Posts Tagged ‘Hugo Weaving’

Hollywood Repeats Itself – Dark City & The Matrix

Posted 27 May 2011 — by Ezra Stead
Category Essay, Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Ezra Stead

Dark City, Australia / USA, 1998

Directed by Alex Proyas

The Matrix, USA / Australia, 1999

Written and Directed by The Wachowski Brothers

Dark City is a stunning visual feast, and a fascinating exploration of the nature of reality.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. A cliché, admittedly, but the truth of the aphorism cannot be denied. In the two films we are about to examine, humanity teeters on the brink of disaster in two seemingly disparate space-time continua. The similarities between these two films, however, vastly outweigh the differences. In Alex Proyas’s Dark City (1998), we are presented with a haunting vision of a seemingly familiar world that has actually been fabricated by a group of inhuman creatures that prey on human memories. Sound familiar? It should. One of the most popular films of 1999, Larry and Andy Wachowski’s The Matrix, has a very similar premise, and the similarities extend to specific characters and plot points.

There are differences, of course; mostly financial ones. The Matrix is less opaque, more readily accessible to masses of moviegoers. Its slick, computer-generated special effects are more pleasant to view – if somewhat less visceral – than Dark City‘s gritty, film noir atmosphere of doom and entrapment. Likewise, Matrix‘s villains are ostensibly less sinister (at least, in their guise as government agents) than City‘s bald, pale, trenchcoat-clad “Strangers.” Beneath the disguises, though (the Strangers use human corpses as vessels), the true villains in both films are pretty much the same: slimy, tentacled alien monsters that die when their vessels are destroyed.  Read More

Legend Of The Guardians: The Owls Of Ga’Hoole – Fails To Take Flight

Posted 06 Nov 2010 — by contributor
Category Animation, Film Reviews, Member Movie Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

Member Review By Oddmuninn

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, USA / Australia, 2010

Directed by Zack Snyder

legend of the guardians the owls of ga'hoole Soren flying movies i didnt getSome movies we watch purely for the spectacle. There’s nothing wrong with that, but in my book, a film has to earn its right through good story and characterization to impress me with its special effects. Or if it can’t do that, it at least has to be so fun that I’m enjoying myself too much to care. Unfortunately, there are far too many films that do neither, and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole is one of them.

The first time I saw the trailer for this animated film, it immediately appealed to my inner fantasy geek. It features a bright-eyed hero who is as in love with stories and myths as I am. The fact that the main character is a CG owl was no deterrent, as I’ve always liked movies that anthropomorphize animals, as long as they do it well. This one certainly does. However, the creators forgot to add one important element: heart. Read More