May 2011 Archives
There aren't many new DVDs out this week, but you are probably just as happy to go outside and enjoy the last bit of spring anyway.
The reviews are in for The Hangover's sequel, and they're pretty brutal across the board. I read a few of them before I went to the movie last night so I was expecting a boring, lazy, unfunny re-hash of the first movie - basically just a pointless cash-grab of a film. And while Part II certainly has its faults -- the ending is a laughable throw-away, there's a date rape bit that was ill-advised, and Alan's shtick flounces between hilarious and irritatingly Michael-Scott-at-his-worst stupid, to name a few -- I honestly laughed a lot and genuinely enjoyed the movie overall. The majority of critics clearly disagree with me, but here are the reasons that I think The Hangover Part II is much more watchable than it's being made out to be.
It's a sad week when gnome puns are what we are most looking forward to in movie releases. Gnome what I mean?
The makers of the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie have insisted that they've trimmed all the ludicrous, overcomplicated fat of the second and, mostly, third movies, put the focus back on humor and the fun of swashbuckling and sought out to make an easily digestible family film. And while it's true that this movie is extremely straightforward and definitely easy to digest, it's also one of the most lifeless and least memorable "action" movies I've ever seen.
We are all about movies whose titles get straight to the point this week.
Despite their subject matter, dystopic, post-apocalyptic films can be a lot of fun if you let them. Doomsday, for instance, took the nightmare concept of Escape From New York and wisely inserted the manic action and crazy characters of Road Warrior. But when your world is already ridiculously bleak, there's no need to drain the color out of it as well, both literally and figuratively. In Priest, the world is all blacks and greys -- the cities, the desert, the vampire hives, even the vampires are all shades of bleh. And the dialogue is so cookie-cutter that it might as well be grey, too, along with the leaping-through-the-air and-throwing-bladed-weapons-in-slo-mo action sequences. But, while it all feels done to death, it at least touches on a variety of genres, and occasionally has a flash of quirkiness and inventiveness that hints at what the movie might have been, if it wasn't a mostly generic sci-fi flick.
It's rare that a movie about a wedding comes along that doesn't make me want to throw up. After all, for every The Proposal there's a Bride Wars, a Something Borrowed and a 27 Dresses. Kristen Wiig's idea to collaborate with Judd Apatow to make a wedding movie that anyone can enjoy could have been a disaster, but the end result really does have something for everybody: the typical-guy moviegoers most movies seem to cater to, the ladies who even go to see the clearly awful wedding movies, and anyone who simply likes good comedy. Here are just a few of the numerous moviegoing subgroups who might enjoy this movie.
Being a big name star may mean that you get to be in all of the most "Oscar-buzzed" movies, but it also means that there is just no longer a place for you in those smaller movies about subtle emotions that once defined your career. Eventually, no matter how good of a performance you deliver, just being you makes it impossible for anyone to embrace you. In a post-Inception/post-Black Swan world Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Natalie Portman both give pitch perfect performances, but Hesher still suffers because of them.
Remembering life before Justin Bieber got his hair cut just got a little easier.
Of all the Marvel Comics characters being brought to the big screen, Thor is the one who seems like he would be the hardest to explain. Yes, he's a Norse god, and as such his stories have been told since time immemorial (mostly to Norsemen), but his home isn't a palace in the clouds, it's a sci-fi city in space, one that connects to Earth via a rainbow. Unsurprisingly, the rainbow is downgraded to a slightly shimmering transit beam in the movie, but everything else about Thor is translated to the big screen pretty effortlessly, insofar as a Shakespearean family drama played out on massive, shiny, golden sets can be called "effortless." But since the science and magic aren't dwelt on as much, it allows the drama to play out unhindered, with plenty of bellowing and backstabbing, and action that hits like a hammer to the face.