Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Movie Extravaganza

This past Monday was Memorial Day here in the States, and thanks to karma I somehow managed to have the entire weekend off.  With a three-day weekend for both me and My Man, we took the opportunity to get some movie watching done.  Between various premium cable channels, he gorged more than I did - but I still ended up watching three new movies.

I loved the first two Hangover movies (and yes, I realize that number two was essentially a rehash of number one - but dude, it had a monkey in it!), so was looking forward to The Hangover Part III as a bit of comedy fluff.  Hey, I'm a girl who likes my brain-candy, and dippy, dopey comedies of this nature fit that bill nicely for me.  Sadly, this one was disappointing, mostly because they strayed too much from the formula.  Yes, it does what all movie trilogies should do - and that is go back to the beginning - but instead of silly, over-the-top laughter?  Yeah, this movie strayed a little too far over into dark and angry territory for me.  It lacks the mindless joy of the first two.  Don't get me wrong - it has it's moments.  It's just those moments are few and far between.

Wendy's Grade = C

Behind The Candelabra has gotten a ton of press, and premiered on
HBO Sunday night (instead of Game Of Thrones, which I'm sure sent fanboys everywhere into a tizzy.  No boobies?!  Jason Bourne and Gordon Gekko in bed together?!?!?  A LOT?!?!?!??!).  For those of you who have been living under a rock, this is the story of Liberace and Scott Thorson, his lover and partner for several years during the late 1970s / early 1980s.  We learn in this movie that Liberace is a Sex Machine, Thorson gets hooked on drugs, and they both have creepy plastic surgery done.

This was a good movie, but not nearly as excellent as the hype would have liked me to believe.  The acting is very good.  Michael Douglas is always worth watching in just about everything he does (I find his screen presence mesmerizing) and Matt Damon does a good job of straddling that line between naivete and corn-fed doofus.  However, I felt like the script barely scratched the surface.  It seems unbelievable now, but Liberace was "in the closet" - and I think that could have been mined more for dramatic effect.  Also, most of the secondary cast was criminally under-utilized, most notably Debbie Reynolds.  But it's glitzy, it's kitschy, it does a good job of offering up a time capsule of Las Vegas circa 1978.

Wendy's Grade = B

I tend to not have a lot of patience for when movie franchises (especially successful ones) get rebooted.  Been there, done that - can't we move on to, oh I don't know, some new ideas?  But I will say that the recent reboot of the Star Trek franchise is one of the better done ones - mostly notably because the casting is so spot-on.  Star Trek Into Darkness is the second entry in the helmed J.J. Abrams version of the series, and I really, really loved it.  And I'm not a Trekkie, at all.  I know enough about the series to know the characters, a smattering of back-story, and that's about it.  Into Darkness gives viewers a good story, a great villain, and a really good script.  The dialogue is good, the action is great, and there were more genuine laughs here than in The Hangover Part III.  It really is a movie that can be enjoyed by just about everyone.  There's action, there's adventure, there's comedy, there's drama, hell, there's even a wee bit of romance.  My big thumbs up on the weekend.

Wendy's Grade = A

My Man and I used to be avid movie-goers, sometimes hitting the theater several times a month.  Those days have largely gone - mostly because Hollywood seems to be turning about a bunch of crap the last several years.  But while in the theater this weekend, we did see some previews that looked promising.  Man Of Steel looks great (and I am so not a Superman fan), the extended trailer for The Lone Ranger has seriously kicked my western-mojo into overdrive, and hello?  Despicable Me 2.

So, have you seen any good movies lately?  Anything coming out this summer that you're particularly excited about?


nath said...

I haven't been to the movies for a while... but I really want to for the new Star Trek movie!! I'm not a Trekkie either, but I think this reboot is a success. I think what made it so good is that they didn't discard everyone from the old franchise, but at the same time, it's not word for word identical. Like the storyline of this movie. I'm just really happy you gave it an A! :) Now, I want to see it even more :)

*Goddess* said...

Ahhh you're made of much stronger stuff than I am....I'm afraid to even give PT 2 a chance.

Bri said...

I totally agree with you about Star Trek - also saw it this weekend - and the Man of Steel trailer.

azteclady said...

I haven't gone to the movies in...well, it's been years, but I am not even sure how many--four? maybe even five?

These days I wait until they come out in DVD, then wait some more until they are affordable *coughdirtcheapcough* and then, if enough people whose tastes I trust give them the thumbs up, I buy them.

However, I confess I'm tempted by Man of Steel.

azteclady said...

And of course, anything Johnny Deep

Wendy said...

Nath: Yeah, I liked that too. They keep a lot of elements from the old franchise, but tweak it a bit so we don't get a word-for-word rehash. Also the relationship between Kirk and Spock is really great here.

Goddess: I liked Part 2 - but you have to go into it knowing that it's essentially the same idea as the first one. The guys wake up in the morning, someone is missing, and they have no idea what happened the night before. But instead of a Baby Carlos - they picked up a monkey along the way :)

Bri: Superman is probably my least favorite superhero - but I think FINALLY Hollywood may have gotten the story right with Man Of Steel. Well, at least it looks that way from the trailer :)

AL: My Man is to movies what I am to books - so we watch a lot of movies. Matinee ticket prices were our one indulgence when I was a wee newbie librarian and he was still a poor college student. We went to the theater - A LOT. And when we didn't go there, we went to a large video store near the college campus that had a great selection and was dirt cheap. Now that we have more disposable income? Yeah, those trips to the theater are very infrequent. I think we might be getting crankier in our old age ::damnkidsgetoffmylawn::