Monday, July 23, 2012

Rapid-Fire Movie Review Catch-up (MiB3, Snow White, Prometheus)

So hey there! Been a few days. It seems that my last post had some good traction - Johnstone tossed it up on Story Games and Watergoesred did his own spin on it (linked in the spirit of community! His spiniphants are cool!). As such, with the views coming in at a decent enough click I figured I'd let it calm down and let people see that before covering it up with the next things.
A couple things have happened since then. 1) I saw The Dark Knight Rises last night, it's fucking fantastic. 2) I played session 2 of D&D Next! It was less utterly revolting, but no less bizarre. 3) I made a couple indie game poster-like image things, they're pretty cool. I'll be sharing soon enough, I swear.
On the serial side of things, I should take Midsummer Songaday off the banner (I'll miss ya!). Art of the Pantheon has hit the stumbling point I expected it to: I'm not bored. Seriously, it's summer, I have stuff I can do. 80% of the actual drawing happened because I was bored in or between classes - I suspect content will speed up again when I get back in class in the beginning of September. Stars Without Number is definitely going to start being a serial thing I think, but not quite yet. If you've got any good ideas for regular column stuff, pitch it, I'm looking for something (since these serial things have a habit of drawing consistent views).

Okay, I'll be honest. I haven't JUST been holding my content because of the Metamorphica aliens, though that has been a factor. No, I've spent the past, I dunno, 4 days doing almost nothing but reading webcomics. In four days, I've read every webcomic David Willis has online - that's Dumbing of Age, Shortpacked!, and Roomies/It's Walky/Joyce and Walky. It is amazing and I'm hooked on them. I've read 22 years of comics in the past couple of days., I don't have a social life. Why do you ask?

Oh, and I got my driver's license! Almost 19, but hey, better late than never. I don't actually like driving, but it's nice to be able to actually do it on my own.
I HAVE been writing though! I'm working on fixing my immense backlog of things I should have done. Essentially, the gist of the idea is that I'm gonna do a few of these Rapid-Fire posts where I take something I'd normally do a whole post for and do several abbreviated reviews within a single post. Today, I catch up on movies! I saw Men in Black III, Snow White & The Huntsman, and Prometheus, and never reviewed them. Admittedly, I've also no seen The Dark Knight Rises, but I hope to have the motivation to give it its own post (if I don't in a while, it's a 9.5/10, maybe even a 10/10, we'll see. Worth seeing without hesitation).

Men in Black III
Okay, so MiB3. This was a movie that I was worried about. It's been quite a bit since the last one, and the mishandled regeneration of a franchise can do a lot more harm than good.
Thankfully, that was not the case.
This is a good movie. It was pretty much just the right length, and had some great lore of aliens in our world, and best of all it was FUNNY. I was expecting the humor to be a lot more basic than it was. Hand in hand with that, it demonstrated something that could easily be a death sentence otherwise - an awareness of pop culture. J talked about things in it of course, but did so tactfully and without pushing the issue of "hey look we're right there with you!" Moreover, there was a lot of attention paid to the details of all the scenes. One moment I recall particularly vividly was a moment early on, where J walks into the Men in Black HQ and is walkign through the main floor, and the director is giving us this panning establishment shot of him walking, and up on several monitors are some pictures of some aliens that are of note to the MiB, and they're flipping through a couple aliens as the shot continues, and one of the pictures was Lady Gaga. That just makes me laugh, and it makes me proud of the movie-makers for having such a subtle little joke that so many people are going to miss but they don't want to push it and blow the coolness.
Of course, it's not perfect. The plot can be a little predictable, and some of the writing feels slightly dated, like one of the other movies, but it's worth it overall.
Grade: 8/10, B+. If you want silly sci-fi, or a good laugh, or Will Smith, you've got your movie right here.

Snow White & The Huntsman
Yeah, this one did not live up. I was looking forward to a darker look at Snow White, and it just did not live up. It ended up almost silly at times, it was super-linear and the trailers were very misleading. The visuals were pretty great, but that's really the high point. Actually the music was decent too, so I guess there's that. Essentially, this is a mid-level title that was given very high production value and called a triple-A title. The acting was mediocre, minus Charlize Theron who was excellent.
Grade: 6/10. One of the few times recently I've wound up disappointed (I expected Dark Shadows to be mediocre so I wasn't really disappointed there, just given what I thought was coming). Watch it if it comes to TV, maybe even pay-per-view it, but I wouldn't rent the DVD.

Back on a high note! I liked it. Quite a bit. It was great sci-fi, which was what I was hoping for, and it left a lot of little mysteries while answering the more pressing questions. It's up to you whether you like some of the ways it mirrors alien - Noomi Rapace even wound up LOOKING like Weaver a couple times (mostly when her hair was wet). Mostly very exciting, raised a lot of interesting ideas, and its extremely loose link into the Alien franchise was excellent.
Two issues, one minor, one major. The minor one is the prequel effect. The tech in Prometheus appears far beyond anything we saw in Alien or Aliens, which is strange chronologically. However, this is to be expected - essentially, you just have to suspend disbelief and imagine that this is what Alien was intended to look like all along and it just didn't have the technology to show that then.
The major one is tied to its horror tag. It...wasn't incredibly scary. Had a few jump scares, TRIED to be generally creepy and succeeded there, but was never really all that SCARY. I applaud the effort though - I admit that I'm very hard to satisfy with horror, you have to hit the perfect note for me to like it. In general, horror is NOT my genre, I was just hoping this could challenge Alien (one of the few movies to truly hit a scary vibe in my opinion), and it didn't live up to that point.
Overall though that's not that big of a transgression, and a lot of others would disagree.
Grade: 8/10, 9/10 for huge sci-fi fans like me.

Hope that helps anyone! Other Rapid-Fire posts coming are Game Reviews, Fiasco, and Go Play NW. Cheers!

End Recording,

No comments :

Post a Comment