Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Death Lies Upon Us - A Pirates Review

The fourth installment in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has been in theatres for about six weeks now, making this review a little redundant. But considering the redundancy of the film itself, this almost seems fitting.

Done in 3D, of course, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strangers Tides sees a plethora of gluttonous pirates lead by Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp, obviously) back in action on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to run into Captain Barbossa (Geoffery Rush), Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and his cunning daughter along the way.

Plunk that story line into every other Pirates movie and you already know how things play out: Johnny Depp runs a lot with that eccentric Jack Sparrow swagger of his, tricks a lot of people so that he gets his way, makes a lot of half-assed one liner jokes, indulges in a number of fancily choreographed sword fights and in the end, everything works out to his benefit.

What is missing from this unnecessary sequel is Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly, though that doesn’t mean it lacks any attempt at a love story. They do their best to replace the two with a baby faced clergy man (Sam Claflin) who falls for a beautiful mermaid (Astrid Berges-Frisbey).

And then there is Blackbeard’s daughter, played by Penelope Cruz, who once carried a fiery torch for Jack Sparrow and is now determined to burn him with it. Bring on the sexual tension!

Honestly, the movie wasn’t as terrible as expected. It was entertaining enough and didn’t stray much from the safe formula of the previous Disney movies. It really wasn’t necessary, but there have been many movies far more painful to sit through.

Besides, Johnny Depp just looks so pretty with all that eye liner and makes staring at a screen for 136 minutes very fulfilling.

Images from Google Images

Friday, June 24, 2011

No evil shall escape my sight – Green Lantern: A Movie Review

The last time Ashley and Veronica went to see a nerd flick with the nerd boys, they left it up to them to figure out the screen time and ended up having to sit through a painful 3D viewing of Thor. This time, Veronica took control of the situation to ensure we attended the right showing of Green Lantern in 2D.

Unfortunately, she had to eat a bit of crow when we arrived at the theatre for the 7:50pm show to realize that it was showing only in 3D in the UltraAVX theatre at that time. Luckily, Scotiabank’s UltraAVX theatre has ultra comfy seats and wicked surround sound that easily distracted from the 3D factor.

Our expectations for Green Lantern weren’t high from the get go, after hearing many mediocre reviews from avid movie goers to nerds alike, but the movie needed to be seen on the big screen so we could decide for ourselves.

In a rather bold move, Ryan Reynolds is cast as Hal Jordan, a cocky test pilot who is granted a mystical green ring and given otherworldly powers and the honourable responsibility of joining a squad of intergalactic warriors to keep peace within the universe. A screw up in every other aspect of his life, Jordan feels the pressure of not living up to what is expected of him by the other Green Lanterns and defies his calling.

That is until recluse Dr. Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) and his new found alien-created psychic abilities decides to take his daddy issues out on his Senator father (Tim Robbins) at a large public function endangering hundreds of innocent lives, specifically that of Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), Jordan’s childhood friend and love interest.

This is the beginning of a one-man battle between Jordan and the fear-essence being Parallax, who tries to do his bidding through Hammond by turning him into a big head bad guy determined to have Ferris for himself and take Jordan out of the picture. In a series of green manifestations of will power weaponry, Jordan uses everything his imagination can foster to try to defeat the fear-thriving entity and save his world.

While Reynolds wasn’t the only live-action character in the movie, he may as well have been. There was a strong cast of supporting actors, but they held no real precedence to the story and Hollywood’s need to romanticize everything is getting tired and lame. Sure, the hero should get the girl but in this case there was zero chemistry between Reynolds and Lively, making their involvement and the final scene seem unnecessary.

Overall, Green Lantern wasn’t entirely disappointing, considering all these superhero movies seem to have the formula down. But it could’ve been better. While Reynolds is pleasing to the eye, he doesn’t have the presence or depth to play Hal Jordan/Green Lantern. Too much stock was placed in Reynolds’ comedic ability rather than focus on who Hal Jordan actually is. His feeble attempts in playing the tortured soul struggling with his identity was mediocre at best and just lent to how the movie was set up with no follow through.

Not to mention it’s really hard to look at Reynolds and not remember him in the enticing vulgar scenes of Van Wilder.

Images from Google Images

Friday, June 10, 2011

X-Men: First Class – A Movie Review

Being the giant nerd that she is, Veronica could not pass up the chance to see X-Men: First Class on the big screen. The only sad part was Ashley was not available to see it with her. Having been a fan of the X-Men series and a huge fan of Hugh Jackman’s Woverine, Veronica expected great things from this fourth installment.

X-Men: First Class is a prequel to the wildly successful X-Men franchise and had everything your inner nerd looks for. James McAvoy made for a believable Professor X but

Michael Fassbender stole the show as Magneto. His screen presence and on screen struggles were, wait for it, magnetic.

Jennifer Lawrence’s Mystique was actually much better than Rebecca Romijn-Stamos-O’Connell’s, not just with how she looked but you actually got to see her grow from the innocent girl struggling to fit in to the sultry temptress she would eventually be. This, of course, brings Veronica a bit of joy since Lawrence has been cast in the coveted role of Katniss Everdeen in the highly anticipated Hunger Games.

The casual nerd will only be familiar with the mutants of the previous X-Men movies and may not care for Banshee, Angel or Darwin.

It was a lot of fun to see Hank McCoy become Beast, which was one of the better parts of this prequel.

Not to complain about this movie, since it was a lot of fun to watch and just nerd out, but it was rather predictable and some parts definitely dragged on to just get to the next part with the charismatic Charles Xavier helping Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) hone his ability.

There were plenty of laughs throughout and there were a few cameos which were well received by everyone in the theatre and helped the non-nerd fans put it all into perspective.

Despite all this, or perhaps in spite, Veronica recommends that you go out and see X-Men: First Class and get your nerd on. Afterall, Green Lantern comes out on the 17th.

images from Google.