Superheros, Superbad & just bad.
Over the past week or so I watched: The Avengers (2012), 21 Jump Street (2012), Superbad (2007), Iron Sky (2012), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), The Impossible (2012).
This might be one of my favorite movies ever as it is almost non-stop fun throughout the whole viewing experience on every viewing. It holds up so well because Age of Ultron doesn't quite equal the fun or story of the first Avengers movie and as good as Civil War is, that movie was still not as amazing.
Noms: Scarlett Johansson for supporting actress, score, visual effects, screenplay, special effects, directing.
21 Jump Street
This was more fun than I expected although the summer blockbuster comedy formula felt especially apparent by the time the final fun dance-y song for the credits started and I could practically hear imaginary moviegoers muttering to each other "I think that was a lot of fun... don't remember anything about it... it was fun, I think."
It is pretty impressive to see Jonah Hill in comedies because he gives flashes of why has has been nominated for a couple of Oscars. He doesn't just play funny, he also plays a character and he becomes that character.
The effects for drug trips were pretty well done and resulted in some of the best laughs of the movie.
Noms: light nomination for Jonah Hill's acting.
Speaking of seeing the twinkle of Oscar nominated talent, this was the first lead role for both Emma Stone and Jonah Hill and they both showed how they could fall into a role and look natural doing it. Bill Hader probably should have had a larger part in this movie, but he didn't have to do much heavy lifting to bring out funniness from the young actors.
Some of the jokes are a homophobic, but they also capture an insecurity of high school boys of a time that hopefully has passed (I'm old). By the end of the movie, that homophobia is forgotten as the boys would rather relax and feel comfortable in their friendship than throw around slurs to roast each other.
This was on the early side of beautifully shot R rated comedies that has luckily caught on over the past ten years.
Noms: Jonah Hill and Michael Cera for acting, cinematography.
This low budget film about Nazis on the moon and their attempt at a space invasion is bold in its concept and impressive in its low budget special effects that are just a notch above Syfy channel effects. The writing and the acting is disgustingly bad. It feels like the screenwriter typed with one hand and had to tilt his head back from cocaine nosebleeds. There is dialogue about characters getting excited about what they are going to wear in upcoming scenes, and most of things they say are not things a human person would say in real life, even if the circumstances of the plot were playing out. It could be argued that that's because it's a satire, a comedy, but it misses on delivering laughs due to the wooden awkwardness of it all.
In the end, an anti-Nazi film uses poorly written racist and sexist jokes to undercut any attempt they could have salvaged to claim this movie had a point.
The Dark Knight Rises
This movie has aged better than I expected. I didn't enjoy my very first viewing of this at a midnight showing, but this viewing was the most I have enjoyed it. A lot of that might be because the other DC movies of late have been so bad that the bar was lowered, but it also creates a reminder that it's a beautiful movie. It might be one of the better looking movies of a city which is impressive because it was shot in a number of cities that were cut together to create the fictional Gotham.
Anne Hathaway is a great Cat Woman and almost feels under-used in this film. There aren't a lot of characters in this movie that are more than one note and she is the character with the strongest arc in the story.
When I first rented this it was a bit of a guilty pleasure viewing. I don't know what it is, but this film and the Matt Damon medium movie Hereafter both give dramatic visualizations of the 2004 Tsunami and the power of that event that I find captivating. This movie has impressive effects showing the waves going through and Naomi Watts gives a performance that makes me worry for her physical comfort in a good way. Ewan McGregor shows off his acting prowess yet again. The problem this movie has is that it barely had any cultural impact at the time and doesn't seem to have had any impact after five years either. The thing that hurts the movie the most is the name that is too vague to easily identify it with the movie.
I checked the Rotten Tomatoes viewer reviews from this year and they run the full range of enjoyment to disgust. My favorite review is one that I don't agree with that says this movie that is based on a true story about a real family was "totally unrealistic because there is no way the entire family could have survived the tsunami of that proportion, their resort taking the full impact of the huge wave, while 300,000 die. Just ridiculous." One star.
Noms: Naomi Watts for acting, visual effects, cinematography.