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Posts Tagged ‘movie review’

Man of Steel not stainless

June 17, 2013 6 comments

Spoiler Alert: This review has a lot of spoilers. Like, a lot of them.

"I appreciate you looking in my eyes when you have x-ray vision."

“I appreciate you looking into my eyes even though you have x-ray vision.”

For those who were unimpressed with Man of Steel, seemingly everyone had a different moment where they realized the movie was going to suck. For some, it was when they first saw General Zod. For others, it was the  lack of red underwear. For me, it was when I heard who was directing the movie.

While promoting Man of Steel, producer Christopher Nolan’s name has been arguably more prominent than that of director Zack Snyder. That was no accident. In order to sell tickets, they wanted the movie associated with the genius behind Inception, Memento, and the Dark Knight trilogy, not the guy who made a dumb comic into a dumb movie (300) and a weird comic into a bad movie (The Watchmen). Oh, and let’s not forget that he also directed a children’s cartoon about owls. Putting Zack Snyder at the helm ensures that the movie will look like crap, which is a problem here, but not nearly the largest one. Read more…

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Avengers Review

Surprisingly, The Avengers doesn’t suck. I know, I know. It’s made eleventy billion dollars in theaters so far, but James Cameron’s tree-hugging crapfest Avatar made a killing too, so that’s usually no indication of artistic merit. Admittedly, I knew almost nothing of the Avengers going into the movie, other than being disappointed that it didn’t feature Uma Thurman in a leather catsuit (wrong Avengers, it turns out). Instead we get Scarlett Johansson in a skintight catsuit, which is actually an upgrade (despite the lack of leather).

Hot Avenger in bad movie

Hot Avenger in good movie

Disney had been building up to The Avengers for years by introducing each character in their own god-awful movie. Given the standard formula that the more characters are in a superhero movie, the more it sucks, it was a bad omen to see 7 comic heroes on the movie poster. I was wrong to doubt Joss Whedon, though.

Whedon’s script is as devoted to character development and drama as to blowing things up. His trademark nuance made the film more than the sum of its parts. Sure, pretty much all of Manhattan is destroyed by a creepy alien race, but my favorite scenes are of Natasha Romanoff’s manipulation during reverse-interrogations and Tony Stark’s smarmy toying with Bruce Banner. Read more…

Captain America Review: Or Why Steroids Are Awesome

August 1, 2011 6 comments

Got roids?

In an era where performance-enhancing drugs have become so stigmatized, it’s great to see a film that boldly takes on a pro-juicing message. Captain America: The First Avenger is just that bold film. It’s the tale of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), a scrawny kid that is unable to live his dream because of his small stature and lack of strength. After injecting a special serum, though, he becomes super strong and fast, gains confidence and then blossoms into an American icon. Basically, it’s an allegory for the life of Barry Bonds.

The film starts out with scientists in the Arctic discovering Captain America’s frozen body in a tease for the most unnecessary “surprise” ending in history. The rest of the movie is a flashback, where we see little Steve unable to enlist or get the attention of women because he has not yet become a buff steroid-user. Inexplicably, the scientist who gives him the roids stresses how important it is that Rogers not change who he is on the inside. However, what was on the inside was not enough for women or his country until it was matched with a stronger exterior, so he’s a big hypocrite. Read more…

Love is the Drug They’re Thinking Of

Okay, let’s get this out of the way first. Yes, there is a lot of sex in Love and Other Drugs. Yes, Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal get naked a lot. If you want to see the movie for those reasons, go ahead and rent it and loosen your pants because it definitely lives up to the hype. The movie is much more than a sum of the controversial sex scenes, though. In between the more carnal moments, Love and Other Drugs manages to be one of the best love stories ever filmed.

Normally, I would rather have a tooth pulled while listening to Rihanna than watch a romance movie. As a whole, movies in the genre are formulaic, boring, and they insult the intelligence of anyone who has actually ever been in love. This film, however, tells the tender story of an improbable romance that is touching, fresh and sexy. Read more…

New X-Men a Class Act

June 12, 2011 8 comments

Back in the day, nothing was expected of comic book movies except having people dress up in cool costumes and occasionally blow stuff up. Michael Bay probably loved them. It didn’t matter if the movie was trash, because Hollywood didn’t respect the audience. In recent years, however, the bar was raised by the first two Spider-Man movies and Christopher Nolan’s excellent Batman reboots. Now movies with superheroes have the same expectations as other movies: We expect them to be good.

Unfortunately, films portraying those mutants at Xavier’s School for the Gifted have rarely accomplished that. While X-Men 2 had strong character development and achieved great dramatic tension through its portrayal of Professor X as a Martin Luther King-like figure versus Magneto as a Malcolm X-like figure, the third movie failed in any way to achieve drama, character development or excitement. And then there’s that Wolverine movie, which somehow managed to make one badass character (Wolverine) boring and another badass character (Deadpool) ridiculously cheesy. For that reason, not much was expected of X-Men: First Class. To my surprise, it turned out to be a good film, and not just for a comic book movie. Read more…