Story: ‘Harry Potter 7’and franchises

5 12 2010

Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson carry the 7th film in this very successful franchise

I finally got around to seeing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I this weekend. I’m weary of the Potter films because I am a fan of the books and most of the movies have let me down, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one, both as an adaption of a book (or half of a book) that I love and as a movie. I’m not going to bother with a full review of the movie because either you like Harry Potter and want to see it, or you have no interest whatsoever. This blog is not the place to convince you that Harry Potter is awesome. But considering that these seven movies have grossed over $5.4 billion worldwide, there’s something to talk about here. So the question of the day: How important is the story of a movie when deciding what to see? Or are you more likely to see a sequel (or movie seven) over something that stands alone outside of a franchise?

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Review: ‘127 Hours’-Filming between a rock and a hard place

3 12 2010

James Franco as Aaron Ralston in "127 Hours"

Danny Boyle’s follow up to his Best Picture winning Slumdog Millionaire (2008) is a completely different picture, yet still wildly entertaining. Full review after the jump…

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A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

2 12 2010

Here we go! This is Rear Window Viewing, a blog about movies (or film, if you’re fancy). I love movies, I love watching them, talking about them, writing about them, and watching them again. I’ve recently began studying film (we’re fancy in college) and for the past few months I’ve been really wanting to have legitimate, interesting conversations about movies. My only hope for this blog is that I can start some sort of conversation. What makes something a good movie (tough to answer) or what makes a bad movie (sometimes even tougher to answer)?

I am going to try and stick with some sort of set format, otherwise I’ll go all over the place and/or never blog. I see this going in two directions, for now:

1) I’ll definitely be writing about some of the more interesting film theory I come across in my different classes, and I’ll surely be drawing plenty of inspiration from the films I study and the assignments I do for those classes. I want to talk about the medium of film itself. It is amazing in it’s simplicity, film is simply flashes of light projected on a screen, but also incredible in its complexity ans it forms a unified whole. I find film theory fascinating and I feel like most people hear very little about it. So we’re going to talk it.

2) Reviews! What would a blog about movies be without reviews? I want to be looking at all kinds of movies though, not just recent stuff. I’ll certainly be writing about the movies I see in theaters (great timing to start this blog with the awards season kicking off this week) but I am, of course, going to be revisiting my favorite (and not so favorite) movies of the past. And from here I think we can get to some really interesting stuff. These reviews of older movies I’d love to see act as conversation starters. Right now I’m really interested in who makes a great film a great film:

  • Is it the director? There are plenty of movies that I specifically associate with outstanding directing. A new Tarantino movie is exciting because we know his very distinct style as a director, but was 2008’s Doubt praised for its direction? No, I don’t even know who directed it, but I know that Meryl Streep acted the heck out ever scene she was in and Phillip Seymour Hoffman was at the top of his game.
  • Is it the actor? So many movies are highly praised for a single performance rather that the directing and that is what carries the film to greatness. Al Pacino won an Oscar for his amazing turn in Scent of a Woman (1992) and nobody talks about who directed that.
  • What about the writer? For this blog writing will include screenplay and story. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) certainly had good performances, and Steven Spielberg is always great, but what made that movie great was its story. It was fun and creative in that way and we all remember it and love it for that. Similarly, something like Joel and Ethan Coen’s The Big Lebowski (1998) is more about them as writers and their amazing dialogue than it is them as directors.

I think that’s the direction I’m headed. I’m excited, and I hope I actually keep this up. And before the first post is done I’ve got to give credit to Chris Ashley for inspiring me to start this as he started his own, very interesting, blog on music. Check that out here. So that’s it for the first post! I hope y’all enjoy!

Coming Attractions: I’ll be reviewing two movies in the next few days, one’s a new one I just saw in theaters that is sure to get James Franco his first Oscar nomination, and a very cold classic from the ’90s.