Monday, February 21, 2011

I Am Number Four

I just got home from watching "I Am Number Four" and this was one of many times I wish I could have had the theater all to myself. This was a good movie but not good enough to keep my attention amidst all the distractions, i.e. the cell phone that kept ringing, the man and woman who not only brought the smell of smoke (not the good kind) in with them but talked through the entire show and finally the man who needed to shake his popcorn. I'm guessing all these people thought they actually had the theater to themselves. I have no other explanation for their behavior.

But, enough of that. I spent most of this movie thinking it would be a really good cartoon...pardon me...anime film. I had to look it up when I got home to see if maybe it already is. It's not. It is, however, based on a novel that I am definitely going to read. In most cases I believe that movies won't be able to live up to books. I have a feeling this is just such a case.

If you haven't heard of this movie yet, you're just not paying attention. I avoid television as much as possible and even I heard of this. The basic plot is about a teen alien who came to earth as a young child after his planet, Lorien, is destroyed. He is one of nine kids who escaped and is now being hunted down by the Mogadorians. I'm sorry but that name just cracks me up. Not sure why. The Mogadorians are the ones who destroyed his planet and now want earth. All that stands in their way are the nine Loriens. The movie begins with the third of the nine being killed. Stupid Mogadorians!

The acting, while not Oscar-worthy, is good. I would watch any of these actors, on purpose, in other movies. The lead character, John, is played by Alex Pettyfer. I like him. He made me feel for John. I especially loved that he stood up for the underdog. Except for being an alien he is pretty much the cute boy next door. I will definitely watch other movies in which he plays. P.T. and I are waiting for his movie "Beastly" to come out in March. Yea!

Playing the role of John's guardian is Timothy Olyphant. I already liked him from "Catch and Release". And I just read that he's married with children and has managed to keep them out of the spotlight. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult that would be. Oh! And I've decided that he's going to be one of those guys who just gets better looking with age. He's got the whole salt and pepper thing going on in this movie and he's all kinds of cute. Anywho, he does a good job of playing the nagging guardian of an alien teenager.

Callan McAuliffe plays the part of John's trusty side-kick, Sam. He gets picked on by the bullies at school and John stands up for him. I haven't seen Callan in any other movies so I just have this one to go on. If he doesn't get any other decent rolls then Hollywood isn't paying attention. The one thing I wish had happened in this movie but didn't is that John didn't knock Sam's step-father down a peg or two. Poor Sam was being bullied at home and at school. He could have been a gunman-in-the-clock tower waiting to happen but turned out all-right despite the people who were determined to make his life miserable.

And for the romance portion of this movie we have Dianna Agron playing the part of Sarah Hart (groan), John's girlfriend. Why do they give them names like that? Her part came dangerously close to cheese territory but never quite fell over the edge, thank goodness. And she didn't play the helpless/clueless lady love either. Sarah is intelligent and can stand up for herself. Okay, maybe not against Mogadorians so much. But you get the point.

The other good alien, Number Six, is played by Teresa Palmer. I didn't think I'd seen her in any other movies but it turns out she played the female lead in "The Sorcerer's Apprentice". So there. I liked her in both films but wish she'd had more screen time in this one. You pretty much know who she is throughout the movie but don't really get to meet her until the end.

And finally, playing the Mogadorian commander was Kevin Durand. During the film I couldn't quite figure out who was playing the part though he did look very familiar. For a while I thought it was Jake Busey and having looked at both their pictures, they look nothing alike. Oh well. Most of you probably remember Kevin as Blob in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. I've also seen him in "Robin Hood" with Russell Crowe and "Mystery, Alaska"...with Russell Crowe. Even though he seemed to have difficulty talking around his villainous pointy teeth I was still glad that he didn't play the part of the foil in the movie.

There is violence in the movie but not a lot of gore. Close to the end of the film one of the monsters bites into the neck of another monster and while bloody it's not gag me bloody. And that's about as bad as it gets. There was also some cussing with s#!+ being the word of choice. You have to consider though what you would say if you were being chased and shot at by evil aliens. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be asking if they want a spot of tea. There is absolutely no nudity. Sorry boys. I saw several young kids in the theater and they didn't seem upset by anything that happened. I can't decide if it's because the "scary" scenes weren't that scary (they won’t bother most adults) or if kids today have just become numb to violence. I'm hoping it's the former and not the latter. Oh! And besides the Haunted Hayride scene where you sort of expect things to jump out there is only one jump-out-at-you scene and it’s at the very beginning. I tell you this because I am not a big fan of jump-out-at-you scenes. They are the reason I cover my eyes during scary movies.

I will watch this movie again and don't really see any reason why P.T. shouldn't be able to see it. It's a good get-away-for-a-bit movie. I didn't feel like sitting at home tonight so I decided to see this instead. I'm glad I did. Now…back to reality.

P.S. I so want a dog like the one in this movie. I'm just sayin'.

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