Jan 4, 2012

Movie Reviews @ The Temple

Sherlock Holmes 2 – This was really good! Now, the big caveat is that it’s not really a sherlock holmes story. It’s really just a cool action movie. To be clear, it is a REALLY COOL action movie. The slow mo fights are awesome as always (though I liked it better with the logical commentary, not just predicting what would happen in the future). The scene in the forest was jaw dropping. But, it is just an action movie. Gone are the twists, the intrigue, the mystery. It’s not very Holmes-ey. But, I’ve got the British TV show for that. For this movie, it was just cool.

Mission Impossible 4 – This was decent. Nothing special, I’d say. They didn’t do anything wrong. Lots of cool set pieces, cool action, cool stunts, cool gadgets, all that good MI stuff. Can’t complain. But. Kind of boring. I’m not super into the story, I’m not super invested in the people. And I’m not nearly as awesome-ized as I was with Sherlock. Oh well. That car was pretty bad ass.

Knight & Day – Wow was that bad. It’s trying painfully hard to be True Lies, but it fails really hard. You can’t force charm, even as hard as Tom Cruise tries. He seems to be phoning it in, just playing a pale imitation of ethan hunt. And Cameron Diaz, gads, she’s just awful. Always. In everything.

Going the Distance – This movie is surprisingly funny. You’d be excused in thinking it’s just some random romantic comedy. And to a large extent, it is. The plot is just normal old stuff, except this time for a long distance relationship. When they delve into that stuff it’s pretty boring, I could honestly do without all of that. But when they are being wacky it’s pretty funny. They give the two main people a banter (a combination of Sorkin and Diablo Cody, kind of?) that works most of the time. It comes out forced now and again when they are trying too hard to get the quirkiness in. But a lot of the time it works rather well. Christina Applegate is pretty funny as a hectic mom. Jason Sudakis and Charlie Day play douchey friends, who wouldn’t have a lot of character or anything interesting-ness, but those guys are funny guys, so you forgive the cliché characters and laugh at the silliness.  Overall, a good time.

Cave of Forgotten Dreams – Holy crap was this cool. How did I go 32 years without knowing about cave drawings? These aren’t just scribbles from some guys in 33 and a half BC. These are 30,000 years old. That is just astounding. There are these caves, in France, elsewhere in Europe, that for one reason or another got sealed off for a few ten thousand years. Then we find them, and there’s this amazing cave art inside. I mean, it’s not Monet, it’s just chalk drawings. But 1) I still couldn’t make drawings that good, and 2) did I mention 30,000 years old?? Just mind blowing. The film maker, Werner Herzog, is kind of annoying, and throws a complete batshit addendum on to the movie. But besides that, the movie is amazing.

Cowboys and Aliens – Ehhhhh. Seems bulletproof, right? Cowboys, great. Aliens, awesome. Energy weapons, cool. Why is this movie so lame then? It had no heart, and I don’t mean a sentimental heart, I didn’t feel any heart behind the action. It seemed so ho hum. No one stands out, the effects are fine, but nothing particular. I just don’t get it.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes – This movie is actually rather good. From a storytelling stand point, it’s entertaining, interesting, cool, all that good stuff. But on top of that it connects with the older movies in all manner of interesting ways. None of which were apparent to me, but fortunately I had someone in the room who knew these things and told us when they happened, which was great. There was also a little extra on the disc about really subtle things that they stuck in to reflect the original movie. It’s really pretty cool. My only complaint about the movie is I’m pretty sure it was filmed on a Canon Elph. There is something extremely non-hollywood about the cinematography. It felt like bad TV. Like british TV. Very constrained sets, like the people were filming it in their house. I eventually got over it, but it was kind of distracting for at least half the movie. I can’t totally explain why it looked like that, I don’t know anything about filming, but whether it was the cameras, the lights, the style, whatever, something seemed kind of low budget about it. The apes were a bit off too. Sometimes, when they really put effort in, they looked astounding. But you just can’t do that for 2 hours, so sometimes they looked kind of fake. Took me out of it a little. Nonetheless, my overall impression of the movie is very positive.

Kung Fu Panda 2 – This is pretty fun. It’s just another cartoon, so there’s not too many words I can use on it. But it is definitely fun, entertaining, cool little cartoon fights. Continues to be the only context in which I’ve ever enjoyed Jack Black.

Harry Potter 7: Part 2: 2nd act: 3rd section: Scene 1: version 8: Electric Boogaloo – Okay, I’m being a jerk, but the movie is actually pretty good. I mean, it’s not amazing, but compared to 2 hours of CAMPING that made up the last movie, this thing is a god damn work of art. No more bullshit teenage drama (except one extremely awkwardly placed kiss and one obnoxious coda). Fight fight fight, cast spells, do magic, transform, summon giants, good stuff. I have no affection left for this series, I have mostly disdain. What good will the listening to Jim Dale read the 7th book earned it, the 6th and 7th movies completely destroyed. But, this was at least fun to watch.

Super 8 – This one is good enough. I was hoping it’d be better, I guess. I do like the style, set back in the 80s. Done with little budding filmmakers. It’s a much more interesting context than a bunch of 20 somethings in new york, certainly. The creature is cool, the overall arc of the plot is good enough. The kids generally do a fine job, which is saying something. Overall I’m left a little underwhelmed, though. It’s not bad, not at all, just didn’t wow me. Just good enough.

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil – Maaaaaaan, this looked awesome! It’s such a genius concept, the hillbillies are the good guys, the city kids are judgemental assholes (and worse). Such an awesome idea! But every single funny moment (mostly deaths) was spoiled in the trailer. The rest is just loosely stitched together with not really enough story. There are times where I kind of laugh to myself and say that’s funny. But I’m not really laughing. I’m acknowledging that it SEEMS funny, that it OUGHT to be funny. But it just doesn’t work out. So sad. Probably my biggest disappointment in a long time.

No Strings Attached – Okay, I know this isn’t very good. But it does have Natalie Portman. But it does have Ashton Kutcher, so… yeah. But the real point is, I was having a shit night, and this movie was idiotic, but it made me laugh. Not good laughs, not smart laughs, not even laughs it would probably get on any other day. But on that day? Spot on. So I know it’s not good, it’s a 2 star movie, but it served it’s purpose. It gets a few points for that.

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