I have seen a number of films recently that I didn't get the chance to review, so here goes...
The first off the block is Iron Man. To be honest, I wasn't as familiar with this comic book character as say, Spider-Man but this didn't stop me spending an entertaining evening in his delectable company (yes, I jest).
As comic-book movies go, this wasn't bad. I received a genuine shock within the first few moments of the film, but I suppose I should have been expecting this. All in all, this is good, solid entertainment. I wouldn't peg it at the same quality level as say Batman Begins, or the masterpiece that is Spider-Man 2 (which unfortunately set an impossibly high standard for other similar moves to attain) - that said, it did keep my attention throughout and Robert Downey Jr was very engaging in the title role.
Recommended if you like this sort of thing.
*** (out of 5)
I suppose that like most people on this planet we call earth, I was pretty excited about this film coming out. I mean, who couldn't be. We're talking Indiana Jones here!
I knew that there was no way it would be anything as good as Raiders of the Lost Ark, which had been proven with the diminishing quality of the sequels (although I thought The Lost Crusade wasn't bad) but I viewed the film with an open mind, with the intention of leaving all preconceptions in the rain that engulfed the cinema car park (now, who is the one getting cinematic?!).
Firstly the good news - this is an fun movie. Steven Spielberg has fun with his character, as well as the history he's built up through the four movies. I won't say anymore about this. Harrison Ford is nothing short of remarkable in the title role and the return of Karen Allen is most welcome. There is also a feelgood factor throughout (well, I felt there was).
The special effects are pretty cool, especially the bit with the ants (have I said too much) and you do end up cheering on Indy, which I would imagine is the general idea.
That said, I felt really let down by the denouement, which I believe sunk the movie. I think it was an unwise movie to take Indy down that particular path and I wasn't impressed with the way the story panned out. That is my personal opinion, others will of course disagree.
You have to see this movie in a cinema and when you do, don't try to examine the plot too closely!
Recommended (and who knows, maybe you'll like the ending!)
In a similar vein to Iron Man, I've never been a great fan of the Hulk (although the character was more familiar to me). I am however ancient enough to remember the Bill Bixby series in the 1970's and know exactly what Lou Ferringo looks like in green.
Maybe I identify a little too much with Hulk to really appreciate the character, in that I too have a temper, but I don't recall the last time I threw a truck at someone in anger.
I wasn't much interested in seeing the last movie) and from what I hear, neither were a lot of other people), so I didn't rush to see this version, although strangely enough, I have seen it in its first week of release - an anomaly based around the fact that I had an evening to myself and there wasn't anything else that took my fancy.
The good news is that this is apparently a much better movie that its predecessor (I bet Ang Lee who directed the first one is having a few stiff drinks these days) and I have to say that it was a very well made, engaging attempt. Casting Edward Norton was a great idea because he took the character seriously and chewed the scenery whilst destroying everything (and everyone) else in sight.
I would also add that the strong storyline which threw you into the action from the minute the credits started appearing really helped to drive the movie. I didn't look at my watch once throughout!
However the film was let down by second rate special effects. Every time I saw the Hulk (and the first scene where he appears, the Director very cleverly keeps him rooted to the shadows), I felt like I was watching a huge video game projected on a cinema screen. He just didn't look real. Whether this was intentional or not, I cannot say, but I would have preferred him to look a smidgen like a real (green) human being. This is a shame, because his non-green alter-ego was so well played. Don't let this stop you from seeing the movie, because it is a very entertaining way to spend an evening.
It's also becoming fun to see if you can spot Stan Lee in his usual cameo role!