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Movies, Continued May 31, 2006

Posted by Mitchell in Home.

I go to the movies to be entertained, not to pay money to sit in a dark room with a bunch of strangers with the intention to be annoyed.  As such I tend to let a lot of things slide.  A LOT of things.  Because I do I can thoroughly enjoy all kinds of movies, great and poor.  It's all about expectations.

Like the goober I am I started saving my movie ticket stubs a few years ago and I have a fair stack of them now.  They are generally organized from latest to earliest.  How about a bunch of quick reviews?

X-Men III – A great, pure action movie.  I loved it.  One of Ace's commenters complained about "lack of character devlopment".  Good grief people, it's an "X-Men" movie, not "Steel Magnolias".

Chronicles of Narnia – A delightful family movie.  Wonderful!

Harry Potter 4 – All the Harry Potter movies have been enjoyable.  I haven't read any of the books.

Fantastic Four – Everyone hated this movie.  I loved it.

Aeon Flux – Everyone REALLY hated this one.  I enjoyed it.

Ultraviolet – Generally trashed – I liked it.

King Kong! – TOO LONG!! Everyone cried! – I loved it, bought the DVD.

Bloodrayne – Went straight to the bottom ratings – I had a blast.

The Bourne Supremacy – It did pretty well but I got too late to the theater and had to sit RIGHT UP FRONT.  This was a bad movie to watch RIGHT UP FRONT.  I am not a fan of the shaky-cam.  Particularly when sitting RIGHT UP FRONT.

Brothers Grimm – It did okay – I liked it okay.  Very middle road.

War of the Worlds – Tom Cruise Personality Disorder steals thunder, but a "good effort!" from me.

Batman Begins – Hey, here's a Rare Event – everyone enjoyed it.

Star Wars 3 – The second time I saw it.

Star Wars 3 – Midnight showing (well – 12:30) Long lines, understaffed popcorn concessions.  I got in after most of the previews.  I really enjoyed the movie for the most part (except for the "Noooooooooo!" scene, even I cringed at that one).

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – generally trashed and really hated by fans of the books.  I loved those books too, and I enjoyed this movie.

Fever Pitch – Chick flick picked by chick, I enjoyed it – but chick had to leave – chick child sick.

Sahara – A fun movie.

Sin City – A really fun movie – bought the DVD.  Really gorgeous to look at.

Constantine – A lot of people hated it – I enjoyed it.

White Noise – Meh.  This one was a little boring.  Not a great film.

National Treasure – This was a really fun movie.

I, Robot – Okay, as a long-time fan of Asimov, I will admit that this movie had almost nothing to do with any of his "Robot" novels & short stories.  That doesn't mean I can't enjoy it on it's own merits and I did.

Spiderman 2 – Everybody liked this one right?

Shrek 2 – Better than the first!  I laughed a lot at this one.

Kill Bill 2 – An amazing conclusion to the whole "Kill Bill" project.  I hate Quentin Tarratino's politics, but I love his movies.  I saw this one twice, bought the DVD, and the soundtrack. 

Chronicles of Riddick –  A wonderful and unexpected followup to "Pitch Black".  The art direction was particularly fascinating for me.

Matrix Revolutions – Yes, yes I know, EVERYONE who LOVED the first Matrix movie hated, hated, hated this one.  I had a blast.

Passion of the Christ – What is there to say?  An amazing film.

Dawn of the Dead – Zombie movie!  What's not to like?

Van Helsing – Hoo boy this thing was all over the place!  Insane plot line, special effects & CGI out the wazoo, everyone chewing the scenery, and terrible dialog! NOBODY could like this movie right?  HEEEE!  This was my SECOND screening!

Troy – I enjoyed every single minute of it.

Hellboy – Another comic book movie, another smash success!

Goodness, I'm only maybe a third of the way through the stack!  This takes us through '04 to '06.  I'll go ahead and put this post up and start on the next couple years' worth.



1. kevlarchick - June 1, 2006

You are a movie hound! Did you see United 93 yet? A must–not only because of the subject matter, but also because it’s very well done.

2. blogidaho - June 1, 2006

I’m with you one most of them.
Some of them I haven’t seen.
Here’s a few you didn’t mention that I really enjoyed:

Long Kiss Goodnight – one of my favorites

13 going on 30 – surprised at this one?

Blast from the Past – Funny stuff that the grandkids enjoy with us.

Thirteenth Floor – Introduced me to the Cardigans musical group. Loved the music video included on the DVD.

LoTR – One of the best series of all time.

Serenity – Kicks ass, bought the TV DVD series also.

Boomtown TV series – One of the few TV shows we watched regularly. Amazed that it was cancelled.

Gotta go work now… more later.

3. Sobek - June 1, 2006

I haven’t seen most of them (having toddlers screws up your night life, you know?) but a few comments:

1. Haven’t seen X3 yet, don’t know if I will. The problem here is that while a comic book movie can be enjoyed through the magic of low expectations, the first movie set the bar so high that expectations went through the roof. It was not just a comic book movie, it was also smart, funny and intersting, with great conflict, personality, acting, direction, effects, etc. Ace’s critique confirmed what I feared would happen: too many new characters means too little time for the old ones. Dumb. A movie can’t tell everyone’s story, so don’t try.

2. Chronicles. Wonderful movie, and I love the books, too. If they’re planning on doing the whole series, they’ll have to film them out of order (The Last Battle is book 7, but the Pevensey kids are still supposed to be kids). If the sequels measure up to the first, we’re looking at another LoTR-guage masterpiece.

3. Harry Potter. These are fun movies, but they long ago left the realm of appropriate for kids, which I always assumed was the target audience. My 3-year-old loves the first one, thinks the second one ends right after Harry and Ron get away from the spider, and has no idea there’s a third (even though we own it).

4. Bourne Supremacy. I liked it as well as I liked the first.

5. Matrix Revolutions. My first problem with this movie is the exact problem I had with the first — the action and effects are awesome; the pseudo-philosophical technobabble is ridiculous. At the beginning of the first, when Morpheus and Trinity are telling Neo about “the One,” I just roll my eyes. The second problem is that, in the first movie, you get a genuine sense of danger from the agents. That sense of danger is completely gone by the middle of the second movie — we already know Neo has special powers that let him beat up agents (or at least evade them), so why do we need a thrity-minute fight scene with no hint of genuine danger? Yawn.

6. Hitchhiker’s. With Narnia, one of the few books I’ve read more than once, and I fully intend to read it again. I was a bit disappointed with the movie the first time, like it a lot better the second time. That’s because by the end of the first viewing, I realized a) those books are absolutely terrible source-material for a movie, b) this one did the best it possibly could, given the limits stated in a), and c) Alan Rickman’s Marvin is brilliant. The way his massive head hangs down is the height of perfection.

Agree on War of the Worlds, Batman Begins, National Treasure, I Robot, Spiderman 2, Shrek 2, Van Helsing. Also, Blast from the Past is a fantastic movie.

4. elzbth - June 1, 2006

I go to the movies to enjoy myself. Usually I do. But I had two mai tais before I saw Van Helsing and they didn’t help.

5. Enas Yorl - June 1, 2006

Great comments, y’all! Thanks!

Kevlarchick, no I haven’t seen United 93 yet, but I intend to.
RG, I caught Blast From the Past & Firefly on DVD. Good stuff! I heard about Long Kiss Goodnight elsewhere, I’ll have to give it a spin.
Sobek, I don’t remember the first two x-men movies very welll as I haven’t seen them since they came out, so I guess I didn’t have the “suffers by comparison” problem. As for Hitchhiker’s – yeah I knew that they were going to have a problem with it. A lot of Adams’ funny comes from things you couldn’t put on the screen: “The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.”
Elzbth, not everything gets better with mai tais!

6. elzbth - June 1, 2006

Who are you kidding?

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