Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003) – I know this is old, but it’s worth watching again. With a stellar cast and unique look into what life aboard a ship in 1805 during the Napoleonic Wars. This epic chronicles the real life naval adventures of determined, sometimes obsessive, Jack Aubrey – played with relish by Russell Crowe. Besides Crowe, Paul Bettany, Max Pirkis (huge fan – check him out a bit older in HBO’s ROME), and James D’Arcy head up a solid ensemble cast. As I said, this is an older film – but it’sa good film. Unfortunately, I don’t have such nice things to say about the below films – both recently released to DVD.
Neither Up nor Down:
Battle Los Angeles. We made the mistake of watching this AFTER the last listed film. With that in mind, my patience with over the top explosions and action was fairly thin. BUT at least there was PLOT here. Tired and done-to-death plot (a mash up of Independence Day, War of the Worlds, Black Hawk Down), but a plot nonetheless. Aliens invade, a small rag tag troupe of soldiers lose have of their numbers, but manage to take down the mother ship/central command and save the world. It wasn’t bad – but it wasn’t good. B/C grade stalwarts Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, and Bridget Moynahan are the stars in an otherwise unrecognizable cast. I don’t mean that as an insult, the performances were all solid – but they were treading ground well visited so it was an uphill battle to sell this in a new way. It wasn’t their fault that it didn’t happen.
Thumbs Down (Way way down):
Transformers III – I’m not going to waste a lot of time on this one. Sam – screaming little girl in need of meds (Come on Shia – Really? You disappoint me kiddo!). New girl – snarky and unlikable… Beyond the spell-binding lip thingies. Robots – when did they start wearing capes? Sidekicks – too many. Humor – um, not funny… Explosions – I think this was the point of this film. But can explosions and cgi serve as plot? No. No. It. Can’t. Please stop making these movies Mr. Bay. I promise you, I’m going to stop watching them.