Thursday, June 5, 2014

9 Movies We As The Authors Disagree About

National Treasure

Noah:  I love my country, and I always will.  So under no circumstances will I ever be comfortable with a civilian stealing the precious document that is the Declaration of Independence.  UNLESS IT’S NICOLAS CAGE.  This film is everything great about America rolled into one.  Treasure, vigilantes taking the law into their own hands, and a whole lot of Oscar-worthy acting from the Cage.  It’s ironic that this film is named National Treasure because I’ve always thought of Nic Cage as a national treasure.  I also geek out hard core (like HARDCORE) about all the Freemason-Knights Templar-Silence Dogood conspiracy theory stuff.  And it’s all totally believeable.  If our Founding Fathers were smart enough to kick-start the world’s greatest nation they were certainly smart enough to put together one AWESOME scavenger hunt.  And the ending is perfect, giving back all the treasure to the countries of origin.  Bein’ awesome while building international diplomacy and friendship.  Classic Nic.  Classic.

Dave: Now, I mentioned this on another list...but Diane Kruger falling for Nicholas Cage? Come on. That joke right there is a national treasure. And then they have that guy who is never the protagonist but is always the sidekick, Justin Bartha. The whole movie can be summed up with mad-lib fill-in-the-blanks. Nicholas Cage: We have to steal (fill in the blank). Then Justin Bartha making one of those Magic School Bus Arnold complaints like, “Oh, this is a good idea,” or “I knew I should have stayed home today.” Clue after clue they head to places and see things that probably should have been figured out years ago. I know one thing, if I were one of the Founding Fathers, I couldn’t have kept that treasure a secret. It would be in a journal for my posterity. And imagine meeting Thomas Gates in real life. He would probably be a lot like that guy buying a metal detector from an infomercial looking for quarters and old lost wedding rings. I didn’t see Diane Kruger falling in love with that guy.

Toy Story 3

Dave: Toy Story 3 had it all in a way very few movies do. First, they mixed in the Lotzo character as basically a mob boss/warden that made the movie hilarious. Ken and Barbie are another addition that added probably the top three most funny scenes. And to top it all off, Andy gives all the toys away to an adorable little girl in the end after they had had a near death experience. This was a tear jerker in a way only Up had accomplished previously in Pixar history. Who can forget the hilarious tale told by the sad clown? And what about that scene where the phone tells Woody the layout of the place like an Ocean’s 11 movie. The movie was pure genius.

Noah:  I just couldn’t get on board with this film.  It simply wasn’t realistic!  And yes, I understand the film is built on the foundation that toys talk and have feelings and stuff, but maybe I just grew out of it?  First off, those toys are in way too good of shape for how old they are.  In real life Andy would have hit puberty, driven across the border into Nevada to buy some firecrackers and blown them all up.  Next, there were 15 years between the first and third films.  Kids today would HATE what I played with 15 years ago (pogs, anyone?  DIDN’T THINK SO).  Finally, Andy’s toy collection is just too big, too diverse and too complete.  No kid has that many interests and keeps his toys that nice.  Ya lost me, Pixar.


Dave: Despite the Home Alone style ending, I really liked this movie. The bad guy was terrifying, his motive was, while ruthless, understandable, and it had some really intense action sequences. While it was nothing compared to The Dark Knight, it had that element that the Joker brought that left me wondering, “How exactly are they going to get out of this mess?” The answer? A bunch of shotguns and explosives and nail guns in James Bond’s old house. Whether you liked this movie or not, you have to admit, you were on the edge of your seat. And what better to top it all off then a smash hit single by none other than our very own Adele. Adele? Thank you for Skyfall.

Noah:  For me the whole Home Alone style ending was enough to find disappoint.  We’re talking about JAMES.  BOND.  He doesn’t go by Lil Jimmy B.  He’s the best agent in MI6!  Part of the lure behind the whole Bond series is how suave he is, how well stocked his arsenal is and how over the top it all becomes.  Retreating to the highlands takes the appeal away, especially after I’ve been watching the movie for two hours.  Part of me expected Data from The Goonies to show up with his little oily sneakers.  Also can we talk about how comfortable Kincade (the gamekeeper) was with this whole “People-are-coming-to kill-me-and-we-all-have-to-deal-with-that” thing.  I’m 99% certain some woman RIPPED his heart out and fore’er more he’s too afraid to actually voice his opinion.  My expectations for the next Bond film are high.  But yes, Adele made me feel emotions.


Noah: Jack Dawson had NOTHING but still found a way to give Rose EVERYTHING.  This is the greatest love story our generation will ever know.  Their romance blossomed and passed the ultimate test in such a short period of time (You’re so stupid, Rose!).  Was the fact that you knew the ship was going to sink a knock on the movie (Historical accounts prove the Titanic indeed did sink)?  NO.  Because a woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets, and this movie showed us that the only way to a true love is to open your heart wide as the sea itself.  Jack saved Rose, in about every way a person can be saved.  And this movie saved me, in about every way a movie can save a full-grown adult man.

Dave: Ok, what the film forgets to explain are the 70 years after the Titanic sank where Rose went on to live a happy and fruitful life with another man, having children of her own, and even learning how to horseback ride, per the picture of Kate Winslet on the horse in the end. And where does she go when she dies? The Titanic! What about her husband?! Her kids?! Her life? So when I die do I have to return to the most traumatic experience of my life, and virtually everything I have accomplished is decimated? And did all of the other people on the Titanic who had nothing to do with Jack and Rose just have to wait in Titanic heaven for her to return? To top it all off, if Rose doesn’t want the huge blue diamond worth millions of dollars, maybe her grand daughter does. Ever think of that Rose? It’s just selfish...

Captain America

Dave: I don’t know, maybe it is the patriot in me, or maybe it is my desire for Captain America abs, but I actually liked this movie. I liked the second one even more than the first. He is a pure, All-American that refuses to ever do the immoral, unethical or wrong thing. He chases what is right, and he happens to do it pumped full of a “make your abs juicy and ripped” serum. Is that such a crime? He single-handedly saves hundreds from the Hydra’s camp, and then takes those guys with him to save thousands more at each and every Nazi choke point. All the while he has time to promote war bonds, woo the ladies, and ends up sacrificing himself for the cause. Now that is a hero.

Noah:  To me he was always just kind of a pansy.  Even when he got all buffed up he never had that All-American swag that any superhero wearing the stars and stripes should.  I’m gonna be honest I feel like I could probably take him.  Like what is his head gear even?  It looks like his mom helped him make it for show-and-tell day.  But more importantly I felt playing with history while adding some sci-fi elements was a bit too slippery of a slope (I Googled World War II and most of the things from the movie weren't real).  


Dave: This is just one good movie. An ogre, who is simply angry because he has never been loved, must go on a long journey to get his home back that has been selfishly taken from him. A princess, who has lived her whole life alone and worries that no one will ever love her because she turns into an ogre at night, is saved from the castle by, who would have thought, an ogre. Fate simply rewarded both protagonists by giving them both what they ultimately desired: To be accepted for who they were, and be happy together in their swamp. Not to mention the hilarity that ensues while they are both on this fateful journey. And tell me you didn’t laugh at that parfait part.

Noah:  I did laugh at that parfait part.  It was the other non-funny stuff I remained deadpan for.  The whole thing was just a little too over the top for me.  Also too many burping and farting jokes.  A fart can only take you so far, I've always said that.  I felt like this film set up a lot of jokes that never quite had me slappin’ my knee like I thought they would (the gingerbread thing, the exploding bird thing).  Finally the sounds of Cameron Diaz’s voice and Smash Mouth singing did absolutely NOTHING for my ears.  

Dave: For the record, I also was not a fan of the farts and burps.

The Notebook

Noah: Maybe I’m just a sucker for love stories, but the lesson “True Love Never Dies” is a pretty important one to learn.  Enter Allie.  Enter Noah.  Granted the whole forbidden love thing has been done before (and more than a couple times by yours truly), but the odds were stacked pretty high against these two!  She came from Southern aristocracy, he was just kind of hangin' out.  Her parents forbid her from seeing him (her Dad also kind of looks like a Communist but I think he’s probably a Republican).  He went to war (and survived BTW, let’s not forget that) and she fell in love with another.  But let’s talk about what they were willing to DO for one another.  He wrote her everyday for a YEAR.  I’ve never kept a journal for more than 6 days…  He rebuilt that house for her!  That’s the most adorable thing I've ever heard of.  And then when she begins to suffer from dementia he’s still there for her when they’re super old (they look pretty good still, honestly)!  Why?  BECAUSE IF SHE’S A BIRD THEN HE’S A BIRD.  He kind of did a lot more for her in the long run, but she still went against her crazy mom’s will and pulled a runaway bride thing on James Marsden, which is certainly emotional, I don’t want to discount that.  It just goes to show that if you’re a true soldier of love you can win the war (the war inside your heart and World War II, because he was obviously fighting for her).  Also.  How cute was the laying down in the street scene?  Precious.  Tried it on a date once and it got dicey in a hurry but it just goes to show that she’s not the Allie for this Noah.

Dave: First of all, isn’t it time James Marsden caught a break? He always gets one upped by some other guy and has his girl taken from him, and he never deserves it! X-Men? Jean is stolen by Wolverine. Superman Returns? Lois Lane is stolen by Superman! Enchanted? Giselle is stolen by Patrick Dempsey! I am sure you can think of more! Second, heights terrify me, and that Ferris wheel scene makes me want to puke. Third, So, it's not gonna be easy. It's gonna be really hard. We're gonna have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, you and me, every day.” Come on. This guy makes being in a good relationship really hard after watching this movie. Girls want you to lay down in the road, hang from a Ferris wheel, stand in the rain, and build them a house? Find a less needy girl. Geez. How about driving safely in a car with a girl, ride on the Ferris wheel with her, stand inside where it is dry, and have a proper contractor build a house for her. I mean that place probably has roof leaks.

Despicable Me

Dave: Now, I love Steve Carell. I also love charity, bad people turning into good people, and orphans finding homes. Is that so wrong? Despicable Me showed us a man who was pure evil being turned around by none other than love itself, taking its form in three beautiful little girls. It is a classic fish-out-of-water tale where a man who can barely run his own life manages to find space in his heart to take in three little girls, patches things up with his grumpy mother, and even provides a home for hundreds of mysterious, little, yellow creatures. So, what can we learn from this movie? Oh, just everything that is important to family life and love.

Noah:  I see your points and I don’t want to seem like a horrible human being, I just can’t stand Steve Carell’s accent or the annoying little minions.  Hit the mute button, gimme some subtitles and we can reevaluate.

Land Before Time

Noah: Few characters have ever taught me more about love, loss, societal norms and the entire human condition than these little cartoon dinosaurs.  When Littlefoot and Cera were playing with that “hopper” (tiny dinosaur frog) I was reminded that no matter how jaded the world gets there’s a little childlike innocence in all of us. Furthermore when that gust of hot, steamy nostril air from Sharptooth’s nose lifted Petrie into the air for the first time I felt like my feet had left the ground too.  10/10.
Note:  Do not use the film for it’s accuracy in naming geological phenomena and Cretaceous creatures.  Answering “mountains that burn” on an undergraduate GEO exam will almost never be correct.

Dave: I just couldn’t stand thi….oh who am I kidding, this movie was incredible. I just rewatched that scene where Little Foot’s mom dies, and I almost started crying again.

Who is right and who is wrong? Let us know at
P.S. Finding 9 movies we disagreed on took about an hour.