Posts tagged ‘X-Men’

03/30/2013

A month’s worth of movie reviews

by wfgodbold

In reverse chronological order:

GI Joe: Retaliation was pretty good, if a bit light on plot (but hey, it’s GI Joe; just be glad the last half of the movie doesn’t teach you a moral lesson), and a bit ham-fisted with how it deals with characters from the first movie. Overall, though, I’d say it was better than the first movie, and should make enough money for Hasbro to keep the series going (whether that’s good or bad I leave up to you, gentle reader).

Olympus Has Fallen is a rah-rah kill ‘em all kind of movie, and Gerard Butler takes a turn as a Secret Service agent who has to save the president from an army of terrorists. He does so, of course, with much violence and more headshots than seems probable (look, if you’re fighting an army of mooks, it makes zero sense to shoot them all with a handgun when you’ve got a perfectly serviceable carbine SLUNG ACROSS YOUR BACK). *ahem* Anyway, aside from one scene (where I think the director was trying to hard to give us an American version of Fabrizio Quattrocchi‘s “I will show you how an Italian dies!”), it’s a good action movie. Even if the president kept making terrible decisions (I suppose they needed realism there to make up for the headshots).

Jack the Giant Slayer is an entertaining . . .

No. Just no. I can’t do this. It’s terrible. Not even Ian McShane, Ewan MacGregor, and Bill Nighy are enough to salvage this monstrosity. This does not fill me with hope for Bryan Singer’s return to the helm of the X-Men franchise.

A Good Day to Die Hard, on the other hand, is everything we’ve come to expect from a Die Hard movie. Gunfights, explosions, duplicity, John McClane complaining about absolutely everything, and general mayhem. Would definitely see again.

I had meant to write these up individually, but I kept finding some reason to procrastinate. I shall endeavor to do better, gentle reader. Until next time, enjoy the trailers for RED 2 and The Wolverine:

02/04/2013

Movie review bonanza

by wfgodbold

I know I said I would post a review of Wreck-It Ralph, but I got distracted by the new semester. And also by a few other movies. I also forgot to review Jack Reacher after I saw it in December, so I’ll get to it in a future post. Probably.

First, Wreck-It Ralph: it’s good (of course it’s good; it’s Pixar). John C. Reilly is funny, Sarah Silverman manages not to annoy, but Jane Lynch and the rest of the Halo-knockoff characters make the movie. My only complaint was that far too much of the story was set in the sickeningly pink girly-girly kart racing game instead of one of the other games. Disney also played the excellent short film Paperman before the movie, which would have almost been worth the price of admission alone (assuming you got tickets for really cheap, and not at standard ticket prices).

To cleanse the palate of animated Disney fare, I saw The Last Stand, Arnold’s post-governator return to moviemaking. The action was decent, but a lot of the film felt like they were just going through the motions–especially Arnold’s cracks about how old he is now. “I’m too old for this shit” jokes weren’t funny when Danny Glover was making them in the Lethal Weapon movies, and they’re still not that funny.

The great thing about Jason Statham movies is that you know exactly what you’re going to see: Jason Statham generally kicking ass and taking names. Parker is no exception. If you’re the kind of person who likes Jason Statham movies, you’ll like Parker. If you like the Parker novels, then I have no idea if you’ll like Parker, because I haven’t read any of them.

Which brings me to the last review for the day, and my favorite of the bunch: Hansel and Gretel, Witch Hunters. It’s tastefully gory (well, maybe just gory), funny, anachronistic (I have no idea what year they were going for, but they missed–not that there’s anything wrong with that), and action-packed. Hawkeye Jeremy Renner and Io Gemma Arterton are witch hunters, and they get hired to defend the town against the evil witch Jean Grey Famke Janssen, despite the objections of the town sheriff, Lucifer Peter Stormare. It’s everything a movie should be. Rotten Tomatoes puts it at 17% fresh, right in the so bad it’s good sweet spot.

06/06/2011

I don’t know if I’d say it was a “first class” movie…

by wfgodbold

Even if it is right there in X-Men: First Class’s title.

As far as prequels/reboots go, it wasn’t bad. Since I never read more than a few of the comic books growing up (to my unending shame, I assure you), I didn’t recognize all of the mutants featured, but those that I did were mostly well portrayed.

It was interesting seeing Xavier and Erik’s friendship in their youth, but they did seem to try to cram a few too many origin stories into the film; like my friend Ryan said, if they’d focused on a couple in this film, and then a few more in a sequel, they could’ve gotten two good movies out of it without being as rushed.

That said, it was enjoyable. I’ve seen far worse comic book movies (Hulk, Daredevil, Elektra, both Fantastic Four films (I could go on and on, really)), and it’s really a credit to Marvel’s film studio that we can complain that the X-Men reboot isn’t as good as the Avengers film series is shaping up to be. Instead of whining about how bad the adaption is, we get to whine about how it’s not as good as their other properties!

I will agree with the Gormogons’ Czar of Muscovy; it was nice seeing the US as a force for good (mostly).

The movie makes good use of the single f-bomb allowed (it is rated PG-13, after all), and that line ties with one Erik (Magneto) utters at the climax of the film for the best line (and it really cuts to the heart of why Magneto does what he does, why he believes what he believes, and the lengths to which is he is prepared to go to achieve his goals).

05/06/2011

The Mighty Thor!

by wfgodbold

That was a hell of a movie.

I didn’t watch it in 3D (and a good thing, too; parts of the film are dark, and if it’d been 3D, I doubt I’d’ve been able to see much (on account of the polarized glasses)), though if it had been in IMAX 3D at the sole local IMAX theater, I might’ve.

The movie begins in medias res (Why yes, I will take any excuse I can find to get people sucked into the time sink that is TV Tropes), and then backs up for a brief rundown on what brought us to the opening.

And then the fun begins; Thor, banished to Earth, and powerless. They play the culture shock for easy laughs (made no less funny by their obviousness). Our favorite S.H.I.E.L.D. agent shows up, and hijinks ensue.

The effects are great; the actors do a good job (for the most part; Thor’s sidekicks have more problems with bad dialogue than bad acting, I think); Kenneth Branagh’s vision of Asgard is breathtaking; and Anthony Hopkins delivers a commanding performance as Odin.

I’m sure it will do fine at the box office, and is sure to whet the fan appetite for The Avengers (directed by someone you might be familiar with).

Between Thor, Captain America, and the X-Men prequel, it’s shaping up to be a stellar summer at the movies for Marvel.

I suppose I should point out that Thor is not highbrow entertainment. It doesn’t try to be, and succeeds admirably! It’s a summer popcorn flick, rife with action and fights and Natalie Portman Stan Lee cameos.

That said, even though the plot is fairly rote (you know that Thor is going to win; it’s a comic book movie, he’s the title character, and he’s going to show up in the Avengers movie, FFS), you’re never entirely clear on how it’s going to shake out. It’s no Iron Man (but then, what else is?), but it’s far better than, say, Hulk. Or The Incredible Hulk. Or either Fantastic Four movie. I’d put it on the order of Iron Man 2, I guess. Not as good as Iron Man, but better than most comic book movies.

No, I didn’t add all those comparisons just to flood my review with Amazon affiliate links. Why do you ask?

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