||[Apr. 8th, 2009|06:28 am]
Time Crimes - absolutely stunning. The best movie I've seen in years! An average Spanish doofus runs from a crazed man that he stumbles upon behind his home and runs into a nearby lab that he bumbles into and ends up jumping and reliving the same points in time trying to save his life, wife and everything he holds dear. It's a meticulously layered film that looks at first glance like an amateur's work, but even a sideways glance reveals a master's hand behind it. I went in expecting to passionately hate this film and for the first ten minutes I assumed I was right and then I was instantly hooked. It has all the intensity of a murder mystery dressed up as science fiction that doesn't let up until the very end. Before you blow it off because it's foreign language, give the dvd a rent for the dub at least which is pretty exceptional and further establishes Magnet as a company to be respected. I've already bought this film after my first rent because it's one that you have to rewatch to fully enjoy the experience. It has been my one shining light in a sea of ever-reaching darkness that is the available movies.
Other honorable mentions include:
Burn After Reading
Hulk Versus (BETTER, MORE ACCURATE THAN WOLVERINE ORIGINS IN HALF THE RUNNING TIME!!!)
Marley & Me
The Spirit - a criminal waste of money and talent. Frank Miller gave 300 a face, but without Zack Snyder there's no filter for an audience and thusly nothing to stop Frank Miller from falling in love with his own work to the point that he won't submit to even a little editing. Miller's crimes against Will Eisner's most notable work won't be forgotten anytime soon, but the movie is entirely forgettable in its own merit. It's boring. Boring as hell. Mind numbing. Visually it's stunning, but it's all flash without substance. Pass on this at every oppotunity.
X-men Origins: Wolverine
Why mess with source material? Batman Begins deviated, but only barely so and it was incredibly awesome, but Wolive deviates so far from his actual origins that they're essentially different stories. One of my regular customers randomly invites me to view "advance screenings" of this nature and after seeing what the core of the movie looks like without 7-8 special effects scenes completed make this movie utter trash. And let me be perfectly clear, unless they are going to scrap this movie entirely and re-film a new one with a better director and a decent script: This movie will be just as bad. I have seen everything shown in the trailers and much, much more. According to news reports this was final cut of the film without special effects added (only a handful were actually incomplete though) and without the proper music, using a temporary soundtrack in its place (much of the soundtrack I heard I recognized from Transformers...) and according to Fox spokespersons it is missing ten whole minutes of footage. I'd like to think I was ignorant enough to assume they were hiding a different movie somewhere, but adding ten minutes to this movie is like adding five inches to a pile of manure. It's still shit. Everything shown in the trailers was in this and it was... bad.
Nevermind the pure, unadulterated bastardization of the over 30 years of readily available script material; Origins takes the basic criticisms placed against the third X-men movie and drives them further downhill to the point that I have to withdraw my complaints about Daredevil, Elektra, Ghost Rider and the Fantastic Four. I hated every one of the movies I just mentioned, but I have to take all that hate back and award it appropriately as Origins takes the X-saga films I adore and pisses boiling oil into its eyes. Hugh Jackman and his SEED Production company take the reigns and begin by doling out favors in casting, mixing up nationalities (Wolverine is British-born, Canadian-raised and technically immigrated to America) as an all-american lad living life on an almost "brokeback" level of closeness with his "brother" Sabretooth for decades until they're randomly swept up by a wacky wetworks unit and... well, suffice to say this film forgets all the important parts like Wolvie's stay in Japan, the defining trials of the Weapon-X experiments, his time in Alpha Flight and... oh, the elements that lead up to his introduction in the comics where the Candians send him to fight the Incredible HulK.
Fanboy issues aside, it's a movie that the authors clearly didn't bother trying too hard stringing together as they can't even keep things in cohesive flow with the damn movies that precede it. Characters they already introduced are presented out of synch, or nonsensically. First and foremost of their flaws is the more compact and friendlier sabretooth, who breaks all kinds of established character development and uses a completely different actor (with a different height, build, hair color, etc.) to portray Wolvie's dearest nemesis as a misunderstood, lonely sibling with claw control issues. The sheer volume of waste is shameful considering Deadpool (Ryan Reynolds, who is groomed to be Wolvie's rival) is barely introduced beyond a couple of gay cracks and a handful of lines and then unleashed on the audience for a forgettable battle sequence that destroys the character in more ways than one. That is after they've already killed off a number of otherwise important characters they couldn't find time to characterize properly. To puff up their puppy in a world of big dog comic films, they also padded their cast with familiar names like Emma Frost, The Blob, Gambit and Cyclops to literally name drop for extra attention. Sadly, their contributions to the film are so minimal that the one editor they hired for the film must have had a gun in his mouth by the time they hid his body and took over for him in order to film this tripe.
Other turds worth noting:
Punisher Warzone (Still better than Wolvie origins)
My Name is Bruce (best part of it was the special features, but still better than wolvie origins)
Wolverine origins has given me horrific new perspective on bad movies. Thanks Hugh Jackman and 20th Century Fox for making this new low possible. More rambling for laters... me go sleep sleep now.