Immortals is a beautiful, awesome, action packed spectacle that sticks right to the hero’s journey and creates a new(ish) tale of Greek mythology that lets the Gods go kill crazy. [Read more...]
Sylvester Stallone’s The Expendables is a man on a mission, action all stars extravaganza being sold as an explosion a minute yarn. But if it wasn’t for a solid final 25 minutes or so of non-stop action then this film would have been a colossal failure of its potential.
Now I hate to feel a little burned by a film’s marketing, as that happens a tad too much in Hollywood if you ask me, but look at the cast Stallone has assembled here! I mean, just reading the cast’s names is a promise of big things. Stallone, Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Steve Austin, and the list goes ever on. These guys should be beating the shit out of each other from frame one; right? Well sadly that isn’t the case and after a brief “actiony” opening sequence the film is pretty dry on fighting and action for sometime. Now I am all for character building, but after about 2/3 of the way through the movie we have been treated to one action beat that consisted of quick shoot out, a lame car chase, and a cool gimmick on a dock; that’s it.
Tony Stark is back in Iron Man 2, bringing with him some variations on his high tech business suit, new enemies, new allies, and that same, overly confident, “winning” personality (the sarcasm is only halfhearted because it’s hard not to love him).
Between the first film and now, Tony Stark boasts that he has fulfilled every beauty pageant contestants dream of bringing about world peace (at least for now), or as he likes to put it, “privatizing” it. And with revealing his secret identity at the end of the first film, the exploits of Iron Man have lead to even more fame for the man not hiding behind the mask, and it has gone straight to his head. But with great power comes great responsibility. Wait… Wrong Marvel superhero. Let me modify: With greatly boasted power comes great enemies with the unifying goal of knocking said powerful individual down a peg (yeah, I can see why that isn’t the catchphrase). Simply put: Tony’s ego is in need of some deflating, and this film introduces at least two men willing to accept the challenge. [Read more...]
Summer is here, as is our first sequel of the summer in Iron Man 2 and the results are an entertaining and solid follow up to the widely lauded original, but I can’t quite put my finger on how it stacks up to its predecessor.
The conundrum I have with the film is the tone and focus this film takes. Now there isn’t a lot of plot like before, there are a few new characters to digest, and briefly glimpsed ones get even more screen time. But the film actually handles it’s “more” well in that we get a good grasp of who everyone is and what their motivations are rather efficiently; but it doesn’t flow the greatest as it jumps in and out everyone’s stories. The film is still the Tony Stark show first and foremost but it jumps away on a couple occasions for just a tad too long from our favorite iron suited alter ego. In fact, this film is barely an Iron Man movie and more of a Tony Stark tale; which I actually think is a good thing. The Iron Man action scenes are great and its best moments are better than the original’s set pieces, but there are really only two or three scenes of Iron Man doing his thing. The film is more focused on Stark and his issues of being a hero and a crisis he is having as part of his role as a superhero. Now again, I think this is great, but I wasn’t really prepared for it going in and was caught a bit off guard and think I need to see it again to really settle on a final opinion, especially when comparing it to the first film.
Darren Aronofsky has returned with his fourth feature and the results are an engaging, sad, and fantastic character study anchored by a fantastic performance by Mickey Rourke.
Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke) was “The” wrestler back in 1986. Working his way through the ranks, The Ram made his way to the top of the professional circuit, peaking at his Madison Square Garden sell out with The Ayatollah. Flash forward ten years later, still wrestling, now at legion halls and gymnasiums, The Ram is the class of his local circuit, though quite a fall from the ranks he once held. Still getting his own dressing room and being the top bill, it’s good enough to get him through the day. The finances aren’t quite cutting it though, and he has to pick up extra shifts at the grocery store in between wrestling on the weekends and visits to the local strip club to chat up Cassidy (Marisa Tomei) over beers. Though, events lead Randy to question his lot in life, and seek out his estranged daughter (Evan Rachel Wood) in an attempt to make peace with his past. [Read more...]