Posts tagged ‘3D’

Jurassic World

Sigh.  The few reviews I read about this ahead of time were pretty mixed, so this is yet another film that I went into with lowered expectations.

Oh dear.  That is one big pile of shit.

I’m convinced that two more script revisions and some extra thought given to the casting process is all they would’ve needed to turn this into a fantastic piece of moviemaking.  Alas, no.  Most of it is crap.  Watching this on the big screen was a major waste of time and money for me.

Where do I start?  The script: stupid people doing stupid things, with too many blatant attempts at homages to classic scenes from the first film.  Every time I hit one of those moments, it pulled me out of the story.  With the exception of Owen and Barry, the characters weren’t characters; they were caricatures at best, completely cardboard at worst.  (And I had to actually look up the name of Omar Sy’s character, because I don’t even remember anyone ever calling him by name in the film.)  I’m also convinced that Owen and Barry were as good as they were entirely because of Chris Pratt’s and Omar Sy’s acting abilities and personalities, not because of how the screenwriters depicted them.

The cast: Chris Pratt and Omar Sy were excellent.  Everyone else could be flushed down the toilet for all I care.  Especially the two lead kids.  For the love of all you consider holy, if you are going to have kids carry two of the lead roles, you have to make sure that the child actors are able to make us care enough about the kids to carry us along for the emotional ride.  Rooting for the dinos to rip people apart here is like rooting for the zombies to rip people apart on The Walking Dead.  I desperately wanted these two kids to be shredded and eaten alive, and was tremendously disappointed when that didn’t happen.

Likewise for Bryce Dallas Howard.  Are you telling me that Claire *REALLY* can run all over the place like that in those shoes?!?  Plus, earlier in the film she is in a near panic, desperately forcing Owen to take her out into the park to rescue the two boys.  Then what happens?  They stop.  For a long time.  To have a pseudo-emotional moment with a dying apatosaurus.  What the fuck?!?  From a character standpoint, that makes *NO* sense!  It does make sense for Pratt’s character, but not for Howard, at least not in the sequence of moments leading up to that scene.

And I’m sorry, but the mosasaurus moments were all blatantly telegraphed in advance.  What could have been two really cool bits were spoiled by foreshadowing heavy enough to slap you in the face.

Lastly, are you telling me that, after laying completely dormant for 20ish years, there is still enough juice in the batteries to power that pair of night vision goggles and to get one of those jeeps started?  I really don’t think so.

I’ve had enough.  This is the worst of the Jurassic Park series.  I’ll rewatch The Lost World again before I’ll rewatch this one.

But … in the meantime … this is FANTASTIC:

 

 

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Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Sigh.  Word of mouth told me going into this that it wasn’t quite as good as the first one, so this is another film that I went into with lowered expectations.  Apparently I didn’t lower them low enough.  It was good, and bits of it were excellent, but it could’ve been so much better.

(Incidentally, I almost did not bother seeing this in the cinema.  The quickest way to kill my desire to see something on the big screen is to tell me that an extended cut will be released later on disc.  In retrospect, considering how choppy some of the storytelling was here, I should’ve stayed home and waited for the blu-ray.)

I would’ve loved to have seen Whedon’s original cut of the film.  First of all it would’ve fleshed out Thor’s silly cave sequence.  Hopefully it would also provide a better explanation for Quicksilver and his sister flip-flopping allegiances so quickly and how Nick Fury was suddenly able to pull a helicarrier out of his ass.  (Okay, yes, I know there’s a throwaway line or two in Agents Of SHIELD referencing that, but it still doesn’t explain how Coulson & Fury were able to cobble it together get it on station to help the Avengers that fast.  Consider it a suspension of disbelief problem for me here.)

Do I have good things to say about it?  Yeah.  It was fun.  The early scenes of the Avengers just hanging out were the best bits in the film.  I would love Marvel to make an Avengers film that consists entirely of them spending time together in their off time.  Avengers: Downtime, maybe?  And James Spader frakkin’ nailed it as Ultron – I adored his level of snarkiness.

So … yeah, worth watching, could’ve been a lot better, hopefully the rumored forthcoming extended cut will make up for it.

 

Iron Man 3

I really should’ve posted this weeks ago, but life got busy.  Blame my workstation dying, having to take the time to build a new workstation, family issues, a trip to the North American Taiko Conference and more family issues.  But now I’m (once again) able to work through my backlog.

I went into Iron Man 3 with some pretty low expectations.  Friends told me it wasn’t a great Marvel movie, but my family and I felt the need to sit down and watch it before we went out to see Avengers: Age Of Ultron.  So I lowered my expectations down to somewhere around Iron Man 2‘s level and got comfy.

Y’know what?  I enjoyed it.  A lot.  Far far more than I expected to.  I’m not that familiar with The Mandarin from the comics, so the film’s twist there did not bother me the way it bothered some die hard comic fans.  Downey Jr’s take on PTSD was pretty refreshing for a comic book adaptation.  And overall I think it’s a much better film than Iron Man 2.

Is that a matter of improved storytelling or my significantly lowered expectations?  I’m not sure about that, but I am sure that I’ll definitely take the time to rewatch Iron Man 3 again before I bother rewatching Iron Man 2.

 

Guardians Of The Galaxy

More catching up here – yet another flick that I saw quite a while back and I never posted the review.

Now this was an extremely pleasant surprise.  I went into this film knowing absolutely nothing about the source material.  The comic is a Marvel title that I had never bothered to read.  When the first trailer was released, I heard mixed messages – people I knew who were familiar with the source material didn’t like it because they said they were playing it too much for laughs, but people I knew who had not read the comics were really looking forward to seeing it because it looked like a fun sci-fi romp.

What did I think of it?

It was a fun sci-fi romp!  With a fantastic soundtrack!

Up until now, I had considered Captain America: The Winter Soldier to be my favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe film.  Now it’s tied with Guardians Of The Galaxy.  I think Winter Soldier is a better film than Guardians, but I also think Guardians is a whole lot more fun.  Winter Soldier is a well-made paranoic thriller at heart, whereas Guardians is more of a happy-go-lucky romp through sci-fi tropes that is elevated several levels by the impeccable soundtrack, Michael Rooker, and two fantastically realized CGI characters.

Guardians 2 cannot get here fast enough.  Again, this is making me less interested in Avengers: Age Of Ultron.  I’m really hoping that a future Avengers film will bring the Guardians together with the rest of the team.  We’ll see.

 

X-Men: Days Of Future Past

Pfffft.  Not bad, but not great either.  I had a similar feeling towards this as I did when I saw Inception: it was nowhere nearly as groundbreaking nor as mindfuckery as the hype led me to expect.  In one respect I feel cheated, thinking that I should’ve waited to watch this until the supposed extended cut is released next year.  Not quite as bad as The Last Stand, but certainly never came close to being as good as First Class.  Yawn.  When I see the sentinels on screen, I don’t think ooooh what a nasty and compelling threat, I think ooooh mediocre CGI.  And Peter Dinklage was utterly wasted in his role.  Oh well.

At some point I really need to sit down and watch Superman Returns to see if it’s actually as bad as people tell me it is.  I miss the Bryan Singer that gave me The Usual Suspects.  Man, what happened to you?

 

Edge Of Tomorrow

Holy SHIT!  That was fantastic!

Warner Brothers appears to be trying to remarket this as “Live Die Repeat.”  Fuck that.  If you are going to retitle it, go back to the original title of the Japanese source material, All You Need Is Kill.  That title kicks more ass than anything your marketing department could EVER fucking come up with.

Holy shit, holy fuck, holy fill in the expletive of your choice.  Absolutely positively best film of 2014 thus far.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Time to play catch-up again – here’s another flick that I saw a while back and I never posted the review.

Up until now, I had considered The Avengers to be my favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe film.  In the words of John Hurt’s Doctor, “No more.”  Captain America: The Winter Soldier hit all the right notes at all of the right times, and it had a devastatingly beneficial effect on the first season of Agents Of SHIELD.

I really appreciate them playing up the ’70s style political thriller aspects, and I think the highlight of the film for me was the supercomputer that Cap and Black Widow stumble across that is cobbled together out of ’70s era computing equipment.  Plus a certain epitath on a certain tombstone at the end – that was a particularly nice touch.

The heck with Avengers: Age Of Ultron.  I, for one, can’t wait until Captain America 3 comes out!