Category Archives: movie reviews

Iron Man 2 Review – Not as Good as Iron Man

The first Iron Man movie was incredible, and goes on my list as one of my top 10 favorite movies of all time. Unfortunately, Iron Man 2 doesn’t get to join that list. Don’t get me wrong, it was a good movie, but it was a bit disappointing as a sequel.

Robert Downey, Jr. is an incredible actor, and in all honesty he is why the first Iron Man was so amazing. He plays the part of Tony Stark to perfection, and if it weren’t for him I would say that Iron Man 2 was terrible, despite the amazing effects.

Alas, Robert apparently doesn’t have a lot of control when it comes to the script, because in many instances the dialogue in Iron Man 2 felt like a sad attempt to duplicate what came naturally in the first movie. The sarcasm, innuendo, and playful banter just felt so scripted.

I was also sad to see that one of the funniest parts of the Iron Man 2 trailer, the scene where Pepper kisses his helmet and tosses it out of the plane, and Tony says “You complete me” and jumps out after the helmet, was cut from the film! What the hell?

Then we have the fact that they somehow couldn’t get Terrence Howard back to play Rhodey, and had to replace him with Don Cheadle? Cheadle is a terrible actor, and the chemistry between Stark and Rhodey was the worse for it. His part as War Machine was also quite disappointing 🙁

The story was also a bit thin, and the first half of the movie felt like it just dragged on. Tony Stark is supposed to be a smart ass, but the first half of the movie made him into a jackass. The Ivan Vanko/Whiplash character was lame, and far from a worthy enemy for an Iron Man sequel. Justin Hammer was an annoying pansy, and was also a lame choice for a villain…I kept expecting him to start sucking on his thumb or to cry and throw a tantrum or something…

Why couldn’t they have gotten a cool villain like The Mandarin? Or Edwin Cord and Firepower? Either would have been a much better choice, in my not the least bit humble opinion. Come on Stan Lee, don’t you have any say in these things?

On the upside, the effects were amazing, and I was thoroughly entertained during the second half of the movie. The exotic cars were as sexy as ever, and the technology that Tony used was stunningly cool…but alas, it wasn’t enough to save it for me. I liked it, but it felt like more of a distant sequel than a direct continuation, which is never a good thing for a movie. I would have expected better from Jon Favreau, especially since he was responsible for amazingly awesome first Iron Man movie!

Despite the negatives, I would still recommend seeing it, and I will probably buy it when it comes out on DVD, but all in all I’m still disappointed. Fingers crossed for a better job on #3 🙂

P.S. – Stay until after the credits for a teaser for Thor, the next Marvel film coming out (May 6th, 2011)!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siQgD9qOhRs]

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland – A Visual Treat

So, I’ve been super excited for the last year or so, ever since I heard that Tim Burton was making a new, non-animated Alice in Wonderland movie. I’ve loved almost everything Burton has ever done, and Johnny Depp is one of my favorite actors, so I was sure this would be the best movie ever…

And it was fantastic! I’ll admit, it was a little slow getting started, but about 20 minutes into the movie, I was absolutely hooked. We decided not to see the 3D version, as I feel the visual experience of a movie is much more enjoyable in 2D, at least for the time being. 3D tends to leave too much of the scene out-of-focus, which I detest.

Johnny Depp played the Mad Hatter wonderfully…really quite mad 🙂 Tim’s pick for Alice, played by Mia Wasikowska, was brilliant. I wasn’t so sure at first, but as the movie progressed she fit the part more and more. Helena Bonham Carter did a fabulous job as the Red Queen, but Anne Hathaway’s performance of the White Queen was a bit prissy for my taste. Overall though, the acting in this movie was superb.

However, as good as the acting was, the visuals and scenery were the real star of the show. The Wonderland that Tim has created in this movie is phenomenal. Everywhere you look there is something stunning to see, from the Blue Caterpillar and Mushroom Valley, to the March Hare and the Tea Party. The Jabberwocky was incredible, as were the red and white palaces. I would have appreciated a bit more polish on some of the CG characters (the movement was off on the horses, for instance), but overall it was superb.

I particularly appreciate the dark tone of the movie. There were numerous instances, both in the visuals and the music, where I got a hint of The Looking Glass Wars, or American McGee’s Alice. While this movie was nowhere near as twisted as the Alice video game, it was nevertheless a brilliant theatrical experience. It was also nice to get some story from both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Through the Looking Glass is a largely neglected piece of Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland, and the more interesting of the two stories in my opinion.

All in all, I would say this movie was superb, and I would highly recommend Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland to any movie aficionado 🙂

You can watch the trailer here:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjMkNrX60mA]

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians Movie Sucked! Hiss Boo!!!

If you or your children loved the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books, then for goodness’ sake, don’t see this movie! I have seen a lot of great books made into crappy movies over the years, from The Sum of All Fears to Eragon, but this movie, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, was absolutely the word book to movie I’ve ever seen.

Man, where to begin. Rick Riordan did a wonderful job writing the Percy Jackson books. They were well written, enjoyable, with an equal mix of humor and seriousness, lovable characters, and a wonderful twist on classic Greek mythology. I’ve read all 5 books, and I absolutely loved them! Coming from that point of view, having read and loved the books, I’m not sure I can adequately express how angry I am at Chris Columbus for utterly ruining this movie.

Everything was wrong, and I mean everything! Percy wasn’t 12…he looked more like 18 or 20. Instead of a sweet but somewhat awkward kid, they got Logan Lerman, who can’t seem to help but come off as a smart ass punk with a chip on his shoulder. Grover wasn’t anything like Grover in the book. Annabeth was completely wrong…instead of a cute little blonde kid, they got some chunky brunette. She had no invisibility hat, no interest in architecture, and no past or story or connection to a great prophecy or anything.

There was no great prophecy, no Dionysus, no Ares, no Clarisse, no camp cabins, no Hermes, no official quest. Ares didn’t hide the lightning bolt in the backpack he gives to Percy. Poseidon didn’t claim Percy at camp, Charon wasn’t a cool dude in a suit who needed a raise…I can go on and on and on. The movie hardly followed the book at all, other than the barest of the plot lines.

But it was much more than just technical or story issues…the look and feel of the movie was just wrong. Heck, I kept feeling like Lucy Lawless and Kevin Sorbo were about to pop up and re-enact some of the crappier episodes of Xena or Hercules. It was just so…cheesy, almost sitcom-ish.

Also, I understand a studio wanting to make their movies racially diverse, but please, the Greek gods were all white. Nobody has the right to go screwing with history like that just to be politically correct. Super lame.

For the first time in a very long time, I found myself in a movie, and I couldn’t wait for it to end. It really was that bad. My wife, who has also read and loved the books, thought it was horrible as well. The first thing we did when it ended was to get on Twitter and announce how terrible it was.

Seriously folks, if you or your children loved the Percy Jackson book, PLEASE DON”T SEE THIS MOVIE!

Chris Columbus, I used to have respect for you, but not anymore. You screwed up this movie hardcore 🙁 You know you’ve failed when the trailer for the movie was 10 times better than the movie…

This movie, as of now, has a 47% on Rotten Tomatoes, an absolute splat, and it SO deserves worse than that!