Haven't been in much of a blogging mood lately (still not, actually), but I figured I should catch up on a few movie reviews. Since I'm lumping them together, they'll be short.
First up, The Golden Compass. I was really looking forward to this one. The early trailers made it look deliciously brass-and-leathery (which is to say steampunky), and I got the book for Christmas last year. The beauty of the book isn't so much the story as the setting. It's a pretty simplistic story, but it's set in a world with such a rich mythology that it made for a very entertaining read, despite the "young adult" focus (as with the Harry Potter books, or so I hear). However, while that book series has translated well to the screen, The Golden Compass did not. They took most of the important scenes from the book, pared them down just enough to be annoying to anyone who's read the book, and then crammed them all together. The result is a gorgeous, well-casted mess of a movie that I won't be running out to buy on DVD. Oh, and for no reason whatsoever, they wanked up the ending. It'll be interesting to see if the sequels are ever green-lit.
IMDb score: 6.6/10
My score: 6/10
Next: I Am Legend. This is another one I'd had my eye on for some time, and fortunately, this one didn't disappoint. If you're worried about Will Smith's typical overacting--which, let's be honest, was perfectly suited to movies like Men in Black, et. al.--you don't need to worry here, because he turns in a nicely understated performance
for this role, which is exactly what it needed. After all, it's more about obsession
and loneliness than vampire/zombie things. Actually, the CG monsters kinda look like crap when you see 'em up close, so it's good that they're not really the focus. It's kind of a horror-ish version of Castaway, but set in an abandoned New York. Not a masterpiece, but I
IMDb score: 7.6/10
My score: 7.9/10
And finally, Jenette, Michelle, and I went to see Sweeney Todd, which the fellers over at AICN have been hyping for a few months. Of the three films in this post, this one wins. This is Tim Burton at the top of his game...his dark, creepy game. The sets and costumes are amazing, as was the casting. Casting for the two lead roles was maybe a tad obvious (Burton loves him some Depp and Helena Bonham Carter), but it would have been a lesser film with any other actors. Johnny Depp proves once again that in addition to being the definitive pirate for a generation, he can flip a switch and become someone entirely different, and Carter did her "creepy Victorian goth chick" thing even better than usual. Then there were the nice surprises, like Alan Rickman as the evil judge...hm, I guess that's not surprising at all...but his performance was fun to watch. And Sacha Baron Cohen made a hilarious appearance as a rival barber. I won't say much about the story, because I don't want to ruin it for anyone, but I will say this: there is a lot of blood. A lot. Enough to make me squirm in my seat
a couple of times, and movie blood doesn't usually bother me. Speaking of "usually," I usually
hate musicals too, but this one kicked ass.
IMDb score: 8.7
My score: 9.2
5 years ago