Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks - The Chosen One

Written as part of the weekly blogathon hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. Join our merry band of pickers by picking three movies that fit the week's theme and writing a bit about them!

Today is the hottest day of the summer so far in NYC, and I've been working like a dog all week (but I have tomorrow off to have a long weekend! YAY!), and The Chosen One is just about the oldest trope in all fantasy/sci-fi, so I'm just gonna do this Quick And Dirty Style. Hold onto your butts!

The Matrix (Wachowskis, 1999) In which the world you know is all a lie, you are forced to choose the red pill or the blue pill, and Keanu Reeves says what we were all thinking the first time we saw "bullet time": WOAH.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Jon Turteltaub, 2010) In which Disney actually manages to make an entertaining full-length movie out of a short from Fantasia, a physics nerd becomes a hero, and Jon Turteltaub (of all people) proves himself to be the Nicolas Cage Whisperer.

Moana (Ron Clements & John Musker, 2016) In which empathy is treated as the most heroic quality, The Rock attempts to sing, and Auli'i Cravalho becomes a star.

13 comments:

  1. These all fit the theme very well but I HATE, hated The Matrix! To me it was one of the stupidest things I've ever seen. It should come as no surprise than that I've never seen the sequels.

    Somehow I missed that there is a live action version of The Sorcerer's Apprentice. I'll have to check it out.

    I've seen bits of Moana because of my nieces and nephew but do I even have to say that I've never sat down and given it a proper viewing since it's animated.

    I was sure the week would be awash in franchise titles so I stayed away and looked for stand alone films that fit the theme and came up with these three.

    Excalibur (1981) - Director John Boorman’s amazingly evocative version of Le Morte d’Arthur where all the elements-casting, cinematography, acting, music, visual style and direction blend seamlessly. Following a prologue explaining how Excalibur came to be in the stone we meet the young squire Arthur (Nigel Terry) who is guided by Merlin (a brilliant Nicol Williamson) to the realization that he is The Chosen One by removing the Sword in the Stone. Initially as King Arthur he unites England, befriends Lancelot, takes Guenevere as his Queen and formulates the Knights of the Round Table but then his malicious half-sister Morgana (Helen Mirren) begins to take her revenge for the grudge she’s long held against both Arthur’s father and Merlin and a darkness descends on the land. Loaded with performers who went on to greater fame-Gabriel Bryne, Liam Neeson, Patrick Stewart and Mirren among them.

    The Ten Commandments (1956)-C.B. DeMille’s final film is a huge pageant telling the story of how Moses came to realize he is The Chosen One to lead the Exodus to Mount Sinai and receive the Ten Commandments. Florid and often arch but loaded with great set design and effects that are still impressive 60 years later. Charlton Heston’s granite stiffness is actually a perfect fit for Moses, MISS Anne Baxter could not be more dramatically entertaining as Nefretiri torn between two men and emoting for all she’s worth over it and they are not alone, everybody more or less projects to the back row. Both Yul Brynner and Yvonne de Carlo are more naturalistic but they’re exceptions. If you enjoy BIG pictures making BIG statements this is one of the best.

    The Last Starfighter (1984)-Teenager Alex Rogan (Lance Guest) spends all his free time playing the video game Starfighter at which he’s expert. He doesn’t think much of it when the new guy in his trailer court (Robert Preston) notices how good he is but the next thing he knows Preston has spirited him away to the edge of the galaxy and told him that he is The Chosen One who can save the universe! Turns out the video game was a test and Alex and his compatriot lizard/man Grig (Dan O'Herlihy) are leading the Star League in fighting the evil Kodan forces.

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    1. The Sorcerer's Apprentice is a trifle, but I really enjoyed it. Save for a rainy day when you need a bit of silly escapism.

      Excalibur really is probably the best screen telling of the Arthurian legend (not counting the sublimely ridiculous Monty Python and the Holy Grail, of course), and of course The Ten Commandments is just BEYOND. One of my all-time favorites. The cast could not be more perfect - I also adore Judith Anderson as the duplicitous nursemaid Memnet and John Derek as the hunky stone-cutter Joshua, NOT TO MENTION Vincent Price and Edward G. Robinson just being themselves. They just don't make 'em like that any more.

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  2. I absolutely love The Matrix. Moana is excellent, as well. And she is totally The Chosen One. Not really a fan of The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

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    1. The animation in Moana is just gorgeous. I love that the ocean LITERALLY CHOOSES HER lol. Sorcerer's Apprentice isn't any great shakes, but as a former nerdy kid who was very into magic, it was right up my alley.

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  3. I've seen the Matrix and it's ok but they should have never made any sequels. I haven't seen the other 2 at all but now I would like to.

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    1. I REALLY LIKE the second Matrix movie, but yeah, the last one is a bit of a slog.

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  4. I love The Matrix, but I wasn't crazy about Moana. I remember wanting to see The Sorcerer's Apprentice but never gave it a shot.

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    1. You should definitely give Sorcerer's Apprentice a shot - it's fun!

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  5. I love that you went with Moana! I wish I had thought of that lol

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    1. THE OCEAN LITERALLY CHOOSES HER lol

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  6. I don't particularily enjoyed Moana that much but it's a great pick.

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    1. Aw, how come? I admit I wasn't as high on it as some, but it's beautiful to look at and very entertaining.

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  7. Gotta a lot of love for Moana - its the film that people should have gone crazy over NOT that load of crud Frozen. That aside, Nicolas Cage is actually good in The Sorcerer's Apprentice?? I wasn't interested in seeing it to be honest but its interesting to know about these things...

    LOVE The Matrix - the most chosen one chosen one story and I just love it

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