Posts Tagged superhero

Clash of the Titans

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I am a huge, slavering fan of the 1981 original movie – it wasn’t a good movie, in fact it was very silly, but it was a lot of fun and gave birth to my stop-motion animation obsession. I knew there would be no stop-motion in this reincarnation and made peace with my disappointment and went in with rock bottom expectations and a beer in my hand.

That said, this movie was actually lots of fun! The plot is obviously nonsensical, but who  watched this movie to learn more about the Greek myths?  Seriously, though don’t try to follow the plot; it will just give you a headache like the one Sam Worthington is clearly battling throughout, with furrowed brow instead of a sword.

Sam Worthington is a very good actor, in his way; his range may be microscopically small, but he genuinely looks as though all this is really happening to him. Although maybe his headache came from his leather miniskirt. That costume was so short, I worried that there was going to be some uncomfortable upskirt action in the fight scenes.

All the actors in this movie are slumming it something fierce; seriously, Pete Postlethwaite? Liam Neeson? Oh my lord, Ralph Fiennes. The Greater Fiennes is a thing to behold as our villain, Hades. He devours the scenery, and it’s wonderful!

The special effects are decent – nothing remotely realistic, but these people are marching through volcanic mountains in pristine white tunics draped casually over their shoulders; realism isn’t even an option. More importantly, the special effects are FUN! Giant sand scorpions made of rocks or whatever! It’s no stop-motion skeleton army, but it’ll do.

The various creatures and monsters are all wonderful to look at. Archie the clockwork owl has only 2 seconds; apparently Sam Worthington hated the little contraption as much as he hates America and Freedom. The Pegasus is there, but this time in black. Because white horses are for pussies!

Maybe if I had honestly expected a serious, sweeping epic invested in its ancient source material, I would have hated this. I would also have been stupid to have expected that! A serious Clash of the Titans would be a phenomenal movie, no doubt, but even the posters let you know exactly what you will be receiving – this movie is loud, fast, pretty, and dumb. Nothing wrong with that.

Careful with that miniskirt; we can all see your sword.

Iron Man 2

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If you sandwich together the first Iron Man and Iron Man 2, I think you would find them like a night out at the club with Lindsay Lohan. In the beginning, she’s the life of the party – telling jokes, exuding charm, people are excited to meet her and wanting autographs. Several hours later, her jokes are mean and no one laughs but you, she might have thrown up a little in the bathroom after heaving a bottle at the bouncer’s head but GODDAMN IT WE ARE HAVING FUN STOP CRYING.

The joy of the first movie is just gone, but Favreau forces it rather than tell a different story. There’s a faint whiff there that suggests he wanted to go a bit Dark Knight with it, but either failed miserably or the studio forced him to try to clone the mood of the first movie.  Too many long takes stretch the narrative to the breaking point – this is an ADHD movie franchise, pal; you need to hit it and quit it. The effects are good, of course, but frankly all the robots looked too similar and when every other scene consists of blurry hunks of metal flying through the air at each other, I get really annoyed trying to keep straight which hunk of a metal is which. It just got boring. Oh, and John Favreau? You’re not Tarantino, and even he is annoying with his constant onscreen cameos.

Mickey Rourke is pretty great when he’s alone in a scene, and I have to give him props for dressing like Keith Richards but being an extremely believable physicist,  yet his total inability to connect with any other actor does not seem like a character choice. Sam Rockwell and Don Cheadle are miserably underused and don’t shine like they usually do. RDJ and Gwyneth Paltrow are very good, they both seem to have a rock-solid grip on their characters.

I haven’t been on the Scarlett Johansson boat for a long time, but I liked her quite well here. She looks great but manages to carry off her role as though she weren’t just a set of tits in a jumpsuit. She does well with her fight scenes, but makes me miss Eliza Dushku. Scarlett just doesn’t follow through on her moves in a realistic way, although she’s clearly very agile and fast. I’d buy her as a ninja, but she’s not kicking anyone’s ass.

So, overall disappointing but not unwatchable. Worth renting so that you’re prepared for Iron Man 3, and for the Silver Fox cameo,  but…meh.


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They should really change the title to “Hit Girl” and be done with it. Chloe Grace Moretz is somethin’ else – that little girl has a way with a stunt wire. I want there to be a movie of just Moretz and Eliza Dushku beating the shit out of people. They’re both just so natural with their fight scenes, it’s a thing of beauty (to clarify, Dushku isn’t in this movie; she’s just the best ladyfighter I happen to have seen).

I have it on good authority that for the most part, this movie is utterly UNfaithful to the comic, which is a pity because from what I hear, the comic’s story is much, much darker and more compelling. Luckily, for once I have not had the movie ruined because I haven’t read the comics yet!

But I still did not have my world rocked, although I did enjoy it. I got a little bored and distracted every time Hit Girl wasn’t in a scene, and I was not impressed with Nic Cage (I’m sure he thought his Adam West impression was hilarious, but I found it pointless). Still, everyone is sweet and Matthew Vaughn, the director, has always had a great feel for the emotional range of violence – sometimes it’s light and awesome or funny, sometimes it’s upsetting and sad or scary. Aaron Johnson brings the right mix of naiveté and horrified gumption. Although, seriously, slapping a pair of glasses on a pretty person does not magically render them Nerdy And Unattractive – have we learned nothing from Superman? McLovin does a nice job, although I’m beginning to consider him a one-trick pony. Mark Strong and his snaggletooth continue to be a consistently competent go-to villain (can’t wait to see him as Sinestro in Green Lantern) – also, his stereotypical Italian mob accent is delightful.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go start penning my screenplay for Chloe and Eliza Fuck Shit Up: 3D.

Superman Returns

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i rather liked this. Brandon Routh made a Superman where for once i really felt like he was an alien (in a good way).


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i dug this at the time, but i had i known that 15 years later Christian Bale was available, i might have changed my mind.

Fantastic Four

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this one was lots and lots of fun.

X-Men: The Last Stand

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WHY can they not get these beautiful women to act?! they can act in OTHER movies, why do they stink so hard in these?!!

X2: X-Men United

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Pretty good!!

Iron Man

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i loved it! RDJr. was excellent and frenetic and damaged, which are all things i think superheroes should be. it moved quickly, i enjoyed Gwyneth Paltrow and Terrence Howard in their underused yet appealingly neurotic sidekick roles. and i’ve been waiting to see The Dude be a villain for a long time now. although i did get bent out of shape at the physical impossibility of Gwyneth running on metal grating in stilettos.

The Incredible Hulk

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really pretty good! i avoided the first one, but ed norton got me into the theater. the hulk effects don’t do it for me, but the real actors were very sympathetic and engaging, and the plot was simple and not too convoluted. i really enjoyed watching the movie, and i wanted to take bruce banner and betty ross home for dinner. the only thing i really didn’t like was tim roth’s CGI pecs – it was really weird and gross.