Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Weekend Movie Review

I'll be the first to say it... I'm not much of a movie reviewer.

I never can seem to capture or remember all the details that make for a good review. My main goal when I go to a film is to turn off my brain, sit back and let the movie entertain me - not take notes and write a report later on.

That being said, I did get the rare opportunity to see not 1, but 2 brand new movies this Saturday and Sunday. And after I was done I jotted down a couple of things about these movies that I actually remembered!

So, here are my impressions:

Warning... this could be considered somewhat of a spoiler alert. Not so much in the "revealing the plot" kind of way but more in the "revealing the characteristics" kind of way.

Spider-Man 3

3 out of 5 stars.

Maybe I'm just getting older, or maybe I don't completely "get" what comic book movies are all about, but I felt that this movie missed the mark just a bit. I first realized that when about 1/2 way through the movie I started to become impatient for it to move along. Then when I started to predict what was going to happen next I knew that it had underachieved.

A couple of things that bugged me were:

Holes in the plot. I found myself asking more than once - Hey, how did they manage to make that happen? To me that's a sign of poor screenplay/editing and shouldn't have to exist in one of the most expensive movies ever made. But then again, maybe that's the problem. Perhaps they spent so much money creating cool scenes and ideas that they wanted to cram them all in - even though they didn't fit the continuity of the script.

Campy. Several times I found myself saying, "Oh please, did you really have to say that?" One example was when Spider-man was truly in trouble and they felt they had to cut to the news anchor who predictably had to add - "It looks like this could be the end of Spider-man!" But again, maybe that's what comic book movies are all about and I'm just not getting it.

Whiny. This one may be a self-fulfilled prophecy on my part because on the way over to the theater I actually said to my boys, "From what I've seen of the previews, I have a feeling this is going to be a pretty whiny movie." Unfortunately I was right. Any time you create a good -vs- evil movie plot you know you're going to have to deal with the "What's happened to you... I don't even know who you are anymore!" kind of garbage. In addition, I felt that waaay too much time was spent at the MJ pity-party.

However, I did give it 3 out of 5 stars, so overall I did consider it a mostly good movie. Here are a few of the saving graces.

Effects. When it was good it was REALLY good. It was hard to not be glued to the screen once the action (finally) got going. These were huge scenes that had me grinning and grimacing every time.

Thomas Haden Church. I loved him as Lowell Mather in Wings and applaud him as Flint Marko, the Sandman, in this movie. He played the villain perfectly and looked good doing it too. Apparently he worked out for 16 months to prepare for this role and it definitely shows.

Overall, if you're going to keep up with the Spider-man series I would consider this necessary to see. However, unlike Batman Begins, which was a great example of how to make a movie in a series get even better over time, I think that Spider-man 3 left me feeling unsatisfied.

Meet The Robinsons

4 out of 5 stars.

I promised my daughter that since I took my boys to their movie on Saturday that I would take her and her friend to this movie on Sunday.

The only thing I can say about this one is that it was "out there". Based on a book called A Day With Wilbur Robinson by William Joyce (the creator of Rolie Polie Olie), this movie is nothing short of an acid trip for kids.

It was a fun colorful ride from start to finish, but was disjointed and a bit hard to follow. It feels like the Disney writers felt they had a fairly open-ended idea to work with here and decided to see what they could get away with. What they ended up with was a bizarre plot that jumped back and forth from present to future and scenes better suited for the audience of Dude, Where's My Car?

Even my daughter turned to me mid movie and said "Dad, this movie is weird!"

However, all that being said - I think the girls really liked it. It was energetic, crazy and an easy 90 minutes.

So that's my take on these films. Granted, I'm no Siskel, Ebert or even Roeper for that matter - but like everyone else in the world, I do have my own opinion. Now I'd like to hear yours.

Did you see either of these, and if so - what did you think?


Reel Fanatic said...

I think all your complaints about Spider-Man are right on target .. though it was by no means a horrible movie, it definitely failed to deliver on what the ending of Spider-Man 2 promisedprinc

Heather said...

Let me get this straight...there is a place where you go and sit and watch a movie? And you went there 2 times in one weekend??


I think the comic book movies are supposed to be a bit hokey. I mean they have to be, right? We all know there aren't really people who can shoot webs from their wrists and then swing from them.

Or is there something you're not telling us?

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

reel - Hey, thanks for the input. I agree it wasn't a terrible movie and definitely not as good as Spidey 2.

heather - Yeah, but there are good comic book movies (like Spider-man 2) and better ones (like Batman Returns) but this one just kind of fell short. And just because you haven't seen someone shoot webs from their wrists doesn't mean they don't exist. Eh?

Mooselet said...

I did hear that there will be at least another 2-3 Spidey movies after this one - ugh. I'm like you, I don't get it after a while. And I'm not a huge Kirsten Dunst fan, so all of that combined tends to put me off. We'll rent it when it comes to DVD, but I won't go see it.

Whit said...

Are you talking about Batman Begins, the latest film? If so that movie was awesome.

I agree with your take on Spidey. Too much crying and MJ crap, but when it was on it was really on.

I left there feeling entertained, and that's the point, right?

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

mooselet - I'm having a hard time seeing how they're going to get any more movies out of this franchise. Unless they replace Raimi as director.

whit - Yes, I was talking about Batman Begins, thanks for straightening me out on that one. I think this movie was entertaining overall too, but I thought it fizzled out in the end and so my immediate reaction was one of dissatisfaction.

Mom Thumb said...

I liked the first Spider-Man and the second drove me crazy. The fight scenes are waaaaaaaaay too long and boring. Best movie I've seen recently is Man of the Year. But not in a theater. I need to be able to get up and do stuff. And not fall down because it's dark.

Anonymous said...

I used to play basketball with Tom. The first time I met him, I was like, "Aren't you that guy from--?"

And he'd put his head down and say, "Yeah, I'm that guy from..."

That was before Sideways. Now he won't come out and play anymore. And just because he's been working out doesn't mean I can't still box him out, darnit.

Anonymous said...

Jeff, if you haven't seen "Sideways" yet, it's a must see. T.H.Church is great in it. It's one of my all time favorite movies. Not for the kiddies though.

wayabetty said...

I'm not much into Spider Man, but the hubbie is and can't wait for the boys to be older to watch it with them on DVD in like 5 years.

But I'm with you on Batman Begins, that was a surprisingly good movie. The other one that we saw recently was Pan's Labyrinth, and it was an awesome movie, if you don't mind reading sub-title.