Many complained of the pacing issues with “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” — Peter Jackson’s first part of the prequel trilogy to “The Lord of the Rings”– and I can’t say I disagree. I do not agree with the general opinion that the initial films first half was the issue, no. As far as I’m concerned as soon as Bilbo Baggins left the wonderfully well adapted version of The Shire and the film began to descend into its second half, “An Unexpected Journey” seemed to lose its way. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” seeks to resolve these issues by thrusting us right into the action, but then expects us to carry on caring until the credits roll and we are expected to empty our wallets for the next one. An unfortunate mistake.
(Note: This film is going to fill you in on previous events from the first movie. I suggest you watch the first film otherwise you’ll spend much of this one in confusion I would think. The first one is also better.)
“Time to Kick Some Asteroid” — what a tagline eh? And Good luck to them. I would have thought that if you flew up into space and actually tried to kick an asteroid, you’d probably break your toes (depending on how much effort you put into it). What would be the point of kicking an asteroid anyway? Are you just trying to vent your frustration at the prospect of it destroying your planet? Maybe somebody disliked the unnatural look of the big hunk of rock, or perhaps the birds of the world will rise up to defend their Jurassic ancestors. That’s right, birds still feel the burn of their closest relatives. In “Armageddon”, it wouldn’t matter if the… “astronauts” were sent up to simply kick an asteroid, Michael Bay would still find a way for them to save the planet with a good old punt. Such is the way of it with “Armageddon”, realism itself is booted out the window faster than you can say “Shia Labouef” and it will infuriate some to no end, but it does help to create a mildly entertaining movie that unfortunately overstays its admittedly muted welcome.
Quentin Tarantino has become such a huge director since his initial debut with “Reservoir Dogs” in 1992, immediately afterwards in 1994 he went on to make “Pulp Fiction” which is in my top three films of all time (so far). Everything this guy releases seems to be astounding, he’s someone you can practically guarantee to put out something worth watching, and you never feel he’ll let you down if you get excited for one of his films. Perhaps it’s good then that his only sub-par film came when no one knew his name. “Reservoir Dogs” holds so many Tarantinian elements that just don’t work in this film, but they are traits and signatures that Tarantino has since come to exquisitely perfect.
So I won’t pretend that I loved “The Lego Movie” as much as seemingly everyone else did. I’m sat in the horrible position where the thoughts going through my head are along the lines of “How on earth did this receive any sort of acclaim?”. I’ve been here before, most notably after watching “Gladiator” around a year ago. I’m sure most have dealt with being told a film is amazing and seeing evidence everywhere around them that this is in fact true, but upon getting around to viewing the film, the feeling of just being completely underwhelmed is crushing. It did surprise me though, I was surprised to see the raving reviews, and I was surprised again to see that my initial assumption of how “The Lego Movie” would turn out, was correct. This is the longest advertisement you will ever watch, sure it will self mockingly point out that it is an advertisement, but that just makes it a clever one.
I think I’ve been in the room whilst “Transformers” was on about 6 or 7 times since it was released, I know the whole movie but I’ve never sat and actually watched the entire thing from start to finish (I’m sure a lot of people have had this experience with at least one movie). So I thought “Hey let’s give that one a shot” because I thought you couldn’t really go wrong with a blockbuster to waste a few hours of your time that could be better spent wasting away on games and daydreaming. Well… I guess I was kind of right, I mean, it could have been worse, right?
So we’re here again for even more of “The Twilight Saga”. The addition of the word “Saga” depressed me in the last film, “New Moon”, because by then the idea of watching more “Twilight” seemed like a strange from of oriental torture. I’ve had the misfortune of watching “Eclipse” four times now (Through a chain of events I barely remember, never mind want to go into) and I can safely say it’s better than “New Moon”, but then again, so is strangling puppies. It’s always upsetting to find that after the last film, people still went to see “Eclipse” in droves and helped solidify it’s presence as a blockbuster. Enough about how I hate more people than I am even acquainted with and onto what I thought.
Number four everyone, we’ve hit number four in a series that is slightly odd in its lack of consistency in quality. It’s gone good, to average, to good and now right back down to average again. I haven’t had the pleasure of ripping apart any of “The Planet of the Apes” films (yet) because they just haven’t gotten as bad as I expected them to. That still doesn’t make this one good, it’s just… passable. It’s one of those movies that is hard to review because I’m struggling to remember exactly what happened, it pulls all of it’s punches and ends up unremarkable and especially unmemorable.
The first “Planet of the Apes” at least attempted to be a little bit more than stock corny science fiction. It’s sequel, “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” completely descends into the realm of corny sci-fi, such in the vein of the original “Star Trek” series but without any of the grand themes of the quest for knowledge. This time we are provided with a new hero who looks deceptively like George Taylor (Charlton Heston) from the first movie, to the extent that when I first saw him I was genuinely confused as to what was happening and whether what I was seeing was a flashback. The gusto the original had just isn’t in this half-hearted sequel and it’s unfortunate to watch the originality (Yes I’m aware it wasn’t an original screenplay) of the first film get suddenly marred with the curse of the generic. It doesn’t bode all that well for the rest of the series and I am certainly less excited about viewing all of them, oh well.