Here are some two sentence reviews of the movies I watched in May.
- Movies watched – 15
- Movies that were new to me – 9
- Star Trek movies – 3
- Monthly Masterpieces – The Adventures of Robin Hood, Out of the Past, Dazed and Confused, Gilda
- No Reservations (2007) – Yet another story of a “total B” that just needs a good man to break through her ice shell. If you are into these things, there are better options: the woman here is just too unlikable to root for (as is usually the case in these films), and, this time, the “fun loving good guy” male character is just as annoying with his dumb pants and insistence on bringing an opera blaring boom box with him everywhere.
- Star Trek Into Darkness (2013) – The script kind of falls apart to constant niggling questions of “yeah, but why didn’t they…”, but that hardly matters since the game cast and snappy one liners are the real focus. Maybe more of an action movie than a Star Trek film, but I’m still looking forward to the next one.
- Fast & Furious Six (2013) – This maybe isn’t quite as novel as the initial blast of ridiculous over the top bromance and testosterone oozing excess of the last film, but it is damn close. Sit back and let the over-muscled arms of Vin Diesel and The Rock envelope you in the throbbing embrace of another mindless physics-defying masterpiece.
- Gilda (1946) – Pretty twisted noir (with some really creative camerawork) that follows two ex lovers as they recross paths. Lines like “I hate you so much that I would destroy myself to take you down with me” only scratch at the surface of the scummy waters within which this film treads.
- Dazed and Confused (1993) – The impulse is to write this off as a mere high school coming of age movie, but it’s far more than that as countless rewatchings have attested to. Excellent acting from the cast of non-actors as well.
- Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) – An unfortunately under-rated film that I suspect only gets so much hate to make the “even numbered Trek films” theory work. Really just a lot of fun (especially the Enterprise heist), for my money it is just as good (if not better) than Wrath of Khan.
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) – This really doesn’t seem to hold up as well as most Trek fans claim it does. The storytelling is lean and focused, and it has some great scenes (especially the ending), but the script, especially Khan’s dialog, is about as overwritten as it comes.
- The Last Stand (2013) – As routine action movies go, I guess this is ok, and Arnold proves that there still isn’t anyone who one can deliver a forced one-liner and make it sound almost natural like he can. I remain less enthusiastic about the odd supporting characters like Johnnie Knoxville’s brain damage victim that acts like the comic relief from a samurai movie.
- Tron Legacy (2010) – As long as you don’t try to make sense of things (the script wisely avoids getting too detailed with the nonsense), and don’t mind a random collection of shoehorned in set pieces, this is kind of awesome. The soundtrack by Daft Punk really adds to the excellent cyberpunk atmospherics as well.
- This is 40 (2012) – This kind of feels like a lazy collection of jokes about couples pooping in front of each other. That would have been ok, but the jokes aren’t all that funny and the two leads are way too similar to the self absorbed yuppies Tod and Margo from Christmas Vacation to really work as protagonists.
- My Little Pony: Rescue at Midnight Castle (1984) – Surprisingly metal as far as pink baby pony cartoons go–the rather dark atmosphere that lurks at the edges of this tv movie is quite impressive. As a side note, I noticed that some of the ponies have vastly superior powers and abilities than the other ponies, which doesn’t seem quite fair.
- The Black Cauldron (1985) – Really, a pretty decent bit of dark fantasy from Disney. That fuzzy Golem thing is a bit precious, but overall the grim atmosphere is appreciated.
- The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) – This giddily bright technicolor bit of fantasy fluff is one of the great adventure films. No one ever made wearing bright green tights look quite as cool as Flynn makes it look here.
- Out of the Past (1947) – Technically a “B-movie,” but you sure can’t tell. The perfect script, brilliant camerawork, intricate plotting and overall sense of doom ensure this one will never age.
- Step Up 4: Revolution: Miami Heat (2012) – While the Step Up movies have gone downhill since the first (legitimately good) movie (thanks largely to a parade of increasingly charmless pretty boy/girl leads), this marks a slight step forward from 3 (thanks to a slightly less charmless pair of pretty boy/girl leads). The dance sequences are just as well mounted and brilliant as the rest of the series, even if the set ups are as utterly ridiculous as the plot.