Category: Review

X-Men Days of Future Past

X-Men Days of Future Past

Posted June 16, 2014 : James McAvoy, Review

I did not expect to love Days of Future Past the way I did. The concept was complicated and convoluted. There were stories from the set about the script changing or this or that going wrong. I didn’t love any of the earlier films in the franchise, even though X-Men was always my favorite cast of comic characters growing up. I actually feel like a lot of the franchise was really mishandled prior to this film. But that’s the cool thing about Days of Future Past – it’s this remarkable reset button. And it’s actually an X-Men movie done well. […]

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Posted April 4, 2014 : Chris Evans, Review

There were a lot of things in Captain America: The Winter Soldier that were a lot of fun. Not the least of which is Captain America himself. Even so, it wasn’t quite what I expected. It was much more real world than prior Marvel movies, I think even more so than the Iron Man films. Because Tony Stark as a billionaire playboy doesn’t resemble much of real life even when he’s not in the suit. It almost didn’t even quite feel like a super hero movie. Which I liked. It took this very fantastic universe and grounded it in a […]

Divergent

Divergent

Posted March 26, 2014 : Review

My star rating would make Divergent seem like a nice, average, run of the mill kind of movie. But if you keep reading you’ll see it’s actually a slightly impressive adaption. Because apparently YA books are hard to adapt. But what Hollywood is finally figuring out (how many adaptations later?) is that the thing you need to do is let the movie deviate from the book; let it breathe and stretch and be a movie instead of a visual enactment of the book. Kel and I have been saying this for ages – you have to just make a good […]

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Posted December 18, 2013 : Jennifer Lawrence, Review

So, my review for Catching Fire will be littered with recommendations of other (better) books. Because you can’t really talk about Catching Fire without talking about the book and I was really impressed that they managed to make a better movie than it was a book. I was a bit wary going into this movie. I just finished reading The Dream Thieves and Catching Fire can’t come close to those characters. And the intrigue. And the way the story sinks into you. I’m not sure it would make a great movie but it’s an amazing story. How many times have […]

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Posted December 14, 2013 : Luke Evans, Orlando Bloom, Review

Be forewarned: my review of the second Hobbit film is kind of vague and philosophical more than my usual analysis. Because there’s not much to say. This has the feel of a story pulled apart and so half formed. There’s new characters but no depth in their relationships or interactions. Tauriel’s relationship with Legolas and his relationship with his father and all the possible intricacies and tension and… we’re given nothing. Even though I think the elves (and the credit song) are the best part of the whole thing. There’s action and great production values, but there was no doubt […]

Thor – The Dark World

Thor – The Dark World

Posted November 9, 2013 : Chris Hemsworth, Review

I was expecting this movie to be good. I liked the first one a lot (with only a few qualifications) and I liked the character even more in The Avengers. So, yes, I pretty much expected The Dark World to be good. And even then, I was impressed. Because this is one of those movies that’s the ideal in the tentpole-blockbuster-extravaganza films because it’s a character movie first and all of those other things second. The relationship with Thor and Jane Foster is better than the first movie. Even though I still don’t think they have much chemistry we got […]

Wolverine

Wolverine

Posted July 27, 2013 : Review

I have to admit that I heard a couple of Collider interviews that pointed out that this isn’t really a comic book movie until the third act and I totally have to agree. It’s thoughtful and interesting and sort of everything I expected the first Wolverine movie to be. But for all the character work in the beginning, I never engaged with this movie emotionally. Not in a Nolan way, because the movie lacked substantive emotion, but in a very personal way. Nothing in this movie resonated in me. But it was well made so, I would imagine it could […]

Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim

Posted July 13, 2013 : Review

Pacific Rim is soooo cool! That was my initial impression when they showed footage at Comic Con last year, and also the strongest reaction I had leaving the theater today. (I’m glad I saw it opening weekend. Because unique ideas are becoming so rare in summer blockbusters and this is a good one. a little scary every now and then because those kaiju aren’t joking around.) But I was also impressed that in the midst of a giant monsters vs. giant robots movie there’s a human element to it. The concept is giant monsters (kaiju) vs. giant robots (jaeger) but […]

The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger

Posted July 4, 2013 : Review

I almost don’t even want to review The Lone Ranger, I just want to talk about when marketing lies. And I have to admit it’s not often that I’ll watch a trailer and get the tone of a movie so wrong. Even when they hedge around the edges of a story, usually I can spot it. But this was a master job of misdirection. The trailers suggested a family movie with outlandish action, a little danger, and a story full of farce and horses and trains. But this was certainly NOT a fun family movie. Really, The Lone Ranger is […]

Man of Steel

Man of Steel

Posted June 23, 2013 : Henry Cavill, Review

It’s not often that my reviews are as colored by other opinions and insights as this one is. But that’s what happens when I wait a week to write it, and in this case I think it makes for a better review. There was a lot to like in Man of Steel. A lot of character drama, some very good performances and a good score. And bonus points for Tahmoh! But there was also a darkness to the film that didn’t really fit with Superman in some ways and some Nolan elements that couldn’t be escaped. By and large, the […]