Pages: 1 2 [3]   Go Down
Author Topic: ** Official Movie Mini-Review Thread **  (Read 9691 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Keith
SR Admin
FZR
*
Posts: 1533



WWW
« Reply #40 on: June 25, 2011, 04:59:58 PM UTC »


X-Men First Class is actually very good, albeit with plenty of little issues a fanboy/movie buff could nitpick over - continuity issues as a prequel, odd character decisions, a complete disregard for the source material and whatnot, but, most importantly, it's exciting, fun and downright entertaining.

That's right. I said it. I liked a Fox Marvel movie. I hate myself. A big part of me is still complaining about how I'd love to see THE X-Men First Class - the real deal, not this 'alternate' vision which, as good as it might be, misses the important dynamics between the original characters and their importance as cyphers for young people and screws up any chance of us seeing anything like the REAL X-Men in live-action in my lifetime. Probably. *sigh* But I digress...

Whatsisface from Shameless is good as Professor X, but Fassbender totally owns the movie as James Bond Erik/Magneto (and we'll pretend not to notice the totally incongruous and out-of-nowhere reversion to his full-on Irish brogue in the last third...). It almost borders on Austin Powers territory occasionally, but thankfully never actually goes there and balances the setting and tone actually rather well. Not perfect but very entertaining and definitely a massive improvement over X3 and Wolverine Borigins, putting the X-franchise right back on track*. 8/10

*Which as I mention means it probably won't revert to Marvel EVER and we'll never see the actual, proper X-Men done properly, in their proper place, in the MU, as they should be. Downside. Sad



Green Lantern wasn't as bad as some reviews suggest, but it was a bit iffy in places, seemed a bit by-the-numbers and stank of studio interference, with a mostly uninteresting romantic sub-plot, an almost completely superfluous and thoroughly unmenacing human 'villain' in Hector Hammond/Peter Skaarsgard, and a completely unconvincing and thoroughly unmenacing vague CGI cloud-like shit-monster as the main villain (when will Hollywood learn that vague, cloud-like shit-monsters don't work and any superhero is only as interesting as his villains? Here they actually took 3 quite interesting DC/GL villains from the comics and merged them into one not-nearly-as-interesting shit monster amalgamate).

Ryan Reynolds actually does fine as Hal/GL, and Mark Strong is as solid as ever as mentor/doubter Sinestro. Blake Lively ranges from fine to iffy, but the part doesn't do her any favours as written and most will hate her just for wasting our screen time on a boring sub-plot that we don't really want or need. I thought some of their scenes were actually good and relevant to the character's development, but too much time was wasted on the will they/won't they bollocks. Great scene with the two when he turns up at her house masked though. Thumbs up

However, they spent far too much time on Earth and not enough in space/Oa, and they saved the most interesting part of the movie until the completely-ripped-off-from-Marvel post-credits scene  [spoiler]involving Sinestro and a yellow ring...[/spoiler].

It's like someone wrote a great SF/Superhero script and then some executive balked at the lack of 'grounding' or anything to attract the 'girlies' so needed to cut short the actual interesting bits, drag us back to Earth for much longer than we wanted/needed to be, add all this completely unnecessary romantic 'will they/won't they?' baggage, meaning that any real character development, not to mention the kick-ass sci-fi action this movie needed and should have had a lot more of, is put aside for these... irrelevancies.

You're marketing this to the wrong crowd if that's what you think we want you numpties! WALL TO WALL ACTION is what we want. Yes we want character development too - the hero is only as interesting as they man in the suit - but what we don't want is to be bogged down by irrelevant shit that has nothing to do with anything and which we just don't care about!

The script itself is the biggest problem - the actors do their best with some very dodgy dialogue, but parts of it make no sense whatsoever and it generally feels like it was thrown together by committee than anyone's coherent vision of what a Green Lantern movie should be.

It was ok in parts though, really good in some (the climax is pretty exciting), but overall a bit meh. Like it was made in 1995. The sequel should be better though. If they get to make it...

5/10 (6 if you're really fond of GL and might just be happy they didn't completely rape the character at least)
Logged



Keith
SR Admin
FZR
*
Posts: 1533



WWW
« Reply #41 on: March 15, 2012, 01:55:56 AM UTC »

If you hear about a murder in a Cardiff cinema, I confess; it was me. I did it and I'd do it again.

Seriously; the screen tells you to turn them off, I ask politely, twice, for them to turn them off, and even when I have to resort to saying, loudly, "Seriously, turn the f***ing phone off please! If you want to use it, take it outside, but stop ruining the film for everyone else!" they look at ME like I'm the rude one!!

Death is all they deserve.

I really enjoyed John Carter btw. Once the phone lights stopped shining. And the blood dried.

8/10
Logged



Neil
SR Team
UFR
*
Posts: 815


« Reply #42 on: March 15, 2012, 06:32:39 PM UTC »

Some sort of nice quiet harpoon gun should be invented to deal with people like that Wink
(Head shot, obviously.)
Logged

Keith
SR Admin
FZR
*
Posts: 1533



WWW
« Reply #43 on: June 21, 2013, 11:25:07 PM UTC »

Man of Steel Review

There may be some minor spoilers below - especially if you don't know anything at all about the character (in which case it's spoiler heavy), but I'll try to keep any specific plot points and reveals out of it, or at least highlight particularly spoilery parts. I've tried to avoid specific "I really enjoyed the scene where..." types of thing, but generally go for an overview of tone, performances and generalities whenever possible, along with a bit of commentary on the character, the criticisms made against the film, and the general direction of this new take.

First, forget any previous iterations you may be familiar with. Leave all your preconceptions at the door. This film honours the mythology, but it is an entirely new, modern take on the story with no reference to anything else that came before. In other words, if you're expecting Donneresque bright, shiny, happy, rescuing cats from trees, olde-worlde, cheese and corn Superman with goofy villains with even goofier sidekicks carrying out real estate scams, then you're going to be disappointed - or pleasantly surprised - or thoroughly bored, depending on your tastes.

If you check out any of the aggregate sites on-line (e.g. Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic), you'll see the film is quite divisive, with a lot of critics hating its "joylessness", "excessive cgi" and over-long, cgi heavy, noisy, ultra-destructive finale, while others praise the way it modernises a seemingly out-of-date anachronism of a character and its all-action superheroics. Strangely, the audience ratings on imdb, RT and so on tell a very different story from the critics with most in the high 80s. So what does this tell us? The critics are boring, jaded and dead inside and real people aren't. So a warning - there are no subtitles, it isn't in French and there are no musings on the endless search for spiritual fulfilment while smoking a cigarette in a bombed out Serbian cafe. Nor does he do any stalking, become a dead-beat dad, or get outsmarted by any real-estate conmen. Let's get that out the way up front. And yes, he actually f***ing punches something this time. And then some.


We get a complete retelling of his origin - the whole Krypton go bang, baby go bye bye thing - but in much greater detail, depth and oomf than ever before. It's all-out in-your-face right from the start, with warships blowing the shit out of each other, and all sorts of craziness going on - and introduces us to the state of Kryptonian civilisation and politics and basically all the whys of what follows. Crowe as Jor-El has a lot more to do than Brando did (and I don't think he was reading from cue cards either) - the scenes between him and Lara-El were really powerful and sets the tone of performances throughout - excellent across the board. We also get introduced to Michael Shannon's Zod here. Again, no spoilers of what part he plays in the overall plot, but remove all thoughts of Terrence Stamp from your mind. This isn't your grandfather's General Zod. If you've ever seen him in anything, imagine him beefed up to [frick], off his meds, and with the powers of Superman. Yeah. Plus he gets to say "Release the World Engine!". Awesome*. He's also surprisingly sympathetic when you find out what motivates him to do the things he does. His 'sidekick' Faora is also pretty bad-ass too and almost steals the show, with some of the best fight scenes in the film.

*No film with a line like this in it can possibly be accused of taking itself too seriously.


An interesting departure from the past here is that once the baby Kal arrives on earth, instead of the usual linear telling of how he grows up, learns his powers and becomes Superman, we skip forward and pick up with him when he's already an adult, wandering the world, going from place to place, job to job, helping people out wherever and whenever he can. Not as a superhero or anything, just as a guy, all beardy and shit. Hoboman, if you will.


Then as we go on, we get flashbacks to his childhood when we need to learn something about him, in between his wanderings and reporter Lois Lane's investigations into stories about some anonymous "angel" saving people all over the place without ever sticking around to be thanked...

Some of these flashbacks contain some of the most emotionally powerful moments in the film. Kevin Costner and Diane Lane are perfect as Ma and Pa Kent and have some of the best lines and some of the most beautiful scenes. Some will have a problem with Pa's over-protectiveness of his son - he does still encourage him to be the best man he can be and that he believes he's here for a reason, to do something great, but mainly, "don't be special, act normal, hide who you really are" seems to be his overriding message to young Clark. But his is a realistic view of what might happen to Clark if the world finds out there's an alien with strange powers on the planet, so his fears of what would happen to Clark and desire to protect him is entirely believable. I liked the way this non-linear storytelling kept it fresh and avoided the 'not another retelling of the same story' feeling you get with remakes if you've seen the original.


Amy Adams is Lois Lane, and she's definitely a modern woman in this retelling. Smart, pro-active and in control. She gets saved once or twice of course, but she's no damsel in distress. One of the criticisms I've heard about the film is that the Lois and Clark relationship wasn't really developed enough and she wasn't given enough to do. It wasn't a major focus of the film, no. Because this isn't bloody Lois and Clark, it's Man of Steel. What we see is the start of a relationship. Meeting, mutual shared experience, a degree of trust established, life saving, bonding, attraction... it's all there and it all seems just fine to me. They did not want the 'love story' dominating this first film. Having said that, it probably would have benefited from a few more intimate interactions between them (and maybe we'll find them on the extended cut - it's a long film already), but I think what we see is a believable and quite touching blossoming of their relationship. Also, what they most definitely did right was...

Spoiler (highlight to read)
the whole 'Lois is so dumb she can't see that Clark and Superman are the same guy' thing? Gone. Thank f**k! That whole artificial Superman-Clark-Lois 'love triangle' thing was an albatross around the character's neck. It's a silly tradition only adhered to because it was tradition, but which required increasingly excruciating silly story fudges to maintain it, while never being remotely convincing anyway. It made Lois look stupid and her main function being the butt of a joke. Superman's joke. Now we can move forward. Very happy with that decision.
End Spoiler


The first half of the film is mainly set-up (although never slow), and where most of the 'character' stuff gets done. Then we get to see Cavill suit up (nails it, is Superman), and get to see him learning how to fly (brilliantly done) and whatnot...

This is where I disagree with another one of the common criticisms - joylessness. Bollocks. They are, more like. Make no mistake, this is a 'serious' post-Dark Knight take on the character, but it's not all grim, brooding and angsty either. It explores the idea of the isolation a kid (and then man) from another planet (but not knowing it initially) would feel having these strange experiences - being treated as a freak by the other kids, not being allowed to play with them and growing up not knowing who he really is, where he's from or what his place in the world is - and treats it dramatically seriously. So, no, it's not particularly cheery for that part of the story. And they generally treat the whole thing as an alien contact story pretty straight faced and 'realistic' in a science fictiony way.

But when he puts on the suit and first starts learning to fly, his seriousness lifts, he breaks into a joyous smile, and you feel the burden lift with him. And the tone of the film too. Now we can have some fun! It never goes Avengers funny on us - the same straight tone is there throughout, although we do get a few one-liners here and there, but the mood of the film does go up a gear and starts having some fun with its premise.


The second half of the film is all-out, wham bang, Emmerich-levels-of-destruction, Bay-esque explosions, fighting, punching action. You want Superman to punch something bitches? We'll give you more punching than you can handle motherfuckers! Eat it! :metallica: With a few pauses to catch your breath. Take a deep breath though. Again, you'll hear complaints about how 'relentless' it all is, but, whether you like it or not, we are living in the video game generation and a 10 minute scuffle with a bus and a couple of lamposts just isn't going to cut it any more. So it might be overkill for some. Not me though. Bring it on. Spend more money. Make an extended version with 2 more hours of smacking the shit out of each other and I'll lap it up, if done this well (with provisos - see some of my minor gripes below).

During the climactic battle scenes, it could have done with a few pauses to break it up a bit, just the odd breather, maybe just tone the relentless down a little, and show some of the human consequences of the battle (the collateral human damage must have been phenomenal, but this isn't really highlighted at all) - there are scenes where we see some of that, but not in proportion to the scale of the destruction. Some of the city destruction might well have been happening on a construction site for all the human consequences we were shown.

It could also have done with at least one shot of Superman trying to save people from all this destruction he's partly responsible for (albeit in trying to save the whole damn world), but in fairness, he was rather busy, and he'd never had a fight before in his entire life, or even thrown a punch, so some slack might be cut.

Possibly Big Spoiler (I don't say exactly what happens, but it's pretty obvious what I'm talking about and it might ruin a key scene, so at your own risk... in fact, don't read it - see the film first and then see if you agree or want to argue with it. Highlight to read)

Superman does something towards the end of the film that has caused a bit of a kerfuffle in how he deals with the villain. But not only are they mostly stupid and wrong (because it's not the first time this kind of thing has come up and the character has answered in exactly the same way), but part of the criticism seems to be that he is expected to behave like a paragon from the word go. But being a paragon by default is no achievement. He needs to earn it the hard way, like we would; through experience and by making mistakes. For this reason, the scene is necessary as part of his character arc too, in helping him form the limits and 'whys' of his moral code. Plus he had no choice. Or only a Hobson's one - and he made it. It establishes just how far he'll go to protect the innocent if he has to. To not do so would mean he doesn't have what it takes when push comes to shove. He didn't choose the morally easy option - he chose the harder, right option. That's Superman.
End Spoiler

The ending brings us to where most are already familiar with the character - again I'll try not to spoil too much, but they dealt with the biggest elephant in the Superman room very well and are now ideally poised for the inevitable sequel. And there are a few 'easter eggs' in the film which might give us some hints. Luthorcorp. STAR Labs. Wayne Enterprises...

How many heads would explode if they announced Bruce Wayne as a cast member in the sequel?

It's beautifully shot, magnificently scored and distinctly lacking in an excess of Zack Snyder's trademark slo-fast-slo-mo shots (I actually can't remember any). If you're averse to shaky-cam though, you'll still have plenty to bitch about, so don't worry about that too much. Performances are excellent throughout, cgi is generally spectacular, the suit looks great and Henry Cavill absolutely nails the part. They don't even try to 'outcharm' the Chris Reeve version - smartly they've stayed away from that ideal completely and instead we have a guy who just looks like Superman if he was for reals and plays it that way. He does have some of that charm necessary to the character, the warm smile and reassuring eyes (mancrush!), but they wisely stay away from any kind of Reeve impersonations. I would say he's much more 'human' though - he gets angry, he gets pissy, he even gets even on someone who pisses him off... Not 'better' then, but different.

But as a 'proper' Superman film though, it is better. I loved the original Donner version back in '78 and Reeve's performance of that iteration of the character will never be bettered, but I had issues with some of the corniness and cheese even back then at the age of 12, and it's dated like buggery now (even though I still love it in nostalgic terms), but Man of Steel is much more like the Superman I always wanted to see. It respects the character's history, but isn't afraid to 'fix' some of the sillier aspects of him too - and for the most part they've done an excellent job of it.


If you're not a fan of the genre at all, you'll hate it. If you're not a fan of excess cgi, you'll hate it. If you think all comicbook films should be comical, you'll hate it. If you don't like people being punched through walls, buildings, mountains, into orbit, and into the ground, a lot, for a very long time, you'll hate it. If you're expecting an homage to Donner and Reeve, you'll hate it. It isn't Smallville and it isn't Lois and Clark, so if you expect more of that, you'll hate it.

But if you like a well made, action-packed, science fiction superhero blockbuster for the modern age, with great performances, stunning over-the-top action, proper superhero levels of destruction, and lashings of punching people in the face, you might just like it.

I absolutely loved it. Bring on the sequel. 9/10
« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 12:21:56 AM UTC by Keith » Logged



Turkey
SR Admin
BF1
*
Posts: 8035


[SR] Turkey


WWW
« Reply #44 on: June 22, 2013, 12:25:12 AM UTC »

Will read it later but thanks for the review :)

Edit: damn your getting really good at this Wink
« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 12:48:18 AM UTC by Turkey » Logged

Keith
SR Admin
FZR
*
Posts: 1533



WWW
« Reply #45 on: June 22, 2013, 12:29:11 AM UTC »

On the loo, when you have plenty of time. :D
Logged



KayJay
SR Admin
FBM
*
Posts: 1929


[SR] KayJay


?id=100000730653030
WWW
« Reply #46 on: June 22, 2013, 02:40:55 AM UTC »

The trailers haven't done it for me, they seemed to be dark 'cus this is Snyder who makes dark comic films! Superman is 'dark' (troubled), his suit is dark (no pants on the outside!) the film looks dark! I appreciate why he would try to distance it from other versions but sometimes I get the feeling changes are made for the sake of it, or ego.  That said, I will obviously see it and will probably enjoy it, especially after reading the above.  Thanks for the in-depth review :)
Logged



To finish first, first you must finish!

Intel Core i5 4670K | MSI Z97 | 2x4GB DDR3 | MSI Radeon R9 280X
X-Fi Extreme Music | Fractal Design Define R4 Case | Logitech G25 Racing Wheel
Samsung 128MB SSD 840 PRO | Samsung SH-B123L Blu-ray | Dell U2410 Monitor

Servers
RaspberryPi 512MB & 32GB SD | RaspberryPi 512MB & 64GB SD
DLink DNS-320 NAS | Seagate 3TB HDD | Samsung 2TB HDD

Keith
SR Admin
FZR
*
Posts: 1533



WWW
« Reply #47 on: June 22, 2013, 12:33:58 PM UTC »

Those first few trailers aren't really representative of the film as a whole. It is a 'serious' take, and there are dramatic moments, but it's not 'dark' like Watchmen. He is troubled initially, but as I say, once he finds a purpose, and becomes Superman, there's no more troubled. Assured and ass-kicking, yes. Troubled no. And Ken - I approve. Me. Have you ever heard me rant about how shitty Superman Returns was? :D

This 4th trailer is a little more representative of the tone of the film:

http://video=http://youtu.be/dwYatpwrs8s

From knowing you, I think you'll love it. It's a sci-fi driven realistic* take. You have to put Donner's version aside though - forget what you think you "know" about the character (wearing pants on the outside is daft - why would he? If your answer is "because he always has" then you're not in the right mindset. Everything in this film - more or less - has a "why" to it - and isn't afraid to question (and change or even discard) any which are solely "because that's the way it's always been") - view it as if this is your introduction to the character for the first time. You might have a few reservations - overkill fatigue, plot questions, niggles similar to mine, and a few of your own - it's not a perfect film by any means, but I'm thinking you'll like the direction they've gone with, you'll completely change your mind about the suit when you see it in action, and you'll be as enthusiastic as I am (well, maybe not quite as much, coz I'm a bigger Superman geek than yow, but almost).

edit: couldn't remember how to embed videos, so click the link Wink

*relatively. We're not talking 'toning' down the super or the sci-fi at all. Just tone-wise.

edit2: disclaimer: if it turns out you hate it though, um, sorry. :) But you won't. Or will you? I just don't know any more! Who are you? :D
« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 01:08:44 PM UTC by Keith » Logged



Pages: 1 2 [3]   Go Up
Print
Jump to: