Wednesday, February 16, 2011

2010 films - Part II

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning ThiefFollowing the films I didn't really like, this next part of my 2010 film rankings is comprised of those that (a) I enjoyed while I was watching, but failed to stick with me, (b) I thought had potential or some cool ideas or scenes, or (c) I'd hoped I would like but was eventually disappointed. Basically, I don't know that I'll be running out to see any of these again, though some might make my Play-in-the-background-while-I'm-doing-something-else-list.

#33. Percy Jackson and the Olympians
It's a Harry Potter and Clash of the Titans hybrid. At least that's what I kept thinking as I watched Percy Jackson, right down to the original Harry Potter director Chris Columbus. And I couldn't help thinking, that as much as I like Sean Bean, Liam Neeson is a more godly Zeus and Ralph Fiennes is better Hades. Too much predictability and a lack of originality condemned this to mediocrity.

Yeah, I saw it. It's part of my personal resolution not to bad-mouth things I haven't seen. Actually, it didn't suck. I rolled my eyes a lot, laughed once or twice, thought a few scenes were mildly sweet and decided that even though I don't get the franchise, I can understand why people like it. It's like the girls' equivalent to Transformers.

#31. Karate Kid
A really boring hour of set up mostly ruined this movie. Even accepting Jackie Chan, kung fu, and the setting in China, it took a full hour for the remake gets to any of that. A good 30-minutes of editing might have make it good. Also, "Wax on. Wax off," is cool. "Jacket on, Jacket off," is kind of lame.

#30. Shrek Forever After
This might have been better than Shrek 3, but not by much. It's sad that as great as the first two films were, the second two have been so disappointing. I'm hoping that Puss in Boots will recapture some of the earlier magic, but I found that Forever After fell flat. 

The Expendables (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)#29. The Expendables
It's like the ultimate guys movie with those guys from all those cool things so it must be awesome, right? No. I'm not a big Sylvester Stallone fan, and most of this movie is based off watching Stallone be, well, Stallone. Too many stars (and wrestlers pretending to be stars) have too many choreographed fights while shooting too many bullets out of too many guns. And things explode. Seriously, the thing you should take away from this movie. Too much of everything dilutes everything down to pure mediocrity.

A Denzel Washington apocalypse movie, with Mila Kunis and Gary Oldman. Sounds perfect. It wasn't. I still don't buy the twist at the end, though the film probably deserves a second viewing for me to make sure. But the biggest problem I had with this was the completely lack of any originality. Evil religious cult leader? Check. Lone wandering hero? Check. Cannibals? Check. But it didn't have decency to give me a good Mad Max style car chase. If your going to make a paint-by-numbers film, at least hit the good parts of the formula.

Megamind (Single-Disc Edition)#27. Megamind
The Will Farrell as evil super villain film was fun, but forgettable. It had a cool premise, but didn't do much with it. Megamind wasn't really a movie about a villain being a villain, it was a villain-who-isn't-really-evil-just-misunderstood. It's a look at the ridiculousness of the traditional super villain lairs of so many comic books and James Bond movies, but Austin Powers already did that. Also, see Dr. Horrible.

#26. Legion
Yeah, Legion had one thing going for it, and that was the showdown between Paul Bettany's Michael and the awesome Kevin Durand as Gabriel. Everything else about the movie borders between ridiculous and stupid, but I'll watch it again for that scene anyway. 

I wish more vampire movies were like this, though I'll admit I don't think this quite worked. Here's the problem: If these are science-based vampires, why don't they have reflections? I spent half the movie hung up on that point. But, Willam Defoe was a badass.

#24. True Grit
For some reason, I just didn't like True Grit very much. I thought the actors' performances were great, but for whatever reason, I don't "get" the Coen Brothers' style, and combining it with a western probably didn't help. This might be me missing out on the nostalgia, but the film felt like it was love-letter to something I didn't recognize.

Flying a tank out of an airplane sounds cool, but there's only so many explosions that can fit into a movie. I've never seen the original A-Team, so I probably missed out on the nostalgia that might have made this work. The biggest plus was District 9's Sharlto Copley, but all-in-all, I found this enjoyable, but almost completely forgettable.

Ben Affleck is turning out to be quite a director, though it remains to be seen if he can move is work beyond Boston. This was a slick, gritty crime movie made great use of that Boston setting with a final in Fenway park. Jeremy Renner turned another great performance and, sadly, it's one of the last times we'll see Pete Postlethwaite on screen.

#21. Easy A
I got this off Netflix after learning Emma Stone was going to be in the new Spider-Man, and found it a fun teen comedy that was surprisingly sincere and funny. Emma Stone may be one of the funniest young actresses currently working, and the supporting performances by Thomas Haden Church and Stanley Tucci are worth giving this a quick look.

Up next will be the movies that I liked enough to seriously think about watching again, and possibly buying the DVD, though possibly not until it goes on pre-viewed sale at Blockbuster or Amazon puts in on sale for $4.

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