If you liked the first one, you’ll like this one. I think they are on the same level, but this one seemed more action-y. Reading some of the returns from the weekend (I almost sound like a professional), audiences skewed way male, and way 25 and over. There’s stuff or the ladies (like Cumberbatch, swoon) but this installment has more stuff blowing up and more fighting, stuff dudes like.
The 3D was unnecessary, and I read that JJ only agreed to it as a tradeoff for being given the budget to film parts of it in IMAX. I saw it on a regular screen and it looked great, but if were going to pay a premium for a special viewing experience, I’d try seeing it in IMAX in 2D if you can.
For some reason I was mentally prepared for this one to be a dud, but it turned out to be pretty damn good. I don’t want to say too much about it because the less you know, the better.
I thought the trailer did a really good job of not showing too much. In fact, most of what they show in the trailer is done in the first 15 minutes of the movie and the rest is the real story.
I also liked that the plot was fairly linear. They didn’t try to trick you with red herrings and twists and turns that went nowhere. But then somehow, they mystery of it all was kept in-tact. Not an easy trick.
The effects were good. The sound was great, especially since we saw this at the theater built by Skywalker Sound. We were treated to a Q&A with the director afterward and he was very entertaining. He talked very candidly about some movies he made that sucked, but the insinuation is that if you want to keep working in Hollywood, you take they jobs they give you, even if they’re Transporter 2. (I take issue with his assertion that the first Transporter sucked.)
Anyhoo, this was an excellent surprise of a flim. It’s worth seeing in a couple weeks when it comes out for the rest of you chuuuuuuumps.
Baz Luhrmann is an acquired taste, and I’ve sorta, kinda acquired him. At least enough to give hi work a chance.
I’d say that his Gatsby is a bet less Baz Luhrmann-y than some of his other stuff, but you still wouldn’t mistake it for anyone else’s work. The big party scenes and set pieces are done in a way that only Baz can, but the rest of the movie had a more conventional feel to it, despite the lavish visuals, costumes and music.
I have nothing to complain about regarding the movie but nothing really blew me away. A mild thumbs up. It was a lot of fun, it looked great in 3D, but in the end it’s still Gatsby. Most of the characters are despicable in one way or another, and as my wife pointed out it was hard to know who to root for.
One person to root for is Elizabeth Debicki, who played Jordan Baker. She’s virtually unknown (one previous credit) but stole most of the scenes she was in. I expect we’ll be seeing a lot more of here in the future. At least I hope so.
Most people probably don’t know his name, but they know his work. And his influence can be seen in just about any effects-heavy film to this day. If the original Clash of the Titans freaked you out when you were a kid, or if you’ve seen the stop-motion skeletons from Jason and the Argonauts, you owe that sense of wonder to Ray. He pretty much invented the idea of the sci-fi genre movie.
Legend has it that he was visiting ILM one time and saw a picture of one of his creatures on the wall, grabbed the nearest sharpie and signed it. Then continued to sign it on subsequent visits. And the picture still exists so I guess it’s not a legend after all.
This installment of Iron Man turned out pretty good, but not great. Definitely better than the second one but not quite as good as the first.
They spend a lot of time on Tony Stark’s character, which made the movie stumble out of the gate a bit, but it gained momentum as it went on, largely by the screen presence of Sir Ben Kingsley. What an inspired bit of casting.
People die, shit gets blown up, the action is good, but for some reason I didn’t care much for/about the characters. Will [major character] actually die? Yawn. Not sure why that was. The President of the U.S. of A? Who cares about him, he’s been in the movie for 30 seconds. I cared more about the 13 anonymous souls thrown from an exploding/crashing Air Force One. (spoiler alert!) BTW, the airel stunt crew and cinematographer did a stunning job on that sequence.
It’s worth seeing. It’s fun. Robert Downey Jr. has never been better, and his rapport with a kid he comes across is hilarious. I think the 3D was unnecessary and we’ll probably forget all about this one in a few months, but it’s a good kick off to the summer movie season.
Finally, we’re starting to get some good movies here. There have been a lot of duds so far this year.
If you would have told me a couple years ago that I’d start seeking out movies because Matthew McConaughey was in them, I’d have thought you were nuts. But starting with The Lincoln Lawyer, he’s really transformed himself into an interesting, quality actor. He hits a home run here in the title role of Mud.
Mud, the movie, is a coming of age story of two kids who befriend Mud, the fugitive, in rural Mississippi and Arkansas. It covers themes of friendship, authority, love, loss and death, all in a visceral, real way. It’s acted and shot beautifully and seemed shorter than it’s 2+ hours running time, which is a good thing.
I expect Matty M to get some Oscar consideration, if anyone remembers this movie by the time awards season rolls out.