Monday, July 10, 2006

Weekend at the Movies

Amy and I rented The Producers and Underworld: Evolution and then went to see Superman Returns in the theatre with my brother. The reviews:

The Producers

It was clever and nuanced, but maybe a little too nuanced. It was a chuckler. I wasn't ever in fear of damaging a rib. Amy fell asleep at several points.

Underworld: Evolution

Too violent for Amy, but a great movie. If you don't mind blood and gore (it is a vampire and werewolf movie), you will probably like the movie a lot.

If you haven't seen the first movie, then go watch it because Evolution opens immediate after the end of Underworld. The effects in this movie are greatly improved from the first movie which felt low budget. The monsters are great and the werewolves are much improved over the first film (where the prosthetics effected the actors movements too much).

Evolution has a larger more polished feel to it. The past is told in period flashbacks not using character dialog. The action is intense and well thought out. Unlike the first movie which is very urban story, this is more of a rural chase on an almost national scale. Very nice.

Superman Returns

Superman written and played badly is just a big wooden boy scout. Which is how he feels in this movie. The effects were great, but I thought the characters and story fell flat. Lex Luthor was evil in an insufficiently clever way and his grand master plan was just stupid. Clark was a dork. And I had no idea why the Planet employed Clark Kent, since he doesn't actually do anything useful in the entire movie except turn into Superman. Superman could do anything and so he didn't create dramatic tension because of course he was going to save the day. Lois at least had some of the right characterizations. She worked hard on her stories. She had an eye for what was important. But along with her poor spelling, she can't seem to do math very well.

I really missed Christopher Reeve, he brought a depth to the character that I never felt with the new guy. But I don't know whether this is the actor's fault or the script's fault. Superman in this movie is a man of action and too few words, because you never get under his skin. Kate Bosworth didn't do an amazing job either, but at least she had some material to work with, not so with Brandon Routh.

But most of the effects sequences are amazing which makes the movie worth a watch on the big screen. And there are many references to the original Reeve films.

For an opposing viewpoint on Superman Returns, read Hube's review.

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