Monday, May 28, 2007

A Pirate and an Ogre

Now all 3 of the big movies for the summer have opened, and I have sat through all 8 hours of fun. You want the quick review of the other 2? Rent Shrek and See Pirates.


Alright, fine. I guess I should be a tad more verbose about those flicks. So, lets start with Shrek the Third (***).

I liked the first one, and really liked the second one. But this one....well...the jokes are just a tad retread. Watching this one, you feel as if you've already seen it. By only seeing the trailers, and the endless advertisements on TV, you can pretty much see the whole movie. The theme of this one? Quick guess....some people don't fit in. That it is what is on the inside that counts. Its just so been there, done that. Part of the problem is that Prince Charming is just not what you would call a quality villain. For these kinds of movies to work, the bad guy has to be at least competent with a plan that has a chance of working. None of that here. So, rent it when it comes out.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (***) is the weakest of the trilogy, but still is fun, exciting, with wonderful fight scenes, magnificent sets, great characters, and scenery. The last 45 minutes alone is worth the price of admission. The magnificent battle between The Flying Dutchmen and The Black Pearl is a masterpiece of CG and is an epic battle we haven't seen since the Lord of the Rings. A magnificent battle full of sword fights, a marriage, an unexpected death, and, even more stunning, Captain Jack does the right thing.

The biggest problem is that this movie is just to darn long. They could have cut at least 45 minutes out of this movie and it would have just been fine. The biggest complaint I have read on the Internet has been that ya just can't keep up with the plot. That it just to complex. If they had trimmed 45 minutes off of it, I think that this would have been easily solved. The acting is stellar, and the effects are magnificent, but the damn thing is just to long!

So, now we have Fantastic Four 2, Live Free or Die Hard, and, what may be the best of all,

But we shall see....

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Spider-Man 3 ***

When you have a movie as perfect, and as wonderful as Spider-Man 2 (****), it is next to impossible to make a movie that is just as good as it, or, the impossible, to top it. I know the makers of Spidey 3 just wanted to make a good movie and were not thinking this, but come on... That thought has to be on their mind from the first script draft, all they way up the last edit. Its like that older brother who's the star athlete, valedictorian of his high school class-your parents still love you, but always seem like they wonder why you can't be like Chet.

All I can say is that Spidey 3 is no Chet.

But, gosh darnit, it sure does try. The problem is there is just to much here. To many villains, to many twists, to much angst. The better movie would be one that had been much slimmer; one villain, one story. Instead we get 3 villains. First, Harry Osborne comes gunning for Spidey to avenge his father's death, even though everyone in the world but Harry knows that his dad killed himself trying to kill Pete. Then we see the birth of The Sandman. Gotta say, Thomas Hayden Church looks eggzacly like the Flint Marlow from the comics. And the character, when in sand form, is very visually stunning. The problem is that the whole character really is superfluous. Nothing he does advances the plot, and other than giving us a kewl fight sequence at the end with Harry teaming up with Peter, really does nothing for the movie as a whole.

The third villain, Venom, played very well by Topher Grace, seems like he's tacked on. The black suit symbiont that attaches himself to Peter and turns him not really evil, just more of an ass, is never really explained. Its just...there. We see a meteor, then it splotches around until it covers Pete up, making him a new costume. Then he splotches onto Topher, and becomes this large teethed, evil eyed thing. This is the villain that should have taken up all the time that Sandman had. Truthfully, he's on screen maybe 15 minutes total, and it would have been much more dramatic if their had been a tad more buildup.

The great part is that its still just as a beautiful movie as the first one. Its been 4 years since we first beheld the wonder that is Spidey swinging from rooftop to rooftop, and it still kicks as much ass as it did then. As a matter of fact, in this movie, he does moves in the air that just defy logic. One sequence has him jumping from one piece of falling rubble to another trying to swing down and catch a falling Gwen Stacy. Totally wow.

Overall, we have a very enjoyable movie that is visually exciting, with characters we love to see. Great fight scenes, frenetic action, and best of all...Bruce Campbell once again almost steals the whole movie.

Spider-Man 3 gets *** out of 5.