What I'm Watching: June, 2011
Ungh. I can't see 3D movies, so was waiting for 2D showings that never came. This has made for a not happy Jason. I may have excessively grumpy reviews in the future.
Been a light DVD month, but there's a few sitting around here.
Vanishing on 7th Street...oh, you tried so hard. Shadows, moving, human shadows, freak me the hell out. One of the few things that will turn me into a whimpering girl. The trailer really caught my eye, and the movie had a few GREAT moments. It is really more of a character piece, and it does some good work with those characters. Unfortunately, there is some very dodgy plotting. Characters act strangely, things happen for no reason...heck, the entire movie happens for no given reason. I can live with unexplained things attacking, but this movie gives you NOTHING to hang onto. Why people were disappearing into the darkness, what the darkness was...I can go without knowing all the answers there. But once those things start doing things, having plots, and taking specific actions for some reasons, you need to elaborate and give us SOME insight. And the ending is just a big ball of "What??" This could've been a great movie, but it is at least kinda watchable, but it's hard to recommend it on a few good scares.
Another very panned movie of recent months is I Am Number Four. Another movie well-deserving of poor reviews. The worst thing a movie can be is bland. You can be good, and hey, you're set. You can be bad, but be entertaining at least. As this site shows. But if you're just there? That is entertainment death. There's nothing to talk about. And Number Four? Is just kinda there. It's not good, it's not bad. I can live with cliche writing. Almost everything is a cliche in some way, but if you do something interesting with the cliches, you can rise above them. See Star Wars for example. Yeah, you heard me. I just said Star Wars is full of cliches. But so is Number Four, and the quality gulf is vast. It's not helped by some very bland performances. The lead, in particular. I wonder if his blandness is because he's trying to force his native accent into an American one, and he's so focused on that he loses all emotion. He talks about the deaths of his people, his friends, and mentor, in the most boring, matter of fact way. He may as well have been talking about the weather. Nice. The story isn't awful, but this presentation of it is just so monotone. The one bright spot is Teresa Palmer. When she arrives in the last third of the movie, things actually happen, dangit. She enfuses the movie with a whole new level of life. I don't know if it's just her, or the fact that she brings action sequences on her heels, but either way, that last third of the movie actually starts getting good. But it doesn't make up for the bulk of the movie. I'd still watch it before Vanishing though.
Just as cliche, but so much better, is the Roommate. Or as I call it, the CW goes to College with a Single White Female and has a Fatal Attraction. I enjoyed this. It's not great. It's just as cliche as that description makes it sound. But we haven't had this sort of movie, in college, for awhile, so I don't mind a new entry in this field. The cast is decent, and the acting isn't bad. Leighton Meester layers her crazy character so she's not all nutty all the time, and you almost feel for her at times, which is always tough to pull off. Not perfect, but a good 90 minutes to kill. But if you're tired of the whole sort of story of a girl trying to take another's life, or be her only friend, you could pass this one by without much trouble. It is far from the strongest entry in the field.
And finally, my pick of this post, Drive Angry. Oh ho, this movie is kinda awesome. If this had come out in the 80s, and it damn well is written like it could've, it would be reviewed on this site. And we'd probably give it at least a four out of five. Nic Cage is a bit, well, Nic Cage, but that works for the role of escaped from Hell bad ass Milton. Amber Heard is a force to be reckoned with in this movie. She is, holy crap. I don't know what reserves of acting she's pulling on for her rage, but DAMN does she kick ass, and you believe she will rip your head off, spit down your throat, and then use your head for a soccer ball. Just for looking at her funny. William Fichtner as the Accountant, the man sent from hell to reclaim Cage, is just as good. He steals this movie. He's always been a treat to see on tv and movies, but here, he's a pure joy. This is a modern day exploitation flick, and every bit as bad and good and fun as you would hope that would be. The only downside is that you can tell this movie was done in 3D. The 'at the screen' gimmicks sometimes get to be a bit obviously much, but they're still fun and fit well with the spirit of this movie, so whatever. If you love the movies on this site, the less painful ones at least, you need to see this movie.
And that's it for new stuff. I've got some classic crap to review!
Oh, and if you want to know what I thought of X-Men: First Class, swing over to my LJ and read my breakdown of that. Short version: Freakin' awesome.