Totally forgot that I've been neglecting my movie reviews. I've actually had more time to watch some more of them since coming to Texas. Less shoots (as in none so far yet) mean more free time to watch movies. A couple of them are worth their own review. I'll get to those later. The others can be mushed into one post. Not total wastes of time, but certainly not worthy enough for their own blown out entry.
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
Actually, I saw this one LONG ago. I was still in Ames at the time. Checked it out at the dollar show. Of course I was so busy those last couple of months with preparing for the transition and squeezing in last minute shoots that I totally spaced off the review of it. Please let that do be a reflection on the movie itself.
I never saw the original "Journey" with Branden Fraser. Had no desire to. Could have really cared less that it was in 3D. And G didn't want to see it either so there was really no reason to see it. But then when I saw that the Rock was in this sequel I figured G would be more interested. He was. I can't lie, as much as I don't like the Rock in his family-friendly movies, the previews looked like it would be decent. Even if it wouldn't be in 3D since it was the dollar show.
It must have been a while since I had seen one of those family-oriented adventure movies. I forgot how ridiculous they could be. I know all action movies force you to abandon common sense to fully enjoy them, but those family-friendly joints REALLY stretch it. This was no different. Probably even a bigger offender since the Rock was in it. It was definitely corny. There a few good moments, but they were far and few between. Probably much better as 3D fodder than as a regular flick.
Rating: C -
Normally, a movie with Vince Vaughn AND Kevin James would be a no-brainer. I'm a huge fan of both of their work. However, I've learned in the past that things don't always come together so well when you put two favorites in a movie together. Especially when the plot was already thin to begin with. That was certainly the case here. Their relationship seemed forced. I could buy that they were friends, but not so much the best of friends. And trying to sell me that James was married to Winona Ryder was even more far-fetched.
The main problem was I just couldn't get behind the concept in the first place. What guy would catch his best friend's wife cheating and NOT tell his best friend?? Isn't that part of the guy code to reveal information like that? The longer dude went without telling his best friend, the harder I found it hard to believe.
The thing that I hated most about this one was they didn't let Kevin be Kevin. He was a more uptight version of the characters he usually plays. For some reason they took what should have been a comedy and tried to infuse too much seriousness into it. It normally doesn't work for comedies and it certainly doesn't work when you do it at James' expense. And don't even get me started on that HORRIBLE ending.
I still can't believe they went against the whole concept of what the "Scream" movies were supposed to be about. The franchise started off as a movie poking fun at scary movies while being a pretty authentic scary movie. The original helped bring the genre back. Then it would later involve into a trilogy that intended to epitomize what a trilogy should be. So they should have just stopped right there. But money talks so we get stuck with "Scream 4".
I will give them props for the opening. They successfully satired (yep...made that word up) themselves without being corny about it. It was all downhill from there though. I can appreciate some of the kill sequences where they went all out to outdo themselves in the prior movies; however, the filler in between was like pulling teeth. And I'm sorry but I don't care how tiny Hayden Panettiere is, she is already looking too old to play a high schooler. Then just when I thought they were going to get something right by **SPOILER ALERT** killing off one of the main characters they fake me out by going VERY cliche. Good thing I only waited to see this on cable.
Here's how bad I suck: I have had this movie in my dvd collection for nearly 6 months. Maybe longer. Guess when I finally watched it? When I noticed it was coming on one of the premium movie channels down here. Otherwise I would have never gotten around to putting it in the dvd player to see if it was worth mistakenly keeping the Redbox version so long that I ended up owning it.
I really didn't know what to expect from this one going in. I heard it being described as everything from a thriller to a horror film to a mind-screw to a dark drama. It could quite easily be described as all of those wrapped in one. With the exception of the horror part. It takes a lot more than all that to put a scare into us true horror fans. But just the fact that it had all the rest of that going on was a noble effort on their part.
Maybe it's just me, but I always thought the ballet world was a little creepy anyway. Dudes running around in tight clothes dancing like women....women in whiteface...nobody talking with overwrought orchestra music playing. So it didn't take much to make a movie about a fictional dark side about the whole thing. Especially revolving around a story like "Black Swan" which was already rather cryptic. What I wasn't sure of was putting Natalie Portman in that role. But as expected, she nailed it.
The overall tone of this flick was on point. I loved the metaphor being made about the type of dedication it takes to be an elite part of the ballet world. The way they toyed with the extremes that people go to while keeping you guessing as to what was real and what wasn't was magnificent. When it was all done I couldn't help but find myself thinking that people have to be off their rocker to want to be a part of professional ballet. But more importantly, I was mad that I waited so long to finally see it. Yeah..."Black Swan" probably should have gotten its own separate post.Rating: B+