Posts tagged ‘The Avengers’


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.


The Avengers

by wfgodbold

I saw it the other day (after my Criminal Law final, I needed a pick-me-up), and it’s as good as everyone else has been saying (and the numbers don’t lie; $800 million worldwide so far is insane).

Tony Stark is great, as usual (he had the best one-liners (though Thor had a pretty good one about Loki early on)), but I was especially surprised with how well Whedon managed to make the Hulk an actual character (while he was enraged and green, I mean).

My only real complaint was that the fight between Thor and Iron Man was so dark. It probably looked fine in regular vision, but because of the 3D glasses, it was really hard to see much of anything in that scene.

We’ve come a long way from the superhero movies of the 90s. A very long way.

Okay, back to studying.


The Star-Spangled Man

by wfgodbold

Captain America!

Marvel’s iconic patriotic war-hero super-soldier’s film reboot is quite a ride. We see his origins as a 90-lb weakling (thanks to the miracle of CG; it’s odd looking, but not quite in the uncanny valley), and then his service during WWII, fighting against the villain Red Skull.

Once the origin business is out of the way, the film does pretty well. Steve Rogers becomes a great hero without actually trying to be heroic; he’s just doing what needs to be done.

I thought it was pretty good; even given the slower pacing at the beginning, the latter 3/4 of the film deliver. I’d put it not quite on par with the first Iron Man movie (which set the bar for modern comic book adaptations (of the non uber-serious Batman variety, anyway)).

Oh, be sure you stick around through the end of the credits; like all recent Marvel films, there’s a stinger.

In this case, the stinger is a trailer for The Avengers.


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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