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February 2007 Archives

February 7, 2007

State’s Evidence

State’s Evidence, from writer Mark Brown (the Barbershop movies) and director Benjamin Louis, could have been a good movie. It really could have. It starts with an offbeat premise that somehow comes across more believably than it should. It has assembled an ensemble of mostly capable young actors. On occasion, the screenplay even has flashes of insight that will resonate deeply with many audience members who went to a public high school in the United States. But the movie has so much working against it that, even though it tries pretty hard, it ends up descending into a total craptastrophe.

Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Film Monthly, Reviews

February 18, 2007

Gamerz

It’s hard to imagine watching a movie about people who sit around playing Dungeons & Dragons-like games. It’s not the most visually compelling of pursuits. It also strains credulity a bit, in a world that now has massively multiplayer online role-playing games (which have, essentially, replaced old-fashioned D&D), to think that university students would obsess over a game like this. Gamerz handles both of these causes for concern with wonderful deftness: to make the game more interesting, an imaginative hybrid of animation and live-action shows us the content of the game as it’s narrated by the dungeonmaster; to make us believe these folks would play these games, we’re given the hilarious throwaway explanation that seeing Lord of the Rings under the influence of psychedelics would inspire a 20-something to pick up a 20-sided die.

Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Film Monthly, Reviews

February 20, 2007

Bridge to Terabithia

Bridge to Terabithia proves a few important things studios seem to have forgotten: you can make movies for kids without treating anyone under the age of 16 like they’re rock-stupid, and you don’t have to throw in a bunch of “edgy” ironic jokes that float over kids’ heads in order for it to appeal to adults. After watching approximately 450 trailers for kids’ movies that look godawful (Firehouse Dog, Meet the Robinsons, and especially Nancy Drew), it’s easy to appreciate the warmth and intelligence in a film like Bridge to Terabithia.

Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Film Monthly, Reviews

February 19, 2007

Buena Vista Street

Click the image for a larger view. Buena Vista Street by dbbates During the same period I wrote “Vlad,” I wrote a song for the abandoned break-up album about a guy driving from one end of Burbank, California, to…

Posted by D. B. Bates at 9:54 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Writing, Music