its sequel.
Seth B. Noble -
sbnoble DataExpedition.com -