Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A quick movie roundup

Battle: Los AngelesLooking at my 2011 film rankings, I noticed there's quite a few films I've seen but haven't commented upon.

So here's a summery of everything else I've seen this year. Some of these are already out on DVD, a couple might even still be in theaters. It's all after the break.

Technically, I crammed mentions of Battle: Los Angeles and Paul into an earlier post, but I'll quickly reiterate my thoughts those:

Battle: Los Angeles (initially #2)

For a unapologetic action movie, this was surprisingly good. It had almost no depth and less character development, but the action itself was really well done. Without being tongue-in-cheek, this is the movie other action flicks (like Priest) should be imitating. Battle: LA's creators stick to their premise of Black Hawk Down with aliens, and actually pull it off.

Paul (initially #5)

Again, thoroughly enjoyed it. It was filled with all those the nerdy references that I'm so capable of getting. Cameo heavy and extremely self-aware, Paul might fail because it knows it's a joke. It spends so much time inserting the appropriate in-joke that it loses track of the story it's telling. Still, Paul was a fun movie and another great appearance by the dynamic duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

Source Code (initially #3)

Director Duncan Jones didn't quite recapture the genius of Moon with this, but Source Code is solid sci-fi movie, even if it does play like Groundhog Day with more explosions. It was a fine film, it just didn't stick out to me in any particular way.

Green Hornet (initially #1)

This was the first 2011 release I saw, and as such holds the record for the longest time atop my ranking list. However, that's due more to the low quality of the films release in the first three months of this year than anything else. Hornet is yet another genre mash-up, this time Pineapple Express meets Batman and Lethal Weapon. It's not a bad idea, and has some good parts, but I get the feeling those genres are just too incompatible. Now it does have a great villain in Christoph Waltz, but is he ever not great? So this was a film that wasn't bad, but didn't do anything well enough to be remembered for.

Fast Five (initially #7)

This is what I had to say about Fast Five:
It's bad in the way that only a movie where the solution to every problem is "Cut to chase" can be, and fun in the way only a movie that does those chases well can be. It's not a quality piece of cinema, but it is fun. Really, this is a superhero movie, and Vin Diesel and Paul Walker play characters whose acknowledged superpower is driving.

I Am Number Four (initially #3)

I Am Number FourForgettable and generic, it's my opinion that I Am Number Four tried to jump on a bandwagon, it just didn't figure out which one. Is it an alien action movie (Predator with teens) or a high school romance (Twilight with aliens)? It throws out enough action to overshadow an underdeveloped romantic storyline, while that storyline completely dilutes the unoriginal fight scenes. Important note: Though this movie isn't good, it might still be worth seeing for the few scenes featuring either Kevin Durand or Teresa Palmer. Those are the only moments where the film actually manages to though aside its over-dramatic tone and simply be fun.

Priest (initially #11)

Speaking of forgettable and generic, how about downright ridiculous? It was disappointing to watch such a group of mostly excellent actors delivering clich├ęd dialogue with a melodramatic score. Check out this clip from one of the films most dramatic scenes. Oh wait, was that the wrong link? I could have sworn that was in the movie. It's a Western/Vampire movie, but it doesn't manage to capture any of the good elements from either genre.

Dylan Dog (initially #10)

I was disappointed by Dylan Dog. I wasn't expecting much more than a two-hour episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but what I got was a two-hour Buffy episode with less humor and TV-quality visual effects. Even Sam Huntington, who's does the supernatural well on SyFy's version of Being Human, couldn't give Dylan Dog half the heart it needed for me care what happened.

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