The year’s blockbuster extravaganza began early, with John Carter, and I, of course, was present for the onset. They’re still fairly spaced apart at this point, but come May, my movie going looks to have plenty of explosions and fight scenes. I also watched an Irish film on St. Patrick’s Day (though it was completely coincidental.)
John Carter: B: I enjoyed John Carter despite how much it didn’t want me to. It’s not that it didn’t have problems, because it had enough to fill a college thesis. Perhaps being the first big blockbuster in a while, I allowed myself to get caught up in the adventure of it. The aliens looked cool but not remarkable, but their vessels were pretty nifty. But some of them were awful. And the plot was overly complicated yet thematically contrived. The more I think about it, the more problems I find, so I’d better stop thinking about it. That’s probably not a good marketing strategy for them.
In Time: C+: The theme was so heavy-handed it was almost comical. Someone said “time” so many times it started to bother me every time. See, it’s annoying. The dystopian future is hard to get right, but Niccol did just that previously, with Gattaca. Unfortunately, this time his rant about economics just shoveled its message at you without much thought for style.
Green Lantern: Emerald Knights: A-: DC should continue the short-story style. Batman: Gotham Knight was good, and the shorts attached some of their other films were pretty great too, especially The Spectre. Emerald Knights was hit and miss, but with the multi-story format, this is forgivable. Several were fantastic, and the voice work was superb, aside from what at first seemed terrible casting for Kilowog, but not terrible enough that I noticed for long.
Downton Abbey: Season 2: A-: Though I thought in some scenes in the middle it began to meander a bit from its focus, the characters are just so expertly written and acted that you can’t help but enjoy it, no matter where it takes you. The drama definitely ramped up for this season too, and the production values were also much higher, with several new great settings. I hope it’s not another 2 years until season 3.
My Week With Marilyn: B-: I didn’t like most of the main characters, even after they “revealed” themselves, especially Marilyn Monroe. Biopics are all about performances, but Branagh’s portrayal of Laurence Olivier was the only one I enjoyed, though the other performances were probably fine. The writers simply couldn’t convince me to try noticing.
The Guard: A-: A strange mix of elements of several different genres, some buddy cop, some noir, all wrapped inside a decent dark humor candy shell. The thick Irish accents were difficult at times, but the elements important to its quirky irreverence shone through nicely. Possibly a few superfluous characters, but only in hindsight.
The Bourne Supremacy: A: Though not quite as good as the other two, it’s still packed with everything that makes an action movie great. I’m not the biggest fan of the shaky-cam fight scenes, but they more than make up for it with the choreography. The car chases are some of the best I’ve seen.