What I'm Watching: Late November
And away we go with more movies!
A little off the beaten path from our usual fair, but with a reputation of badness, I finally got a chance to see the Hitman movie adaptation. Now, I am NOT a player of the games. I have Hitman 2, played it a little, but never quite got into it, so I am vaguely familiar with the property, but not intimately. I felt they got a lot right, and it was a fun story, with an ok cast. I *liked* Olyphant's 47, and the movie was fun, but not great. The biggest problem was the needlessly complex plot that wndered all over the place for very little reward. Way better than I'd heard, but I can see how fans would be more pissed than I was. Don't seek it out, but if you stumble across it, what the hey.
Speaking of poorly received adaptations, hello Green Lantern! A lot of the same things I said about Hitman apply here. Not as bad as you may have heard, an ok cast, a lot they got right, but it ended up not gelling right. If anything, the plot could have used a little MORE complexity. In reality, it's biggest crime was coming out in the same year as Captain America, Thor, and X-Men: First Class. Sucks to be you, Hal Jordan. It needed some work, and comes off as a pretty basic story, but an ok comicbook movie that is better than some, worse than most. Thoroughly average with a good cast. Go watch the new cartoon instead. ;)
Somewhat horror like is a movie I have NO idea what I feel about it. Yeah, Red State is one of those. Kevin Smith tells the story of a group of teens that run afoul of some very religious folk, and how horribly, HORRIBLY wrong things go. I love Kevin Smith, and this is SO different from his normal type of movie. And that is a good thing. The cast is simply amazing, and the preacher steals the entire freaking show. But Kevin almost wanted to make three different movies, as three stages of this one larger film, and I don't think everything came together quite as well as he would have liked. That said, it's better than Cop Out, and probably some of Smith's best directing as the camera does more than just sit there, with the aforementioned astounding cast, I just...don't know what to make of it. This movie is likely going to get a cult following, and could grow on me over time, it's just so not cohesive upon that first viewing, because it goes all over the place, deliberately. Just as you find your footing, it veers elsewhere. And I *like* that, but it makes it hard to get a handle on this movie! Worth seeing just to form your own opinion.
I have a new favourite found footage movie; Grave Encounters. Now, I still love the Paranormal Activity movies, but GE gets SO much right. It is genuinely spooky. It is the best excuse for a found footage movie so far, using the current glut of Ghost Hunter shows as its premise to follow a group of tv people making that sort of show in a genuinely haunted asylum. And shit goes way the hell wrong. Where most found footage movies hold their scares, and only do minor little things, this movie is VERY in your face, and it had me twitching by the end of it. Really, really enjoyed it.
Meanwhile on tv, there's American Horror Story, a new horror show on FX, that uses their more adult themes to the fullest, and doesn't hold many punches. The very first episode left me cold, and didn't click for me, but the show has gotten better with each episode, and the Halloween two parter was the best yet. It's the story of a family moving into a new home in LA, that has a long, storied, and bloody history. Cue the ghosts that won't leave them alone. I'm not sure how the hell it can really last as a lengthy series, but for now I enjoy the ride.
Also there's one of two fairy tale inspired shows, Grimm. I still haven't watched the other one yet, give me time! But this one is about a detective who learns he is the latest in a long line of hunters of fairy tale creatures, and he must protect normal people from them. It's a little Supernatural, a little Buffy, and...since I just watched the first episode, only a little ok. The plot is ok, it has some mildly interesting stuff, but seems to be trying too hard to shove its cleverness down our throats. And the final clue that leads them to the Big Bad Wolf trying to kill Red Riding Hoods is so mind numbingly stupid, it almost made me throw my remote at the tv. I hope it gets better, but that one moment almost ruined the entire show for me.
And finally, if you want to see my review of In Time, which I will say I kinda loved, swing over to my LiveJournal and read many more in depth thoughts than, "Yay good!"
WHEW! Ok, that mostly catches me up, and clears the deck for our post-Thanksgiving review, and for the massive December plans I've got brewing.