Yes, I have not blogged in a while. I don't work during June and July, except for being a homemaker and referee between my children (which is much more time consuming than heading to my "job" each day and actually having time to blog). I have been fortunate enough to see some movies this summer and here are my reviews -
Iron Man - hands down, the best movie I've seen this summer. I was never a comic book geek, so I didn't know anything about Iron Man. Apparently he was a genius weapon's designer who was also a rich playboy. After being captured by a terrorist group, he creates the Iron Man suit to escape to freedom. Upon reaching home, he reevaluates who he is and what he does. His one true friend is his assistant, Pepper. Robert Downey, Jr. is absolutely perfect as Iron Man. It was so nice to see a fully grown man, dealing with mature issues as a superhero (as opposed to some geeky teenager that is moping around after his lady love). Gwenyth Paltrow can never do wrong and is spot on as Pepper. She very subtlely delivers the best line in the movie about taking out the garbage.
Iron Man was fun, engaging, interesting, and I can't wait for the next one. My grade - A
Wanted - I have been anxiously awaiting this movie for two reasons - Angelina Jolie and James McAvoy. They are far and away two of the most gifted actors out there. And who doesn't want to see Angie kick butt in the cool way only she can do? The movie begins with a wimpy office drone, played perfectly by James McAvoy. His voice over and humor are one of the best things about the movie. Angie is part of an assasins group that is given hits from some kind of mystical loom (yeah, I thought that was kind of weird too - I'm all about the mystical stuff, but weavers as the world's best assasins?)
The action was great - could not have been better. Angie and Jamie offer their usual top caliber performance. Yet, I found myself wishing for more when the movie ended. The movie dealt slightly with the morality of listening to a loom that tells you who to kill before they commit atrocious acts. But there was more to be explored here among the gunfire - why should we trust this information? Who is really playing God when it comes to life and death? What kind of person does it entail to blindly follow orders?
The movie left me wanting something a little deeper instead of the tough gloss. My grade - B-
Hancock - I'm not sure I would have seen this particular one if Sonny Boy had not needed someone to drive him there. Yes, Will Smith is beyond cool, and the premise seemed interesting - a very faulty, drunken mess of a superhero. The first half of the movie dealt with this quite well. It was entertaining. Hancock meets a PR guy who wants to change the world for the better (Jason Bateman), and he helps Hancock redo his image.
Then the second half of the movie starts, and one wonders how someone thought to place the two parts together. It goes from an interesting superhero study with some good action and laughs to a melodramatic, soul-mate, mushy thing. One scene particularly overdoes it with feeling another's pain. It was fine to explore who Hancock really was, but the movie would have been far better served if Charlize Theron's character had maintained the ticked-off, cocky, kick-butt attitude she displays when interacting with Hancock one-on-one. There were better, and more consistent, avenues to be explored there.
The camera angles literally gave me a headache. A large portion of the movie was devoted to very up close shots of parts of the face - Theron's eyes filling the entire screen, Smith's lips and nose, Bateman's forehead. I kept wanting to back up so I could see the entire face. I have no idea if the director thought this was a symbolic way to show that we only see part of others - but it was way overused and I hope never to have to see movie filmed in that way again.
However, Smith, Theron, and Bateman were all quite good. The music was killer. My grade - B-