Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Recent Movie Rundown #1

I'm just going to smash through a handful of the movies that I saw recently.

Iron Man
Hot fucking damn! So good! I thought it was well made, well cast, well acted and well balanced all around. Well! Robert Downey Jr. is walking sex in an iron suit as Tony Stark. And of course he's smart, witty, and charming without being that "good" of a guy. Gotta admit, there's something kind of hot about that. I also especially appreciated that neither of the two main female characters (Pepper Potts, Stark's loyal assitant and Christine Everhart, the socially-responsible journalist) were idiots. Sure, the journalist sleeps with him... but come on! Did you see him? Plus afterwards, she doesn't merely act bitchy because he blew her off or act too nice to him because they had a fling: she's all business all over again. And that girl plays hardball. I'm just glad to see a superhero movie that doesn't have that vapid chick who is the love interest then gets herself into some stupid scrape and needs to be rescued.
Regardless, the movie also provides an even balance of action scenes to plot setup. What's the point of fighting if we don't care about the people in the fight? In this way, I liked how the movie allowed the viewers to discover the characters. The film starts with a very in-your-face opener, only giving you a few lines of slick dialogue to establish that everyone thinks Tony Stark is the coolest guy ever. And then... well, I'm not into spoilers, but it's cool that you get to go back a few days and see what the guy is really like before you start to feel too sorry for him. Also, the build of Jeff Bridges' villain ensures that the audience is totally on Tony's side before the big final battle. Attaboy, Mr. Favreau. You done good.

Baby Mama
I went through a rollercoaster of emotion before even seeing this movie. I found out that Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, two of my favorite people I don't know, were doing a movie together and I could have bought my ticket right then. I was planning to see it opening weekend but then... well, I didn't. I'm cheap and lazy and I found out that Creative Screenwriting Magazine (good people, good podcasts) was screening it. However, it wasn't until then I did any research into the writer/director. Michael McCullers is the mind behind the second and third Austin Powers movies and Undercover Brother.
Oh god. Oh god god god.
What have my girls gotten themselves into?
DESPITE MY TREPIDATIONS, I totally enjoyed this movie. Sure, it's not breaking too much new ground (aside from the fact that no one really makes female buddy comedies) in terms of the material, the jokes are a little mean but more legitimately funny than anything, and sure, I could take my mom to it, but it's not a "mom movie". I liked it and so did the two guys in their late-twenties sitting with me. More than anything, I LOVED that they didn't have one of those terribly drawn-out and painful birthing sequences, where the pregnant woman looks on the verge of death, some douche in a lab coat yells "Push!" and whatever supportive person next to them repeats "You're doing great, you're almost there" about 8 million times and, you know, that's not entertaining! Kudos, Baby Mama, for realizing this. Now go kick Knocked Up in the balls.

Son of Rambow
I saw this a while ago. It's really good. I don't have the energy to write too much about it because I'm thinking about The Dark Knight trailer (omfgkljdhf&$@!!^). The kids in it are fantastic first-time actors, and by this I don't mean that they are good for first-timers. I mean they are good AND first-timers. That settled, it's a sweet film following 2 young misfits who bond over a love of First Blood and decide to make their own movie. Sure, you have your stereotypical kid-movie plot devices (controlling parent influence), but this movie adds an odd religious-sectarian twist to it. I feel that more joy went into the process of making this film than The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Garth Jennings (of Hammer and Tongs)'s previous endeavor, and that sense of fun comes across.

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