Another side project that I started last month was I kept telling my friends that I was eventually going to start a film review site last year, but I never quite did it. After a couple hours searching for a proper domain name, the deleted domain came up and I registered it and put up a simple blog based site.

The idea is get other writers on board and contribute, so if you want to write about your favorite movie, go ahead and contact me to see about writing for MovieComment.

Other than that, I saw on the internet that they are making an Ironman movie. I just hope to God, they don’t mess it up and have it be as crappy as Fantastic Four.

Ice Princess

If you make it out to the theaters, you probably could not miss Disney’s promotions for Ice Princess (Widescreen Edition), a feel-good movie for mother and daughters, but the funny thing about advertising is that it sometimes works on intended markets, namely my four year old son, who became somewhat fond of wanting to see this film on DVD. Even though I told his mom that she would never see this movie because we only have boys, no daughters, we ended up watching this film over a weekend. And yes my son was not the only one asking to see this film, there were other equally puzzled fathers at the local video store.

The movie’s premise is pretty simple, (although totally inaccurate as usual): Casey Carlyle (Michelle Trachtenberg) is a geek who is being pressured by her mom (Joan Cusack) to apply for Harvard, when her physics teacher recommends her for a scholoarship. She has to come up with a summer science project though to go along with her application and this is when she stumbles into the graceful and competitive world of figure skating. The rest of the film is Casey’s remarkable determination to excel in the sport at the cost of everything she has going for her, which other than being smart, is not much. Casey ends up being influenced by the skating ring owner and coach Tina Harwood (Kim Cattrall), who has aspirations for her own daughter to become a championship skater.

The best parts of Ice Princess, are the acting. Almost everyone in the film plays their part well, and even when the lines are a little too silly and weak, the actors still manage to resonate throughout and get the emotional feel right, like when Casey has her spirit broken at her competition, and Cattrall and Cusack face off about morals and raising daughters, you feel for everyone in the scene. Any parent understands that moment of anger that you have, when you learn someone has wronged your kid, and this is what you get out of the scene, namely emotional resonance.

Some fathers will feel somewhat left out of this film, because between Casey and her mom and coach, there is no actual father or husband to speak of. In this film, which tries to pursue the idea of what is the ideal strong woman, a man just does not quite fit into the discussion. We never know anything about Casey’s father or even where her love of skating comes from originally other than the pond outside her house. However, the film only pursues this idea, it never actually defines it very much or gets to the heart of the issue. Casey just ends up being both beautiful and smart in the end, as if there was never a conflict between the two ideals.

Others will also point out that Ice Princess never really is all that accurate about the world of figure skating other than of course the competitive nature of the sport, but this is not a real inside view of skating, it is a Disney family oriented film, and it is a particularly good one at that! Ice Princess is girly, it is fluff in most places, but it is also a little bit modern, and even “I am woman, hear me now!” in certain places. I’m sure the film is a big hit with mother daughters, but I’m sure some four year old boys also think skating is cool now.

The Fantastic Four

Comic books movies are pretty common ever since 911 happened. Although Spider-man was essentially already filmed, it too fits in with the trend Hollywood started, and so we got DareDevil, Spider-man 2, X-Men, Elecktra, The Hulk, etc. In all, except for The Punisher, comic book movies are a very good distraction from real world problems, like terrorism and politics; it is easier to make a movie that requires suspension of disbelief, because even if a theme is controversial, it is not analyzed as much since it is coming from a super hero that isn’t real. Most comic films though tend to be feel-good movies anyway, so there is not much serious thought to begin with. This leads us to Fox’s rendition of The Fantastic Four. A film that disappoints on the most important level of all, the action movie category!

The plot is pretty simple, good boy scientist and his best friend tough guy want to further their research but they are broke. The solicit the help of an old school friend who allows them to take a trip to his personal space station where they have to work together with his chief scientist and her brother. Everyone knows eachother and of course the space cloud they are suppose to study arrives early and the situation leads to a freak accident that gives them superpowers.

The rest of the movie is made up of the four main characters ironing out their personal conflicts, and of course the birth of Dr. Doom, which is a tad underwhelming.

For the most part the acting is not terrible in Fantastic Four, the special effects are neither disappointing, and even the dialogue does not suck. So what’s wrong with this movie? Why did the critics hate this movie? The answer is that the film is too nice! Unlike X-Men where the bad guys are really bad (even cool), and the main character Wolverine is not nice all the time, Fantastic Four has no dark side. The characters are mostly nice to each other and have good manners, with the occasional clumsiness of The Thing, nothing really happens in this film. Dr. Doom turns evil, but even his transformation could be explained as not being rooted in evil.

This all leads to a final battle, which is really the only battle! and then you realize you have watched an entire movie just to get one real good versus evil fight! Even Spider-man fought the Goblin a few times before he really kicked his ass.

Kids may enjoy this movie, I know my kids did, but older kids and adults may find the Fantastic Four lacking in the action department, and for a comic movie to lack action, is simply unforgivable.