Tuesday, May 29, 2012

First Half Catchup

There have been a ton of 2012 movies I have seen and haven't wrote about here. Let me see if I can quickly recap them in the order they were released this year.

Haywire: Had a good time watching this flick. The star Gina Carano is decent, not great in her role as private security agent. There are some great hand to hand MMA influenced fight scenes and a really great soundtrack. There are also a ton of great cameos by talent actors to support the newcomer Carano in the lead. **1/2 stars

John Carter: Decent, it gets a bad rap, but I think the budget might have caused some negative press for the movie. John Carter deserved a better, more focused marketing effort, because the movie is slightly better than average. The special effects are really good, the story had me relatively engaged, and there are decent jokes. This perfectly good for what it was; a summertime Disney swashbuckling adventure. **1/2 stars

Wrath of the Titans: I did not see the original, so I went into this movie cold. What I got was a bland movie with poor special effects, poorly done 3D, and worthless story. Nothing here had me engaged. Wrath of the Titans didn't get me mad, just bored. *1/2 stars

American Reunion: Lacked the energy of the other movies in the American Pie movies. The movie was a getting the band back together movie where the group got together to do nothing. There was one scene that reminded me of the teen sex farce that American Pie was, but there wasn't enough like it to go around. *1/2 stars

Cabin in the Woods: Don't want to say much about what happens plot wise, however this is a witty, well written horror comedy that makes fun of the stereotypes in horror movies and has an original premise. ***1/2 stars.

Safe: A well directed Jason Statham action movie that has a pretty decent plot. The movie goes a bit off the rails in its third act but the fun and excitement of the first 2/3rds makes Safe worthwhile. *** stars.

Avengers: Simply put, this is brilliant. Great special effects, great story, great performances. No need to couch this behind the veil of it's only a superhero movie. Simply brilliant, I believe this could be best superhero movie ever. ***1/2 stars

The Dictator: A definite surprise. Very funny, and not for the faint of heart. There are tons of offensive jokes, but offensive to everyone. Sascha Baron Cohen does not wear out his role in a performance that could have gotten incredibly tiring. **1/2 stars

Battleship: A rage inducing movie. The plot makes no sense, the special effects are cheesy and hokey. From the very first scene I wanted to throw something at the screen. Battleship also exploits veterans by having them do dumb looking things in the movie, just to tug at our heartstrings. I did laugh when the soldiers began playing an actual game of Battleship in a battle against the alien invasion. It was one of those so bad it's good moment. I give it a half star for that *1/2 stars

Headhunters: One of the best films of the year. A twist-filled crime thriller that is a total blast to watch. Aksel Henne gives a fantastic performance as Roger Brown, a corporate headhunter, who uses his position to scout potential art theft victims. Needless to say, things go wrong on his last big score. Where the move starts and where it ends will keep you guessing and you will be on the edge of your seat nervous and excited to see what will happen next. ***1/2 stars

Men in Black III: At least it is better than MIB II. However, this only means that MIB III is only okay. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones phone in their roles, but Josh Brolin gives a decent performance of the young Agent K. The script is a bit of the mess, the middle uses dated jokes about the sixties (they are so weird back then, they must be aliens!). ** stars

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dark Shadows: Don't Bother

Dark Shadows is based on a 1960s supernatural soap opera of the same name. The film pulls a lot of soapy elements from the TV series, however the soap opera elements is the downfall of the film.

A soap opera TV series has the time to tell stories, build characters and set stakes of the story. The film has none of this. Bella Heathcote plays Victoria Winters, a mysterious woman who accepts a position to work as a governess to the Collins family. Johnny Depp is Barnabus Collins, a cursed vampire who has been unearthed after being trapped in a coffin for 200 years. In the intervening 200 years the once powerful and proud Collins family has fallen from grace, so Barnabus takes it upon himself to help them.

This is about as much I can say about plot of the film because not much time is spent on the other characters for me to even begin to care. Michelle Pfeiffer is the matriarch of the Collins family and she does nothing but have a stern face and try and explain away Barnabus' oddities. Chloe Grace Moretz as her daughter is no better, she has an unsightly scowl on her face in every scene.

Dark Shadows' crime is just that it is boring. I had seen the trailer before watching the film and I am pretty sure I had already seen every joke in the film from the trailer.

The best part of Dark Shadows is the music. The score is great and really fit the tone and time of the film.

Dark Shadows feels like it was Tim Burton and Johnny Depp just spending a few months having a good time and not caring if the actually made a good film. Other than the music this film is just a failure.

*1/2 Stars