Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Movies: past, present and future

Here are some movie reviews in roughly chronological order.

Victor/Victoria – I was channel surfing for the first time in years (I watch plenty of tv mind you, just all tivo’d) last week and came across this one that I’d always meant to see. But it’s not exactly a party movie, so I never had occasion to see it. It was amusing, well made but a bit heavy handed. In the end, despite a long running time, nothing much happens. I guess that’s what happens when you have a lot of musical numbers that don’t actually advance the plot.

Breach – A bit of a jump there, 1982 to 2007. I didn’t think this one was very interesting. Admittedly, I was sending emails during the whole thing. I don’t know if it’s a cause or effect situation, but a movie where you send emails throughout is destined not to be interesting.

Be Kind Rewind – I thought this one was very good. Jack Black plays someone slightly different from himself. Mos Def is kind of retreading his 16 Blocks character, but a bit more innocent. The movie didn’t have a ton of gut-busting moments, though it did have a couple, but was very funny as a whole unit. There were pacing issues and massive gaps in reason, but you just have to go along with it. There’s no way the characters could be as dumb as they are AND as ingenious as they act, but it’s really just a feel good story, not a depiction of reality.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall – The day after my exam I treated myself to this and the Hulk as a double feature. I liked the Hulk, but I think I liked this one more. It may be my favorite Apatow film. It’s not as funny as Knocked Up, but I like the story much more. I found it much more relatable and dare I say insightful than his other films, nearly all of which I have enjoyed. It certainly helped that they just piled it full of actors that I like (Jason Segel from HIMYM, Veronica Mars herself, Mila Kunis, Jack McBrayer, Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill etc) I wish I recommend it to everyone, but as an Apatow film, you know what you’re going to get. A fake orgasm sound competition? Yeah, no one’s getting this one for Christmas.

Hulk – Sweet. As one of the few people in the country that liked the first film, I can definitely say that I liked this one more. Most everything I have to say has been said. Yes, it matched up well with the 70s series, which is a good thing. Yes, the acting wasn’t anything amazing, but I didn’t need it to be. I’m not at all sure that Liv Tyler can act, but I definitely want her to keep getting leading roles. The CG isn’t perfect, but you know what, it’s a SUPERHERO MOVIE. It’s a comic book brought to life, which in it’s purist sense is a cartoon. The giant beasts beating the crud out of each other can look like cartoons and that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I’m not sure how Hulk 2 is going to turn out with The Leader, a guy who’s super power is being smart. The Brains versus Brawn idea works fine on paper, but I want action in my Hulk movies. We’ll see.

Wanted – Pretty good. As I told my friend before entering the movie I wasn’t expecting it to be good, I wasn’t expecting it to bad, I was expecting it to be mindless. I was hoping it would be Shoot ‘Em Up ridiculous, but it turned out to only be Matrix ridiculous. But the fighting was pretty continuous, so I can’t complain much. And when there wasn’t fighting, there was scantily clad Angelina Jolie, which goes a long long way towards making a movie worth watching. It would’ve preferred a bit more Fight Club edge (they started in that direction a number of times and always pulled off before going all the way) but all in all it was certainly a fun 2 hours and well worth 4 dollars.

What’s coming up?

I’ve read a number of truly horrendous reviews of Hancock. I think this movie had some potential, but I haven’t liked the trailers at all, so I’m not very surprised. And even though I’ve heard it’s pretty bad, I’m sure it will make tons of money. Maybe even a little bit of mine if I get bored.

The advanced reviews of Dark Knight are sky high. As the counterculturist that I am, all this hype is making me less excited for it. Evidently this movie is going to be so good my head will explode, which I try to avoid usually. But to be honest, I’ll still see it the first weekend (schedule permitting) and perhaps even pony up the extra to see it in the IMAX.

What am I really excited to see? Hellboy comes out the next weekend. I realize that Hellboy is no Batman, but this preview gets me so pumped:
Batman has one outlandish fiend, this has dozens. I have no doubt that Batman will be the better film, but I think this one will be more interesting. And good versus interesting is a tough call in my book.

I’m still mad about Scully’s hair. I really hope they have a director’s cut where she looks like her cute short-haired self.

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