Friday, December 21, 2012

Iron Man 2 (2010)

Number Rolled: 97
Movie Name/Year: Iron Man 2 (2010)
Genre: Action & Adventure
Length: 124 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: Justin Theroux, Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Leiber, Jack Kirby
Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Clark Gregg, John Slattery, Garry Shandling, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Leslie Bibb, Jon Favreau, Christiane Amanpour, Stan Lee

Geek readers, please keep in mind that I am writing this review from the viewpoint of a movie-goer. I am not considering the comic book series in the writing of this review. I’m absolutely sure you can give me a list of reasons why the movie did or did not meet the expectations of the comic it was based off of, but that is not what this is about. Feel free to let me know anyway, because that kind of stuff is pretty interesting to me.

With that out on the table, it’s been widely noted that people were quick to give all the love to the first Iron Man and none to Iron Man 2. Not for nothing, but Iron Man 1 was spectacular. It was a showing of one of Marvel’s finest and I would watch it monthly for a more pleasant kind of cycle. Iron Man 2 was what it was. It was a sequel.

Sequels are notorious for being worse than their original counterparts, and for good reason. You get these writers or directors that have seen the first move rise to such spectacular proportions that it has earned a sequel and it puts pressure on them to make the sequel better. They lose focus. Things become a hodge-podge of Hollywood inspired action and CGI in an attempt to make it bigger and better. What you’re usually met with, as a result, is a slightly confusing storyline with ADD that doesn’t always hit the high notes it’s supposed to.

Now, I’ve seen some shitty sequels. The Matrix was a sick movie that went downhill as the series progressed; to the point where I was sleeping in the theater during that three year love scene between Trinity and Neo. Home Alone was a cute movie that was ruined by sequels. And, you know, Jar Jar Binx… ‘nuff said.

There are some sequels out there that should have been trashed before they were ever shot, but this I don’t think is one of them. It wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t spectacular. It was, however, acceptable. Maybe even good. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was great, though.

My favorite thing about Marvel, though, is that even if you dislike the current movie you’re watching, they’re giving nods to the other movies they have out and are tying in red herrings to remind you of what’s coming next. Each movie is like a single gem placed into the Infinity Gauntlet… but… well… if you’ve seen the after-credit scenes of The Avengers, you know we’ll probably get a whole other article on that.

Until next time Netflixers!

Overall Opinion – 3.5/5

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Act of Vengeance (1974)

Number Rolled: 58
Movie Name/Year: Act of Vengeance (1974)
Genre: Horror
Length: 90 minutes
Rating: R
Director: Bob Kelljan
Writer: David Kidd, H.R. Christian
Actors: Jo Ann Harris, Peter Brown, Jennifer Lee, Lisa Moore, Connie Strickland, Patricia Estrin, Lada Edmund Jr., Tony Young, Steve Kanaly

Please note that when you look up this movie, it also comes up as “Rape Squad,” which is the title on the box, but is listed even in IMDB as “Act of Vengeance.” I’m not really sure what the deal is there.

I was born in 1983. So, needless to say, I wasn’t alive during any part of the seventies. I’m going to go ahead and take an educated guess about the decade. Before I make my assessment, I’m going to give my reasoning.

I’ve only watched two movies made in the seventies (so far) for this blog, but I’ve seen others. The movies haven’t been exceptionally good. In fact, most have been quite the opposite. However, all of them were so fucked up that I couldn’t look away from the screen. I tried, in some cases. Including this case of a very detailed rape scene in the very beginning where he’s making the woman sing Jingle Bells at the same time. That song will never be the same to me.

My thought is that those in charge in the seventies were the flower children of the sixties and they all fried their brains with acid. Lots of acid. And maybe some demonic possession. Lots of demonic possession.

This movie was a train wreck that I couldn’t look away from, though I found the ending satisfying and acceptable.

I’m officially afraid to add any more movies from the seventies to my instant queue.

Overall Opinion – 1.5/5

P.S. After scheduling this to be posted, my boyfriends phone went off and his ringer was set to Jingle Bells. I nearly threw an apple core at his head.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Decoy Bride (2011)

Number Rolled: 55
Movie Name/Year: The Decoy Bride (2011)
Genre: Comedy
Length: 88 minutes
Rating: PG
Director: Sheree Folkson
Writer: Neil Jaworski, Sally Phillips
Actors: Kelly Macdonald, David Tennant, Alice Eve, Hamish Clark, James Fleet, Dylan Moran, Sally Phillips, Michael Urie, Federico Castelluccio

This movie was a recipe movie. When I call something a “recipe movie” it’s because it followed the basic protocols for that type of movie. For instance, this movie was about a famous woman attempting to marry her writer fiancĂ©. The press won’t leave them alone, and so they attempt to go to a remote destination where they hire a decoy bride – a woman to pretend to be her.

Now, if you know romantic comedies, you can be pretty damn sure about where that is heading. There’s a recipe for it. Each person in the film is like an ingredient, not always the same – and substitutions are allowed – but the end product is usually a carbon copy. A preordained dish of either a happy or a sad ending.

These movies become predictable really quick. The best I can do to not spoil the ending is to not mention whether it added the bitter ending zest or the happy ending spice.

Even though it was a recipe movie, it wasn’t bad. The tenth doctor (Doctor Who – David Tennant) is a brilliant actor and I’d watch anything with him in it, regardless of what it’s about. The worst movie in the world could have David Tennant in it and it would go up a full point on my rating because of it. In case you can’t figure it out, I’m a bit of a fan girl for him.

Luckily, this wasn’t the worst movie in the world so I’m not compromising my blogging integrity by saying I enjoyed it. The script was well done, the leading lady was wonderful and the story did what it could with the recipe it was set to follow. Not the greatest thing in the world, but I’d watch it again.

Overall Opinion – 3/5