I thought movie reviews were Dave’s shtick.
New Year’s is always a time of reflection. Unlike some who spend their time reminiscing about missed opportunities, life-altering decisions, or perhaps the one that got away, I like to think about all the shitty movies I paid good money to see in theaters. I’m going to be writing up my two cents on every film I paid money to see in theaters in chronological order and by gum you’re going to like it.
The Green Hornet
It always depresses me when Hollywood takes a talented and visually inspiring creator like Michel Gondry and quickly crushes them into another soulless “working director.” Green Hornet had many problems. Seth Rogen was continuing his illustrious career of being himself on camera and Christoph Waltz went grossly underused. Despite his best efforts (as what I consider to be the saving grace of this dud) Jay Chou’s fight scenes weren’t enough to make this movie worth watching. While I feel that the essense of what The Green Hornet should be was there, somewhere, the stoner comedy scripting didn’t do the subject material proper justice. I don’t plan on ever watching this movie again.
Gnomeo and Juliet
Yeah, I saw this in theaters. Go ahead, judge me. I have my reasons but regardless, I enjoyed it. It was a cute flick that was heavy with Shakespearean in-jokes. I think I saw it in 3D. Anyway, it was not the worst way to spend an hour and a half if you’re looking to appease a child (or in my case a gnome-obsessed friend from out of town). I’d watch it again if it were on and I didn’t remember where I put the remote.
Unknown was disappointing. I went in fully expecting Taken 2 and it is not what I received. The action was okay and for the most part the plot was intriguing. It dragged on from around the half-way point to a not-so-amazing reveal ending. By the end of it all you really just want to go home and watch Taken again. Man, that movie was awesome.
Take Me Home Tonight
Fuck Take Me Home Tonight. This movie was tragic. Topher Grace plays an unlikable pathological liar that no decent person would ever care about. Anna Farris (probably the funniest person IRL) is given zero chance to do anything amusing and leaves you with a general feeling of “then why are you even here?” Dan Folger tries to be funny. Sometimes he is. But I think if they let him go off script more they really could have made at least one part of this movie watchable. Teresa Palmer is a Kristen Stewart that retained the ability to smile. The plot throws back to the 80s for no tangible reason outside of maybe making the cocaine jokes a bit more “okay.”
I just really hate this film.
Paul was great. The cast was enjoyable. The character quirks made me chuckle regularly. I cared for a CG Alien version of Seth Rogen. I really have no complaints about it. That kind of makes for a boring article, huh? Hmm… Let’s see. The music sucked! Well, I don’t really remember the music. Yes I do. I liked the music. It was a really nice film. You should watch it!
The title of this film is actually referring to the feeling you have when you realize what you just paid for. This movie was an amazing encompassing of everything that is wrong with modern “blockbusters” The characters were a pair of knockers away from being cardboard cutouts. The plot was barely there. What upset me the most though was how utterly boring the action scenes were. I’ll repeat: The action scenes were boring. That should never happen. Ever.
The blame can entirely be brought down on Zack Snyder and his general attitude of “well it worked for 300!” I can agree that he has the ability to make pretty things on the screen, but his problem lies in that he isn’t very competent at anything else. He really needs to settle into a nice Production Designer role and let someone with directorial talent take on the hard things.
Arthur was a sweet film. It wasn’t outright hilarious at any given point but the relationship between Helen Mirren and Russell Brand made the film well worth it. Out of the majority of soulless remakes of classic films, this one somehow retained it’s soul.
There wasn’t anything necessarily wrong with Thor, but I can’t recall being in love with it either. It was a fun action flick. Natalie Portman is cute. Chris Hemsworth is cute. Kat Dennings was there. I think my only problem had to do with the CGing of entire sets, something that has annoyed me since The Prequels ruined CG. Outside of that, which is really just a Hollywood thing and can’t be blamed on any one film, this film is entirely watchable.
The Hangover II
This was probably the greatest caper committed in modern burglary. It was so mind-bogglingly unoriginal that I don’t even know where to start. Any comedy that could be found in this film is lost under the sound of the audience scratching their heads thinking “didn’t I already see this movie?”
X-Men: First Class
X-Men was a grand success in what would have otherwise been a pretty bad year for superhero films. As my second-favorite film of the year, it relied on that one thing that most action films push aside to ensure its place at the top: character development. Every character in this film had a role, had development, and they all grew and learned. It is the essential part of story telling that so often gets looked over in current film-making that I just get depressed. Luckily there are films like First Class out there that remind me that some people still get it.
This film was a bit of a nostalgia-fest but I can’t hold that against it. Spielberg and Abram’s storytelling styles run parallel to each other and the film benefited from both their input. The plot ended in a place that was a bit more cliché than I wanted and quite frankly I don’t understand why Abrams always seems to give these monsters poor designs and overly large reveals. This movie is definitely an initiate into the guild of “Oh look, ______ is on tv. Looks like I just lost the next two hours of my day.”
I went out of my way to see Troll Hunter when it first came out and I am glad that I did. The subject matter had never really been utilized properly until this movie came along. Although I tend to loathe shaky-cam “found footage” movies I think this one tried to keep the nausea-inducing blurriness to a minimum and it help you get into the moment. Attention to detail in the lore and character development really made this movie shine.
I have never witnessed a comic franchise be so improperly used. Everything that could have gone wrong with this movie did, in fact, go wrong. From a general audience perspective, the vast universe that this film takes place in is not properly explained. From the fanboy perspective, they essentially took one of the coolest chartacters DC has to offer and they mutated every aspect into unlikable drivel. A majority of the CG was flat and unconvincing and despite Ryan Reynolds being a dreamboat he didn’t bring anything to the film that earned his six (seven?) figure paycheck. This movie honestly made me think that the superhero genre is on it’s way out and quite frankly I couldn’t be happier.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
As my number one film of the year, Harry Potter succeeds because it had so much hype to live up to and it actually delivered. This movie answers every question, fills in every hole, and leaves you utterly satisfied in the ten-year journey you have taken. If you haven’t seen this or any of the other Harry Potter films I don’t know why. They are honestly better than Star Wars.
Just like Thor, Captain America wasn’t necessarily bad, but it wasn’t life altering either. It was a fun summer blockbuster that kept me well enough entertained. It’s hard to judge these Marvel movies as anything other than build-up for The Avengers. Chris Evans did great playing a more serious character but everyone else (outside of Stanley Tucci, who may be my favorite actor of all time) was just kind of there. Even Hugo Weaving’s Red Skull seemed a bit off for me. As I said, this movie was basically $140 million worth of set up and in that it delivered.
Out of sheer laziness, I will provide you with a link to my already written review of this fine film. For those of you who prefer to TL;DR route I thought this movie was great. Old and new characters combine wonderfully to provide what could be the rebirth of my beloved childhood franchise. If you have kids, it’s worth watching. If you don’t have kids, it is still worth watching. The characters will make you smile and the songs will get stuck in your head. I highly recommend it.
So there you go. I watched sixteen movies in the theater this year and now you know what I thought of them; in chronological order, no less. I’m still hoping to squeeze in another film or two before the year’s end, namely Tin Tin and M:I 4. Hopefully I’ll be seeing you next year around this time and you can read what complaints I have about 2012’s cinematic treats.