Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Great Summer Movie Blockbuster Review-a-thon Note Thingy

I started this on Facebook, I'll post all my reviews on here also!!

Wolverine Pre-Watch thoughts: I started watching this online, which kind of goes against my principles (I don't really like watching movies online, TV shows are ok), but I'm not a huge X_Men/Marvel fan. The workprint version is kind of cool in that you can see how they did some of the fx, but I don't think it's that good so far (I'm about half an hour in). I guess I'll do a Marvel vs. DC note soon, i've been thinking about it (DC wins, by the way).

Wolverine: Rating 6.5 out of 10
I didn’t think it was as terrible as many people have been saying. The directing and acting were very well done, but my main problem was with the plot. The dialogue and major plot points come off as very cliched (he asks for dog tags with the name "Wolverine" on them...I thought he was given that name by Weapon X), and most of the movie was already featured in the trailers. Wolverine himself is not that relatable, because we don’t know too much about him. It’s like the writer asks us to have sympathy with him just because he’s Wolverine and he’s a hero (a storyline with his wife drives his internal conflict, but it’s not very effective because we only know her for about two short scenes). SPOILER: There’s one part where Wolverine leaves a special team because he thinks what they do is immoral, but only a bit later he decides to take revenge (Spoiler End). Also, Stryker is a terrible villain and the way they dealt with him in the end was really stupid. The final resolution was very well done, except with a bit too much of Deus Ex Machina.

The special effects really aren’t that great (I know I was watching the unfinished version, but a lot looked mostly done) (the first chase scene was boring, and the other fight scenes are too short). It was interesting to see the fight choreography though, how Wolverine and Sabertooth fight like animals and how the mutants use their powers. One issue I had was with the bad guys. If Wolverine is supposed to be so powerful, they would have to be really powerful also, but they continually seem to let him get away.

I guess a lot of people went into this movie thinking it would be like Watchmen (the plot is somewhat reminiscent, one hero visits others) or The Dark Knight, a deconstruction of superheroes on a grand scale. It actually plays like a bit better than average summer popcorn movie, and there are so many opportunities that they could have tied in important themes or incredible moments, but missed. For example, the whole opening credits sequence with Wolverine fighting in many wars could be expanded, because it was actually really interesting.
The other thing people seem to be complaining about was the use of the other X-Men as basically cameos. Seeing as I really haven’t read that many X-Men comic books, I don’t really know how bad they messed anyone up, but it was pretty annoying how characters just showed up and left. I mean, Charlie (Dominic Monaghan) only had about 10 minutes total screen time, and I feel really sorry for Kevin Durand. Gambit was incredibly cool, though, and I didn’t like him that much in the comics. Also, I expected Wolverine to be a lot darker and to make a lot of sarcastic quips. Jackman’s Wolverine was mostly serious the whole time, which I wasn’t really used to. Overall, I think this movie is a conglomeration of good ideas, bad choices and execution, too many Fox-mandated ideas, and not really being in touch with what the audience wanted to see . But mostly bad choices.

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