Thursday, September 14, 2006

Summer Movie Reviews - the Short Version

The DaVinci Code: Not bad - I enjoyed it and found it entertaining. Don't get started on me with the whole Mary Magdalene thing either! Dan Brown is no historian, and the ones who thought up that little "Jesus & Mary were married and had kids" theory are not historians either no matter what they call themselves. On the other hand... the movie had some pretty good theology in it in a couple places.

X:3 - The Final (or was it Last) Stand: Not bad - it was more reminiscent of the first one than the second. It threw things like character development out the window and went full throttle with the action. At least Wolvie kicked a lot of butt in this one. It always bugged me how Mystique and Fingernails Girl in the first two movies were able to go toe-to-toe with the Clawed One. These are two characters upon which Logan routinely opens up a can in the comics. I don't mind that the Juggernaut kicked Wolvie's butt in X:3. That makes sence. They did a great job on Pheonix, though. It's a pretty good flick, but ranks third in the series with X:2 being the best by far.

Superman Returns: thie was the highpoint of the movie season for me. I loved this film front to back and bottom to top. I am a die-hard Superman fan and love the way this movie was basically an homage to the origninal 1977 classic. I could go on and on, but I won't. Except to say that I still get chills remembering certain moments in this movie and I felt like I was a little kid all over again. I can't wait for the DVD (which I will purchase along with the Donner cut of Superman II - coming out this November I believe).

Lady in the Water: I liked this movie. I can't really describe it, but I love the way ol' M. Night can work a fairy tale fantasy story right into the midst of the strangeness of today's world. The characters were the best part. My personal favorite was the film critic who thinks he knows so much about film conventions - conventions which the director thrills to break at every turn.

The Descent: This movie was more than a little bit disturbing. It is a horror film that pulls no punches. Basically, six women go spelunking and end up fighting for their lives against some sort of mutated humanoid lifeform that likes to eat - well - anything and anyone. I don't want to poke holes in the plot - which is not hard - and I found the experience of the movie satisfying on the whole. In the end, the "descent" we are talking about is not dropping oneself down into a hole, but the descent into madness which could await anyone if they are confronted with the wrong thing at the wrong time.

The Illusionist: This was another fun one. Go see it. I liked it. Did I mention it was fun? Ed Norton was great. So was... whatshisface - he always plays medieval type bad guys - whatever. It had a good story and good characters, a great plot and old timey magic tricks. Good stuff.

Hollywoodland: Ben Afleck playing George Reeves playing Superman in the 1950's series The Adventures of Superman. For those of you who don't know the history, I'll ellaborate. George Reeves probably could have been a true Hollywood movie star, but the first role of any note he picked up was that of Superman/Clark Kent in the series. Apparently, something like 91% of American families watched the show every week. And George was amazing. He was real and likable, dashing and noble. A real hero. But George never got another job after that. He couldn't shake the cape off his back. He eventually committed suicide under mysterious circumstances. This film tries to tackle the mystery. Adrien Brody plays a PI hired to investigate, but he's all PI cliches. Diane Lane plays the wife of a studio executive who has an affiar with Reeves, but she's all cliches too! Afleck plays Reeves. And at first you think he's all cliches too. But he's not. His portrayal is dead on. Ben Afleck is not my favorite actor. But I think he did a good job. In this case (and in this case only) I will allow him to wear the red and blue. But don't get any ideas, Ben. You are no Brandon Routh.

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