Sunday, November 27, 2011

"The Muppets"

So... these days a lot of cultural icons have been coming back into the fold in the form of reboots by various major film studios. So far, we've had Alvin and the Chipmunks being among the more successful properties returning to the fold, and... well, now we have a cultural icon returning.

And boy, have we missed the guys in today's movie...

The Muppets

Gary (Jason Siegel) and Walter (Peter Linz) are both brothers, with Walter being a huge fan of the Muppets. On a trip to LA to celebrate the anniversary of Gary and his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams), however, Walter uncovers a nefarious plot by Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) to destroy the Muppet Theater to get at some oil on the property. Thus, the three of them recruit Kermit, Ms. Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie, and all of the other favorites of the old gang to put on a last show to raise the ten million dollars that will save the theater.

And from there, we get things going.

Now, I'll make something clear. I'm not a fan of the Muppets, but this is more on account of being sorely unfamiliar with the property, except for maybe a couple of points when I've stumbled upon clips of the Muppet Show as part of music-related searches (more especially sketches with Victor Borge). So going in, I wasn't quite sure what to expect, except from tidbits I've heard from other people who like the Muppets.

But when I sat there? I was really quite charmed by everything this movie has. It's funny, it's got very catchy tunes, it has a major heaping of optimistic heart, and the whole thing just comes together at the end of the day. Everybody involved in this movie gets a chance to shine, even with the cameo appearances made by way too many celebrities to count.

And ultimately? I was charmged by The Muppets, as I had a lot of fun watching this movie? Is it the greatest thing ever? I think that the humor could have been a little more constant, with all the lampshade hanging and fourth wall destruction this movie has. But at the end of the day, it's a charming movie with charming characters that is a great time for both kids and adults.


Most definitely worth checking out.

This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I'll see you guys next time.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Flashback Reviews: The Fall

Okay, so last weekend, we managed to review a movie directed by Tarsem. We found distinct visual flair, and we found that while the story was pretty lacking, the visuals more than made up for it. So overall, it ended up being very fun.

But what about the rest of Tarsem's filmography? Well... The Cell is reportedly pretty bad, and we still have Mirror, Mirror to look forward to next year, so... we'll not touch on those. Yet. But there is another movie...

And this one, is actually really good.

The Fall (2006)

Roy (Lee Pace) is a movie stuntman who winds up paralyzed in a hospital. He gets frequently visited by the curious Alexandria (Catinca Untaru), a girl who is there for a broken arm. When Roy begins telling Alexandria a very long fantasy, story, however, he begins to weave the tale of the Black Bandit and the Governor Odius, in exchange for favors from Alexandria that involve her stealing the hospital's supply of morphine.

And things get rather trippy from there.

So again, Tarsem's visual flair comes to the movie's aid a lot. There are some shots of the movie that would be considered works of art in their own right, though the fantasy sequences all tend to have this rather grand air about them that steals the show every time it cuts to them.

Of course, though, one thing I find striking about the story is how deliberately paced it is. It's a very slow-paced story that builds up gradually, but as the story of the movie goes on, it reveals an incredibly tragic dychotomy at its heart. Slowly, the tale Roy tells begins to show parallels to the hospital around them, and Tarsem is extremely careful in choosing which details are filled in as parallels. And the last fifteen or so minutes of the movie? They have to be some of the most heartbreaking fifteen minutes I've ever seen in a movie, as we've seen the fairy tale get progressively darker to reflect Roy's character. These parallels add enough richness to the story, that we don't watch the movie soley for the visual style.

And that is a strength that suits The Fall very well. It has an engaging storyline, as well as having the great visual style. Thus, as a whole, the movie works on just about every level, even if some of the acting is a little stilted.

So at the end of the day?


Most definitely worth checking out.

This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I'll see you guys next time.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Okay, so… Sorry about last week. Again. It happened again where I was way too busy to be able to go to the movies. You’d be surprised how much stuff I have to do right at the moment.

But rest assured guys, I have not forgotten about you! So here I am to provide another little review on something.

And we get right to today’s movie with a bang.


Theseus (Henry Cavill) is a peasant boy who finds himself entangled in a larger than life quest. His mother is killed in front of him by the evil King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke), who seeks to unleash the titans on the Earth after the Gods abandon his family. Thus, Theseus, with the indirect guidance of Zeus (Luke Evans) and the oracle Phaedra (Freida Pinto), goes to defeat Hyperion.

So in other words, it’s a huge Greek Mythological story… if it decided to give actual Greek myth a historic middle finger. That, however, is unrelated to the point, and another story entirely.

So let’s get down to business. What this movie doesn’t quite have in its favor… it suffers mildly from a rather turgid script that more or less goes through the motions and has the same kind of “Greek-ish epic” dialogue that you’d expect that goes along the lines of “honor honor the other guys are evil blah blah blah”. There’s also a rather large part of the second act which drags quite a bit in the action as there really isn’t that much that is interesting about it.

What it does have in its favor, though? It’s got one heck of a visual style behind it. Director Tarsem brings a ridiculous amount of visual pizazz to the action, and every scene in the movie is clear, easy to see, and—surprisingly—quite brutal. It also features some truly wild set and costume design, and the whole aesthetic works really beautifully in combination with everything. So if nothing else, we have a really wonderful aesthetic that works incredibly well. The actors too all try their best to make the script they have work, though it’s not entirely successful at a few points.

So overall? Well, there’s not much to say about Immortals. It has exciting action, one incredible visual style, and a rather poor script. If you’re into these kinds of movies, well… this movie is quite definitely for you.


If you want to go see it, go see it. If you don’t want to go see it, don’t.

This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I’ll see you guys next time.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Herr Wozzeck Goes To The Opera!

Hi guys. Yes, I know I didn't have a review for a new release last week. Well... to be honest, none of the new releases were terribly interesting to me at all. Most of the hold-overs were stuff I really didn't have time for, and the only thing I could've found intriguing about the new movies this past weekend was Gabourey Sidibe finally getting herself into a big Hollywood movie, although the fact that her part is an incredibly tiny part wasn't enough to convince me to see said movie.

Besides, I had other plans. Why?

Well, for those of you who follow Fathom Events, then you'll know that the Metropolitan Opera broadcasted a production of Richard Wagner's Siegfried last Saturday at around 12:00 EST. What's even better is that the Regal multiplex I go to for a vast majority of my film reviews was one of the locations of the broadcast. So I attempted to make my way to that to see the opera at the movies.

So I thought that today I'd comment on the experience, and my impressions of the production from one average every-day moviegoer to the next.

So, the experience? Well, it's Wagner opera, so I was there for a long time. If you thought Avatar was a long movie? Forget it: the broadcast of Siegfried lasted about five hours and twenty minutes, including the intermission features the Met broadcasts usually include. So that's a long time to be sitting in the theater: thankfully, also due to the fact that it was opera, we didn't have to stay in the theater for the whole five and a half hours. At the intermissions, there were fifteen minutes between the ends of each act and the intermission feature that would play before the start of the next act, so we all had fifteen minutes to walk around and do stuff between acts. Good thing, too.

It was also a fairly strange experience: literally, I think I was the youngest person at that theater for the broadcast. Being a frequent opera-goer at one time in my life, I can tell you that it's nothing unusual if you're at the opera in a theater or an opera house, but if you're in the opera at the movies where you've been used to seeing young people all the time? Now that is surreal. Though it's also funny that going to the opera at the movies has been the only time I've been able to get away with drinking Orange Fanta in the theater while the show is going on, but that is another story entirely.

As for the production itself? Well... putting on my critical hat for a second, I can tell you that the broadcast itself was excellent. The singing was excellent (especially from Jay Hunter Morris as the title role, who stepped into one of opera's most difficult roles at basically the last minute (Which, oddly enough, is a lot more common for the Met than you'd think. And not just recently, either: its entire history is filled with mishaps that occurred at some point or another.) and still managed to sing and act as an incredibly convincing Siegfried), and everyone involved brought their best to the table. I wish the projection hadn't been as dark as it was in the broadcast I saw it at, as there were a few times when it was needlessly difficult to tell what was set up in the set from time to time. However, I can also tell you that Robert LaPage's production is something you have to see, even if you're not an opera buff. Most productions of any of the operas in Wagner's Ring tend to fall victim to the fact that they are typically operas in which things are incredibly dynamic as far as stage directions go, but LaPage's production is both visually stunning and brings an element of dynamism into the operas that very few productions have ever managed to do. Overall, it was an excellent broadcast all around.

And it was a great time, for me being an opera-goer who went to the movies for this one.

So... that's that. I went to the opera, and crazy times were had for all.