I’ve seen a few more bits of the ol’ cine here and there over the last few weeks. My thoughts on them have finally congealed.
Immortals: C+: As everyone expected, Immortals was lots of neat looking things running around incoherently. I like reinterpretations of classic Greek myth and a few of them in the movie (like the Minotaur) worked as scenes, but not very well into the overall structure. The God of War video game series had a better story (which is saying a lot, it being an action game) and it even presented better visuals. I felt the limited Pantheon in Immortals detracted as well.
J. Edgar: C: Biopics seem to think that you have to show someone’s entire history for it to be interesting. Way too much going on. Also, why oh why didn’t they cast older actors to play Hoover and Tolson as old men. The bulbous make-up made them look like Klingons. Direction and acting were fine, blah blah blah. Ultimately tedious.
The Muppets: A: I couldn’t get enough of the self-referential humor. It took its campy predilection and completely owned it. Several very funny scenes and dozens of great meta-jokes.
Rocky Balboa: B: Surprisingly, it flowed with a steady plot, and displayed some smart writing choices. It was, however, a fairly standard plot and struggled with having no real antagonist. The actual boxing at the end was almost not even necessary.
Tsotsi: B-: I enjoy tales of redemption, but this film was definitely flawed. I struggled with some poor acting choices and a character change without any real justification. Some satisfying scenes but not enough to overcome the faults.
The Man From Nowhere: A-: It took a bit to get going, but once it did, it was a fairly standard actiony goodness. Perhaps a bit of a character overload, but the uniqueness of several of the characters helped compensate. It’s hard not to enjoy that classic tale of the dormant killing machine that the bad guys unwittingly unleash upon themselves.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: B-: A fourth film was definitely not needed for this franchise. It brought nothing nearly as interesting as other films and its locales were less exotic. Voodoo zombies are nowhere near as cool as the skeletal pirates from the first film and ship-controlling Blackbeard is certainly no Squid-Face Davy Jones. Still, the acrobatic action scenes were as free-flowing as ever, but they just no longer dazzle.