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Titan A.E.

Titan A.E. is an animated sci-fi film set in a future where an alien attack has destroyed Earth and a band of human survivors trying to locate a spaceship called Titan, humanity’s last chance for recovery. The film combines computer graphics and hand-drawn animation and the end result is visually stunning. It was directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman (they also directed The Secret of NIMH and Anastasia), and Joss Whedon contributed to the screenplay (so you know that it’s going to be good). It has a pretty impressive voice cast as well, featuring Matt Damon, Bill Pullman, John Leguizamo, Ron Pearlman, Drew Barrymore, Nathan Lane, Janeane Garofalo, Jim Breur, and Tone Loc.

The film begins in the year 3028 when an alien race known as the Drej attack and destroy Earth. Luckily Professor Sam Tucker has been preparing for this, and he’s built a spaceship known as Titan to ensure humanity’s survival. He’s forced to abandon his young son, Cale, on an evacuation ship, and the two go their separate ways. The film then jumps ahead fifteen years, and Cale is working in a salvage yard in space somewhere. Humans are scattered across the galaxy and are considered a lesser species because they have no home of their own anymore.

Cale eventually encounters Captain Joseph Korso, another human and former friend of Cale’s father. Korso reveals that the ring that Cale wears is a genetically encoded map that will lead them to the Titan. Together they could save mankind. Cale joins Korso’s crew, which consists of Akima, his sexy female human pilot and a couple of aliens of various species named Gune, Stith, and Preed. Then it becomes a race to find the Titan before the Drej can catch them and kill them. Of course there are lots of action scenes, a few twists and shocking revelations, and character developments that you saw coming a mile away. But it’s all enjoyable.

This movie bombed when it came out, and I’m not sure why. It was a mix of bad marketing and confusing publicity. It was advertised as a kid’s film, but it’s more of an action-filled sci-fi that happens to be animated. And the animation is gorgeous. It looks and feels unlike any other space fantasy flick that I’ve seen. And the action sequences are nothing short of thrilling. This movie is underappreciated and unrespected but it’s become a cult classic to some, myself included.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Drive

I remember when Drive came out in theaters last year, a few people told me that I needed to see it, and I didn’t believe them. And now that I finally have seen it, I know that I was right. Drive is a pretty craptacular movie. It’s about a stuntman/mechanic who works as a getaway driver on the side, and he stumbles into a plot and gets in over his head and has to fight his way out. It sounds cool. It’s not.

I’ve never heard of the director, Nicolas Winding Refn, so I looked him up on Wikipedia and he hasn’t directed anything good and he looks like a doofus. I don’t like him. Ryan Gosling stars as the Driver. You never learn his name and you don’t care. He goes around wearing a stupid satin jacket with a giant scorpion on it. He works as a mechanic and as a Hollywood stunt driver, but his main thrill is driving getaway cars. The Driver works at a garage. His boss Shannon (Bryan Cranston) arranges his getaway jobs. The Driver has a few rules that he abides by: he never does a job for the same people twice, and they only have five minutes to do their shit before he drives off.

The Driver meets a girl in his apartment building named Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her young son Benicio. The Driver and Irene have some chemistry, and the Driver likes little Benicio and it seems like the love story will move along nicely, but then Irene’s husband Standard gets out of prison and comes home. Standard (Oscar Isaac) owes an Albanian Gangster named Cook some money, and Cook forces Standard to rob a pawnshop for him. The Driver decides to help Standard and offers his services as a getaway driver.

Standard, the Driver, and a random bitch rob the pawnshop, but things go wrong and Standard gets shot and dies. The Driver and the random bitch flee the scene with the money, but they are being chased by another car. So the Driver outdrives the other driver and they escape. And the Driver deduces that the random bitch set him up. And then some hitmen show up and kill the random bitch and the Driver kills them and escapes again.

The Driver tracks down the gangster Cook and he finds out that Nino (Ron Pearlman) is behind the heist. Ron Pearlman might be the ugliest guy in Hollywood. He looks like Eric Stoltz in Mask. Nino sends a hitman to kill the Driver. The Driver kills the hitman by repeatedly stomping his face into the ground, before looking at Irene with puppy dog eyes and wondering why she is so freaked out by him.

The Driver tracks down Nino and kills him and then goes after Nino’s partner Bernie (Albert Brooks). After he gives Bernie back the money in exchange for Irene and Benicio’s safety, Bernie stabs him. The Driver stabs him back and kills him. And then he doesn’t die, and he celebrates by driving off into the night without the girl.

This movie drags on and on. It was marketed as an action movie, but there’s not much action. There’s not even much dialog either. It just creeps along at a snail’s pace, pretending to be smarter than it really is. Compare this movie to Reservoir Dogs. Reservoir Dogs is an action movie without much action. But it’s riveting, it’s got a nice flow and pace, it never drags. Michael Madsen slices off a cop’s ear and it’s terrifying and you can’t look away even though you want to. In Drive, Albert Brooks kills a guy by stabbing him in the eye with a fork and hacking at him with a butcher’s knife. It was much more gruesome, but had no impact on the plot, and therefore is unnecessary and stupid. Tarantino’s Death Proof had much better driving scenes and stunts. This movie seems likes it’s trying to emulate Tarantino, but it fails miserably.

It’s false advertising to call a movie Drive when they don’t do much driving. They should call it Bore, because boring is a much more accurate description. This is not the worst movie ever, but I can’t respect you if this is your favorite movie.

Critically Rated at 10/17

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