Remergence from the abyss. No, not that abyss

So for various reasons, I had to take a brief, 3 month hiatus from writing reviews. But I am back now. In thanks for being patient with me, I will offer you brief reviews of the Flicks I’ve seen since my last posted review. And in sort of a restructuring of my blog, this will no longer based solely on my reviews, I will post personal (yet still movie related) essays and musings, fun little things I’ve done (recasts) and anything else that strikes my fancy. More to come, but for now, reviews:

Disturbia: 2.5 stars

While it was an ultimately effective and uninsulting update of Hitchcock’s “Rear Window”, it’s neither smart enough nor clever enough to avoid drawing comparison to it’s classic predecessor. Mr. LaBeouf, though talented, doesn’t have the moxy to carry his own flick quite yet, which is why his next major project stars giant robots.

Fracture: 2 stars

Well, Anthony Hopkins plays Anthony Hopkins in a predictable thriller costarring the always charming Ryan Gosling, who’s playing a role that is more suited for Matthew McConaughey, than to Goslings understated talent. And raise your hand if you didn’t see the end coming a mile away.

Spider-Man 3: 2.5 stars

It pains me to give this film such a low rating, as I’ve loved the first two “Spider-Man” flicks. But this one was a disservice to fans of the franchise. It lacked any real emotional punch that the first two had. A major alteration to the character of Peter Parker occurred, that changed the essence of the character. And with all due respect to Sam Raimi, but does he even know Venom? I mean really know the character? 40 minutes of a 3 hour film on a character whose history is so storied, so ingrained with the heroes, so beloved by fans is just a slap in the face. This really should have been two films. Spider-Man 3 should have been the personal struggle he went through with Harry as Green Goblin 2 and the Sandman saga, while Parker deals with his newfound relationship with Mary Jane (or possibly even a wedding), introducing Venom at the very end, setting up the 4th movie to be just about Spider-Man vs. Venom, with requisite side plots.

28 Weeks Later…: 4.5 Stars

It’s such a rarity in the world of cinema, that I almost didn’t believe it when I first saw the film. A sequel that is legitimately better than it’s predecessor. I can’t say fully, as “28 Days Later…” is such an amazing film, and I love it so much, but “28 Weeks Later…” was just so damn good, too. Not as subtle (I know what you’re thinking, since when is a zombie flick subtle, but trust me, the Brits are fuckin’ subtle), but intensely moving, with more tormented characters than a Batman book.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End: 3 stars

Thankfully better than the second, but still worse than the first, At World’s End fortunately helps the “Pirates” trilogy do what the “Matrix” trilogy couldn’t 4 years ago: deliver a worthwhile ending. Though worthwhile isn’t the appropriate word as it’s two 3 hour long movies, a significant portion of said 6 hours are multiple long, unnecessary scenes (Keith Richards aside, the whole Council of Pirates thing- WTFuck?) But the end was nice, if completely foreseeable within in 10 minutes of the start.

Knocked Up: 5 Stars

People say that all Judd Apatow is making is a chick flick for guys. I disagree on the basis that chick flicks often revolve around the romanticized ideal. The ideal woman with the ideal job meets the ideal guy and hilarity/yawning ensues. But Apatow is creating the realistic view at relationships. Two averagely relateable people (not too relatable, one of them is Katherine Heigl, after all) hook up one night, and are thrust into a situation and make it work. On one level, it is romantically ideal, but the whole story, including the dynamics with friends and family could be ripped entirely from anyone’s life, only with a happy ending.

Ocean’s 13: 3.5 Stars

Of the threequels to come out this year, this one has been the most impressive thus far. A welcome return to the magic that was the original, but still just didn’t quite have it. Ocean’s 11 was more of a one shot type of deal, not an on-going saga. But it was a great apology for the disastrous second one

Live Free or Die Hard: 4 Stars

20 Years after the first one set the standard for action flicks, “Live Free” reminds us what action really is. That it’s about the alpha male making the heroic save. It’s not about some computer geek with high-powered software seeing exactly how high they can make the main character jump. It is an update for the franchise, this time fighting cyber-terrorists, who are just as dangerous as Hans Gruber and his crew, just not as menacing or evil. As villain Tom Gabriel (Timothy Olyphant) says to hero John McClane (Bruce Willis) at one point, “You’re a Timex in a digital world, John.” The franchise shows it’s age by opting for a more low-tech approach to the stunts, but it’s all the more enjoyable for it. However, if you watch the movie and something feels a bit off, that would be the PG-13 rating crammed up your ass. No blood. No violence. And no Yippie-ky-yay, motherfucker! WTFuck!?

That’s all I’ve got for now. Like I said, more content coming soon.

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