Glad to see him getting more work. Other than the truly wonderful FX work, he was the only thing the remake had going for it. Gods, I hate that movie.
I really enjoyed The Hobbit Part 2. After Part One my expectations were pretty low, but it turned out to be a fun, enjoyable adventure movie. The characters were better, the pacing was pretty excellent, the locales were spectacular — I especially enjoyed Erebor — and Smaug stole the show. He really was quite amazing, and in the high frame-rate format he looked like he was ready to slither off the screen. I’ve seen it in both formats, and vastly preferred the 2D/standard-frame-rate. It looked like a real movie, and a pretty good one, the only major problem being all the dodgy CGI, especially the awful-looking orcs. Surprisingly, in the HFR version the CGI was much improved, and the real-life scenery was breathtaking. Unfortunately, in HFR everything else looked like hell. The make-up looked like make-up, the sets looked like sets — it all just felt very fake. Except the CGI, and especially Smaug, who was stunning in HFR and, in my opinion, the only reason to see it in that format. Otherwise, check it out in 2D SFR and have a good time at a fun adventure movie. It’s by no means LOTR, but at least it’s not an embarrassment (although I do feel bad for Gandalf, always getting captured!). I’m already hankering for Part 3.
A great recap of the current state of blockbusters and a nice review of The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug. Although I was very disappointed with the first movie, I’ve been finding myself getting excited for Part Two. I just rewatched Part One yesterday. I wish I could say the bad parts are looking better, but now that I know they’re there I can brace myself, soldier on, and still enjoy the movie. Just the same, I’m hoping for less nose-holding tomorrow. Bring on Middle-Earth, PJ!
NOTE TO THE ORIGINAL POSTER: The new Hunger Games and Thor movies were actually pretty darned solid.
While 2013 has undoubtedly been a landmark year for film, there has been an underlying woe shrouded underneath all of the greatness so prevalent these last few months. I’m talking, of course, about the sad state of the modern Hollywood blockbuster. While blockbusters have never been the torchbearers of originality and innovation, they have always found new and exciting ways to provide unabashed fun and spectacle at the cinema. Unfortunately, this hasn’t really been the case throughout 2013. While it seems like there have been more blockbusters this year than ever, with a new one seemingly released every couple weeks, almost every one has been met with a wave of apathy and disappointment.
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I can’t wait. Just rewatched the “Christmas Carol” episode last night, and it was a blast. I admit to being disappointed in the 50th anniversary episode, though. Their attempt to squeeze a villain in was valiant but poorly thought-out. The episode’s menace should have come from the central storyline — the Dalek/Time Lord war. You would think this would be obvious, but apparently not. Instead we get an amusing but second-string villain shoved into a story that has nothing to do with them and who don’t even play a part in the climax. Just bad writing all around. Either the Daleks or the Time Lords themselves should have been the menace. Perhaps they could even have worked together, calling a truce while they both go to war against the Doctor (s) in an effort to stop him/them from activating the Moment and killing them all. But no. We get shape-shifters hiding in a painting. Sigh. Hope the next one is better.
With Christmas Day creeping ever closer, it’s about time the BBC released an official trailer for this year’s special, “The Time of the Doctor.” So, without further ado, here it is!
Daleks, Weeping Angels, Silents, Cybermen and Trenzalore — it looks like Matt Smith is getting an action-packed send-off that includes a speech that sounds reminiscent of his signature challenge at Stonehenge from “The Pandorica Opens.” But what really captured my attention was the Dalek announcing, “The Doctor is regenerating!” How does it know? Wasn’t all knowledge of the Doctor erased by… er, Clara, in “Asylum of the Daleks”?
“The Time of the Doctor” will air on Christmas Day at 9 p.m. on BBC America.
I keep rooting for “SHIELD”, but so far it keeps letting me down. Still a fun hour of no-butter popcorn entertainment, but, well, it needs butter.
I had a good time with this movie. To me, it didn’t quite live up to the first one, and it had few outstanding flaws (for example, the Red Mist is just not a scary villain, and Hit Girl, who is the breakout character of the series, has precious little screentime — at least, AS Hit Girl) but it was a fun, bloody, occasionally profane movie just the same, and it did not disgrace the original at all. It could even justify a continuation of the series. A Hit Girl standalone movie could rock.
A nice overview of the trilogy, thank you! I myself am a diehard fan of LOTR, both the books and the movies, both of which influenced my fantasy fiction greatly (find my epic fantasy ebook “The War of the Moonstone” here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GZX6OLU — yes, I’m an utter pimp). The big question for me in this review is whether LOTR the films are THE perfect trilogy. You mention this a couple of times but don’t delve into what the implications are — to whit, do the LOTR movies stand up better as a whole than the Star Wars movies?
Now that’s a fascinating question, at least to this geek. I was raised on Star Wars as a kid, and I mean the original trilogy. No Jar Jar for little Jack Conner. Oh no. It was Han and Luke and Leia all the way. I lived and breathed that stuff. The first two films were perfect. The third . . . weeelll. The Ewoks didn’t bother me as a kid — I enjoyed them. But even then I realized that something was missing in that movie. I would watch the first two over and over again, especially Empire, but I rarely watched “Jedi”. Why? I suppose it was too cutesy and not nearly as thrilling and tense as the others, despite the fact that it provided a pretty great ending for the story.
So: does “Jedi” make the original trilogy lesser, as a whole, than LOTR? Some would argue that the multiple endings of “Return of the King” lessen that movie, but for me they only deepen and enrich it, and I agree with removing the Scouring of the Shire from it; it would have been anticlimactic. For the most part, “King” was pretty perfect. But does that make LOTR a better trilogy than Star Wars? What do you think?
J.R.R Tolkien’s epic fantasy series has been famous for a very long time. It experienced an explosion of popularity during the sixties (there are reports of people dressed as hobbits running around Woodstock), resulting in more than a few attempts at making the series into a film, or films. A live action film starring The Beatles was likely at one point, but the closest that The Lord Of The Rings came into being a full length, full series of films was with Ralph Bakshi’s animated venture in 1978.
Enter the late 1990’s, it is announced that New Line cinema is producing the long-awaited trilogy, with New Zealand director Peter Jackson taking the helm. Peter Jackson, while the proud owner of a successful film career already, was still small game (especially compared the epic nature that the Rings films would require). Now it seems ridiculous that Jackson, or his attempt…
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I was surprised by how much I liked the new Hunger Games movie. I thought it was much better than the first — faster, more complex, more fun — and I quite liked the first, although my wife hated it. It was too dark for her, and she refused to see the second one, which actually felt lighter. Oh well. The cliffhanger was great and really got me looking forward to Part Three, and I’m curious to see what structure the story will follow when it doesn’t have the games to fall back on. I forget, though — are they planning to break the final novel into two movies a la Harry Potter and Twilight?
I’m divided on the whole Zach Snyder Supes thing. On the one hand, I’m impressed he was able to break so far away from the stylistic pit that was “Sucker Punch” that he could make a pseudo-Christopher Nolan movie. That’s quite a leap, and pretty well-done in its way, too. I will say that I thought the action scenes were too long, overly brutal and, well, too FAST. Supes and the other Kryptonians move — yep — faster than speeding bullets, and since Zach doesn’t move the camera at their speed but lets us see these fast blurs wrestle each other, it got kind of annoying to me. And this is from a director who is well known for being kind of a visionary action director. But I seem to be in the minority on this, so maybe it’s just me. Still, I WOULD like some better-shot action scenes next time, Zach (because of course he’s reading this), where I can actually see who’s fighting who.
The main problem I had with this movie was that it was just too Nolan-y. Dark, important, overly convoluted, overly “realistic”. I find myself preferring the lighter, more fun Marvel movies. They’re not the serious event movies that Nolan and now Snyder make, but they are fun popcorn movies and, to me, are more rewatchable. I don’t want to see thousands of people die in New York while Superman snaps a (super)man’s neck. Don’t get me wrong, I have a thing for dark, fantastic fiction, and write a good deal of it myself, but it just doesn’t feel like Superman. Call me crazy, but I enjoyed the tone and energy of Bryan Singer’s “Superman Returns”. To me, warts and all, that felt far closer to the approach I would want.
On the positive side, I enjoyed seeing the caped one fight giant robots (or whatever) and other powerful beings for a change in Snyder’s movie, other than just a smarmy bald guy (albeit charmingly smarmy), and I find myself looking forward to the next one, hoping it will ease up on the mass slaughter, tweak its approach to action and maybe have a bit more fun.
As for Ben Affleck, well, he’s done a good job in his last few movies and think he might just be able to pull Batman off. As to how they can realistically make Batman a threat to Supes after portraying Superman as pretty much a god in the first one, I don’t know.
I was about to wrap this up, but one other thing occurs to me that really sticks in my craw about the Zach Snyder movie. Supe’s father creates him as a repository for all Kryptonian DNA and to be the future of Krypton. I understand that Supes doesn’t want Zod to wipe out earth and replace it with New Krypton, but after he’s saved our world he still needs to save — or restart — his own. He still has all that DNA inside him, and he still has an obligation to reboot Krypton in some fashion, yet that completely slips through the cracks of the movie even though that’s kind of the central plot. Of course, it’s possible they could address this in the next movie — I hope so — but it’s not the vibe I’m getting so far.
Anyway, so although I kind of enjoyed the movie and look forward to the next one, I have mixed feelings about it. My issues with it COULD be resolved in the next one, and I sincerely hope they are. It could be a blast.
One of the movies I am very much looking forward though the shooting itself not started yet. All the news I hear about this movie make my interest toward this movie increase. My only hope is that they will find a good title and not use Batman Vs Superman.
Any comic book fan would love to see the two most famous superheroes of the comic world share the screen and I am no different. After one of the greatest superhero trilogies of all time by Christopher Nolan, it is so obvious people will be interested in any movie with the Dark Knight in the lead.
Though I am disappointed that Christian Bale will not be wearing the cape again, I have no complaints against Ben Affleck. In fact, his casting made me feel excited that there should be something good about this film. Ben Affleck just got…
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Some kind reader just put up a totally unsolicited review for my new novel “The War of the Moonstone” — five stars! Hot damn! Keep it coming, guys!