As far as the humans are concerned, Hugh Jackman is ok. The kid who plays his son is a little annoying, but to be fair, so are most of the kids in films. There are quite a few cheesy moments, but they are spread out so they aren’t like fingernails down a chalkboard.
I think the biggest problem with the film is the robots have no personalities. It’s just a giant and very expensive version of Rock’em Sock’em Robots. It’s hard to engage with a chunk of metal when it has no outward signs of personality. They are nothing like Transformers, which are totally real.
Having said that, its an OK bit of mindless fun. I tried to listen to other people talking on the way out to gauge the general reaction. It seemed to vary from “Awesome!” to “What a complete pile of xxxx!”. I guess I stand somewhere in the middle.
Troll Hunter seems to have had mixed reviews ranging from “the best film ever” to “what a load of crap”. I’m somewhere between the two.
It’s filmed in a documentary style using a handheld camera. Think The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield. You see a few different types of trolls, with the effects ranging from “give me a break” to quite neat, assuming of course that they are not real. The vast majority of the film is in Norwegian, so you need your reading glasses for the subtitles.
I thought it was pretty cool, but I would struggle to recommend it as there are a number of sections of the film that are a little slow and the whole, “this is real footage that’s not been doctored”, approach is a little tired now.
This is the second Norwegian film I’ve seen recently. Norwegian Ninja was hilarious, but I didn’t blog about it because I saw it just after the Norway shootings and it seemed in bad taste. You’ll understand why if you see it. I watched it at a friends house and we were both screaming with laughter. It’s so wrong it’s right…
Being a former Arnie fan, I wasn’t holding out much hope for the remake of Conan the Barbarian. As it turns out I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t that bad really.
Jason Momoa is a decent Conan. He’s not physically as massive as Arnie was in his day, but he sure looks like it would hurt if he punched you. He has a face built for sneering and scowling, which is pretty important in this role. Most of his dialog consists of grunting and throaty sentences that make Barry White sound like a Castrato.
The story is pretty average. It’s never going to win an oscar, but it is suitable for a film of this genre. Just enough to link together the action scenes, with only a mild sprinkling of cheese here and there. The battlefield caesarean was true comedy, but I think it was meant to be serious.
The action scenes themselves were a little hit and miss. Some worked really well, but some were a little blurry and shaky. Some of the scenes were cut badly, making it hard to follow the thread of the action. On occasion it got a little hard to see what was going on and I found myself losing interest.
Despite everything, it was a nice bit of moronic fun. I must buy the Arnie films on DVD…
I’ve got a late flight home, which always presents a bit of a problem as the hotel checkout means you are hanging around with no base for most of the day. As a result I decided to go to see Cowboys & Aliens.
Let me start by saying I got 1.5 hours of sleep last night so I am insanely tired…
The film seemed OK, but I did find myself nodding off at times. I woke with a start a few times. A couple of times it was audience screams/shouts and a couple of times it was audience laughs that brought me back to the land of the living. I did see the vast majority of the film and I thought it was OK, but I really need to see it again to make any reasonable judgement on it. The feedback from the crowd would suggest the bits I missed were quite good.
I’m now at the airport about 3 hours early for a domestic flight from Canberra to Sydney before my proper journey begins. I think I’m going to lie on the floor somewhere and try not to swallow my tongue…
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is AWESOME! Love it, love it, love it!
Don’t go expecting an all out action film, because it isn’t one. The trailers would have you believe it’s a constant stream of apes going … ape. For the most part it’s relatively even paced, but in a good way. Thought provoking and visually fantastic. The movement of the apes is great to watch, especially when they do go nuts. Us humans have a habit of anthropomorphizing animals (don’t get me started on dog and cat owners) so seeing it done on screen like this kinda taps into something primal in me.
Easily the best of the Planet of the Apes films, even including the original, which was pretty cool when I saw it as a kid.
Personally, I liked it and could see past the odd cheesy bits, but I can also see why some would think it falls short. There is a very E.T. childlike feel to the film, which is hardly surprising as the lead characters are kids. There is also the Stand By Me coming of age aspect. All this is wrapped up with a bow made of some fantastic visual effects.
Cool film, but difficult to pinpoint the target audience they had in mind (in my opinion). I’m sure over the next few years I will watch and enjoy it several times, but I don’t think I will be buying it.
I went to see Captain America: The First Avenger at the weekend. It’s kinda odd because there are lots of elements that make me think I should like this film, but I found it all a little dull. I actually found myself saying “Meh” as I stood up at the end of the film. That’s not a good sign.
I liked the intro to the story. All the stuff from the trailers. Skinny guy becomes superhero etc. I think that works really well and I was looking forward to him actually doing something useful. That’s where it all went a little flat really. Most of the stuff he did just didn’t seem very “superhero” to me. I know nothing about the Captain America comics or history, but he seems like a pretty lame superhero.
What didn’t help was the World War II setting. Being brought up in the UK means you are constantly bombarded films and references to WWII. Pretty much every day there is a WWII film on one of the channels. Not wanting to be disrespectful to the people that were involved at the time, but it has no relevance to my life. You might as well be talking about The Hundred Years’ War. In fact, I would go as far as to say that *most* war-related films don’t do anything for me. It’s just not a genre that really appeals. With that in mind, a lame superhero in a setting that turns me off was never going to hit home for me I guess.
A few bits of the plot seemed very “Indian Jones” to me. It felt a bit lazy in that regard. It will be interesting to see how Captain America stacks up in the 21st century as part of The Avengers film(s) when they are made. Maybe in a modern setting I will have a change of heart.
Transformers: Dark of the Moon rocks! The previous two films were good, although the second didn’t even prompt a review from me.
The first few minutes did not bode well. I dislike those child-friendly stupid little robots. Think Ewoks and Jar Jar Binks. Maybe that lowered my expectations sufficiently to make me enjoy the rest of the film.
It certainly felt like Michael Bay had been watching Battle: Los Angeles and Skyline while this was being made. As you would expect from a Michael Bay film the destruction was of epic proportions. Sometimes this descends into disaster porn, but it felt a little more personal in this film. Maybe I’m talking rubbish and it was just the mood I was in that made me feel that.
Anyway, it’s full of awesome robots doing superhero posturing. I love the way they transform and move. Very cool. Shia LaBeouf is obviously part robot because he manages to survive some situations that would mangle a block of steel. On top of the crazy action there are some genuinely funny bits.
At the end of the film a large proportion of the crowd started to clap, which I’ve not heard in a while. I’m a bit to old and jaded for that, but I did enjoy it.
Like all these Hollywood action blockbusters, you need to go in with your suspension of disbelief primed, but if you do you will have a good time.
I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again, but the mark of a good superhero film is you should be watching it thinking, “I wish I was
As a fat 41 year old man, that is exactly what I was thinking whilst watching Green Lantern. If Iron Man is a 9.5/10, then this is somewhere around the 8.5/10 region in my opinion. Similar to Thor I guess.
Parts of it reminded me of Spawn. I found myself thinking, if this character had watched the Spawn movie he could manifest some better weapons and defenses.
If they do a sequel, it would be cool if they focus on some of the other Lanterns.