Silent Now Playing

By: Jeffrey Ford
By: Jeffrey Ford

Previewing the Good, Bad and Ugly of Chasing Mavericks, Cloud Atlas, Silent Hill and Fun Size

 It’s almost Halloween week.  Soon, the little kiddies will be out on the streets in their most ghoulish of costumes, begging for treats.  Until then, why not take in a frightful movie at the theater.  There are 2 new Halloween themed films coming out this week that joins Sinister and Paranormal Activity 4 already released.  We’ll get to those in a moment.  First, let’s catch a wave with…

 

CHASING MAVERICKS

When young Jay Moriarty discovers that the mythic Mavericks surf break, one of the biggest waves on Earth, exists just miles from his Santa Cruz home, he enlists the help of local legend Frosty Hesson to train him to survive it.

 

The Good – I was ready to dismiss this movie from the first preview.  Unless surfers are going around robbing banks in masks of the ex-presidents, I’m just not interested.  And then I saw the co-directors.  Michael Apted is a James Bond alum, having directed The World is Not Enough, a film that I enjoyed.  This is in spite of the fact Denise Richards’ Doctor Christmas Jones is one of the worst bond women in the history of the series.  He is also the man behind the fascinating 7 Up documentary series, which visits a group of people every 7 years to gauge how their lives have turned out.  It started when they were 7 and this year 56 Up will be released.  The other co-director is Curtis Hanson.  He’s the man behind L.A. Confidential, 8 Mile and Wonder Boys.  Those two directors are someone I can get behind.

 

The Bad – And yet I’m still not interested.  Surf movies have never done it for me.  This goes all the way back to 1987’s North Shore.  I just don’t care about people trying to surf the great wave.  And then there is the fact it is a true story.  As I discovered while watching Argo, there is not much suspense if the outcome is already known.  Now SPOILER ALERT, I don’t know if the movie will cover it but Jay Moriarty, the main character, was killed in a diving accident at the age of 22.  That puts a damper on the proceedings.

 

The Ugly – Of course, all of this talk makes me want to watch Point Break again.  Just have to suffer through Keanu Reeves.

 

Chasing Mavericks is rated PG for thematic elements and some perilous action

 

CLOUD ATLAS

 

An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.

 

The Good – I really don’t know how to approach this movie.  Visually, the movie about reincarnation looks spectacular.  The sci-fi setting and the pirate past pop off the screen.  Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, Halle Barry, Hugo Weaving and Keith David are all on hand to take us on a journey through history.  The film has three directors: Tom Tykwer (who gave us the brilliant Run Lola Run) and the Wachowski siblings (Andy and Lana (formally Larry)).  The last two are the minds behind The Matrix trilogy.

 

The Bad – Outside of the first Matrix, the Wachowski siblings have not had that stellar of a record.  The Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions are not good films.  Reloaded became mired in its pseudo psychology that it dragged down the narrative.  The fight with the 100 Agent Smiths is a showcase on how NOT to do CGI.  Revolutions started off the same path before ditching the psychology in the latter half of the movie.  When it was nothing but action, the movie improved greatly.  Then there’s Speed Racer, the box office bomb that shelved the siblings directing efforts for a few years.  Will they recover?  The box office will let them know.

 

The Ugly – And now I want to play Enter the Matrix again.  That game… to put it kindly… was not very good.

 

Cloud Atlas is rated R for violence, language, sexuality/nudity and some drug use.

 

 

SILENT HILL: REVELATION

 

When her father disappears, Heather Mason is drawn into a strange and terrifying alternate reality that holds answers to the horrific nightmares that have plagued her since childhood.

 

The Good – The Silent Hill video game series is one of the deeper, psychological survival horror games (at least until the recent efforts that only go for the cheap scares).  The first three games are a benchmark that all other series have tried and failed to reach, including Resident Evil.  This movie is based on the third game, which is the most straight lined of the trilogy.  When they adapted the first game to the screen, it was praised as one of the better video game movie adaptions.  I don’t mind breaking it out on DVD every now and again.

 

The Bad – The first Silent Hill may have been one of the better video game movie adaptions out there, but that still didn’t make it good.  It reeked of too much reverence to the source material.  The filmmakers tried to cram a few 12 hour games into a 2 hour movie.  The results were mixed at best.  This upcoming film appears to be taking the less is more approach.  I’m hoping it works.

 

The Ugly – SPOILER ALERT!  Sean Bean lived in the first one. ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT!  That minor oversight should be rectified in this one.

 

Silent Hill: Revelation is rated R for violence and disturbing images, some language and brief nudity

 

FUN SIZE

 

Wren's Halloween plans go awry when she's made to babysit her brother, who disappears into a sea of trick-or-treaters. With her best friend and two nerds at her side, she needs to find her brother before her mom finds out he's missing.

 

The Good – The screenplay is by Max Werner, a writer from the Colbert Report, and was one of the highest vote getters in a contest of unproduced screenplays.  That’s about all I’ve got for the good.

 

The Bad – It’s a Nickelodeon film from the creators of the O.C. and staring the Disney Channel’s Victoria Justice, Johnny Knoxville and Chelsea Handler.  Yeah, I’m going to pass on this one.

 

The Ugly – It’s a PG-13 kid’s movie and has a giant robotic chicken humping a car… That’s it… I’m out of here.

 

Fun Size is rated PG-13 for crude and suggestive material, partying and language.

 

That will do for this week.  Stay tuned for next time when we destroy buildings, video game style.  Until then, here’s hoping they include the UFO ending into the Silent Hill Movie… or at least the song at the end.

Silent Hill 3 UFO Ending

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