Star Trek: First Contact is without a doubt my favorite Star Trek film, even over Wrath of Khan. I’m well aware that I have a bias towards the Next Generation crew, but there is so much in First Contact that makes me pick it over the other 10 films. It has a great screenplay by longtime Trek writers Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore, which gives all of the characters moments to shine and shows an intimate familiarity with the universe. The same goes for Jonathan Frakes, who directs the film with a light touch that can only come from years of working with the same cast and crew. It has some of the best action of the series and a great villain in the Borg. The non-TNG cast are great, especially James Cromwell and Alfre Woodard. The effects are a huge step up from previous efforts and the new Enterprise-E is gorgeous. Beyond all that, the film has some interesting ideas both about our past and our future.
There’s one moment that really cements the film in my mind, but it requires a bit of plot background. Continue reading →
In a further attempt to get over my inability to write about Harry Potter, I give you today’s Friday Favorite, from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Until the release of the two part Deathly Hallows films, Goblet of Fire was my favorite of the Harry Potter films. While many people preferred Prisoner of Azkaban, I liked this one the best. I thought it gave an emotional depth and realism to the characters that was a big step beyond anything we had seen in the previous three movies. Big credit for that goes to director Mike Newell and screenwriter Steve Kloves, but I also felt the cast had finally matured to the point where their performances could bring the characters to life in a new way. I particularly loved Emma Watson’s performance in the film, and she’s given so many chances to shine, but there’s one moment in particular that stands out to me. Take a look, and read on for my thoughts:
For today’s Friday Favorite I’m going to do something a little different. I just finished another rewatch of the James Bond series (minus 1967’s Casino Royale and the Thunderball remake, Never Say Never Again) in order, with the exception that I started with Skyfall and ended with Quantum of Solace. So for today’s Friday Favorite I’ll be highlighting and listing some of my favorite, and least favorite, things from 50 years of James Bond movies. And at the end, I’ll list all of the films based on my preference. (Maybe I should start calling them “favourites” for this post?)
It’s interesting as you rewatch the films in order and in a short amount of time how the bad moments fade away and the good moments stick with you. It’s like a sensory overload of Bond, and your brain can only hold so much so it picks the good stuff. Continue reading →
I’m a big fan of movies that manage to capture the entire film in just one scene, especially when it is done in a way that doesn’t scream, “This is what the movie is about,” in an annoyingly obvious way. Hook is by far the best example of this, but discussing that scene is an essay for another time, so instead I present you with a similar scene from Pitch Perfect. Take a look:
High School Musical is the sort of film that feels like it was made just for me. I’m sure everyone has a couple of those, that feel like the opening credits should contain the words “This one’s for you!” When I first saw it I was living alone in California, and at the time I watched a lot of the Disney Channel. I would always catch pieces of it, previews for it, or song clips from it, but it was almost a year after it premiered before I finally caught it in its entirety, and I was immediately sucked in. (I went out the next day, bought the DVD, and watched it two more times that night.)
It was the opening song that caught my attention, but what cemented the movie in my brain was the character of Kelsi. Continue reading →
Welcome to “Friday Favorites” which highlight some of my favorite movie-related things. It could be a favorite character or casting choice, a favorite song or score, a favorite scene, line of dialogue, shot or simply a moment. Anything is possible (costumes, sets, etc) and I’d love to hear your suggestions. Note: Just because something appears here does not make it my absolute #1 favorite thing in that category, but it is simply “one of my favorites”.
I talk about “movie moments” a lot. My definition of a moment is pretty amorphous, but it’s generally anything in a movie that makes a sharp impact. It can sometimes stretch to an entire scene, and sometimes is as quick as a blink. It can be a line of dialogue or a particular look, a bit of action, a single shot or something longer. It’s almost impossible for me to define what I consider a moment without using the word “moment”. It’s what makes your heart skip a beat, or that brings tears to your eyes or a sob to your throat, it brings you to your feet, makes you hide your face, causes you to burst into applause or just to laugh with abandon. Movies are a string of moments, and everything between is providing context and connection between them. They often occur at great moments of change, either to character or story, or as the culmination of a plot. In a way, they’re tiny (in duration) climaxes to one section of story. Some movies only have one moment and spend the entire film building to it, others have many; some are like a tsunami, others are barely a ripple. Moments are the moments that stand out, that we remember, that are burned into our minds.