Mini movie reviews


We saw a few movies over the past week or two; here are some mini-reviews of each. Sorry, no haikus.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Pros:

  • Special effects were excellent, but that’s becoming less of a draw, since lots of movies have effects that are just as good
  • Leonard Nimoy saying “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” was cool. A bit of a Star Trek II homage for those of us old enough to get it.
  • John Malkovich is always good

Cons:

  • The movie was far too long. The robot fight scenes over the last hour or so were long and drawn out and could easily have been cut down. It was amazing that with so much stuff happening on the screen, I was still bored.
  • I find it odd that a movie that stems from a toy (I laughed at the “in association with Hasbro” during the credits) has so much violence, bad language, and even sexual content that I won’t let my kids watch it.
  • There were lots of scenes of robots fighting and transforming all at the same time. I found it overwhelming – I couldn’t tell what was happening half the time.
  • Several blatantly cheesy 3D effects. If you want to see a movie that gets 3D right, see Avatar.
  • I found it hard to tell the bad robots from the good robots, other than Optimus and Bumblebee. And the two little annoying and pointless robots, Comic and Relief.
  • The first Transformers movie was entertaining and while the plot wasn’t brilliant, it was OK. I don’t really remember the second movie. This one was somewhat entertaining at times but the plot was just dumb. Sentinal even says at one point “I created this technology that defies the laws of physics” so they didn’t have to explain anything.
  • WARNING: spoilers below
  • Patrick Dempsey as the bad guy was not believable. At the beginning I could kind of understand it, but once it became obvious that the Decepticons were planning on enslaving the entire human race, why was he still trying to help them? It’s not like they said they’d spare him or he had any reason to believe they might.
  • Similarly, Sentinal’s whole “the only way to save our planet is to join with the Decepticons” thing was not believable either.
  • Optimus’s execution of Sentinal (shooting him in the back of the head) was out of character.

 

Spy Kids: All The Time In The World

Pros:

  • Jessica Alba! Quite possibly the most beautiful actress in Hollywood today. Can she actually act? Who cares?

Cons:

  • I fully agree with the “family is the most important thing” theme, but they pushed it too hard and it ended up being corny.
  • The time-travel stuff. I know that time travel is (very likely) impossible, but some movies that involve time travel at least try to make some sense of the whole paradox thing. Back to the Future did a great job, and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure did some neat stuff with it as well. This one didn’t even try, and as a result it made no sense.
  • Too many poop jokes. Then again, it’s possible that “males in their early 40’s” is not the target demographic for this movie.
  • The movie was presented in “Aroma-vision”. When we got our tickets, we were given a card with 8 scratch-and-sniff circles on it, and when a number showed up on the screen, we were supposed to scratch the corresponding number on the card and be surrounded with the aroma of whatever was happening on the screen. This worked perfectly, assuming the aroma for each of the numbers was supposed to be “cardboard”.
  • The kids who starred in the original Spy Kids movies haven’t had many significant acting roles since. Their performances in this movie help to explain why.

 

Knight And Day

Pros:

  • Cameron Diaz in a bikini! She’s no Jessica Alba, but still, wow.
  • Sure he’s a wacko, but I really like Tom Cruise.
  • Lots of chemistry between Diaz and Cruise

Cons:

  • During the movie, I couldn’t help wondering about the movie’s budget for Tom Cruise’s platform shoes.
  • The idea of a battery that never runs out of power is not possible. It sounded like the writers needed some small yet extremely valuable thing for the bad guys to chase after, and precious gems have been done to death, so they picked this without giving it much thought.

 

The Adjustment Bureau

Pros:

  • I really enjoyed this movie. The concept was interesting and made you think – sort of Matrix-y that way.
  • Matt Damon. I think I’ve enjoyed every movie I’ve seen him in.
  • In a way, I wanted them to explain more about the Bureau and the Chairman and so on, but I’m sort of glad they didn’t. The fact that they didn’t is what makes you think.

Cons:

  • Can’t say I’m a fan of Emily Blunt. She was OK, but she just doesn’t do it for me.  I’m not talking looks here, I just didn’t connect with her character.
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