Yes indeed, a return to the movies that have long since past their usefulness for my reviews. But that doesn't stop me. Here you go, kids, several tweener reviews for flicks that have already come out. some are even out of the theaters by this point, but can still be caught at the local $2 theater, which is how I wind up seeing them. Here we go:
V For Vendetta: I realize this is long gone from theaters, but I promised a certain lad named Brady that I'd write up my opinion. Unfortunately, I've smoked so much hash that I don't remember all that much about it. I do remember it looked gorgeous, and I had a really good time at it. I remember my then girlfriend LOVING it. There were cool scenes of actions. And Hugo Weaving in a mask was a lot more compelling than you'd think. I remember thinking it could have used one more big action set piece, but then thinking that the marketing was all wrong, making me anticipate a big, Wachowski gun love affair, when the film is a political discourse. Still, quite a decent flick and worth seeing if you haven't already done so.
Lucky Number Slevin: It has the most over-elaborate revenge plot since Oldboy, but damn is it fun. Kind of a throwback to the late 90s, when Tarantino rip-offs were all the rage. Still, there's no denying it was a fun time. I like Josh Hartnett, and damn if he doesn't do a good job in this. Bruce Willis, equally as good. Morgan Freeman and Ben Kingsley as rival mob lords living directly across from each other. I liked the world the film painted, and I had a damn fine time. Like I said, the plot is ludicrous, but that doesn't matter. It's a worthwhile use of time, certainly much better than most flicks I've caught this year.
Friends With Money: One of the more surprising little flicks to come around, I wound up enjoying this too. It's simple, four female friends who don't revolve their lives around the belief that they live in an episode of Sex and the City, talk about life and such. One of them, Jennifer Aniston, doesn't have as much money as the rest, and spends her days as a maid. And a pothead. Joan Cusack, Frances McDormand and Catherine Keener play aforementioned friends with money. Of them all, Frances McDormand is the best, as her character has a lot that I can relate to. (Without giving too much away, she feels that manners are lost in the world, and she hates the degradation of society et al. She's the funniest and the most real. But then, I don't agree with her not showering). What worked for me was that the flick doesn't wrap up everything in a neat bow. It provides solutions for the characters, and then it's up to them. Still, the writing is clever and witty, and the whole thing is a lot of fun. A nice change of pace from movies where shit blows up and dudes have claws shooting out of their hands. (Coming up later)
The Benchwarmers: I saw this because someone read the "Band Script" I collaborated on, and they felt both movies were in a similar vein. Having seen Benchwarmers, I can attest that my movie is a lot better. Still, Benchwarmers is not without merit, and one of the better wastes of 85 minutes you're lucky to have until said Band script gets made. (Hopefully soon). Rob Schneider, David Spade, and Jon Heder do the idiot thing, and they do it really well. Jon Lovitz shows up as a billionaire dork, complete with a working robot and a bunch of stormtroopers in his house. (Of the Star Wars variety). The plot holds together, sadly, and the jokes are pretty damn funny. And the ending of the flick, I respect more than anything, because it's the only ending to a film like this that felt original and different. I couldn't believe it. I sat there and admired the hell out of the flick solely based on the ending. That and the fact that they had a dude say "I want a little man" referring to a midget on the field. Then someone hands the guy a midget. Genius.
M:I:3- As far as high octane, big summer releases go, this has been the one I've enjoyed the most. It needed to be released in mid June or July, though, when you can shut your brain off and enjoy air conditioning for two hours. Lots of explosions, exciting stunt work, a script that kind of makes sense, and for the first time, the feeling that the entire team was what solved the problem, not just Tom Cruise. In fact, Cruise is the weakest part of the flick. All the supporting characters are at the top of their game. Philip Seymour Hoffman was a good choice for the villain, the members of Cruise's team are pretty solid (the highlight being Simon Pegg as the tech guy who helps out. Whenever he came on screen, I became incredibly happy. Granted, I have an unnatural fascination with Shaun Of The Dead, but still). I liked the witty banter from Laurence Fishburne (his line about the Invisible Man takes a moment, but is one of the better throwaways I've heard). There was even one glaring moment in the script that I just hated, but was quickly distracted by an explosion to dwell on it for too long. It's by far the best of the franchise, even if it is an overglorified episode of Alias that finally got the budget to shoot in China instead of faking Burbank to meet the needs.
X-Men: The Last Stand- Disappointment, thy name is X3. Man, way to shit the bed of an awesome franchise. the thing is, I don't blame Brett Ratner. Well, not TOO much. He directs the action scenes really well, although none of them top the opening of X2. No, the problem is in introducing tons of new characters and doing nothing with them. Angel is completely useless and serves no function in the story whatsoever. Magneto's new henchmen are kind of interesting, but again, we barely even have any time to register a name before they're either killed off or forgotten. The whole Dark Phoenix thing was pretty lame. The Cure could have been interesting, but it wasn't used to it's potential. Characters are killed off for no good reason other than because people wouldn't expect it. (Although, when I heard characters were dying, I called out which ones, and I was right. Not to brag, but I DO rule). And Halle Berry. for a woman who bitched and moaned about this thing from day one, she finally got her wish to "do more", which judging by this film, means that she has more time on camera where she stands around reacting. Badly, I should add. But there were scenes that kicked a lot of ass. Like Magneto rescuing Mystique. That was a badass scene. And when Wolverine is in the woods, about to fight the Ewoks. I may have made that last part up. Still, it was a disappointing end to something that could have been unbelievably kick ass. And don't make Wolverine cry.
Alright, that's all I got from the Tweener file. I'll no doubt have more, as Silent Hill, Over The Hedge, and The Davinci Code are all playing at the $2 theater, and I don't mind paying for The DaVinci Code if it's only $2. Or if I sneak into it after something else. Then again, I could just about do anything else and I'd be a lot happier.