Movie Reviews: June ’11

X-Men: First Class
So how did you like it?: I still have mixed feelings about it after a month. Right off the bat, I can say this is probably the best movie in the franchise since “X2” (that one’s my favorite of the bunch.) The story takes itself a little seriously, but at least has fun with itself without falling into C-movie territory. You can tell they’re actually trying to make a good movie for a change. And for what action there is, it’s pretty good.
What didn’t you like about it?: It’s not self-contained enough. It tries to stay too consistent with the later movies. I’ll spare all the spoilers, but near the end, you can tell they’re trying to force in a bunch of plot elements to show us “how this character became that” and other things that could be better saved for a sequel. Also, the biggie…
What’s the biggie?: The good guys are total dicks in this movie. Why do the heroes treat Mystique like a freak? Red hair, blue skin, shapely curves, likes geek stuff – even by non-mutant standards, she’s pretty damn sexy. In fact, I found myself rooting for the villains more than anything. The best scene comes near the end where a huge catastrophe is about to take place – and I was on the edge of my seat hoping for all hell to break loose until the good guys showed up and ruined everything! I think being buzz-kills is their new mutant power.

Green Lantern
So…: It’s “Superman” meets “The Mask” meets “Howard the Duck.”
OH DEAR GOD: Not as bad as it sounds, of course. It’s B-movie watchable. The problem is that the film spends so much time building up the idea of an intergalactic peace corps, and yet most of the movie is spent on Earth with Ryan Reynolds trying to hook up with his ex. Once the movie finally went off-world, I got pumped because suddenly something new was happening. The world of Oa was cool, the aliens were awesome, a giant monster is eating the universe – the story was getting interesting! And then Ryan Reynolds just shrugs it off and goes back to Earth to hit on his ex some more. It’s like if “Avatar” kept the guy in a wheelchair for the whole movie. Later, he uses his ring to make lots of goofy weapons and some guy grows a big alien head and turns into a “Howard the Duck” villain.

Super 8
What is it?: This would have made for an awesome Goonies sequel. Hell, maybe it is the Goonies sequel. The fat kid’s in there – just make him scare away the monster with the Truffle Shuffle. Then replace all the other kids with the appropriate characters and yup – you got a Goonies movie.
Goonies…?: Goonies, E.T. Close Encounters – the movie’s just a big mash-up of Spielberg movies. It even has the appropriate music and cinematography. This is literally the closest we’ve ever gotten to making an 80’s movie since the 80’s (which is pretty ironic since the story’s theme revolves around “letting go of the past.”);
Can Brittany watch it?: Yes she can. It’s not a shakey-cam movie like I was told. In fact, this has the least amount of shakey-cam I’ve seen in a long time.
Final Verdict: Overall, this is a really good movie. In fact, I love it. All the kids are incredibly good actors, and to throw in children as the stars of a sci-fi horror situation puts a new twist on the genre. It has some good laughs, some good scares, some good effects, and an overall good story. This is my recommendation of the summer so far.

Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon
What’s the damage?: If you walk in expecting lots of Baysplosions, over-done comic relief, annoying robot sidekicks, a story that doesn’t make any sense, and incredibly awesome special effects, then the film should easily meet all your expectations.
3D makes Michael Bay a better director: I don’t recommend seeing it in 3D because frankly, you won’t even notice it. But because Michael Bay used an expensive 3D camera, he couldn’t shake it around so much, making the action sequences a lot more watchable. This is the first Transformers movie where I can actually tell what’s going on (except for the half dozen times where I thought Megatron was killed – seriously, why can’t they make the Decepticons look different from one another!)
Too much… comedy?: I heard they were cutting back on the parents’ scenes, so I assumed the movie would be more serious this time. I was wrong. Instead, Sam gets a job in the most ridiculous office ever, and comic actors all show up to put on over-blown comedy routines that put even “Iron Man 2” to shame. You want to see robots fighting? Maybe later, after we see John Malkovich get into a tickle-fight with Bumblebee, or watch Ken Jeong drop his pants and mug for the camera. I can’t tell if I’m watching Transformers or an Ernest movie.
But the action?: This does have some freakin’ awesome scenes – I’ll say that much. And the action keeps GOING. Every time I think the movie’s almost over, there’s another half hour of Baysplosions left to go. In fact, this movie has an opposite problem from all the other movies I’ve seen this year: now there’s TOO MUCH action. And this just makes me feel more jipped about “X-Men” and “Green Lantern,” because this movie is proof that Hollywood is holding back. In fact, now they’re over-shooting the mark (which, sadly, is a welcome change.)

Bonus Reaction to Jack Black’s “Gulliver’s Travels”

No really, why? Who green-lights a movie like that? Who reads “Jack Black saves the day by peeing on everyone” in a script and actually goes through the trouble of filming it? I AM ANGRY.

July 03 2011 05:40 pm | Movies

7 Responses to “Movie Reviews: June ’11”

  1. jolly_old_saint on 05 Jul 2011 at 4:08 am #

    It wasn’t really the good guys that treated mystique like crap as much as Xavier did. At that, the other good guys were hardly in the movie….same for the bad guys, did the tornado dude even have a name? And how the hell did the devil guy not get a backstory? But I think the reason for Xavier’s callous putzishness was because they tried too hard to make Xavier Dr. Who. The whole movie he’s a smooth cat but completely oblivious to his amazing and gorgeous companion who’s totally into him because he’s still hung up over his thing for white women. Or dumb blondes, I guess.

    I still don’t get why the people were being abducted in Super 8…but the bit playing during the credits was awesome enough that I’d go see that by itself.

  2. jolly_old_saint on 05 Jul 2011 at 4:17 am #

    Oh yeah, also, if they were trying to be consistent with the other x-men films you’d think there would be less plotholes (like beast being human in the first two movies, xavier saying he built cerebro with magneto, the two of them acting like they were friends for a lot longer, and xavier not knowing what the helmet was in the first movie…okay, so I watched em again and its fresh in my mind, forgot all of that before I actually saw first class).

  3. Chris on 06 Jul 2011 at 2:25 am #

    I think Hank was the biggest dick to Mystique. They had that whole moment where they’re in front of a fireplace and he’s openly judging her appearance telling her “See – now that’s beautiful.” I just wanted to punch his face at that part. At least Xavier had the “like a sister” excuse for blowing her off.

    I don’t think the movie should have rushed into putting Xavier into a wheelchair and turning Magneto into the big bad. I was liking the movie on it’s own merits – I wanted to see Magneto as a hero at least until the next movie. Or at least let him blow up the ships. The movie did such a good job of making me root for Magneto that I WANTED to see that happen.

    I agree the henchmen weren’t as well-developed. They’re henchmen, sure, but even back in the first X-Men movie, Sabretooth, Mystique and Toad made a more interesting line-up than Riptide, Azazel, and Angel Salvadore (wiki’d the names.) Azazel seemed to fit, but the other two had zero personality in combat.

  4. jolly_old_saint on 09 Jul 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    I think the beast thing felt so artificial that I forgot it. It was like “blue is so uglyOHSNAPTHEIRONYIMBLUEANDGONNATURNINTOFRASIER!”

  5. The Beezer on 15 Jul 2011 at 4:35 am #

    so, “gullivers travels” is like “disaster movie” in the sense that if you absolutely HAVE to watch it, You shouldn’t pay money for it (Netflix included)?

    uTorrent FTW!

  6. Chris on 15 Jul 2011 at 4:40 am #

    I would not recommend putting money towards Gulliver. But I would sooner pay for it than see “Disaster Movie” for free again.

  7. Jawad on 15 Jul 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    My Friend wanted to see Gulliver and I couldn’t refuse when he asked me to go with him. Fortunately for me the sound didn’t work and they didn’t start the movie, half an hour of my life wasted waiting but at least it wasn’t as bad as seeing it and paying for it.

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