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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ultimate Geek Fu

Last April I wrote about the movies coming out during the summer. Now is the time to look back at those movies and argue over what worked, what didn't, what was good, and what sucked. I'm going to work off of the same list posted in April but feel free to add movies you saw which aren't on the list when you leave comments.

Dylan Dog: Dead of Night - Did anyone see this movie based on Italy's most popular comic book? I didn't.

Thor - The summer movie season got off to a good, if not great, start with Thor. Thor was well played by Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman is always easy on the (male) eyes. Hemsworth should be fine in next year's Avengers movie. I liked this one well enough that I'd go see Thor 2.

Priest - I never was interested in this one. Was anyone else? I saw the DVD in Best Buy over the weekend, so it would seem not.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - I heard conflicting reports on this one. Despite originally planning to watch this one in the theaters, I still haven't seen it. Looks like one I'll catch on DVD.

Kung Fu Panda 2 - I predicted the teenage Boy wouldn't be interested in this sequel. I was right.

X-Men: First Class - Haven't seen an X-Men movie in the the theaters since X-Men 2. This one didn't lure me out. Maybe I'll try it on DVD, which I haven't done with the other X-Men movies I skipped in the theater.

Green Lantern - This one arrived with much fanfare and vanished from the scene without a whimper. It was the superhero movie I had been looking forward to the most this summer and I did rather enjoy it. But, seriously, when are the idiots in Hollywood going to figure out that superheroes need to fight villains who resemble people, not forces of nature? Can you imagine how lame Star Wars would have been if Darth Vader or the Emperor had been a big, dirty cloud? If there is a GL2, at least it appears we'll have a good old fashioned humanoid for the villain.

Cars 2 - Pixar finally had a flop, at least as far as the critics were concerned. Of course, the Boy was even less interested in this one than in Kung Fu Panda 2, so we didn't even consider it.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon - As bad as the second movie was, why would I spend money to see this one? Simple, I didn't. I doubt I'll bother with the DVD, either.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 - After the confusing mess that was Part 1, I feared the worst for this final installment of the adventures of the Boy Who Lived. Fortunately, things were much more straight-forward, with lots of action and Neville in the role of leader and hero in the defense of Hogworts. Good movie but Lord I'm glad they're over.

Captain America: The First Avenger - The second superhero movie staring a guy named Chris, this time it's Chris Evans; previously seen as the Human Torch in the two lame Fantastic Four movies. This was the movie I was most afraid I would hate. Captain America has been a favorite hero of mine for a long, long time but his message of heart-felt patriotism isn't even in vogue at Marvel these days. What would Hollywood do to screw it up? In a word, nothing. The movie captured what truly makes Captain America such a great hero and ran with it. I liked the fact that they didn't rush the opening, taking time to set Steve Rogers' character before injecting him with the super soldier serum. Even then, they didn't rush Cap into front line action. The build-up was just right, in my opinion, making you pull even harder for Cap when he finally got into action. From start to finish, Captain America is a winner, standing alongside Superman: The Movie and Ironman as one of the best live action superhero movies ever made.

Cowboys and Aliens - Yet another movie based on a comic book, this time without the superheroes. I had looked forward to this one as it seemed unlikely that both Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford would sign on for a complete turkey. Overall, I enjoyed this mash-up of westerns and science fiction. The western part of the story was handled well and the introduction of science fiction elements was less jarring than I expected. Of course, we still ended up with a space-faring race who also happened to be physically superior to humans in all way, so much so that the aliens happily fought without weapons against the gun-wielding humans. Why bother with all that macho alien posturing if you've got access to advanced weapons? In the end, I found the movie -- and perhaps the comic book on which it's based (I haven't read it) -- failed to live up to the potential of the idea. Cowboys and Aliens was entertaining but not particularly memorable.

The Smurfs - Didn't see it. Won't see it. You can't make me see it. So there! (Finally, a movie that makes me glad the Boy is too old to go see kid movies like this one.)

Rise of the Planet of the Apes - I was never interested in seeing this one in the theaters, even after it started getting good reviews. Even though I've seen every other Planet of the Apes movie ever made.

Conan the Barbarian - I had planned to see last weekend but the plans fell through. From what I've heard, that's a good thing.

Spy Kids 4: All Around the World - I'm sure the kids were adorable. I'm positive Jessica Alba was cast as the spy mom in the hopes of getting the fathers to bring their kids to see the movie. What I don't know is whether it was any good. The original was fun and clever. The sequel was entertaining. By the time the 3D third movie hit the screen, the franchise had pretty much run out of steam. Maybe the long break between the third and fourth movie allowed them to get back on track but I doubt I'll ever see it.

You know what I saw and what my opinions were of those movies. Now it's your turn.

Let the arguments begin!
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