Monday, March 26, 2007

Movie Omnibus

Daredevil and Elektra are fairly universally tied for the benchmark as the worst of the modern superhero movies. For some it's debateable which one was worse, but generally one or the other gets named.

Last week we saw Ghost Rider. It was better than Daredevil.

Okay seriously, though... it was alright. Not great by any stretch. Didn't totally suck. Nick Cage did a pretty good job, but lost me in his final scene where he's supposedly standing up to Mephisto. It was worth the price of admission just to see the bike in action. Kind of like Hulk was still worth seeing if only for the chase across the desert, but not much else.

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300 is one of the few movies I've seen that lives up to the hype. Anyone who goes looking for historical accuracy needs to get a clue. Like Sin City, this movie was not just inspired by the comic, it was practically lifted panel to frame from the comic. This was a powerful story with great performances and gorgeous battle sequences.

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If you are the kind of reader who appreciates the narrator of Nocturnal Essence, with all that introspection on fate and the human experience, check out Stranger Than Fiction. It's a quirky Will Farrell comedy with a great hook. This disturbingly normal guy stuck in a mundane existance starts hearing the voice of the author narrating his life. It's an inspirational story with an unusual formula.

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Speaking of avoiding the usual forumla... Harsh Times with Christian Bale is a very cool crime thriller worth seeing. At it's core, it's kind of a modernization of the Deer Hunter. Combat veteran with PTSD has trouble fitting into society. Throughout the whole thing you think you have a pretty good idea how it's going to end and what the moral is. You're wrong.

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On the opposite side of the dramatic spectrum, TMNT was a great, fun ride. It's a fantastic blend of the comic and the old cartoon. All of the interplay between the Turtles is as you remember it. But it had the level of action and feel reminiscent of the original comic. The obligatory Leo vs Raphael fight was awesome. Over-sensitive critics unintentionally gave this a ringing endorsement by saying it was too violent for kids. It seemed like the kids who saw it in our theater loved it, but I'm pretty sure they left with their innocnse in tact. Sidenote: Those kids were the most well behaved kids we've ever shared a theater with. Not used to that.

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Okay this isn't a movie, but I need to rant. We need a new rule for Smallville. No more wrestlers. Both times now, the fight between Clark and the wrestler have been the highlight of the show... but the rest of the episode stank on ice. In this last one, it was like Vince got involved in the production. The level of T&A was almost absurd, and for some reason the soundtrack was turned up to the point it was distracting. And don't get me started on the nonsensical plot points. It's so aggravating when the first half of this season was so good, too.