15 Sep 2013

Summer Blockbuster Ramblings

As I mentioned the other day, I think I've managed to see most of the big blockbusters in the cinema this summer... or at the very least all the ones I was interested in as well as a few extras! As usual my partner in crime was my fellow cinema-addict, my dad! A couple of times I did go out with some of my friends (but it's not easy getting them to the theatre!) ;o)  

So here are a few thoughts... Old news, I know, but if you've seen them it's always fun to exchange impressions! And if you haven't, well then maybe this will help you decide to catch them on dvd/online/ whatever or stay away from it! :p

  • Iron Man 3 kickstarted the blockbuster season before summer was even on the horizon! And it was all downhill from there... Joking! Robert Downey Jr was brilliant as usual, loved the fact they didn't do a "blank slate" after The Avengers but included his experiences in that as part of his character development (a sort of PTSD). More cool stuff going "boom", sarcastic quips by RDJ and fun times with Gwyneth Paltrow (who got some cool scenes of her own!). Definitely a fun start to the summer!
  • The Great Gatsby - Another visually luscious Baz Lurhman film, how could it be otherwise? I don't remember the Robert Redford film well enough to compare, and even though I know DiCaprio is no Redford, I thought he did a really good Gatsby! And definitely better matched in age. ;o) I wasn't too impressed by Carey Mulligan as Daisy though, but that could also be because the character doesn't really do much for me. I thought the modern music included in the soundtrack (possibly an equivalent in modern society to what swing/jazz would have been in the roaring twenties and thus easier for the modern public to associate with a certain kind of wild lifestyle) was an interesting choice.
  • Despicable Me 2 - Took advantage of the fact that there was an 11 year-old in the house as a perfect excuse to head out and watch this film! :p Wasn't as good as the first one in my opinion, but lots of fun nontheless!
  • Man of Steel - Ok, can I just start by saying Henry Cavill = YUM?! ;o) Already liked him in The Tudors, was fun seeing him here as the superhero! (but he looks better as a scraggly dude than clean-shaven) Loved the new Lois Lane!!! Take charge, smart... and someone who can see through a pair of glasses as a simple disguise! :p I thought the story was a good one too, good use of the Kryptonians to help Kal-El accept who he is and his place in the world, and I loved the whole storyline on Krypton! It was nice seeing Russel Crowe in a good role again, ditto Kevin Costner. Both of their characters fit them like a glove! So all in all I really enjoyed this new Superman! And I'd be really looking forward to the sequel if it wasn't for this idea they've put forward of Batman vs Superman... *shudder*
  • Star Trek Into Darkness - FINALLY! Almost two months after the rest of the world, sheesh! It was well worth the wait though. Not as good as the first one, the story was a bit too easy for me to predict (except for the location of the sleeping people), and I don't think they've shown us enough of the Kirk-Spock relationship to make the pain of a huge loss completely believable, but almost. Benedict Cumberbatch was brilliant, of course, but the others were just as good. They've put together a great team to repopulate the Enterprise. ;o) I hope they give us another one soon, just a bit more emphasis on the whole exploration aspect of Star Trek please!
  • After Earth - ouch! That was almost painful to watch, and I think I was actually bored during parts of it! :o(
  • The Wolverine - *sigh* I was hoping for much better, but Hugh Jackman did an excellent job with what he was given, Wolverine vs Ninjas makes for fun fight scenes to watch, and that scene on the train put last year's James Bond to shame! So yay for the action! But then a story that started out quite interesting (Mortality or immortality? THAT should have been the question!) before petering off. Sad to say I think the best part might have been the coda, the little post-credits sequence that had me squeeling and starting a countdown for next year's X-Men: Days of Future Past! :D  (funny note: before the movie I couldn't help but imagining Wolverine singing "Do you hear the people sing, lost in the valley of the night..." lol!)
  • Pacific Rim - Basically alien Godzillas vs Transformers with pilots... cool to watch, beautifully crafted, but empty. I expected more from Guillermo del Toro! :o(
  • The Lone Ranger - One word: FUN!!! I was really worried going into this one as it came out a month after the U.S. and I hadn't read much that was good about it... The whole comedic aspect and Johnny Depp with an over the top performance and a dead bird on his head... But this was the one movie my dad was looking forward to all summer! Childhood nostalgia and all that (he was a big fan of the TV show growing up). When the movie started he looked worried, he realised it was going to be something of a comedy and wasn't too happy about that. But we were both converts by the end of it. LOTS of laughs, cheeks hurting from a constant smile on my face... by the time the William Tell Overture burst upon us my dad was giddy and we were both having a blast! My dad said he hadn't had that much fun in a movie in a looong time! :o) So yeah, it's an interesting comedic twist, but just take it with a grain of salt and enjoy the ride!
  • World War Z - It took us a while to get to this one, my dad needed some extra convincing! But I was sure he'd come around and so decided to wait instead of going on my own. We went to a couple of disappointing films and my sister kept commenting on my FB posts "I told you guys to go see WWZ! Listen to me!" She saw it in July, in a movie theatre in Bangkog in 4D (or 5?) (so 3D with moving chairs and air blowing in your face or smthg) and said it was fantastic! But we weren't sure if the movie really deserved that praise or it was the whole experience... Then my sister in the UK chimed in and said "Go see it!", and after that I knew it was just a matter of time... And I was right! We went, we saw, we got scared (good adrenaline rush moments in there) and we thoroughly enjoyed it! If you're not going because of the whole "zombie movie thing" then just follow my sister's advice and think of it as one of those "end of the world because of a plague" scenarios and our hero needs to find the cure for it). The effects are really well done, the pacing is great, the suspense, the thrills, the scares... all very well done! And I like the reasoning behind the outbreak, the search for the source etc. Only thing I didn't like was the ending... it doesn't really end. It's like we're left with three suspension dots. You know ... But otherwise yeah, really good! :D
  • The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones -  Saw this one with my cousin when she came for a visit, she's big on the vampires-werewolves-witches fantasy genre, and since I'm not against it when it's a good story I said "why not?" even though I'd never heard of this one. I usually do more research going into an unknown film, but she really wanted to see it and the story sounded interesting so, hey, why not indeed? Mostly predictable plot, down to the "best friend who's a boy who's in love with the protagonist but she apparently doesn't have a clue even though it's obvious and is embarrassed when he finally tells her", along with the "girl falls for bad boy" and "your parents aren't who you think they are". But the roadblock that surfaces between the two romantic leads was an original one (although I was pretty sure it was an artifice, and then checked info on the books online and confirmed my suspicions, it's that predictable). And I could watch Jonathan Rhys-Meyers read the phone book!!! :p (please, when does the new Dracula start???)  On a side note, I spent the whole film scratching my head going "Where do I know her from???" for both the lead character and her mother. Then almost slapped myself when I saw the credits! Lily Collins (Snow White in Mirror, Mirror last year. She was better in that one), and Lena Headey!!! I loved her as Sarah Connor several years ago, and each time I watch Game of Thrones it still jars me to see her as a blond... but I guess I must have gotten used to that look because I so did not recognise her as a brunette again!!! :p
  • Elysium - Damn! I don't know what I was expecting, but I think it was definitely something... more! Dunno what, just more. You can definitely recognise it as an oeuvre by Neill Blomkamp, other than there not being aliens the look and feel and the fact that it's about a major social issue today (universal health care, the 1% vs the 99%) would make it a perfect sequel to District 9. But I just couldn't muster enough empathy to care about the main character and his plight. He felt flat. Had high hopes from Matt Damon and Blomkamp, came out disappointed.

We were curious about Red 2, but will wait 'till it's on our TV on-demand programme. R.I.P.D. seemed curious too, but I've read such terrible reviews about it there's no way I'm paying for the pleasure! Blue Jasmine and Much Ado About Nothing haven't hit the screens in Spain yet. The first will eventually, the second I'll just have to order the dvd from the U.K.

Dunno if I'm missing anything... that covers about 4 months of movie-going! Did I miss anything you'd recommend? What did you think of these if you saw them?

Now I'm mostly looking forward to the second Hunger Games (Catching Fire) and Hobbit (The Desolation of Smaug = dragon time!!!) films in November and December (which seems sooooo far away!), and the trailers for the second Thor movie have actually piqued my curiosity (how long has it been since Natalie Portman's been on the silver screen?).

Otherwise I'm not quite sure what is coming out during the rest of the year that I should keep my eyes open for. Saving Mr Banks seems like it will be fun in a classic Disney way. And there's no way I'm missing a new Alfonso Cuarón movie (Gravity -  And the first review I've read promises good things, yay!)! Ridley Scott's new outing The Counselor is also on my radar, but mostly because part of it was filmed here in Alicante!!! In front of the Ayuntamiento!!! I wanted to go down and watch the action last year, but it was one of those "it's raining so hard it looks like there could be a flood" days. :o(  I haven't read Ender's Game, but people are making a big deal out of it so I guess I will probably check it out (plus: Harrison Ford!)

Anything else I should be keeping an eye out for? ;o)


  1. The only one of the whole bunch that I saw was "Gatsby." I love Leonardo and thought he did a good job. I didn't care much for the film, it dragged on too long.

    I'm glad to hear you liked the Lone Ranger. I still need to see that.

    1. I went to see Gatsby mainly because of DiCaprio (also love him as an actor!) and because of Baz Luhrman and his lush visuals. I knew it would be stunning! But he definitely needs to edit his movies down to a more reasonable size (Australia was over-long as well)

      I think our favourite movies this summer were probably Man of Steel and The Lone Ranger, with Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness a close second. Just remember with the Lone Ranger you have to go in without expectations of it being like the original series, remember it's a bit tongue-in-cheek... and then sit back and enjoy the ride! ;o)

  2. Oooh! I knew I had forgotten something in the post!!!

    My dad and I went into The Lone Ranger wondering how they'd pronounce Johnny Depp's character's name... or how they'd solve that issue... Because following the normal pronunciation "Tonto" means stupid!!! :p
    We'd never seen the old series on TV so we didn't know what they had done with that issue... turns out they changed the name! In Spanish he is called "Toro" (which means bull).

  3. Thanks, Cris!! I could watch Johnathan Rhys-Meyers read a phone book as well! I agree about Gatsby and World War Z. Must see the others you mentioned.

  4. The Robert Redford Great Gatsby is horrible. HORRIBLE. It's dull and lifeless and he has ZERO chemistry with Daisy (Mia Farrow at the peak of her annoyingness). They didn't get along on set either...

    I thought Carey Mulligan did a great job. Daisy is a pretty awful person and it has to be a tough character to play.

    I was really excited to see "The Lone Ranger" when it was announced a few years ago, but I've since cooled on the idea. Haven't even gotten around to Netflixing it yet...


Hey there! Yes you! The quiet one in the back... I'd love it if you hung out for a bit and shared your thoughts!

I might stop by your place with an answer, but I'm more likely to reply right here so click on "email follow up comments" if you'd like to see what I and others have to say and come continue the conversation! ;o)