Nov 9, 2009

Movie Reviews @ The Temple

Xmen Origins: Wolverine – Yeesh. Actually, it wasn’t so bad. I had heard it was horrendous from all but one person. If you average everyone, such that it is slightly over horrendous, that’s a pretty good estimate. The opening credits I actually quite liked (if you ignore the canadians fighting in every american war ever). That might be a bad sign that that’s the highlight? The rest of the movie is… fine. It’s not super bad, I expected more cheesiness? poor production? not sure what. It was just kind of a crappy action movie, not worth noting if it wasn’t wolverine. There are some okay fights, some decent choreography. The striker group at first is kind of neat, if short lived. The effects are mostly fine, EXCEPT when wolverine first gets his claws. Then, HOLY SHIT, what the fuck happened? Why does he have roger rabbit graphics coming out of his hands?! Christ! Truly amazing bad failure there, just completely out of the blue shockingly bad. Happened a couple times, but that was the really bad bit. The rest of the effects for explosion and such are fine. Besides that, I’m having a hard time thinking of what is bad about this movie, except that it’s just kind of heartless. It doesn’t evoke much response in me as a viewer, seems like the syfylis channel decided to make a wolverine movie. What they do to deadpool is fairly fucking tragic, though that will only matter to a fan of the comics. His introduction is decent, though he is played too sullen for deadpool. He jokes, but it’s got a bitter layer that’s not appropriate to the traditional character. Then you go and beetlejuice his mouth shut, and it ruins literally the core concept of the character. Fuck, his catchphrase is “the merc with a mouth”! You took. His mouth. The whole climax of the movie is kind of a whimper. Overall, not as bad as I thought, but that doesn’t make it good.

GI Joe – Huh. Y’know, not bad! It’s kind of a fun movie, lots of effects and fights. The gun fights aren’t all that impressive, really. The ninja fights seem technically good, but they don’t grab you. Actually? It’s been a couple days since I saw this, and I’m realizing it wasn’t that good. It wasn’t bad, it was kind of a fun experience to watch. Lots of shiny. But now with some time I realize it is a completely forgetful movie. There was not a single wow moment, or how cool moment. Nothing that sticks as a big effect. I do remember the horrible jelly person CGI (also known as the Blade 2 effect) early in the movie. I definitely remember, because I wrote down, the worst dialogue in the world: “He sure didn’t want [the nanobots] taken out” “There’s nothing you can do for her?” “It’ll take some time, but we’ll take them out” Umm… really? Christ, did you read 2 lines ago? Anyway, I don’t know, I was thinking that as long as the movie gave me big booms, ninjas, and that red head, I’d like it. While I was watching it I thought it succeeded, but now I don’t remember any booms, the ninjas were lame (seriously, why the fuck does snake eyes have a mouth? its creepy!), and the red head was permanently encased in black leather, soo…. I changed my mind. It was bad.

Bolt – I liked this! Better than monsters vs. aliens, certainly. It’s not an amazing movie or anything, in the inevitable comparison – it’s no pixar movie. But it’s certainly a fun and funny movie. Granted, animals are an easy target, but i quite liked it. There’s not really a whole lot to say about it, it’s a naturally simple movie. But the graphics are acceptable, the voice acting is serviceable, the script is funny, and that’s the whole story. Good movie if you want a cartoon.

Safe Men – A 90s movie suggested to us by someone. It’s pretty fun. It’s very quirky, but in a peculiar way. There are flavors of quirky. You can be wes anderson quirky, amelie quirky, christopher guest quirky. Lots of kinds of quirky. Most of them don’t appeal to me. They are as often as not so far up their own quirky asses they forget to write a good movie. This is another kind of quirky and, for the most part, I enjoyed it. It’s not a kind I’m familiar with. I just imdb’d the director/writer, he hasn’t done much, most notably the tick (never saw it), along came polly (decently funny, but not like this), and I love you man which I actively disliked. None of these movies are like each other, so I’m still left thinking this movie is a very particular kind of quirky. Jesus, how many times am I going to say quirky? Anyway, the movie is fun, sam rockwell is kind of doing his thing. Mark Ruffalo is kind of also doing sam rockwell’s thing, which is actually pretty funny. It’s not a super complicated movie, it almost feels more 80s than 90s, it’s like dirty rotten scoundrels or something, charming bad guys. It’s really pretty enjoyable.

Soylent Green – Knocking out another unseen classic! This one is good! Except for one glaring exception, it’s actually pretty good! If I didn’t know the ending, I wouldn’t have expected it until he gets to the factory. My movie watching companion (not knowing the ending)got it then. But it’s really kind of a cool investigation story in a reasonably convincing dystopia. The big problem with this movie is the treatment of that hooker chick. What the fuck?!  He meets her, and immediately places her as property and bangable whenever he wants? And she meets him and immediately places him as savior and needs the big strong man to save her? It was pretty fucked up, I gotta say. But short of that glaring fuckedupedness, I liked it.

Serpico – Quite a good movie, this. Not that anyone was waiting 35 years for me to weigh in. Just as a movie it’s good, not amazing, but good. It all rests on Al Pacino, and if I can forget that he’s been acting the same in every movie since, I can recognize that it’s a very good performance. His commitment is pretty staggering. Everyone else that supports him does their job, which is too be sad, menacing, supportive, antagonistic, or friendly, but only in a way that doesn’t get in his way. I guess it was maybe an early example of “gritty” story telling. It’s hard to take that in context, there are certainly a whole lot of movies that have done that better since. I’ll give it an odd form of credit that it stands up to time. It could very easily be overwhelmingly 70s, but it doesn’t feel that way except perhaps in filming style. As a story that is based on real life, it’s pretty amazing. It was only 40 years ago, such rampant and accepted corruption, and then someone actually does something at such great risk, pretty astounding. Certainly a good movie, over all.

Metal Gear Solid: Philanthropy - Had this one bookmarked for a while, but who has time to watch an hour long fan movie? Well, me, tonight, apparently. One the one hand, it’s an hour of MGS story. And hours of MGS story were pretty much what made MGS4 a not great game. On the other hand, holy balls this is a fan movie? It looks amazing! Better visuals than a fair amount of real movies! Granted, the acting is bad. The story isn’t great, but hey, that’s pretty much keeping in canon. The voice dubbing is something atrocious. You’d think it was actually filmed in a different language, the dubbing is so bad. But nope, just poorly done looping. The effects are pretty good though. There are some all digital scenes that give everyone a glow I don’t like, but it’s not really any worse than a big budget all digital movie. There are some cgi blood problems toward the end, which is becoming my jihad as of late. But jesus christ, they got an effing metal gear in there! They aren’t fucking around! Sadly, i can’t really recommend spending an hour to watch this unless you are crazy into MGS, and no one who reads this is. But it should be noted for it’s production values at least. If nothing else, the fact that I just pasted this into the movie section instead of its own post shows where I place it.

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