Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Studios have been making a lot of movies based on comic books lately and, judging by the releases in the pipeline, they won't be stopping anytime soon. Thing is, the medium of motion pictures is not the optimum medium for a comic book story - a comic book is.

Thor is a prime example. Not a bad movie at all, but the superficiality of the story, the two-dimensional characters and over-the-top action scenes did nothing to draw me in to the movie. The part I liked the most was actually the CGI scenes of Odin's realm. They showed a beautiful golden city on a mountaintop - think Rome and Greece at their peaks, only bigger.

And what is with Natalie Portman being in every other movie made lately? I love her to death and she always does a great job, but take a breath, kid. Unfortunntely, in Thor, she had little chemistry with the he-man lead. That might have something to do with Thor being based on a comic book. She's much better in movies based on original screenplays. Black Swan, No Strings Attached anyone?


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fast Five

At last, a movie that delivers exactly what it promises. Fast Five doesn't promise a lot, but cars are chased, bullets whiz, biceps are flexed, bikinis are bikinied, and lots of things go BOOM! There's lots of attractive scenery in and around Rio de Janeiro, attractive people galore and lots of fun stunts.

Fast Five is the fifth movie in the The Fast and the Furious franchise, but I only saw numbers 1& 2, and I had no trouble keeping up. Among the elements Fast Five promises, a labyrinthine plot is not one of them. If you're looking for a fast paced movie that allows you to turn off half of your brain (or more) for two hours, I recommend Fast Five.

Two additional notes. First, the plot of the movie is pure caper. I remember reading apocryphal mentions a few years ago of a sequel to The Italian Job to be called The Brazilian Job. I wonder if someone appropriated the plot of the never-to-be-made Italian Job sequel for Fast Five. The two movies parallel each other in many regards, but that may just be a function of the caper movie genre.

Next, Elsa Pataky has a supporting role as a cop from Rio. Well known in her native Espana, she's only done a few projects in English, including Snakes on a Plane. Elsa has fabulous screen presence and only a bit of a Spanish accent, so it's hard to believe that American film makers don't employ her more often. Fools.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Something Borrowed

Do not bother. Something Borrowed was sold as a romantic comedy but it's really of the romantic trainwreck ilk. Despite the promise of the commercials, it has few laughs in the first half and none in the second. But let's suppose you are interested in a romantic trainwreck movie - it's a real genre and sometimes the movies can be good - there are much better ones out there.

Among the other reasons to dislike Something Borrowed include logical problems with the story, miscasting, no chemistry between the leads, and characters so sterile you won't be able to garner any emotional attachment to the movie. There's also the matter of the movie being 20 minutes too long and having two false endings.

There is one redeeming quality to Something Borrowed: the always adorable Ginnifer Goodwin.  My advice?  Skip Something Borrowed - whether you want to see a romantic comedy or romantic trainwreck, you can find better examples of both.