Tag Archives: Movie Reviews
Post by Mark T. Locker.
If you work in any kind of office environment, chances are good that references to the movie Office Space will crop up on more than one occasion. Whether someone is struggling with a printer or you are, like me, being oddly possessive of your stapler, there are endless opportunities to reference this movie. And for years, I have been at a disadvantage. Somehow this movie simply never crossed my path. And since for years I did not work in an office environment, I never felt I’d missed out on much. But now that I work in an office-like world (nothing like the business in Office Space, thank goodness!) I’m finding the references more than I can gloss over at this point.
Something HAD to be done.
I picked up a copy from my local public library.
Office Space was written and directed by Mike Judge, known also for the low-brow 90s cartoon Beavis and Butthead. That show never appealed to me in the slightest which may have added to my reticence to see this one. It’s about a guy named Peter who loathes his office job. When he is convinced to go to a hypnotherapist to address his issues, he is placed in a trance and told to put all his worries and cares aside. Unfortunately the hypnotherapist keels over and never draws Peter back out. So he sleeps through work, shows up with an i-don’t-care attitude, and—voilà!—everything starts turning out great for him!
It’s a pretty funny movie, with lots of notable characters, especially the verging on psychopathy stapler guy. If you are in the minority of people who hasn’t seen this and works in an office space, you should probably go see Office Space.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
The Neverending Story. Classic fantasy film of the 80s. Kid alone in an attic reading a large, mysterious tome. In the story, a young man on a mission to save his world from annihilation. From the Nothing. Unwilling to go to class, he hides out in some weird darkened room full of old stuff and reads.And what an exciting book young Bastian has discovered. The magical world of Fantasia is exciting and scary! Luck Dragons! Pink furry ears and an eerie pink, scaly back. Giant rock eaters! Big naked Sphinxes with lazer beam eyes! And the most exciting/terrifying thing of all? Bastian is PART of the story! The characters feel his woes. His belief or lack thereof is all that stands between their world and obliteration.
We finally broke down and watched this with our so-close-to-six-we-should-just-call-him-six-year-old. I think the biggest worry was watching that poor horsey get sucked down into the Swamps of Sadness. Poor sad, drowned horsey! Well that didn’t seem to bother him in the least. I guess we had nothing to worry about, or we waited just the right amount of time. I’d forgotten how much I liked most of the movie. The funny pointy-eared old man and his wife. With their telescope, watching him try to best the Sphinx. And how Bastian gets to scare the pants of the bullies by chasing them down on the luck dragon.
Everyone is always crazy about retro stuff, especially stuff from the 80s. So if you are feeling ironic or whimsical, or if you have a kid or you don’t have a kid, The Neverending Story is still a fun and fantasy-filled adventure well worth revisiting.
Post by Mark T Locker.
I realize that I’m coming to the party about twenty years late. I guess as a surly teenage boy Disney cartoons weren’t much on my radar. I think my favorite movie of that year was Howard’s End, one of those old-timey British Emma Thompson and Helena Bonham-Carter period pieces, before Helena got weird. I’m sure I had seen La Belle et la Bête, Jean Cocteau’s post-occupation masterpiece. I’m still a huge fan of that movie.
Well, every Friday is family movie night at our house. After digging through our piles of DVDs looking for Aladdin with no success, we landed on Beauty and the Beast. In classic Disney form, it’s full of fun songs and a startlingly simplified version of the story. Which is not to say it was not enjoyable; it’s just so different from the 1946 French version. There is good reason this movie has become a Disney classic. It’s got all the right ingredients: castles; talking objects; princesses; true love; songs. Friends, you haven’t lived until you’ve heard Angela Lansbury, as a teakettle, sing you a ditty.
I’m sure everyone out there has already seen this dozens of times. I’ve only seen it once now. What should we watch tonight?
Post by Mark T. Locker.
I used to be a huge fan of superhero/comic book movies. They didn’t come out that often and whenever they did, my sister and I would be sure to catch the latest on the big screen. The first two X-Men movies fell under that category. We even saw one of the Hulk movies, but it was the one nobody liked and about five minutes later they began a new one, to start off that whole Iron Man/Thor/Hulk/Captain America/Avengers thing. The X-Men have continued to make movies as well, though X-Men: The Last Stand was so unbearable to me that I didn’t even look up when this movie, clearly designed to refresh the series, was released.
I was wrong to do so. I’m not generally into back story but this movie which brings us back to the beginnings of Magneto and Professor X and the genesis of the X-Men is a story in its own right. And I liked it. Of course, everyone is played by handsome young things so that it will be easy to look at. Jennifer Lawrence plays Mystique, so that’s fun. Kevin Bacon plays the bad guy, so that’s fun too. We have a whole new level to Back to Bacon now. The most recent X-Men movie, Days of Future Past or something, just came out so now is a great time to catch up. Available streaming and probably on DVD as well.
Post by Mark T. Locker.
You may or may not have heard of Veronica Mars. It was a teen detective drama that aired on CW for three seasons. It was way better than it sounds and when it was canceled there were a number of sad but vocal fans. You are more likely to have heard about its triumphant return, in a very 21st-century way. Creator Rob Thomas wanted to make a Veronica Mars movie. Warner Brothers agreed to release it but would not fund it. So Rob Thomas turned to his fans and launched the most successful Kickstarter campaign ever, raising nearly $6 million. We got our movie, and exclusive T-shirts, and WB released it. History is made.
Veronica Mars was a spunky high school student, daughter of Keith Mars, former sheriff and current private eye. She was pretty good as a detective herself, kind of the Encyclopedia Brown of modern southern California preppy culture. The movie opens with her being offered a job at a prestigious law firm. But when she sees that dreamy bad-boy and ex-boyfriend (ex to the chagrin of many) Logan Echolls is embroiled in a murder investigation, Veronica heads home to Neptune to try and help out. It’s basically a long version of the TV show, with a few winks to the rabid fans (known collectively as “Marshmallows”) and a few painfully obvious product placements. If you haven’t watched the show, you should watch the show. The movie, I’ve heard, is much better with context. It’s available to buy from lots of different online sources.