From a purely critical standpoint there many reasons why Smokey and the Bandit should be considered a terrible movie. Yet re-watching the movie this rainy weekend with my family, I am reminded that sometimes, a movie can be entertaining wihtout having to be a critical darling. This movie takes me back to my childhood which cars were cool and The Bandit was even cooler. And Jackie Gleason was never funnier than he was here. Admittedly both my wife and I can quote almost every single line in the movie, and for a rainly day, it was a great trip down memory lane with our kids who now know all about The Bandit.
I am generally not a fan of prequels. To me prequels often scream of big corporate studios trying to squeze every last dollar out of a dying franchise. Imagine my surprise then with Rise of the Planet of the Apes which not only is a very well concieved and well written movie,but also a triumph of great CGI effects. The seamless CGI used in this movie is simply spectacular, oscar worthy quality and better than "gasp!" Avitar. Also, there is a very understated oscar-worthy performance by John Lithgow in this movie that sort of ties the motivations of the main characters together. I was quite plesantly surprised by how good the movie is- worthy of my Top 10 for 2011.
The Grey might very well be one of the most depressing movies I have ever seen. Which is all the more disappointing because I find Liam Neeson to be a terrific actor. The problem is, he was given nohting to work with here, and he was given a character that was so poorly written that I never really understood his motivations or for that matter really cared. The rest of the cast were cardboard characters I have seen a thousand times before in numerous disaster films. All of this may have been forgivable however had the ending of the movie not been SOOOOO disappointing.........I felt as if i had been promised something in the trailer that the movie did not deliver. But by that time I did not care too much.
I wasn't too sure that I would even want to see 21 Jump Street. I was never a fan of the TV series, and since the TV series was not a comedy, i was just not sure that doing a parody of something serious would translate to the big screen very well. Boy, was I wrong. 21 Jump Street is a very funny movie, and Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill have really good chemistry together. I can always tell how good a movie is by the number of lines one can sort of adopt after seeing the movie with a smile on your face and there are numerous lines of that nature here. It may very well end up being the funniest movie of 2012.
First things first. I have not read The Hunger Games or its companion books, nor do I plan to. With that being said, as I watched this movie a sinking feeling hit me. I had seen this movie before- The Hunger Games is essentially a re-make of the 1988 Arnold Schwartzenegger movie The Running Man, only in this case with better acting and way better special effect. This is NOT to say it is a litteral re-make of The Running Man, but the similarities are astonishing.
I'm gonna be honest- i am a HUGE fan of the 1981 version of Clash of the Titans even though by today's special effects standards it's a bit cheesy. So when Clash of the Titans was re-made I was excited to see it, and like most people- was horribly disappointed at the action, and the 3-D effects. So my expectations for Wrath of the Titans was low. Maybe that helped here because I found this sequel to be a bit better. This is not to say that it was memorable, and the 3-D, while better, was still lacking in any excitement. But it did hold my attention. It is wall to wall action, and short on dailogue, so that in this case helped the movie.
Watching Lockout is about like eating a meal at your favorite fast food resturaunt- it's tasty at the time you eat it, but an hour later you've forgotten what you ate and you are still hungry. It's not that Lockout is a bad movie- it isn't. It kept my attention, and to be fair, Guy Pierce makes a servicable anti-hero. But there is nothing new here. Even the action setting, which is in space, promises something new but ultimately doesn't deliver for me. So, if you are a fan of action movies, you more than likely will not be disappointed, but i challenge you a day or two later to tell me about a memorable line or a memorable action sequence.