Posts Tagged ‘Dark Shadows

05
Jun
12

Red Band Redux: May 2012

The Red Band Redux is Yoda808’s recap of all the movies seen in theaters for the past month. Though not fully formed reviews, here are his off-the-cuff thoughts on movies playing in the past month.


The Avengers

The Avengers . . . the best summer movie ever assembled?

I can’t express how much I enjoyed this movie. Going in, I was definitely worried that anyone putting this thing together would have a hard time getting the combination of characters right in order for the story to feel real and give each character their due. Marvel definitely made the right decision when they turned the reigns over to Joss Whedon.

The moment the film had me was 30-45 minutes in when Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America fought each other . . . if I was going to make them battle each other, that’s exactly how I would have done it! From the reason why they started fighting, to the use of their powers; everything was just as I imagined. After that point the film had me. Every other fight after that was gravy and the climatic battle at the end was awesome.

Conversely though, I can understand some of the complaints/critiques from negative reviews of the film–the main one being that the “stakes” didn’t feel real or high enough for The Avengers. Granted, never at any point in the film did I feel that The Avengers might lose–there was never any doubt of that in my mind. So yes, how can a climatic battle feel real if you know who’s going to win? Well, it’s because I feel for The Avengers that’s why. What’s unique about them is that we’ve had four films all leading to this. I’ve invested in these characters and this world already formed from those films, so seeing what they can do together is more of the reason (and excitement) to see the film. Transformers – Dark of the Moon final battle porn aside, the fight at the end of Avengers had way more feeling than the end battle sequence of Dark of the Moon.

All in all, great movie and best time I’ve had at the movies in a while.

Rating – 4.5 stars

Dark Shadows

About all you can do after seeing Dark Shadows is throw your hands up in the air and wonder what happened to this Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaboration.

Nothing really to write home about for the latest Depp/Burton joint. Watching it the whole time, there really wasn’t anything that special about it. When I really think about it, I think both Depp and Burton were kind of toned down in this movie.

That’s not saying the film was bad. The film was definitely well shot and put together. The “look” of the film also had a number of Burton-esque touches which I appreciated.

In the end, there just wasn’t enough to draw me into the story. It was just ok.

Rating – 3 stars

Top Gun

You’ve gotta have the lovin’ feeling for Top Gun.

While nostalgia is definitely a part of it, I can’t help but love this movie. Seeing it again in a theater with people who enjoy it just as much as you do definitely makes the experience of watching it all that much more enjoyable.

Granted, some things don’t hold up (the look and feel of the 80s, military advancement, etc), but that’s part of the charm I think. It definitely takes me back to that time.

The film itself is just so much fun. You have these super cool guys trying to be “the best of the best”, flying fighter jets, saying really cool (and sometimes corny) lines; I can’t help but have a soft spot for Top Gun.

Rating – 4 stars

Back to the Future

Don’t tell me what you’re thinking . . . I know that you know Back to the Future is one of the all time greats.

I never really understood what makes a movie timeless and amazing until I watched Back to the Future again recently in a theater with other like minded people. Yeah sure, I always knew it was funny, but seeing it again on the big screen made me realize so much more.

For one thing, nothing is ever wasted. I’m hard pressed to pick out a scene that doesn’t serve the story in some way. Everything shown to the viewer adds to Marty trying to get home or affects the storyline with his parents in some way. Take the first five minutes . . . though you think it’s a bunch of random sweeping shots of Doc’s home, you are told more than just who he is. You get setup for events that send Marty back into the past.

Yes, the movie is so efficient and effortless in the way things are told that it makes the whole experience of watching the movie as great the first time as much as watching it for the 200th time. The great acting by Michael J Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, and Thomas Wilson all make their characters stand out.

Combine great performances with great storytelling, and some comedy and it’s no wonder that Back to the Future is so timeless.

Rating – 5 stars

Battleship

Spoiler Alert–No Taylor Kitsch is not uttering the classic Battleship line, “You sunk my battleship.” (nor does anyone else)

You know you’re having a good time in a movie when you know that even though what you’re seeing is most likely implausible; you still want to see more. That’s the feeling I had while watching Battleship.

We all know that the premise behind the movie is the navy taking on aliens in this movie adaptation of the board game (is Battleship really a “board game” since it doesn’t have a board?). Going in, you have to be wondering how much of this is going to be legit and how much will just be pretty images and gravity defying CGI. Well, most of it falls into the latter category–which isn’t a bad thing.

Battleship I feel, is one of those movies that isn’t afraid to have a good time with itself. The performances by the cast are all decent enough, but the situations that the characters are put in and the way they are resolved always got a good chuckle out of me; if not a good laugh or mind blowing “whoa” due to CGI-porn.

It’s not all that faithful to the game or work 100% as a film, but it gives you a damn fun time at the movies should you see it this summer.

Rating – 3.5 stars

Men in Black III

Neuralizers aside, we’ve seen these guys (and this type of movie) before.

I thought the first MIB was a pretty fun movie. Will Smith was on the rise and was paired greatly with Tommy Lee Jones in an odd couple buddy cop movie with aliens. The sequel definitely tread on typical sequel ground and to this day doesn’t remain all that memorable. And now comes the third installment of the Men in Black series, MIB3.

Going in I knew that the production of the film had its problems, but I also heard good things about the 3D which didn’t give me high expectations, but definitely warmed me to seeing the film.

What really shines about MIB3 is the interaction between Will Smith‘s “J” and Josh Brolin as the younger “K.” J expects young K to act a certain way when the reality is that the younger K isn’t as old or as gruff as his older self, so, of course he’s more receptive to what J has to say . . . which makes the relationship between the two characters pretty fun to watch.

Sadly though, there isn’t much more to the film than that. As with MIB2, MIB3 follows the standard formula of most sequels (more of the same). The time traveling retro aliens all are fun and cool, but at the end of the day the story is the same . . . save the world (or in this case the future) by stopping the big bad alien. Oh, and as for the great 3D I was hoping for; it wasn’t hardly noticeable at all and I actually felt at times the 3D was nonexistent.

So while I enjoyed the time traveling romp with aliens, I didn’t enjoy it enough to get really excited about it. Nothing great, but nothing totally bad; you could just watch the first one again and you’d be fine.

Rating – 3 stars

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Have you seen any of these movies lately? Let us know what you thought in the comments.

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