February 14, 2007

What The Bleep Do I Review?

Roving Mars (2006)

Took the girls to this at the Providence Place Mall IMAX. Usually, the girls like to see 3D movies at the IMAX, but this one was really intriguing to all of us because of the exploration aspect and the fact that both K and I really love robots.

This film was produced with the help of Disney, so it's geared to a fairly young age. Nevertheless, they go into plenty of interesting detail about Spirit and Opportunity, the astonishingly successful robotic explorers that NASA sent to answer some burning questions about our planetary neighbor.

Great CGI simulations illustrate just how NASA got the robots to Mars, and what they did once they go there. At 40 minutes long, it won't tax a kid's attention span, but just might inspire them.

Hoodwinked (2005)

Rashomon meets Shrek. Not nearly as good as either of them. This film is not even worth a DVD rental. The animation was unrealistic and distracting, specifically in the movement of the characters. Kids nowadays are used to better. But that would be completely forgiveable if the film were more entertaining. There are a few laughs, but not enough to justify the length and the unfunny barren stretches.

Skip this one and read The True Story of the Three Little Pigs to your kids.

Nochnoi Dozor (2004) (Night Watch)

It's the Matrix meets Highlander meets Ghostbusters meets vodka.

Caught this Russian import at the Avon last weekend quite a while ago. There are two armies, one of light and the other of darkness. Both are made up of magically powerful "Others" who live among us. They are in an ongoing conflict, awaiting some prophecy to be fulfilled. And sometimes, humans discover that they, too, belong to this group of "Others." They must choose the light and become defenders or the dark and become something akin to vampires.

It's a pretty decent action movie, but the mythology and plot are both convoluted. There are a couple of threads going on. One of them resolves, and you'll probably guess what's going on long before it comes to its conclusion, and you'll wonder why the characters in the film haven't figured it out. The other thread left me feeling like the movie was dragging.

The visuals are dark and striking. But I don't want to feel like I'm enduring an action/horror/fantasy film. I want to be engaged all the way through. But it made enough of an impression that I will give the sequel a chance once it is released here in the US. There will also be a third film in this movie series.

Skip it, unless I come back and tell you the sequel is really good.

What the Bleep Do We Know (2004)

Fake science crap. Don't waste your time on this. Instead, read "Six Easy Peices" by Richard P. Feynman - which are six of the early Feynman lectures. In fact, if you're curious at all about physics and don't think you know enough, start reading those lectures. Whether or not you ever considered watching this lousy movie.

WTBDWK is pathetic next to any actual science.

Posted by James at February 14, 2007 8:54 PM
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I reviewed Night Watch on my blog some time ago. It's fair to say I didn't enjoy it as much as you did. Or at all.

I'd post a link to the review but it was part of a bullet movie review and my review of Night Watch was only two sentences long. And they aren't very flattering. ;-)

Posted by: Chuck S. at February 15, 2007 7:41 AM

It's funny - I originally wrote that review right after I saw it. I barely liked it (I recommended people skip it) and I bet it plays a lot worse on DVD than in the theater. It had a brooding quality that plays better in a darkened theater at a midnight show.

If I'd watched it on DVD, I would have fallen asleep in the middle and probably would have returned the DVD without completing it.

Posted by: James at February 15, 2007 7:53 AM

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