28 May 2011 7:00 AM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Wadding through a roster of blockbuster wannabes can feel less like watching than rummaging, a scavenger hunt in which one scans every corner of the frame for something striking—a shot, a camera movement, a swell of emotion—to justify the overriding inanity. Some recent findings: Branagh’s Thor flashed some of the crimson-and-bronze designs from Mike Hodges’s Flash Gordon before dissolving into a marsh of witlessly canted angles, while Judd Apatow’s Sucker Punch (a.k.a. Bridesmaids) offered the gleeful sight of Kristen Wiig doing a roadside foxtrot to some wild brass band only she seemed able to hear. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise used to understand this glaneur side of movie-watching. Scattered junk drawers of CGI swarming and dervish star turns, the earlier installments knew how to refresh the lenses by turning the screen into a bazaar of shifting images, with details hawked hurriedly and noisily and sometimes rather beguilingly. »

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