Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Summer Movie Thoughts

I've seen three big movies this summer so far: X-Men: The Last Stand, Pirates Of The Carribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and Superman Returns. In the spirit of the Brief Movie Thoughts posts that tackled movies on video/DVD, here are my thoughts on these big summer films.

-I really enjoyed X-Men: The Last Stand. On a lot of levels, it delivered the things I really wanted to see in the X-Men films: more of the mutants using their powers, more mutants in general, Storm actually acting like the strong character she was in the comic book and TV show, more humor, and more action in general. The cast was very good this time around. Kelsey Grammer as Beast was a great bit of casting. The plot of this film was great. However, it was probably too great for the style of movie this was. Instead of the drama we got from Bryan Singer, you get a fast-paced thrill ride. The storyline in this film was begging for depth. It would've been great if the movie actually explored many of the themes and questions it brought up. This story could've been made into a movie that was dramatic, artistic, and full of action. It could've become one of the best superhero movies ever made. Instead, it settled for the action. While part of me is sad that this movie wasn't the powerhouse it could've been, I'm happy that it was still immensely enjoyable.

-I tried not to get my hopes up too much for Pirates Of The Carribbean: Dead Man's Chest. After all, no one expected the original film to be as much fun as it was. I think this was a good idea because I ended up liking Dead Man's Chest. I was very happy to see the cast (and creative team) return for this sequel. Johnny Depp still stole every scene he was in as Captain Jack Sparrow although this time around, he had plenty of competition. The special effects were stunning and the action sequences were thrilling and creative. My favorite was the fight inside the large mill wheel. It has to be seen to be believed. Part of me wished there was a little more humor to be found, especially since this film was darker, creepier, and more violent than the first film. Also, it did feel a little slow at times (more so than the previous film). While Dead Man's Chest isn't as good as Curse Of The Black Pearl, it is a very good sequel that makes the wait until next summer's At World's End seem all the longer.

-I haven't seen the original Superman films in a long time and I did not make an effort to watch them again before I saw Superman Returns. However, I did like this new incarnation of Superman a lot. The casting for this film is quite good. Kevin Spacey has a lot of fun playing Lex Luthor while I really liked Parker Posey's performance as Lex's assistant Kitty. Brandon Routh makes a good Superman and his Clark Kent isn't too bad either. Kate Bosworth does a good job with her complex role as Lois, a woman who has to deal with the reappearance of the love of her life. It's interesting that this movie is more of a drama/love story than an action film. Everything about Superman is treated with reverence in this film and while it sometimes seems a little silly as opposed to really awe-inspiring, it doesn't really veer off into self-parody. There are precious few action sequences in this movie but the ones that are there are great. The best sequence in the movie is the one involving an airplane that is about to crash. As a single action sequence, it's one of the best I've seen all summer. Superman Returns is a triumphant return to the big screen for one of the world's most recognizable superheroes and I am looking forward to a sequel.

1 comment:

  1. While I agree with you on Superman Returns and Pirates 2, I just couldn't stand X-Men 3 .. I'm just way too much of a comic book geek, I guess, but I couldn't stand what they did with the comic story lines ... I highly recommend the original Superman movies, when you get a chance