Thursday, June 9, 2011

Movies (Three)

We've gone to see three movies recently! Here is my report.

Going into Thor, I had pretty low expectations. After Iron Man, thus far the pinnacle of superhero movie acheivement, it's hard to get excited about something you know will never compare. But actually, Thor was quite fun.

To be sure, there is nothing original about it; I winced at some of the insipid dialogue; it suffers a bit from predictability and cliches. But for some reason, it was easy to overlook these weaknesses. In the early scenes of Thor's obnoxious war-mongering, it was actually nice to have the assurance that a formulaic change of heart lay in his future.

Perhaps much of what made the film so palatable was that I liked how it looked. New Mexico is so beautiful; Asgard, too.

X-Men: First Class, on the other hand, was marred for me by visual flaws: some of the CGI was, I think, not detailed enough to meet the highest standards of realism--for whatever reason, some of it looked fake. And Beast's make-up was poorly done--especially, his mouth didn't move very well--it looked bad.

Aside from that ... it was a pretty good movie, but surprisingly boring. Perhaps because the old "threat of nuclear war" plot has been done so many, many, many, many, many times over--and as a person who did not live through the Cuban missile crisis, I cannot recall the terror of that time.

Perhaps they could have done more to play up the interpersonal drama--give the characters a little more depth.
X-Men left me feeling something like, "Gee, maybe I'm getting tired of movies--I've just seen too many"--but watching Source Code, my love of films was restored completely: "This is why I watch movies!"

Yes, Source Code was an excellent film: smart, gripping, surprisingly humorous; it handles superbly a clever premise, through simple, yet elegant storytelling. It strongly recalls another great film, 12 Monkeys, using similar themes and images, though to very different effect. Brilliant script. I'll have to keep an eye out for future work by Ben Ripley.

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