[Warning; There be spoilers ahead!]
Some brief observations on what I’ve watched lately…
The Fifth Element
This is the one where John McClane goes into the future and blows up Nakatomi Plaza, right? Bruce Willis basically rehashes his Die Hard character in this movie that can’t decide if it wants to be an action flick or a comedy. It’s a lighthearted, amusing sci-fi movie with a little something for everyone, but it’s not one of my favorite Luc Besson movies.
A few observations: Gary Oldman was great, and his hair should have gotten its own line in the credits; Chris Tucker’s character makes me want to shut the movie off halfway through, but he redeems himself slightly towards the end, to the point where I can almost tolerate him; And, I don’t know who’s idea it was to cast Tommy Lister as the president, but he looks and sounds like a gangster straight from south central.
I’ve always been annoyed by the flying cars in this movie. It’s the 24th century, there are flying cars, so why do they look like 1940’s Ford coupes? The logic eludes me. I don’t know, I guess I categorize this movie like I would Beastmaster–if it’s on TV on a Saturday afternoon, I might tune in, but I won’t be buying the director’s cut Blu-Ray.
Continuing on a Bruce Willis kick this week, and with the end of the world nearing, I was in the mood for a post-apocalyptic movie, and Twelve Monkeys happened to be on the HBO. Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis do their best to try for an Oscar by acting wild and crazy in the loony bin. Pitt is an absolute nut job while Willis just drools a lot. I’ve never been a big fan of insane asylum movies, so these scenes tend to drag for me.
Once Willis escapes from the asylum and kidnaps Madeline Stowe’s character, this is where this movie gets good for me. When he tries to deal with his time-traveling insanity, the sci-fi aspect of the movie really starts to gel and gets interesting.
I’m not sure where it is written that sci-fi movies need wacky characters with big glasses and harsh lighting, who speak with German accents, but it seems pretty common, and I wish they would stop.
This movie got me thinking about Madeline Stowe. remember her? Remember Unlawful Entry? She was all over the place in the 80’s and 90’s, but I can’t remember the last time I saw her in a movie. I miss her.
Okay, I waited a long time to see this one, primarily because I love the original so much. I didn’t think this one had a chance of being any good, but I was wrong, it’s a great popcorn movie. The action was intense, and Adrienne Brody wasn’t near as awful as I thought he was going to be. I’m all for Hollywood endings, and would have liked to see the last two standing make it off the planet, but you have to leave room for the sequels, I guess.
I thought the casting of this movie was great, with Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace, Danny Trejo, and Walter Goggins. Each of their characters was well-suited for them, and the mixture of personalities was a welcome surprise.
This was an all-around mindlessly fun action movie. ‘Nuff said.
How to Train Your Dragon
I have two sons that are just getting to the age where dragon movies are fun and not nightmare-inducing. This movie has been on a continuous loop for a week or so, and I’m okay with that. This is a fun, fun movie filled with everything little boys (and their dad) could want in a dragon movie. The animation is superb and the action scenes are exciting and make you cheer out loud. How to Train Your Dragon should be in every boy’s DVD library. I love this movie.
Game of Thrones
This series is really picking up steam now. HBOGO offered next week’s episode for viewing online so I watched two episodes back to back and now have to wait two weeks to see what happens with poor Ned. If you haven’t seen episode 7 yet, be warned that you might not want to watch it with your mom in the room, if you know what I mean. HBO goes all Cinemax in this one.
While I’m shilling for HBOGO.com I thought I’d mention that I watched the first episode of Boardwalk Empire and was pretty impressed. I’m a sucker for a good historical drama, and if it’s helmed by Martin Scorcese, I’m in. Only one episode in, and I already have a vested interest in several of the characters and want to see how they fare. Steve Buscemi is well-cast as a gangster with a heart, but you know he’s gonna go ape shit at some point, and I can’t wait.
The Hunger Games
Okay, so I finished the first book in this trilogy and am scratching my head as to why this series has received the praise and hype it has. It’s entertaining, but nowhere near the ballpark of good literature with a message. I was expecting to have my mind blown but this just is not happening. Hey kids, if you want to have your socks rocked, go check out Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy… and get off my lawn!
Okay, so there’s my random update on what mine eyes have seen lately. Have you been watching anything good lately? Want to bash me over the head with a blunt instrument for the opinions I expressed above? Please don’t, but feel free to comment loudly below.
Paxton Holley says
Okay, here’s my 2 cents (I love these “catch up” articles).
Agreed on Fifth Element. Love parts, scratch my head in parts. Willis is great, so is Oldman. Other casting choices are weird.
12 Monkeys. Hrrrrm…Good but not great. I like the twist in the end but the journey is a little too dark and quirky.
Predators. I liked it but didn’t love it. Brody was better than expected. Fishburne was GREAT. Topher was actually good. Action and effects were really good. Not getting much from Trejo though. I’m not in love with him like everyone else seems to be. He’s great in Desperado and Con Air, but he’s terrible in Machete and somewhat wasted in this.
How to Train Your Dragon. Loved it. Much better than I was expecting. Sweet, funny and fun to watch.
Game of Thrones. Meh.
Boardwalk Empire. I’d like to watch the first episode, but I really have enough TV that I currently watch. If I get into this, that’s more time I have to carve out of my evenings to watch ANOTHER show.
I think I mentioned this to you earlier. I think the first Hunger Games is great as young adult action fiction. it starts off slow, but the actual selection and Games are really good. Book 2 starts off even slower than book 1, then we go back to the Games in pretty much a repeat of the first book. I haven’t even glanced at the third book.
I just started the second Hunger Games book and will probably see the series through to the end, but I’m just not feeling the love yet.
i know you’re re-watching the Six Million Dollar Man series, so I can see why you wouldn’t have the bandwidth for another show, but Boardwalk Empire looks promising. 😉
I’m glad I’m not the only one that thinks “The Fifth Element” is overrated. I love kitsch, colorful aliens, and ridiculous costumes, but this movie rarely gets any of the right elements right.
I thought I was going to get a string of hateful comments on that one. The movie was okay but certainly not great. Glad I’m not alone on that island.
Shawn Robare says
I really dig Luc Besson, but it seems like with the 5th Element, the majority of the stuff that I like is the design work done by Moebius. It’s over the top, but not in a really focused way that say the first Transporter film was (produced by Besson). Also, though I like the production design on the flick, I hate that it seems George Lucas stole a lot of it for the Star Wars prequels…
Leon and the Transporter are two of my favorite movies, and it just seems like Besson was trying to be different when he did the Fifth Element, and it didn’t really work. I really think the movie would have been great if it ditched the comedy aspect outright.
Your observation on the Star Wars movies was pretty accurate now that I think about it. The car chase scene is pretty much a carbon copy.
The Fifth Element – I liked this movie enough to own it on DVD. Do I love it? No. Seeing this movie in 1997 is way different than watching it in 2011. Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, Brion James, Tricky are all great choices. Luke Perry, Tiny Lister and Chris Tucker? Yea, a little weird. All easy to look past though. Tucker had his moments.
12 Monkey’s – Good stuff.
Predators – I went into this movie with same expectation as you. As I was watching it I was like, “Whos, this is actually pretty good!”. I agree, good popcorn movie.
How to Train Your Dragon – Classic.
Game of Thrones – Don’t have HBO 🙁
Boardwalk Empire – Don’t have HBO. Although this series alone almost had me calling up Comcast and ordering it.