Dec 272009

Saw Sherlock Holmes yesterday, and I must say it’s pretty spiffy. I would rather have seen a British actor playing Holmes, but Downey did a good enough job, and I have to admit the chemistry between him and Law’s Watson was very good indeed. Of course, I spent as much time admiring the sets, props, and costumes as I did the cast, and Guy Ritchie paints a marvelously grey late-Victorian London. Overall a fun movie. It’s not going to make my top 20, but I wouldn’t mind owning a copy on DVD when it comes out. I imagine the extras will be extremely fun.

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Oct 042009

Totally rocks. Totally. The characters. The zombies. The special double-fudgy celebrity appearance mid-film. (do NOT search the interwebs if you don’t already know who it is. It’s better as a surprise.) Just awesome.


Jul 302009

Public Enemies is pretty damned bad. It’s got a good director and a terrific cast. The costumes and sets are beautiful, as is the cinematography. Almost every scene was lovingly crafted.

Problem is, as long as you put Dillinger’s death at the end and his meeting Billie Frechette somewhere near the start, you could pretty much have moved everything else around at random. Half the scenes felt like they weren’t related at all to the ones on either side of them. There was, simply put, no tangible plot to the thing, just a string of almost-interesting scenes.

I wanted to care about Dillinger and Frechette. For three or four minutes, once or twice I almost did. Mainly because Johnny Depp never quite gave up hope that he could make something out of the script he’d been given. But he was fighting a losing battle. There wasn’t enough there to hang a real character on.

Christian Bale did even worse. The character of Purvis had no more substance than the cardboard cutouts in the theater’s lobby ads. Keanu Reeves, the king of flat non-acting, could have done this part. Bale was wasted in it.

There were other actors in there, too. Good ones. None of them got to act. Not for more than ten seconds each, on average. I never even bothered to learn any of their characters’ names.

May 112009

We saw both of these in the last few days, and now that I’ve had time to digest them…

Star Trek had one particularly huge plot hole in it (which I would have to be spoilery to explain). It bothered me that they shoehorned Pavel Chekhov into the cast, even though he ought to have been closer to 12 than 17. And, please, someone explain to me why Scotty had to have the cute alien sidekick? Still, the casting was exceptional — I was particularly pleased by Zachary Quinto’s Spock and Zoë Saldana’s Uhura– and the film was a fun romp.

I also enjoyed X-Men Origins: Wolverine, despite the fact that they felt the need to stick in a young Scott Summers and an unnamed but obvious young Emma Frost (apparently without her psi powers?). Also, this was the first film in the franchise in which Hugh Jackman’s complete lack of shortness was actually distracting. I was glad to see that Gambit’s eyes are still red, even if it’s only when he’s using his powers, but he wasn’t slick enough for my tastes. But despite that, and the terribly overdone wire-fu, I had a good time.

Mar 102009

It take something pretty special to get me into a movie theater for opening weekend. Watchmen was in that category years ago. I knew the first time I read the book that if it ever made it to the screen, I’d be right there. And when it kept not happening, I was repeatedly saddened.

This was worth the wait.

It’s a long film, but I barely noticed. In fact, I could easily have sat through another 30-45 minutes of it and not complained. The script (though tweaked here and there) was very true to the book. The mood was wonderfully bleak. The special effects were gorgeous. There were things left out that I’d have rather seen left in. An actual explanation of Bubastis, for example. And occasionally, naked Dr. Manhattan was a bit distracting (But I think that’s more my hangup than a problem with the film itself. Stoopid internalized cultural nakedness taboo!).

And the cast? Jeffrey Dean Morgan: the Comedian incarnate. Patrick Wilson: marvelously nebbishy yet not unbelievably so. And Rorschach… What do I say about Jackie Earle Haley? Half the time, he scared the living hell out of me. The other half, I was identifying with him so strongly I was almost ill from it. He’s beyond perfect. “I’m not locked in with you: you’re locked in with me.” I didn’t know whether to cheer or hide under my seat.

Now I need to see it in IMAX.

Aug 042008

Saw Hellboy II yesterday. I’m always ready for a sequel to be a lesser movie than the original, but this one was a pleasant surprise. Fun and cheesy. And they gave Abe Sapien a bigger part, which was very nice.

And Luke Goss as Prince Nuada? Beautiful. Deadly. Graceful. Really amazing to watch. The fight choreographers did a stunning job.

There were plot points that I think ought to have gone in a different direction. Potential in the character of Princess Nuala, for instance, that was never realized. But overall a fun film.

And now I get to spend the day trying to scrub Barry Manilow out of my brain.