Friday, July 25, 2008

Abridged Review(s): "Why so serious?"

Hey there, remember me? I'm the angry guy that used to frequent this place and bitch about a lot of things and geek out about other things. Ring any bells? No? Well it has been a while. I guess we start at the beginning then. Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm a man of wealth and and taste. I've been around for a long, long year. Stole many a man's soul and faith.....No wait thats someone else. Screw it just read back you'll remember me!

As I said in my last post way way too long ago I've been keeping busy with projects of one sort or another. I've also been taking it easy on the movie front. I have a lot of them on my plate that I want to get to (including getting back on track with that pesky IMDB list of so long ago! (I've actually snuck a few in that I haven't spoken of yet(Three sets of parenthesis!!!))). But there are a few flicks I've taken the time out to check out recently, some good “The Dark Knight,” Some less so “The Incredible Hulk” but I'm getting ahead of myself. Settle back, buckle up, and keep all your hands and feet inside the car at all times this could be bumpy. Let's jump right into it shall we?

The Incredible Hulk
If you don't remember me then you probably don't remember that I consider Ang Lee's Hulk to be a bit of a masterpiece. Admittedly I do owe a large nod to the always incredible Kim Morgan for my enjoyment of “Hulk.” If not for he enthusiasm for the flick I never would have touched it. It may be a flaw in me but for some reason or the other I just am not a huge fan of The Incredible Hulk. The comic books have never held my interest, the TV show bored me, etc...

I was very much ready to skip this one and catch it on DVD. Unfortunately it happened to come out right about at the same time as Father's Day was rolling around. I decided to treat my dad to any flick, his choice. Though I urged him towards “Iron Man” he wanted to see “Hulk.” I decided hitting him in the face with a steel folding chair wouldn't be the appropriate response to his choice so I went with it.

To say my expectations going in were low would be a mild but accurate way to put it. And as such my expectations were met. There was some decent enough action, a little story. I was glad that it wasn't a complete origin story, so at least it didn't make Lee's film completely irrelevant. The casting was good enough, though I really really wish that we could have had more time with Tim Roth as a human, or a super human before they made him a CGI abomination (there is a pun there if you choose to fish it out).

I think the biggest crime the movie had for me was that it just left me feeling like all I had seen was another big actiony summer flick instead of a movie that was part of a world that is larger than that. Which is what Marvel is obviously going for. I mean there were some references to the “universe” in there, the main ones being the S.H.I.E.L.D. Computers, and of course the ending cameo by Robert Downy Jr. Who completely stole the movie by the way. But other than that there wasn't much.

Oh, and the final fight between The Hulk, and The Abomination looked almost as realistic as some of the cut scenes you get on your average Xbox 360 game nowadays. Seriously I laughed.

All in all I'd say rent this when it comes out on DVD or if you have the means Blu-Ray. With the exception of the end fights the CGI is relatively well done and the action is OK. The story is workable, though I still feel that it would have served the movie better to be connected more with both the Ang Lee “Hulk” and “Iron Man” but we can't have it all can we? Let's just pray that “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” takes more after “Iron Man.”

The Ring (second viewing)
Originally I hated this movie. I considered it a huge disappointment. See when I was going to ITT we talked a lot about movies (gotta do something to avoid classwork right?) and someone whose movie taste I really trusted told me I needed to watch this “It'll scare the shit out of you...literally” he said. Now at that point I'd seen some scary movies, but none of them had required a change of pants afterwards so I was intrigued.

Netflix was contacted, the movie was sent and then the movie was watched. The next day I went back to class and had to ask my friend which part of the movie was supposed to do the damage. He seemed both baffled and flabbergasted at my dislike of the movie.

Cut to a few years later and I see the Internet's Final Girl Stacie Ponder making goo-goo eyes all over “The Ring.” So again someone whose judgment I totally trust is loving on this flick. So with a little coaxing and realizing that I've been incorrect in the past I decided a round 2 was in order.

In fairness the first shake I gave “The Ring” was at about 3 in the afternoon, it was bright out, I was just out of class and my brain was probably still wound up from math or some such. Not necessarily ideal for a scary movie. This time I was relaxed, it was night, there was actually a nice rain going on outside. So the scene was set.

So was I wrong originally? I'd say yes and no. I will now admit that yes it is a good movie, and it'll suck you in more than you realize. Was there an unfortunate accident during the viewing, no. It wasn't that kind of movie.

The interesting thing about “The Ring” is that instead of the sudden big scares it relies pretty heavily on the long running slow creepy eerie scare that like I said just grabs a hold and you may not even realize it is affecting you. Trust me, it affects you. I found that out about 30 minutes into the movie (half past Midnight for me mind you) when My phone rang. Well OK that almost got the job done, I'm man enough to admit I jumped. Then I answered and cussed out my friend for calling so late and having such terrible timing....jerk.

The twisty type thing near the end would have been a lot more impact for me had I not known it was coming, still I was able to appreciate that it both made sense and fit in with the movie and didn't “break” anything. Which is always good of a twist.

I'd still probably just call this a rent, if only because I just don't know if the chills and eerie feelings would hold up to multiple views. But it definitely is a fun scary watch.

The Dark Knight
So umm yeah, stop reading what I'm saying here and go watch the damn thing yourself. If you've already seen it stop and go see it again!

Actually I will say a few short words on it. Everyone loves Bale as Batman, you can't argue with that. Ledger has been getting huge praise for his turn as The Joker. I agree with all said on that of course. Maggie Gyllenhaal's Rachel Dawes is also getting a lot of good attention, again I agree though I wish she would have had a bit more screen time. Lets face it, the movie is an acting powerhouse. But here is what bothers me. All of these great performances and yet I'm not seeing nearly enough praise going towards Gary Oldman, whose performance was subtle and brilliant. Gordon isn't and shouldn't be the focus of a Batman movie obviously, he is kind of an ancillary character. Still Oldman was able to deliver the goods. C'mon people, you know you loved him so come out and say it already!

Yeah I'm going to go ahead and just say as soon as possible pre-order this one. I know it will be in my collection ASAP. Though before that go see it in the theaters again. I'm hoping I can catch it in IMAX since I was unable to on opening night.

Next on my list is possibly “The X-Files: I Want To Believe” though after reading some unflattering reviews that seem to confirm my fears I am really worried...

So there you have it, some movie talk, nuts as it may have been.

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