It’s the SUPERHERO year (part 2)

Superhero movies are on a roll this year. In fact, it’s Captain America week! I guess one can’t get enough of the childhood fantasy that opens up every time you watch a film like that. I remember liking Storm from X-men so much that I even daydreamed of what weather catastrophe I can unleash to defeat the imaginary bad guys in my head. Haha! 🙂 Anyway, I didn’t read any review about Captain America so please don’t spoil it for me. Actually, I don’t read reviews AT ALL before I watch a film. I want to appreciate/criticize the movie first hand. That being said, I want to give a run through about what I think about the other superhero movies I watched this year.

Let me start with Thor. Before watching the film, I had no clue about Thor’s story. My hubby was nice enough to spare me the details. When I asked him what the story of Thor is all about, he just said that it was about the Norse gods. Thus, with the element of surprise on my side, I was immediately captured upon seeing the grandeur of Asgard, the Norse gods’ counterpart of the Greeks’ famous Mt. Olympus. Chris Hemsworth perfectly suited the role. His thunderous voice and his overall look were tailor fit for the character. Not to mention he’s way too good looking—very god-like, I must say. 🙂 His arrogance was so effective that he was close to annoying. His humor was so funny that I even laugh up to now when I think of his punch lines. I really love his dead serious statement, “I need a horse!” Haha! 🙂 Another noteworthy character in the film was Thor’s brother, Loki, played by the amazing actor Tom Hiddleston. He was convincingly cunning and deceptive. I actually had those moments when I was not so sure whether he was telling the truth or not. Anthony Hopkins was in full regalia, literally and figuratively. He was a king in character and in craft. Finding yourself fearing and revering the old guy in the big screen says a lot about the actor’s exceptional portrayal of his role. Overall, the film was fast-paced without missing out on the character development of Thor. It was more than entertaining; it was at every level very engaging. If I can summarize my critique in one word, I would have to say that Thor was BELIEVABLE. It was authentic. In fact, it was so good I think it actually deserves a sequel. 🙂

Next stop, X-Men First Class. This movie is what you would expect X-Men movies to be—GREAT. But I have to admit, I like the trilogy more than this one. The trilogy was more intense and action-packed. I like the more mature characters, I suppose. Professor X is just made for Patrick Stewart. Just like Magneto is perfectly suited for Ian McKellen. Still, their younger versions in X-Men First Class, were brilliant actors.

I like this movie for two main reasons—first, simply because I love “origin” movies (those who-they-were-before-they-became-great type of films) and second, because it’s cast ensemble was unique and diverse. Each of them was given enough exposure to show their character’s budding greatness. James McAvoy portrayed the young Professor X with a twist, displaying quick wit and candor, which gave more life to his character. Professor X became more interesting and aggressive with his execution. Michael Fassbender exhibited more angst and attitude as the young Magneto, which created a more solid foundation to the way his character developed in the X-Men trilogy. Jennifer Lawrence provided the innocence and the tension needed in Mystique’s character. The mutant identity crisis that they all face was best portrayed by the young Mystique. She showed vulnerability yet exhibited boldness when called for. I must say that it is a tall order for the movie to exceed the expectations of the people who watched the box-office X-Men trilogy. However, instead of exceeding, X-Men First Class rose up to the challenge and matched the quality and depth of the previous X-Men movies. I cannot say that it was better but I have to admit, it was equally great. 🙂

Advertisements

It’s the SUPERHERO year (part 1)

Half of the year is almost over and the three movies I’ve watched so far were all superhero movies. In fact, last year my husband and I were already planning our date nights based on the release dates of Thor, Green Lantern, X-Men First Class, Captain America, and Transformers 3. And yes, we went as far as 2012 for the much-awaited Avengers movie. I think the last movie review I made was for 300, which was like eons ago. I know it’s pathetic, tell me about it. So this time, I want to be more up to date thus I’ll be doing three reviews in one go. 🙂

Okay, let me make this clear first, I AM A CAPTIVE AUDIENCE BY DESIGN. I get easily entertained. God just made me the easiest person to please, so to speak. On that note, it means a lot to me when I say that I wasn’t entertained by a certain movie. By now, you would’ve guessed which movie I’m talking about. Yes, it’s the overly hyped GREEN LANTERN movie. Man, talk about bland. Fine, I admit I was still entertained by Ryan Reynold’s funny lines and all but he’s the only one entertaining there! I think I can come up with a revised Green Lantern Oath based on the movie’s performance:

In worldwide release day, in box office night

No critic shall escape its sight

Let those who watch continuously writhe

Beware the failure of Green Lantern’s light

Can I cry now? 😦 After seeing Thor (which I will discuss in the next blog), my expectations for Green Lantern reached an all-time high. I mean, if Thor can be that good—for a character that’s not as popular—how much better can Green Lantern be, right? It should be excellent. Yes, DC, it should’ve been excellent but it was a far cry from that. For someone who has very little background of who Hal Jordan is, all I really wanted was to be entertained. While watching the movie, I find myself enjoying the popcorn more than the movie itself. It was a slow kill—slowly disappointing me as the movie dragged on. It spent 70% of the time dwelling on Hal’s human story than his superhero transformation and character progression. If I was disappointed, my husband was overwrought. He is a certified Green Lantern fan and a Geoff Johns (writer) follower. So he knows the storyline and all. He is like my personal graphic novel guru. He gave me a Green Lantern 101 crash course before the movie, which made me all the more excited. I guess I shouldn’t have asked hubby for that crash course, it made me expect a wild ride not a sickening boat ride. Oh well, on the bright side, I am more motivated now to read Green Lantern’s graphic novels and be really entertained! 🙂

So, what do I typically expect from a superhero movie? Lots of action (Green Lantern just made it to bare minimum), really cool special effects and CGI (average; Oa looks very dark; if the scene was taking place in the universe it should at least look grand but it was futuristically bland), noteworthy lines befitting superheroes reminiscent of Dark Knight (except for the oath, I didn’t catch anything memorable), a very effective antagonist (Parallax was merely a scary smoke; now I miss Casper, at least he’s cute), and a strong supporting cast (aside from Sinestro there’s no one else to complement Hal; the aliens were just too many and I wish they did more than just stand in a group and chant). Too bad, I really liked Ryan Reynolds for the role but he lacked the “attitude”. On the other hand, Blake Lively turned from a tough fighter pilot chick to a damsel in distress because she merely became a helpless love interest from the middle of the film up to the end. Although, I liked the part when she discovered that Green Lantern was Hal Jordan. Haha! Very natural acting on that one, Ms. Carol Ferris! It pains me to give a rating for this film. I guess I’ll give it 5 out of 10—for the effort, for the effective marketing hype, for Ryan Reynolds, and for the Krispy Kreme special doughnut that bore out of it.