Sunday, November 7, 2010

Summer movies

The time to cover last summer's movies would be in a couple of years when there's an opportunity to see most of them but by then nobody cares, if indeed anybody does now. This summer I missed more than usual due to the "lost summer" effect of moving our store and then getting sick. But in any case:

Iron Man 2 (Jon Favreau 2010) - The first film filled exactly what most people expect comic books to be: one-dimensional but lovably eccentric characters, straight-forward conflicts resolved by hitting, few story complications and politically right-wing. The sequel is a vast improvement, giving Stark something harder to resolve (alcoholism which I actually forgot was not in the first film), a better supporting cast and true comic book pull-out-all-the-stops action. It's got plenty of lapses - how for instance does Whiplash know Stark is at the race when that was a last-minute decision? Why is Pepper made such a helpless damsel? And of course what has to be one of the most jaw-dropping scenes where a legal assistant shows up when Stark is training and then he makes her get into the ring to fight. I guess "harassment" (not to mention "battery") is for the next film. My suspicion is that this entire scene was done after principle shooting when they realized that the Black Widow pretty much came out of nowhere and this was a way to hint at it. All in all it's too bad that Favreau has apparently claimed the film was something of a mistake.

Predators (Nimród Antal 2010) - My brother warned me this was bad but hey it had to be somewhat amusing right? Nope, not at all. The entire thing feels like a direct-to-video Predator ripoff with stock characters (hey it's another "black ops" guy!), incredibly tedious fights, leaden banter and quite implausible plot twists. Danny Trejo should have been in more of it and Laurence Fishburne brings a bit of spark when he's onscreen but otherwise you're mainly wondering how the Predators could infiltrate human society enough to pick this group of n'er-do-wells.

Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich 2010) - After a sequel that in many ways was better than the first the Toy Story series comes up with a clever finish that's still the weakest of the three films. It's hard to recapture the freshness of the original idea and to some degree that inability, a sort of routineness, is what the film is about. Maybe that's why it seems less like a kids film with some business added for the adults than an adult film with business for the kids. Obvious I guess but then I don't have much else worth saying.

Did I really only see four summer movies this year? (Inception was in an earlier post.) Apparently so.