Mar 20 2015

The Touch

The Touch is a Stan Busch song that was included on the Transformers: The Movie soundtrack. As far as 80’s rock songs go, it is 3 minutes of pure distilled 80’s awesomeness that will make you yearn for ye olden dayes of yore when Transformers and G. I. Joe were cool the first time.

However, the song might have the highest amount of clichés I have ever seen–perhaps even more than most country songs. I have pasted the entire lyrics and highlited the clichés in red:

 

The Touch

You got the touch, you got the power

After all is said and done, you’ve never walked
You’ve never run, you’re a winner
You got the moves, you know the streets
Break the rules, take the heat, you’re nobody’s fool

You’re at your best when when the goin’ gets rough
You’ve been put to the test but it’s never enough

You got the touch, you got the power
When all hell’s breakin’ loose
You’ll be riding the eye of the storm

You got the heart, you got the motion
You know that when things get too tough
You got the touch

You never bend, you never break, you seem to know
Just what it takes, you’re a fighter, it’s in the blood
It’s in the will, it’s in the mighty hands of steel
When you’re standin’ your ground

And you never get hit when your back’s to the wall
Gonna fight to the end and you’re takin’ it all

You got the touch, you got the power
When all hell’s breakin’ loose
You’ll be riding the eye of the storm

You got the heart, you got the motion
You know that when things get too tough
You got the touch

You’re fightin’ fire with fire, you know you got the touch
You’re at your best when when the road gets rough
You’ve been put to the test, but it’s never enough

You got the touch, you got the power
You got the touch, you got the power

My favorite has got to be verse 2, which has 5 clichés in a row.

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Mar 23 2012

Movie Review: The Hunger Games

I haven’t read The Hunger Games, and haven’t really paid attention to the book series. I had the barest concept of the story from The Baby, who liked the first book, was cool to the second, and hated the third. So I had pretty much no expectations going in. I only went because the girls wanted to go to the midnight showing, and I had Friday off work.

The movie was amazing.

The concept is that in a dystopian indeterminate future, there was an uprising that was quashed by the world government. Every year since, 74 years running, they select two teens–one male, one female–from each of the empire’s 12 districts to compete to the death until a single winner is crowned.

Parental Info:

  • Sex: nonexistent.
  • Language: I counted three swear words.
  • Violence: realistic, unglamorized, but not gratuitous

Go see it.

 

Spoilers follow:

 

You might wonder how they can tell a story aimed at teens and tweens about teens killing each other (apart from the Tri-Wizard Tournament in Harry Potter) and keep it from glorifying killing. Really well, actually. The movie has a good share of violence, but it’s not what you expect from a typical Hollywood movie about people forced to kill one another for sport. The violence is ugly. There are no witty rejoinders or bad puns or catchphrases uttered as your opponent dies. Ugly things happen.

The movies avoids so many clichés. The lead character is Katniss Everdeen, a late teen girl who uses a bow to hunt game to feed her impoverished family. With so many other movies, having a female lead means she is either, as my daughters succinctly pointed out,  1) an independent woman who doesn’t need a man or 2) really needy, or 3) an independent woman who doesn’t need a man–until she gets one–and then she is needy. Also, she should be ridiculously hot.

Katniss, played by Jennifer Lawrence, is attractive, but she doesn’t look like a supermodel. She just looks very real. Her character is strong, smart, tough, caring, and a little socially awkward. She acts very real.

There is a romantic relationship in the movie–kind of. There were so many clichés that they could have fallen into with the relationship, but chose not to. Even though the couple seem close, things are a little ambiguous, and there are hints that some other things are irreparably altered because of the relationship.

The entire movie was excellent. The camerawork, the music, the production design, the acting. I was really surprised to enjoy it, and enjoy it so much.

However, because it avoids so many common pitfalls that could have really turned this into every other action and romance flick, I wonder how well it will do at the box office.

Here’s hoping it does.

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Jun 1 2011

Review: Kung Fu Panda 2

You may remember that Kung Fu Panda made my ‘Best Movies I Saw This Year’ list of 2008. Kung Fu Panda 2 is a decent sequel. It’s not nearly as awesome as the first one, but not nearly as bad as a lot of sequels.

A minor complaint was the overuse of the slow-motion, over-wide panda mouth, which is funny maybe once or twice, but not as much as it was used in this movie. A major complaint was that where KFP was so original in that it refused to give in to so many animated feature dramatic-part-of-the-movie cliches, KFP2 shows none of that hesitance. Also, they tell you the backstory for the movie at the very beginning–and then spend 3/4 of the movie bringing Po (the panda) up to speed with what you, as the viewer, found out an hour before. It’s kind of liking watching a magic trick when you already know it’s done.

Overall, it was fine. It doesn’t rock, it doesn’t suck, it had a few laughs–it’s fine.

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May 13 2009

The best there is at what I do, but what I do isn’t very nice

X-Men Origins: Wolverine isn’t really that great of a movie. It doesn’t stink like X-Men 3, but it doesn’t rock like X-Men 1 & 2.

The movie has a number of completely superfluous characters who, if you removed them from the movie, wouldn’t change the plot one bit, Gambit and The Blob being the most notable. The movie has a lot of profanity, I guess in an attempt to make it gritty, but it’s still just a mediocre movie. The big fight scene in the middle of the movie is virtually bulging with some of the lamest movie cliches ever, and some simply ridiculous things like riding a Harley through a dense forest. In terms of SFX, there are several scenes that are so obvious they were filmed against a bluescreen and had digital backgrounds inserted that it was distracting.

I don’t mean to imply that the movie was completely terrible, but I think a good editor could make a pretty kick-butt 45 minute movie out of it.

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