Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Episode 16

Godsend - Paul (Greg Kinnear) and Jessie (Rebecca Romijn Stamos) Duncan were living a normal life in New York City until their son Adam (Cameron Bright) was killed in a tragic accident on the day after his eighth birthday. Enter Richard Wells (Robert DeNiro), a scientist specializing in genetic research who claims to have perfected a procedure that could be used to bring Adam back. After moving to a quiet little suburb away from the city, Richard and his staff at the Godsend Corporation impregnate Jessie with what they claim will be an exact genetic duplicate of their son. The procedure goes as planned, and the second Adam is born without complication, but after reaching his eighth birthday he begins to change. Godsend begins with the perfect setup for a really great science fiction film. There is a quote that I love from author Philip K. Dick that reads, "If it is good [science fiction] the idea is new, it is stimulating, and, probably most important of all, it sets off a chain-reaction of ramifications in the mind of the reader; it so-to-speak unlocks the reader's mind so that that mind, like the author's, begins to create." The quote continues on from there, but this perfectly describes how I felt when I began watching Godsend. Having a limited concept of what the movie was about, I began branching the events of the film off in my own mind, essentially creating my own version of the movie. Unfortunately, Godsend didn't quite live up to the made-up version of the film that I had in my head. I must have come up with a dozen different scenarios while watching the movie that I would have preferred to where it actually went. The acting was good for the most part. DeNiro, Kinnear, and even Romijn Stamos were all convincing and entertaining to watch. I don't think Bright really lived up to the challenge he was given, though. The character of Adam in the film had to portray some pretty intense emotions and psychological problems, but often throughout the movie I was unconvinced by his acting. As I quite liked the setup of the film, but felt that it fizzled out toward the end, I was excited to see that there were four different alternate endings on the DVD. However, after spending over half an hour watching them all I realized that in order to really save the movie there would have to be an alternate second half instead of just an alternate ending. If you do find yourself watching Godsend, I would recommend that you stop the film about ten minutes from the end and watch "Alternate Ending #3" in the Special Features, as it was the most gratifying. But that's not saying much. OR you could really do yourself a favor by watching up until about the first time that the name "Zachary" is mentioned, then turn it off and devise your own ending with your imagination. I guarantee you that it will be more rewarding than watching the second half of the actual film.

Cars - Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) is the most promising up-and-coming race car around, and he's on his way to the top. With only a week left until the most important race of his life, a mishap places him in the middle of nowhere in a town called Radiator Springs. Being fairly full of himself and used to fast-paced city life, McQueen immediately feels out of place in Radiator Springs, which is inhabited a menagerie of odd, country bumpkin vehicles. Stuck in the town until he repairs Main Street, which he demolished while running from the police, Lightning slowly begins to realize that perhaps his priorities were in the wrong place. But will this change of heart have any effect on the big race that is getting closer by the minute? Upon seeing the teaser trailer for Cars a few years ago I was immediately put off by the fact that it was a movie about Nascar. I don't like sports at all, and even if I did I have a feeling that I still wouldn't like Nascar. However, after a while I realized that I had enjoyed each and every move that Pixar had put out, so I figured I'd give Cars a chance. I find it hard to name anything bad about this movie. The animation is beautiful, the voice acting was great, and the plot surprised me by not being nearly as dumb as I thought it would be. Normally I'm not a big fan of Owen Wilson, but for whatever reason I felt that he delivered a good performance in Cars. Maybe it was due to the fact that I didn't have to look at his penis nose. The rest of the cast is wonderful as well. Among the talent pool are the likes of Paul Newman, Bonnie Hunt, Cheech Marin, Tony Shaloub, George Carlin, John Ratzenberger, and Michael Keaton. Hell, even Larry the Cable Guy was bearable as the redneck car with an IQ about equal to that of the person doing it's voice. To summarize, as with all Disney/Pixar films, Cars is fun for the whole family.

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