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Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. This sequel is one such moment. I do need to see it again. In terms of pure enjoy-ability, I put it top 3 of all sequels that I have enjoyed.
What I really liked...
-Every single character gets a moment to shine and every single actor cast in these parts are perfect.
-The comedy is perfect. It's such a fine balance overall and everything works because it's very subtle and fits in with certain circumstances.
-Some very tender emotional scenes. I won't spoil anything with specifics.
-Some superb action and what could very well be award winning special effects.
-All characters interactions are great and handled very well. This is a fantasy story that really cares about character first and it shows all the way through. Even Natalie Portman's Jane feel more fleshed out than she did in the original film.
-The set pieces and other realms talked about in the first are seen here and are beautiful and well done. Asgard was even better believe it or not.
-The mid-credit and end credit scenes, both cool. Make sure you stay for both.
Marvel hit a pure home run with this endeavor. This film works because of the great cast and the fact that they took this subject matter seriously but remember to have fun. Chris Hemsworth was again perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
A Tedious, Poorly Paced and Poorly Written Movie. HUGE Disappointment Here.
Interesting story and a valiant attempt to close the trilogy big but TDKR ultimately has to be considered a huge failure. It won't fail at the box office but it fails on screen. I'm shocked that a Chris Nolan film delivers poor character development. Bad or underwhelming action? Sure, we kind of expect that from Nolan at this point but to get a poorly told and BLOATED story is shocking. Who is responsible for delivering a tedious and poorly written movie? Did Nolan write this himself and was he that uninspired when he did so??? It seems to me like he felt he had to follow TDK because of the buzz and was self conscious and clumsy about doing so. That really does show up on the screen. It's like he had an idea but had to be so large as to top TDK that he lost his way. The meandering yet overcrowded story didn't deliver what it was supposed to at all. Did we really learn about any character or come to care for anyone at all beyond what we already did? This movie tries to cash in on its predecessor's coat tails but really can't stand on its own. I love this cast and actually felt bad for them DURING its running time. It's bad when a movie takes you completely out of the film and makes you pity the cast. It also lacked pacing, it wandered, it repeated, and it just failed to build any real momentum. Average action sequences seem so out of place this late in the summer. Bigger and better films had already raised the bar and TDK just couldn't give audiences anything as good in terms of action despite throwing millions of dollars at the screen and fancy new jets and vehicles at us. All that bad action may look good on the TV spots and may eat up screen time but it doesn't add anything to the movie and felt as shallow as a dull video game.
Following TDK with this simply lowers everything we've seen before. This is almost exactly like following Godfather 2 with Godfather 3's mess of a movie. It's such a shame.
We've Hit Rock Bottom
Just think, some people thought they were disappointed by Transformers 2. If that's the case, then wait until they get a load of this thing. Dark Moon makes TF2 look like Casablanca by comparison.
Dark Moon offers nothing new in any way, shape or form. It's a convoluted mess that's caught in no man's land. It actually takes itself too seriously yet offers ridiculous action (ridiculous as in dumb, not as in wild or fun) and even more ridiculous characters. It wants to be taken seriously but functions in bizarre surroundings with a foolish plot. Movies like Thor and X-Men worked this year because they evolved characters, told a smart story and grounded the concept but still delivered the action. This movie tries to take a similar approach but it simply can't stand on its own as a film. Does silly, wild but dumb appeal to even the youngest crowds? Maybe it does but the rest of us want way more in our summer movies.
Speed Racer (2008)
Horrible In Every Way
If you never made it past 5th grade you will love this movie. If you have severe ADD or a retardation of some sort you may enjoy this big screen color fart. Anyone else would be wise to take a pass. I can't believe a kid's movie has finally made Sharkboy and Lavagirl look good by comparison. Normal kids aren't this dumb, Hollywood but apparently easily entertained morons can be found at any age.
Speed Racer pretends to be live action anime art but ultimately there was no thought put into the effects and there certainly was no thought put in to the writing. The action scenes are weak simply because they scream cartoon. The entire movie lacks real energy and especially lacks heart. Not only that, but there was zero chemistry between the stars and seem to intentionally deliver no personality or charisma. I didn't exactly expect character development but I did expect to care about something in the film. The closest they come is a mind numbing flashback between Speed and his father (John Goodman) recalling a family tragedy but it is poorly handled. (John Goodman beating up a few bad guys was the only bonus for me) This movie does have some wild cartoony effects that quickly became boring as their setup and overuse flowed for far too long.