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Archive for July 1st, 2011

As we get into the summer season the blockbusters all come out to play and there are lots of movies to see. Well actually no, as all the big movies take up 3 or 4 screens in multiplexes (or even more when there are 2 and 3D versions) the smaller films get pushed to one side and there is actually less to see. I did find six movies an see, five were worth the effort and one was The Hangover: Part II.

X-Men: First Class

Is X-Men: First Class a reboot or a prequel? I’m not sure if it really matters, but if it’s a prequel there are some distracting continuity issues, if it’s a reboot it is a fantastic opportunity to restart the franchise in the way the comic books often do. The casting is great, the acting is good, the story is okay, I love the 60‘s setting and there are some very funny moments. It does suffer from too many unnecessary characters and isn’t very well paced. On the whole it is a worth entry into the X-Men franchise that is much better than The Last Stand and Origins: Wolverine but not as good as parts one and two.

Senna

A rare entry in the movie of the month segment, a documentary. Nothing against doc’s, they just don’t make it to my local cinema often. As a fan of F1 and Ayrton Senna I felt compelled to go and see this movie, I was amazed at just how busy the cinema was, now in its third week (like foreign language movies documentaries tend not to make it into a second week) and is number seven in the UK box-office. A fantastic and moving story a man who was possibly the greatest racing driver of all time, the true greatness of the film is how many none F1 fans who also enjoyed it.

The Hangover: Part II

The Hangover worked largely because of a great concept and a pull no punches approach to its gags, it even won my first ever movie of the month award exactly two years ago. The things that made the first movie surprisingly good are the same things that made this sequel dull, predictable and repetitive. All of these things can be forgiven, the homophobic and xenophobic nature of the story could also be overlooked but one thing that is totally unforgivable for a movie like this, it just isn’t funny.

Stake Land

A grim and often violent road movie from the team who gave us the direct to DVD zombie/rat/mutant classic Mulberry Street. As a survival road movie first and vampire movie second it shares as much with The Road or Carriers as it does with vampire movies. Benefiting from its gritty realism and the constraints of a low budget it is an intelligent and thoughtful whilst still being entertaining, and the vampires don’t sparkle in sunlight they burn! The best vampire movie since Let The Right One In

The Beaver

A clinically depressed businessman finds his own kind of self-help via a tatty old beaver hand puppet that he communicate through. Given his recent past, the baggage that Mel Gibson brings to a movie could present a problem, In the case of The Beaver, it actually helps. Poorly marketed this isn’t a fun comedy, yes there are laughs but this is a far darker movie than you expect. There is an interesting sub plot involving Gibbon’s son and a girl played by rising star Jennifer Lawrence, this in itself is as interesting as the main plot, however the two stories don’t fit together very well.

Green Lantern

If Marvel and DC are in a battle for movie supremacy Batman is standing alone against the might of the X-Men, Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. Green Lantern was DC’s chance to get back into the fight before they bring out the potential big gun, a Superman reboot. I think we are going to have to wait for the man of steel. Ryan Reynolds does a good job in the lead role and the movie is better than the trailer and reviews would suggest, it’s still average at best.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

The best thing I can say about the new Transformers movie is that it is much better than Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, considering how bad that movie was it really is the definition of damning with faint praise. The story and the acting are as bad as ever, some of the action is quite good. The one lesson learnt from the previous movie is to make better use of the human stars even though foremost of those is Shia LaBeouf who lacks charm charisma and acting ability. The sad thing, somewhere in the two and half hour runtime there is probably a decent ninety minute movie; and the surprising thing, I miss Megan Fox.

As much as I loved Stake Land I have to give Movie of the Month to Senna, the first documentary to win movie of the month and a must for all film and motor-sport fans.

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