Last week, at the tail end of my birthday vacation, I took in the Alita: Battle Angel film before it disappeared from theaters entirely. So how was it?
I should preface my review of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice with a few facts so you can decide whether you want to try taking this review at all seriously:
- I hated “Man of Steel.” I feel like the only things that movie got really right were Henry Cavill and Amy Adams, whose Clark and Lois respectively were remarkably solid.
- I only rented this movie because I’m cautiously optimistic about the upcoming Wonder Woman solo film and wanted to see Gal Gadot’s part in this film first.
- I couldn’t bring myself to watch the three-hour “full” cut of this movie. Devoting two-and-a-half-hours-plus was already a big commitment considering how badly I didn’t like the movie that came before this movie.
If the above facts render my upcoming thoughts invalid to you, you’re welcome to stop reading. There’s a whole rest of the Internet for you to explore. Thanks for dropping by, have a lovely day!
Oh, and below you’ll find spoilers. Big unsubtle spoilers, even. Be ye fairly warned, mateys. This review is long, sprawling, and badly in need of an editor. Like the movie. Ba-dum-PISH!
Kylanath and I went to see that new War In The Stars movie thing. In a theater, no less.
My spoiler-free reaction?
I liked “The Force Awakens”, mainly due to how incredibly fun and engaging the new characters are. Also, it’s occasionally an incredibly pretty film, what with the panoramic backgrounds full of crashed Imperial Star Destroyers and what-not. (Be cynical on your own turf. I’m not immune to well-done nostalgia.)
On an almost unrelated note, one of the things I realized that I can do with this site is to tell you, dear reader, about things I like. Sure, this was always supposed to be a journal. (Was I ever good at journal-ing? Probably not.) But back while it was a more active web location, this site served the same function for me that Twitter does now: Quick thoughts, and links to stuff elsewhere on the Internets that I find amusing/informative/etc.
So. Let’s do more of that latter thing, the linky-ness. And to tie this back into today’s theme, I’m going to link to the Xanadu Cinema Pleasure Dome podcast’s website. This past Thursday they put up an episode all about the aforementioned new movie, and I agree with pretty much all of their reactions, so listening to them for an hour will give you a good idea how I feel. (I’m 100% less tipsy than they were when they recorded, mind you.) And if that’s not enough, I wrote a blog post’s worth of comment on their post. Ahem.
Be aware, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, do that first and then follow this link to the “KlaxOn! KlaxOff!” episode of the Xanadu Cinema Pleasure Dome. Enjoy, won’t you?
And right there in the subject line of this post you’ll find my major gripe with the new “Godzilla” movie, if you can call it a gripe.
They played it straight, it does what it says on the tin, it clocks in at two hours instead of nearly-three, and the biggest kaiju fan I know gave it her full approval. Hell, the movie even does a respectable job (all things considered) of figuring out how to get the main POV character into position for each action piece he’s thrown into, which is usually one of those parts of such movies which tend to make you say, “Oh, COME ON.”
A great work of modern cinema? Maybe, maybe not. A solid giant-monster movie worthy of its name? Oh, hell yes.
The lovely Kylanath and I went to see “Iron Man 3” yesterday afternoon. While I generally liked the overall effect of the movie and many bits thereof, I find myself with some serious thoughts that bear jotting down. The short version is: If you haven’t seen it, and you liked the first movie and/or the Avengers movie and/or the second movie (I rate them in about that order, yes) then it’s absolutely worth your time to see this third Iron Man installment. If you liked the first movie and thought the second was a huge let-down, then… you should probably still see this movie, as it is generally better than the previous. It’s funny, it’s explode-y, there’s great banter, and the good guys triumph over the bad guys. What more do you want?
Well, I wanted a few things to be somewhat better, and that’s why I have thoughts and that’s why there’s a journal entry about it. So. That’s the teal dear summation. Henceforth, therefore, I shall dive into big spoiler-y spoilers. I’m not going to break this into two pieces like I did for “Skyfall.” Sorry.
Inspired by a Twitter discussion, here’s a list of 10 favorite films, not necessarily in order of importance or quality, as of right now, subject to revision when someone jogs my memory of something even better that I’d forgotten seeing but somehow actually loved even more than anything already here, and this sentence may have run on long enough, and carries too many commas, don’t you think?
- Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind – Miyazaki has made “better” movies, but I don’t love any of them the way I love this. No, not even Spirited Away. This is the movie that made me fall in love with anime.
- The Princess Bride – Put aside for a moment that this is a painfully over-quoted cult favorite. (Guilty as charged, m’lud.) It’s still one of the great action comedy satire romances of all time.
- Die Hard – I’m less enthusiastic about the franchise it turned into, but that first out-of-nowhere movie is utterly brilliant. There are zero missteps, and almost every action movie since owes this film a huge debt. It’s silly, it’s clever, it’s over-the-top where it should be yet subtle at just the right places.
- The Incredibles – It’s not that this is one of the most fun, clever, family-friendly, exciting, and funny animated features ever made. It’s that this is one of the most fun, clever, family-friendly, exciting, and funny features of any kind ever made.
- The Bourne Identity – I’m not putting the whole “trilogy” in here but I do really like the three Damon-led movies quite a lot. (I have Thoughts regarding the fourth movie which I’ll have to post soon, come to think on it.) This first movie is a revelation, though. Very little bumbling going on, lots of smart people versus smarter people, and for once the trend toward “gritty realism” (well, such as it is) doesn’t drag down a story and make it too grim & depressing.
- The Hunt For Red October – Still the only Tom Clancy “Jack Ryan” movie I actually like, this one is chock full of great character actors chewing marvelous scenery marvelously. And Alec Baldwin is a genuine hoot, too. “Some things in here don’t react well to bullets…”
- The Castle of Cagliostro – Look, it’s no less absurd than any number of other caper flicks out there. Lupin III as seen through the lens of Miyazaki, this movie’s a charmer through and through.
- The Fugitive (1993) – We’ve grown used to Tommy Lee Jones’ schtick in the years since, and the “henhouse, outhouse and doghouse” riff spawned some parodies indeed, but you have to admit he absolutely steals this movie. Also notable for Andreas Katsulas, otherwise known as Babylon 5’s Ambassador G’Kar, as the one-armed man. Oh, I guess Harrison Ford’s in it, too. Shrug.
- Iron Man – Remember back before the whole multi-picture pyramid leading up to The Avengers was a “thing”, and this was pretty much just one of the best superhero movies ever made? Simpler times, simpler times indeed.
- Chicken Run – “We’ll either die free chickens, or die trying!” “Are those the only choices?” While the rest of the Aardman run of feature films is a bit hit-or-miss (I wanted to like the full length Wallace & Gromit movie, but those characters just don’t seem to work in anything beyond short films), there’s almost nothing wrong with this movie. The peril, the heart, the cleverness, the references to other movies, the madcap contraptions… it’s all there.
And there we have it. You have opinions, I have comment threads. Fire away!