The resonance to the movie was overwhelmingly negative, which makes this movie more than merely interesting for me, because my own reaction was much more positive. The movie is not some kind of misjudged masterwork nor has it hidden depths or stuff, but I actually enjoyed the movie as pure popcorn cinema. Acting and plotting wasn’t weaker than in any number of action-driven movies I’ve seen in recent times.
It’s a bit disjointed at times, the changes between scenes feel like someone has cut into a much longer movie and taken out the best bits. On the other hand this makes sure that the movie never gets boring. Acting is adequate and never made me cringe. So, why did this movie was panned so widely? Maybe people were reminded of Wild Wild West, and this association immediately tainted the experience. Or the disjointed nature of the plot was too distracting for most critics.
Scott Pilgrim vs the World is a great example that even with the best intentions, the transformation from one medium to another isn’t easy. This doesn’t mean that the movie version of Scott Pilgrim isn’t good, but that some of the charm of the comic version is absent in the movie. The only way that the unique style of the comic could have been preserved in a movie would have been to do it as an animation. Some of the things that were funny and entertaining in the comic just looked awkward and ridiculous in a live-action version. As an animation, it might have worked.
That said, while some aspects were lost in translation, the movie managed to remain faithful without getting suffocated by the original. It’s funny (not always in the same places as the comic, but nonetheless) and it manages to stuff most of story of the original series into two hours without making it feel overstuffed.
Movie version of the comic by Warren Ellis. Not much from the comic has survived apart from the basic plot idea, but anyone who has seen the trailers could have guessed as much. It’s a pretty solid action comedy, but I never really connected with it. This felt too much like going through the motion of how an action comedy should be, instead of actually being fun or engaging.
This is what the A-Team movie should have been. Easily likable characters who don’t feel like merely imitating some template and a leader who actually feels like someone competent enough to lead such a group. Nothing deep or complex, but a good way to spend some time watching stuff blow up and characters being cool. And the actor of the evil guy was excellent, good villains are hard to come by. Also based on a comic, but I never read them, so I don’t know how good the source is and how faithful the movie version is (and while I liked the movie, I don’t feel the need to read the comics, odd).
I stopped after enduring the first forty minutes of this box-office failure that became a cult movie of sorts. It’s a superhero comedy (based on comics I never read, so I don’t know how faithful it is) that is more pathetic than amusing with really tired jokes and boring characters.
I really liked the first three Shrek movies, but this one really jumped the shark. I can’t really say I wanted to see Shrek having a midlife crisis. Sure, there were some neat scenes and at times the movie managed to capture what made the other three movies so enjoyable to watch, but overall it dragged too much in many parts and never felt like a satisfying conclusion that a penultimate chapter of any series should provide.
Ocean’s 11 with animals, that how this movie felt like. Since I’m not a big fan of the whole thief as a hero concept, I can’t say I was overly enticed by the movie. It’s based on another children’s book by Ronald Dahl, was has some subtle creepy elements in all of his works (probably the reason why it’s so enduring). One aspect I really liked was the stop-motion animation, I always like seeing movies done with different animation approaches.
I also liked, contrary to many animation movies that use animals as human-like characters, that the animals retained some of their animal nature. When the foxes go for their meal (or the kill) in the movie, it’s not disneyfied in any way. These are killers with a small sheen of civility. But overall, despite some nice touches, the movies was kinda meh. Neither the plot nor the characters were overly compelling. It had some funny moments and it’s watchable, but nothing really stands out or makes it memorable, apart from the animation style.
Aka L’immortel, it’s a vehicle for Jean Reno to shine. The plot isn’t overly original: a retired mob boss gets attacked but survives to dish out some revenge after another attack kills one of his henchmen. That said, it’s excellently acted with good pacing and the right amount of drama to top it off. Nothing you haven’t seen before, but a well done package with all the elements working perfectly.
Normally I’m really not into gangster movies, but Reno’s character’s (Charly Mattei) attempt to live a peaceful live and his struggle to be good while also trying to survive and destroy his enemies resonated well with me. What I also really liked was the ending. I hate narratives that try to be clever by killing off their main character, which always annoys me to no end (from Cowboy Bebop to Layer Cake and others) because it’s so manipulative.
Four short movies based on DC characters. I liked two (Green Arrow and Jonah Hex) and was rather meh about the other two. The Specte movies is actually a pretty good conversion of the character to the screen, it’s just that I really dislike the whole concept of the Spectre.
I have no trouble with heroes killing enemies in self-defense while in action, but vengeance is nothing else than murder. That’s while I rarely like characters like the Spectre (e.g. Punisher), I find them ill-fitting in a superhero-universe (because basically all the other heroes should have taken them down long ago).
The Superman/Shazam short suffers from being ten minutes too long (more isn’t always better) and I dislike the overly muscular design of Black Adam and Captain Marvel. Where Superman looks sleek, the other two look like overly juiced up bodybuilders. But the main difference is, the Green Arrow and the Jonah Hex short made me want to see more of the characters, the other two not.
Rango, a chameleon, is also an opportunistic liar, trying to play the role of a famous western hero and gets into trouble with a mayor of a small town who has big plans. Unlike Oscar, his reason for playing the fake hero is somewhat more relatable, as he’s been alone in his aquarium all this time (he’s been accidentally set free) and never learned how to be just himself and connect to the people around him, apart from playing a role (all his time spent in the aquarium was about acting out some kind of fantasy).
While his play-acting for the first half of the movie made this still an unpleasant experience, at least the second part saw him trying to transform himself from a fake into real hero. Apart from the fun second part, the movie had a ton of clever allusions to old westerns, even a CGI Clint Eastwood appearance as the spirit of the west, which really felt inspiring despite its hackneyed nature.