Movie reviews

Movies Gail and I have seen in the last week or so:

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest: I enjoyed it, though I
found it kind of long. The sword fight on the big wheel was neat, but just
kept going and going… I also found the scene where Elizabeth yells and throws
rocks at Will, Jack, and the Commodore rather weak and out of character for her.
I liked the ending though. Maybe it’s just me, but I think the way they ended
it left it wide open for another sequel!

Superman Returns: Excellent. I like Kevin Spacey as an actor, but for
some reason I didn’t think he could pull off Lex Luthor. I was wrong.
Brandon Routh plays Superman, and he must have watched the original Superman
movie a zillion times as preparation, because he captures Christopher Reeve as
both Clark Kent and Superman really well. When we watched the original Superman
the next day, we were surprised at how many lines in this movie were copied from
the first one.

V for Vendetta: Excellent acting, intriguing story. We didn’t know who
the actor playing V was; turned out to be Hugo Weaving (Elrond from LOTR, Mr.
Smith from The Matrix). He was excellent — you’d have to be a good actor
to pull off a character like that without showing your face (a la Andy
Serkis as Gollum in LOTR, though Gollum’s face was kind of based on his anyway).
Natalie Portman was very good as well, and she had an interesting accent; it
sounded more South African than English at times.

Superman: Apart from the clothes and things like smoking in the office,
it’s not as dated as I was expecting. The special effects weren’t all that bad,
either. Gene Hackman was a great Lex Luthor.

Superman II: I remember this from my youth (I was 11 when it was
released) as being way better than the first one. Boy, was I wrong. The story
was good, but the special effects were really bad. Not just bad, awful.
Not just awful, terrible.
Half of Gene Hackman’s lines sounded dubbed, and after reading the IMDB entry, it looks like they
were. When watching any superhero movie, you have to have a certain level of
suspension of disbelief, but even still, there were a lot of “yeah, right”
moments. Is Lois Lane really stupid enough to jump into the rapids on a hunch?
How could Lex Luthor build a holographic projector while in jail? Superman spent
a long time figuring out who he
was and why he was sent to Earth, and he uses his powers to benefit mankind; would
he really give up his powers for Lois (the hell with mankind!), when (a) she
didn’t ask him to and may not want him to, and (b) they’ve been “together” for
only a few hours? Where did Lois and Superman get the car they drove to the
diner after he lost the ability to fly? Once he decided to go back, did he really
just leave Lois and start walking north again? I’m amazed this movie did well
enough to warrant another sequel, let alone two.

X-Men: The Final Stand: Pretty good. Considering it’s the final X-Men
movie (I believe), it was a fitting ending to the story. Having Rebecca Romijn
naked didn’t hurt either.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider: As expected, it’s like watching a live-action
video game. The plot was secondary to the action and effects. I’m not a big
fan of Angelina Jolie, but she pulled off the “action star” role here pretty

Lara Croft: Cradle of Life: Better than the first one, but still not
very compelling.

18 Blocks: Very good. Bruce Willis is convincing as an older cop who
seems like he’s just counting the days until he can retire, while rapper Mos Def
is excellent as the kid he’s escorting to the courthouse. I really enjoyed this


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