Mr. Bill George Presents

Archive for December, 2009|Monthly archive page

A Tale Of Two Blockbusters

In Film on December 25, 2009 at 11:55 PM

Twice in recent weeks I’ve visited the cineplex to watch the latest blockbusters Hollywood has to offer. First, I witnessed James Cameron’s opus Avatar. (And yes, I did see it in 3D.) While moments ago I finished watching Sherlock Holmes, the latest Guy Ritchie film and Robert Downey Jr. vehicle.

While both are ‘big’ movies with not an insignificant amount of marketing power behind them (more so in the case of the former) they both left indelibly different tastes in my mouth and only one demands a subsequent viewing: Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes succeeds in a number of places that Avatar fails. Most importantly having a strong lead actor playing a mesmerizing character, coupled with a riveting and thought provoking narrative. Granted, Avatar is a visual marvel and is aesthetically stunning. The motion capture, the 3D, the amount of detail. There’s never been anything like it before. Period. (But Holmes is no slouch either, with Ritchie providing a nice stylization all his own.)

However, at the end of Holmes I felt fulfilled. While Avatar left me empty. The story was so dragged out and shallow that I’m convinced the film as a whole will not stand the test of time as anything more than a tech demo.

Where Avatar was a feast for the eyes, Holmes was a feast for the mind. It’s a smart movie with clever plotting and an unmistakable wit, all the while being carried by a leading man who is nothing short of riveting. Downey Jr. is an inspired choice to play the titular character, capturing Holmes’ essence in a way no other actor could. And his chemistry with Jude Law’s Dr. Watson is enthralling.

Every piece of Avatar‘s story has been done before in other movies and done better. So many of the subplots and twists are cliches and even the dialogue feels stale. Yet everything in Holmes feels fresh and adventurous.

I understand I’m being very vague and I apologize for it. Part of the reason is because I don’t want to delve into too much detail surrounding either film so has not to spoil any part of them. The other reason is that my feelings stretch far beyond words. I can’t adequately describe how amazing Sherlock Holmes made me feel, bizarre as it sounds, but I know it did move me. And let’s just say Avatar had no such effect.

What did everyone else think? Sound off in the comments.

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A New Site For Film Aficionados

In Film on December 9, 2009 at 1:53 AM

Fun factoids about myself: I love movies and am currently pursuing a career in video production. I am immensely interested in the production of films and love reading interviews with writers/directors etcetera. So needless to say, when I found the website “makingof.com” via my stumbleupon button on Firefox I found it necessary to do a quick write-up on it as a heads up.

Makingof.com is a well crafted site that is regularly updated with videos featuring interviews with notable directors/writers/production-crew and behind-the-scenes bits on current and up-coming movies. All of the videos are very high quality and the site is updated surprisingly fast. As I perused the site I was a bit perplexed as to why the community section was so dead. The forum posts were few and far between. Which leads me to believe this site hasn’t exactly caught on yet and is also causing me to try to spread the word. I was even further perplexed when I found out that Natalie Portman co-founded the site and that I hadn’t heard of it through one of my film site avenues beforehand.

Sure you can find interviews and pieces on many films and directors out there on youtube and such but “makingof.com” consolidates the material in an easy to navigate fashion so you have a bit more direction if you are looking to gain insight into the world of film. So if you are an aspiring film-maker or just a movie-buff I think you might like this site and I recommend giving it a check-out.

http://makingof.com/

[Editors Note: Thanks Matt. Good find. Also on my (Bill George’s) radar as far as new movie sites go: http://movieclips.com/. It’s a neat way to view, embed, and share scenes and clips from popular films. Much easier and higher quality than YouTube.]