A Slice of Fried Gold

Big movie weekend!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

This weekend I had the opportunity to see two new movies, fresh for 2009 and hopefully indicative of what the year will have to offer of us. If it is, then we're looking at a great year for movies. Here's a brief review of both of them.

Coraline (written and directed by Henry Selick)

Coraline was released this past weekend and is the new visual tour-de-force from James and the Giant Peach and the Nightmare Before Christmas director Henry Selick. This is one of the most inventive and visually stunning movies I've ever seen, which should not be a surprise given the pedigree of Selick and source material creator Neil Gaiman. It was also the first movie I've seen in Digital 3D, and wow, it really, really blew me away.

Besides that, the story was extremely well told, the characters were well drawn, and the dialogue was snappy, and it was like a living breathing fairy tale. The voice acting was fantastic, from Dakota Fanning to Ian McShane to Teri Hatcher to John Hodgman, to the absolutely awesome Keith David as the stray cat of the house. Superb film, although it is actually creepy and is not exactly a "family" film by nature.

Coraline: A-

Taken (Directed by Pierre Morrel, written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen)

This is not a perfect movie. The setup of the movie is slowly paced, supporting characters are occasionally underdeveloped, and Liam Neeson's family is painfully stupid.

That doesn't matter at all.


Liam Neeson rocks the freaking house in this movie. I mean, he completely and utterly dominates the screen in this, whether he's killing his way through France, planting a bug on a pimp, or simply coldly announcing over the phone to his daughters kidnapper that he will find him and kill him. Everything he does in this movie is so calculated, it's like everything happening on the screen is precisely what he planned it to be.

He walks around like a combination of James Bond, Clint Eastwood, and MacGyver throughout the whole film. It's really a sight to see, and I found myself constantly looking forward to what his next unfathomably badass thing would be. This movie is as action packed as you can get, and is highly recommended if you like action and spy stylings.

Taken: B


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