revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (With Beer)
posted by [personal profile] revdorothyl at 03:08pm on 15/08/2014 under ,
Just a few quick thoughts on some of the movies I've seen on the big screen with my sister in the past few months, working backwards from the most recent:

Guardians of the Galaxy: Yes, it really is as good (surprisingly good) as people have been saying. Possibly even the most enjoyable Marvel-related movie to come out this year (at least, on the first viewing -- we'll see how it stacks up to repeat viewing).

Divergent: Not a great film, but better than I'd been led to expect from the reviews, and an excellent bargain at a two-dollar ticket price at the budget cinema.

X-Men: Days of Future Past: Lots of Wolverine and double doses of both young and old versions of Xavier and Magneto, with hope for a much better future? What's not to love?

Grand Budapest Hotel: Didn't love it as much as my sister, but it was gripping and entertaining, and the all-star casting didn't distract too much.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier: Sister and I felt compelled to see this the first week it came out, in order not to be spoiled by watching the upcoming episode of "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." on TV, but in spite of feeling somewhat manipulated we DID enjoy every minute (well, except for the too-long chase scene with Nick Fury in the early part of the film, which left too much time for thinking about other things) and found it a worthy follow-up to the much-loved first Captain America and Avengers films.

Frozen: Admittedly, we might not have gone to see this even at the budget cinema if we hadn't had a friend's grand-daughter to act as our 'beard' (we could claim we were only seeing it to keep young Lucy company, all six of us adults in the party!), but we were both impressed (read, 'blown away') by the quality of the animation, the story-telling, and (of course!) the songs. And it enabled us to get even more enjoyment out of the various versions and parodies of "Let It Go" on-line (including Arthur Darvill's "I am not Rory!" version, which is hilarious).

And that's all the movies I can remember, for now (not counting the many, many films we got on DVD from the library while we were getting by on digital antenna broadcast TV only for the past six months). :)
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (With Beer)
posted by [personal profile] revdorothyl at 06:38pm on 27/12/2013 under ,
I'm still eager to see "Saving Mr. Banks", but I took the opportunity today to see the Bollywood heist flick "Dhoom 3" instead, for fear that it might not still be playing at my local multiplex when I get back from my trip to Wisconsin this coming week.

First, let me say that I strongly recommend "Dhoom 3", though it doesn't get really compelling from a character standpoint until after the Intermission. For the first half of the film, you're saying, "Okay, Bollywood action flick set almost entirely in downtown Chicago -- that's different, but not all that intellectually stimulating, perhaps." But then . . . THE TWIST!

It's only after the Intermission that you realize that the actor playing the thief who's being hunted by Detective Jai Dixit and his sidekick Ali (the pride of the Mumbai police force, and on loan to Chicago to catch a crook who leaves taunts in Hindi) this time around is actually a lot more than an athletic body and a broody face.

possible spoilers )

It actually kept me guessing and surprised me a couple of times before the ending. If you're up for an action flick that includes a couple of very athletic dance numbers, with some character surprises in the second half, then this might be the film for you.

Oh, and be sure to stay through the ending credits, because the scenes never shown during the film that are screened behind the credits are just adorable!
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Riddick)
I've fallen behind in my movie reviews for September through November (partly because I've seen relatively few movies during that period, and partly from sheer procrastination), so here's a quick, largely SPOILER-FREE run-through of the films I've seen in the theater lately, starting with the most recent:

Krrish 3 )

Thor 2 )

Gravity )

The World's End )

Riddick )

White House Down )
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Thumbs Up Spike)
I was glad I finally made the time to see "Pacific Rim" this afternoon, 'cause it was a very effective and affecting giant-monsters-from-the-deep-vs-family-piloted-giant-robots flick!

And that's something I NEVER expected to see myself write! :)

Seriously, if it's still playing inb your city, or is about to open in your local second-run budget theater, and if you've not yet seen it, DO make the effort to watch this on the big screen. It's got more emotional depth and character development than you'd expect, from the previews, and it's ALSO very funny and almost heart-stoppingly scary at times.

(Oh, and don't leave before you've seen the bit at the end of the closing credits. Ron Perlman rules!)

After sitting through the first showing of "Pacific Rim" this afternoon, there wasn't another film starting that I really wanted to see, so I contented myself with watching the last hour of "The Wolverine" all over again (it stands up well to repeated viewing, I must say!), and then caught the second and last showing of "Pacific Rim" all the way through again, in order to enjoy any bits I might have missed the first time through.

It was still fun and watchable the second time through on the same day, so I'm giving it two thumbs up!
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Forward Momentum)
I'm planning to (finally!) take in a showing of "Pacific Rim" this afternoon, and maybe a second show of some sort thereafter, but on Tuesday of this week I was able to see both "The Wolverine" and the latest Shah Rukh Khan screwball comedy film "Chennai Express", so I'm counting this a good week at the movies already.

"The Wolverine" may not have been as instantly addictive to me as Hugh Jackman's first appearances in that role in "X-Men" and "X-2" (and to a lesser extent "X-3"), but it's not because he's lost any of that oh-so-FINE physical presence or that trademark Logan/Wolverine intoxicating mixture of angst, nobility, and pure snarky grit. No, it's just that this film felt more like an 'interlude', a 'palate cleanser' course, giving Logan a chance to finally work through some of the trauma related to Jean Grey's death in "X-3" and the unresolved relationship issues pertaining thereto.

On its own, it's a good film, a watchable and involving film, but it feels like it's not and was never intended to be THE major turning point in Logan's life, and so the emotional stakes (while high enough, for many reasons) are naturally somewhat lower than they were for Logan in the "X-Men" films -- though still HIGHER stakes and greater interest than in the prequel film "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (I generally have a bit of trouble investing myself in prequel films, since we already know where the character ended up AFTER that, and so I can't watch most of them without a little, nagging "What's the point, again?" intruding in my thoughts -- and yes, that held true for Star Wars episodes I-III, as well as for films like "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom").

But as a link between "X-3" and the NEXT "X-Men" film (and yes, you really do want to stay through the relatively short run of closing credits to watch the extra scene at the end), I say it's a VERY good film, and well worth watching on the big screen.

And speaking of 'palate cleanser' movies, "Chennai Express" was a delightful sorbet of a film, complete with amazing, soul-satisfying and eye-pleasing colors in just about every scene, with 'in-joke' references to previous Shah Rukh Khan films at points that tickled me plenty, and lots of that frothy, Cary Grant-in-"Bringing-Up-Baby"-style comedic acting that I really adore from Khan.

DEFINIITELY worth seeing in the theater, if you get the chance!
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Classic Spock & Uhura)
Though I may not have been as enthusiastic as I could have been about my first viewing of "Star Trek: Into Darkness" back in May (see my original review), my love for that film has only grown with each repeated viewing.

However, yesterday's 3:30 PM screening at my local multiplex seems to have been the last showing of ST XII in the Nashville area for the foreseeable future, unless it comes back to the second-run discount theater later on. So, I'm glad I was able to see it on the big screen, one last time, with a pretty good-sized audience of fellow Trek fans.

I only wish I'd had MORE opportunities to see this latest Trek film in the theaters, since I would happily have PAID to see this film at least as many times as I did last summer's "The Avengers", if only it had stuck around as long. As it is, I guess six times will have to suffice me, until it comes out on DVD.

In other film news, I also took in the following films over the past several weeks (brief review notes included -- no spoilers!):

Despicable Me 2 )

The Heat )

Epic )

Fast & Furious 6 )
revdorothyl: keswindhover made this (Belief)
I stopped off and saw the first showing of Joss Whedon's "Much Ado About Nothing" at the local art-house movie theater this noon, and it was WONDERFUL!

I thought it even better, in many ways, than my previous favorite adaptation of that play, the sun-drenched and colorful Emma Thompson/Kenneth Branagh version from the early 1990s. The black and white color palette keeps it sharp and focused, the actors are all spot-on, and I was astonished at how well "Sigh No More, Ladies" works as COCKTAIL PARTY MUSIC, with a new Whedon tune.

It's not just for Whedon fans ready to enjoy some familiar faces speaking less-familiar lines, and while it's got style a-plenty it also has a surprising amount of substance, for such a comparatively frothy Shakespeare comedy. I HIGHLY recommend this film! :)
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (New Spock)
I finally got around to seeing "Star Trek: Into Darkness" in the theater yesterday and was pretty well satisfied, though it definitely covered some familiar ST:TOS and original series movies territory. Still, it mixed the familiar elements around in some truly interesting and entertaining ways. And I'm fond enough of ALL the new Enterprise officers (including the more mobile Christopher Pike) AND their relationships (yes, I dig the Spock/Uhura, among other things) that I'll be happy to spend further time in their company, on repeated viewings of this film.

All told, I can honestly recommend this film, though my first impression is that I don't think it's going to change anyone's life or open any new fields of philosophical debate.

Now, if you haven't yet seen it and want to, please stop reading here.

If you HAVE seen it already, then ON TO THE DETAILED COMMENTS!

First, let's talk about some of the familiar elements:

Terra Cognita: Here there be SERIOUS and UNREPENTANT S.P.O.I.L.E.R.S... )

And then there's the stuff that's definitely unique to this particular alternate universe version of Kirk, Spock, and the others:

The Somewhat Undiscovered Country: Here Lie More SPOILERS Galore! )

And I have to say that I love the fact that because of -- or more often, it seems, IN SPITE OF -- her romantic relationship with Spock, this version of Uhura has become an essential part of the core group dynamics, as well as someone who's just as likely to beam down or rush in to save the day as Kirk, Spock, or McCoy.

In TOS, the central emotional dynamic was the dyad of Kirk-Spock or the triad of Kirk-Spock-McCoy, in most cases, with Scotty sometimes thrown in to make a fourth for Bridge as the need arose.

But in this new iteration, we get a powerful new version of the Kirk-Spock, and a neat twist on the old Kirk-Spock-McCoy dynamic, but we also get a few moments of Spock/Uhura and a good deal more of Kirk-Uhura-Spock (which can involve Kirk and Uhura briefly bonding over the difficulty of relating to Spock, at times, or Spock and Kirk bonding over the difficulty of backing Uhura's play without being over-protective and having to face her wrath), and even some pretty high-quality Kirk-Spock-Uhura-McCoy. I like that! :)

Plus, there's just something about Zachary Quinto's 'baby-face' version of young Spock that makes me want to pat (or pinch) his cheek at times! So adorable!

All in all, I found a lot more to love in this movie than I'd expected, after hearing some of the reviews.
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (With Beer)
I finally got to the multiplex to see "Iron Man 3" this afternoon and enjoyed it quite a lot. I didn't love it quite as much as I adored "The Avengers", but definitely better than "Iron Man 2", and possibly even a little, teeny bit more than the first Iron Man movie. Maybe.

All in all, a very satisfying conclusion to the [first?] "Iron Man" movie trilogy, making good use of what happened to and for Tony in last summer's "The Avengers" and progressing beyond that. Definitely a film I'd be glad to see again and again.Read more... )

Of course, staying through the end of the credits did make me a bit late to "Olympus Has Fallen" (I came in just as the car with the First Lady was going over the edge), but that's okay. I enjoyed Gerard Butler's convincing portrayal of the ultimate hard-a*s Secret Service agent going all "Die Hard"/"Under Siege" at the White House, and tried not to let all the (many, many) things that didn't make sense about the plot and characterizations get in the way of my enjoyment of the action scenes. So, I saw it, and it sucked a lot less than I feared it might, and now I never need to see it again.
revdorothyl: missmurchsion made this (Laputa)
I stopped off at the multiplex on my way home from church this afternoon and saw "Jack the Giant Slayer", which I judged to be well worth my $8.50.

I don't want to spoil it for anyone (at least, no more than the title of the film automatically gives away!), but let me just say that -- contrary to their respective ratings on 'Rotten Tomatoes' (only 51% positive for "Jack" vs. 62% positive for "Oz" as of today) -- I found "Jack" to be a much more entertaining and engrossing film with a much less annoying hero than "Oz the Great and Powerful".

And Ewan McGregor does a lovely job of only nearly stealing every scene he's in, as the wryly heroic leader of the Royal Guard. :)


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