Monday, August 25, 2008

Catching Up On Summer Reviews



Hey Everybody,
I've been MIA lately and I do apologize. Things have been quite hectic lately, and blogging on films has been the least of priorities. I am now in a new residence and things are beginning to settle down and I'll have a good chance to blog here soon. In this one, I'm just gonna catch up with some mini-reviews (and I mean mini) on the past few films that I have seen. So without further ado...

The Bank Job (B)
A fun heist film, that takes a while to get moving. However, once the film gets itself on a roll, then it really doesn't let up. Its one of the better heist films of recent years, and worth a watch. Warning though; the film does feature quite a bit of gratuitous nudity.


In Bruges (B)
Despite it's "B" rating, it really is a fun view. There is some great chemistry between Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson. Farrell should really play more roles like this one because he fits it like a glove; I'm not sure there was even much acting to it. Out of all the films I've seen since The Dark Knight, In Bruges is my greatest reccomendation.


Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D (B)
Like the two films above, this one here is just a fun view. Forget Mummy 3, Brendan Fraser seems to be having more fun here. Its light and breezy and really takes advantage of the 3-D medium.


Tropic Thunder (B-)
An extremely uneven comedy film. There are parts to this film that really work well (the trailer parodies, Jack Black's drug withdrawals, and Robert Downey Jr.), and there are others that really fail to measure up (Tom Cruise's cameo seems to be rooted in the idea that saying vulgar things at random is inherently funny). On the whole, I laughed several times during the film, which is more than any comedy outside of In Bruges.


Hellboy II: The Golden Army (C+)
I sit on the outside when it comes to this film. Its an interesting premise, and I know there is incredible artistry present, but I just found myself sighing, "Is that it?". There is some incredible art direction, costume design, and visual effect work here, but I failed to truly engage into the story and truly care for Hellboy himself. To top it off, the film's final action scene is completely underminded by the idea that this is an indestructable army. Why fight an army that is indestructable for 10 minutes? It reminded me of the the lengthy and unnecessary fight scene with the immortal pirates of Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.


The Pineapple Express (C)
I've given Apatow several chances, and in order to give you a fair understanding of where I am coming from, I've not liked a single film under the Apatow name. I find them all to be hollow, crude, and insincere. The fact that this one had a decent action scene is what has given it an average rating for me. If you liked Apatow's other comedies like Knocked Up, then you'll probably like this one too.


The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (C-)
A complete mess of a film that's only salvaged by a couple decent F/x scenes. Everything that could go wrong in this film really does. Stephen Sommers is no Steven Spielberg, but at least he understood how to make a movie like this. Rob Cohen does not.


There you have it, some catching up. If you saw any of these films, let me know what you thought.

5 comments:

hels said...

The one star I plopped on this clunky bore-athon is due to the presence of the great Jet Li as the evil Dragon Emperor of the subtitle and the gorgeous Michelle Yeoh as Zi Yuan, a witch who's been on the Emperor¹s ass for over 2000 years.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/movie/22126971/review/22126827/the _mummy_tomb_of_the_dragon_emperor

martial-arts superstar Jet Li triumphs as the mostly wordless evil Emperor Han of ancient China, a glowing magma spirit locked in a terra cotta shell.

Jane Horwitz
Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/31/AR2008 073100734.html

Still, Li makes a great villain, using his powers to create fire, ice and other elements.

Edward Douglas
Coming Soon
http://www.comingsoon.net/news/weekendwarriornews.php?id=47377

Toward the end of The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Jet Li and Michelle Yeoh launch into a vigorous sword fight — and what a grand pleasure it is to watch these two world-class stars in action again...Their duel atop the Great Wall of China is a reunion of titans, an Old Timers' Day for two actor-athletes still in their sinuous prime. Forgive the effusions of an alter-kocker fanboy, but the flinty glamour of Li and Yeoh — buttressed by the stolid, sneering presence of top Hong Kong villain Anthony Wong Chau-sang (who in 1993 appeared in 15 films!) — is the best reason to catch this third in the series of Indiana Jones knockoffs.

Richard Corliss
TIME
http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1828343,00.html

A memorably badass Jet Li.
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
http://www.avclub.com/content/cinema/the_mummy_tomb_of_the_dragon

Peter Chan said...

new residence.... a phone call i shall make.

micahmcmillan said...

I know you're excited to hear there's a Scorpion King prequel coming soon--can't wait to see if you think it's as "good" as the new Mummy movie.

Scott Mendelson said...

While I liked the Hellboy II more than you did, we agree completely on that problem regarding the invincible. And I'm glad I'm not the only one who was annoyed by the climax of the otherwise delightful first Pirates film, for the very reason you describe.

Glad you see you've updated. It's been too much take and not enough give on my end lately (I'll trust you not to giggle at the potential homosexual double meaning).

Let me know when it's your birthday, so I can send along this:
http://www.wizarduniverse.com/sep084852.html And yes, even I think this is a little silly (and could be fodder for the other side), but it amuses me.

Scott Mendelson

Kyle Leaman said...

Scott,

I love the action figure. Had a friend just show me the Sarah Palin version the other day...I wonder why I haven't seen anyone interested in a McCain one?

As McKey says in Adaptation (one of my all-time faves), "wow them in the end and you'll have a hit". Some movies, like the first Pirates and Hellboy II, leave such bad tastes in my mouth with the ending, that its hard to see all the good stuff that came before.