Saturday, July 05, 2008

Summer Movie Showdown

The TRH movie reviews have been lax as of late. I'm not reviewing any films for anyone professionally right now so I haven't had any screening passes. Are reviews still valuable when the films have already been out for weeks? Perhaps, because they'll still be coming out on DVD, right?

Wanted

We decided at the last minute yesterday not to go to the cottage because my RRHB didn't feel like driving, which was fine with me because I've been on the move a lot lately and, as much as I adore the cottage, it might be good to spend a weekend at home too. For some reason, we have no bedsheets. They've all simply disappeared. How does that happen? Annnywaaay, we went out for dinner yesterday afternoon and then drove out to the Queensway to see Wanted. It's a rare movie, one that both my RRHB and I want to see, and so he didn't need much convincing, as he kept telling our friends we met on the street, "It's got Angeline Jolie for me and James McAvoy for her; it's perfect."

But the movie was just okay. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but the plot and/or story was so utterly implausible (um, Loom of Fate anyone?) that it kind of made the good parts of the film, the first half, which was really funny feel kind of out of joint. James McAvoy stars as a dreary cubicle drone who hates his life, knows his girlfriend is cheating on him, and has massive panic attacks. So when Angeline Jolie shows up at the pharmacy to tear him out of a dangerous situation (his father, whom he hasn't seen since he was seven days old, which means, um, he's never really seen him) and gives him the chance to join a secret fraternity of assassins, well, he does so, and takes many, many wicked beatings in the process. See, silly, right? There's a lot of mumbo jumbo about who killed his father and is it his real father and who's lying to whom, but it's all just set up for some pretty spectacular special effects and the whole bullet bending thing. Both McAvoy and Jolie are excellent, and like I said, even though it has a goofy premise, there are some truly comedic parts to the film that had us both laughing, and the action, whew, my shoulders are still sore from clutching them up around my ears.

The Incredible Hulk
We went to see The Incredible Hulk when we were in New York with my RRILs. To be perfectly honest, it was much, much better than I expected it to be mainly because Ed Norton does such a great job as Bruce Banner. I might be one of the few people on earth who actually enjoyed the Ang Lee version, but I also appreciate how they took care of the heady stuff, how he becomes the Hulk, at the very beginning of the movie, which opens the picture up to the dealing with the consequences of his actions. When we first see Bruce Banner, he's hiding out in Brazil working a menial job in a menial pop factory. Of course, the military chases him; of course, he's got the whole love interest thing hanging of his head; and of course, there's that little trouble with controlling his temper. But Norton does such a nice job of playing the guy on the run, that man whose whole life is turned upside down, and the push-pull between him and the military, run by William Hurt (who employs a super soldier, a super-scary, Tim Roth, to track him down) is effective.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
I adore the Indiana Jones movies. My mom and dad would take my brother and I to see them at the old Runnymede theatre (where we also saw Raiders of the Lost Ark) when we were little and it wasn't a Chapters. So it's no wonder that my RRHB and did something we never do and went to go see a film on a week night (it was our only opportunity!) when we both had work the next day. I wasn't entirely disappointed, and it was great to see the characters again, but on the whole I felt as if the story needed a little bit more. Again with the implausibility, with that forced feeling when the filmmaker wants to go somewhere but has to get the characters there, and parts just didn't work for me (like Shia's whole "greaser" persona). That said, like Wanted, I still enjoyed the film immensely overall, but it's not my favourite of the series.

Sex and the City
Goodness, it took Sam and I about three times to find the one night we could see Sex and the City. By now, everyone's seen it at least twice (except me!) and all I'm going to say is that the trouble with the film is that it's an entire season of episodes crammed into one rather long movie. You can feel the half-hour bits as it progresses and the story doesn't flow as naturally as you'd expect if it were a film and not a film based on a television show. However, it's Sex and the City, and even if the movie was terrible, I'd probably still see it three or four times (by the time it gets to DVD) because I love the characters so much.

We also went to see Iron Man on opening weekend, but that was months ago, and I can barely remember what the movie was about, I just remember thinking that they couldn't find Gwyneth some shoes she could actually walk in?

So, we're barely into the beginning of summer and it feels like an pretty spectacular summer in terms of the overall quality of the movies out there (all solid Bs, I think). But what's missing is that dramatic Oscar-bait-type film, that counter-programming, that gives Entertainment Weekly something to talk about while reviewing all the popcorn-sellers. Oh, and we need more girlie movies Hollywood -- can't you see that? Women are going to see Sex and the City two and three times because there's nothing else out there for us. Nothing. What are you all going to see in the multiplexes this summer?

1 comment:

ames said...

I saw all these movies except the Hulk.

Also saw Kung Fu Panda - that was fun.