Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Films I've Seen of late - April

I haven't done a movie review for a while and thought it was about time I shared my recent movie consumptions. Here goes:

SALT (2010)
Angelia Jolie gets on my nerves most of the time, mainly because she's always adopting kids while looking ridiculously beautiful at the same time. Even so, her performance in Salt was pretty good. Actually, the story was the thing that made this film work for me. It was a clever re-work of the overdone contemporary-lets-not-be-james-bond-spy-thriller with lots of interesting twisty turny bits. Surprisingly good! (8/10)

TRON (1982)
Actually, this isn't a new film to me. I saw it when I was a kid ages ago and seem to remember it being really really awesome. Sadly ... times have moved on and Tron just looks really really dated. It's also feels really really short.

Luckily, rather than having my happy childhood memories erased with depressing adult ones I can still appreciate it for what it is. Although a flop at the time, Tron did a lot for the sci-fi genre and can forever be filed under 'classic' films (for my generation anyway). The upshot is, I'm glad I have it in my DVD collection, but my hopes for Tron Legacy (which I haven't seen yet) are not very high. (6/10) *ouch!*

I have a love/hate relationship with zombie films. I'm not a fan of gore and think the whole concept of zombies is just plain silly. Plus it's been done to death (excuse the pun). However, the ever-popular apocalyptic sub-genre is always fascinating to me and I just can't help myself. I am, therefore, grateful to the makers of this excellent zom-com for proving that there is still life in the zombie film yet. Woody Harrellson and Jerry Zuckerberg are the perfect dysfunctional duo journeying across the USA to find sanctuary from the America that has become Zombieland. Witty one-liners, great set-pieces and the perfect balance between comedy and horror make this an example of doing zombie films right. (9/10)

TOY STORY 3 (2010)
Yes, I cried. Let's just get that out of the way, shall we? TS3 has been known for making grown men cry, and I was one of them (not that I'm ashamed, of course). We bought the Toy Story trilogy box set for JKY (he's watched them about 70 times already), but also so I could get to see the third part of the series which I hadn't managed to see in the cinema. Thankfully I never got to see it in atrocious 3D, which would probably have ruined it. Pixar can never do wrong it seems and they demonstrated yet again that they are first and foremost masters of storytelling - computer animation is just a tool they use to do it. (9/10)

I so much wanted this film to work, but overall it was a bit disappointing. Perhaps the distracting veneer of 3D (see above) put me off. In spite of a good, strong cast (although Prince Caspian inexplicably loses his spanish accent from the last film) it just didn't seem to have any meaningful purpose or drive. The story lumbered from one scenario to another in a kind of uninspired painting-by-numbers sort of way. I'd be surprised if Walden Media ever get to make any more Narnia films, but if they did I think they should just cut to the chase and get on with making The Last Battle. Surely, no wrong could be done with that story... (5.5/10)

Getting along with the Cantelon

I've been really getting into worship music of late. This is mainly because I felt God prompting me to spend more time worshipping Him (which is fair enough, I suppose). For a while, I've been listening to Ben Cantelon on Spotify and finally got round to buying his album 'Running After You'.

Ben has managed to come up with a worship album that is beyond your typical 'crowd-pleasing' 10-track CD. It's got a couple of popular songs that seem to be doing the rounds in the churches at the moment, but also has a number of tracks that are less mainstream and just good music. Ben has managed to get the balance right between good music and soulful adoration of the Lord - something I don't think happens all the time. Sometimes musicians fall into the trap of going all soppy in their worship, which grates with me sometimes (not that I have a problem with most Christian artists per se).

This album is full of genuine love of God, and is not ashamed of it either. The lyrics are soulful and earnest, yet edgy. I fully recommend it to anyone looking for worship music that isn't just 'more of the same'.