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Some quick movie reviews

Posted on 2012.06.20 at 23:06
I've seen three movies recently: Prometheus, Hunger Games, and the Avengers and thought I'd share some thoughts about special effects vs. a good script.

1)Saw Prometheus yesterday. Now, I'm not a fan of horror flicks. I never saw the first Alien, at least not all the way through. I went to the theatre and after the first scene where the guy bends over these strange pulsing eggs (safety tip: when you are on an alien world, do NOT lean over strange pulsing creatures) when the bulb in the projector must have burned out because the picture went off but the sound continued. Screaming and thumping and lots of scary stuff. At first we thought it was part of the movie, but as it went on and someone thought to inquire, we were informed that "something" had happened to the projectionist. We got our money back, but then I proceeded to have at least 3 major nightmares where I filled in the rest of the movie that I'd never seen. The mind can conjure up worse fears than any movie can show.

I liked Alien 2 (Aliens) where a bunch of marines go down to the planet and Segourney Weaver kicks alien queen monster butt. Well written, exciting and scary, good characters and dialogue, good acting, good movie.

The rest of the Alien series, um, not so much.

Prometheus was visually stunning with great special effects but you know I'm really sick of Hollywood thinking that if you have enough fantastic special effects that substitutes for the lack of any coherent plot or anything other than the most cardboard characterization. Instead they stuffed in so many references to other films that were, I guess, supposed to give the flimsy plot some depth, such as naming the robot who goes awry (with no explanation) David (2001). There are characters in this movie like the stiff Ms. Vickers (played by Charlize Theron) that I couldn't figure out what part she had to play other than to walk around like she had a pole up her ass and object to everything people did. And there were things like the archaeologist in a fit of enthusiasm taking off his helmet when they reach the alien spaceship and discovering yes, the air was breathable. Say what? Or the two yahoos (no way were they scientists) who when they see an alien creature reach out to touch it. Remember earlier rule we should have learned from Alien 1. LOL. Anyhow, I consider this movie a waste of my 10 bucks (even in 3D) and over 2 hours of my time.

2. The Hunger Games. By contrast here was a movie that resisted the lure of special effects (although there are some) and focused on the characters and the story. Wow, what a concept. I thought the movie was good and actually somewhat improved on the book. Enjoyed it.

3. The Avengers. Okay, normally I'm not a huge fan of superhero leaping from impossible heights with no visible harm explosion a minute evil guy taking over the universe films. But this one was an exception, I think, in large part because the characterization was good, there was great dialogue and banter, some actual HUMOR (which helps anything) and I loved the acting. I mean it was such a crazy mishmash of Norse gods and technology and Captain America being unfrozen from ice and poor Dr. Banner trying very hard not to get angry. In addition, the guys were seriously hot, like all of them. My little slashy mind was very busy, I can tell you--particularly slashing Tony Stark and Steve Rogers (Captain America) and my favorites Thor and Loki (ohmygod). I am now a Tom Hiddleston fan. He managed to make the typical megalomaniac villain quite charming. I was almost rooting for him, or at least for him and Thor to go off somewhere and get busy, with lots of I hate you, I love you dialogue first. LOL. The movie was fun and I'd go see it again. My comment to Hollywood is no amount of explosions and special effects will make up for a lack of good characters and a good script.

Here is a lovely painting of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) by Sari Sariola.


spiced_wine at 2012-06-21 07:28 (UTC) (Link)
While I do want to see Prometheus, as I am a big Alien fan, I will wait for the DVD. I had come up with an idea about the xenomorphs, but apparently I was a bit off.

I think Loki should get his own movie; if Hollywood are keeping up with the Loki-love, they'll probably do it because it's $$$. Again, I will see this when it comes out on DVD; I don't suppose it will be very long.

From the few clips I have seen of the Avengers, Loki does make me think of your Sauron.

Edited at 2012-06-21 07:48 am (UTC)
elfscribe5 at 2012-06-21 09:04 (UTC) (Link)
Hiya Sian. Prometheus has some intense scenes, like the main character performing her own Caesarian,yeah. But there were so many plot holes and stuff that wasn't built up properly and didn't make sense, that I got disgusted. It was good on spectacle, kind of but not much else. I found the robot the most intriguing character (which is not good really).

I can definitely see Tom Hiddleston playing my Sauron. Yep. Maybe I could dye his hair. lol
spiced_wine at 2012-06-21 09:49 (UTC) (Link)
I found the robot the most intriguing character (which is not good really).

Another review said that; they said the film is really about the robot :D. Kev explained most of it to me. (I never mind spoilers)

I can definitely see Tom Hiddleston playing my Sauron.

He would be fantastic as your Sauron. :D
pandemonium_213 at 2012-06-21 11:51 (UTC) (Link)
Posting from the not so Smart phone so please bear with me.

Having no television on hand in my mother's now 2/3 empty house, I saw Prometheus on Tues night and Snow White and the Huntsman last night. Saw The Avengers quite some time ago.

1. Prometheus - concur for the most part. Stunningly beautiful imagery on the big screen; classic Ridley Scott. The visuals alone made it worth the almost ten dollars spent. But...the script? Bleh. It abounded with cliches, both in character and dialog. The science vs faith element was handled in a very ham-handed way that had me rolling my eyes. The biologist and geologist were also eyeroll worthy, but hey, I am used to scientists being portrayed badly in the media. Anyway, I was ready to smack the screenwriters around. Michael Fassbender made up for a multitude of sins though. So, for Ridley Scott fans (like me), the movie is not a waste of $, but don't set expectations too high.

2. Snow White and the Huntsman. OK, I knew that the performances were not going to be of Academy Award quality so I was not surprised there. Too bad though, because the visuals were striking. Often at the border of beautiful and the grotesque. The director has potential.

Anyway, both Prometheus and Snow White were popcorn munchers and saved me from utter boredom.

The Avengers - already reviewed that. Very good movie all the way round. But then, look who wrote the script.

Hunger Games - read the novel. Will watch it when it's on On Demand, if only because of the young actress who was in Winter's Bone. Now there's a good movie.

I have to confess that I likely will drag Rampaging Frodo to see Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter. :^D
heartofoshun at 2012-06-21 12:39 (UTC) (Link)
I've been thinking about The Avengers entirely too much for my own self image of comic-book-hater. Thinking about taking Alex to see it again while we are in the middle of a scary heat wave here. I was thinking of seeing Snow White and the Huntsman because the visual special effects looked so good in trailers. I think I will based on your comments above. I have resisted both the book and the movie of Hunger Games because of its popularity. I should get over myself and at least read the book.
elfscribe5 at 2012-06-21 18:11 (UTC) (Link)
Hiya Pande! *waves* Nice to see you about, yay for Smartphones. (I don't have one and I'm not sure I ever will.) As far as Prometheus, I was disappointed. I also expected more from Ridley Scott. To be fair, I figured the writers had a lot more backstory to the characters that ended up getting cut, so I'm blaming editing. But at the end there when the captain makes his decision to do a suicide run at the alien, and his two navigators (or whatever they are) in a jolly fashion, go basically, yeah, what the hell, take one for the gipper or some such, and I'm thinking I have no idea who these characters are or why they would agree to this decision. But it made for a fantastic special effect crash extravaganza.

Haven't seen Snow White. The previews looked cinematically interesting. Based on what you're saying, I'll wait for the DVD.

Hunger Games was worth it, seriously. I went with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised.

As far as Abraham Lincoln goes, lol, just no. I mean my fantastic alt-world incredulity can just stretch so far. Tell me what you think of it.
heartofoshun at 2012-06-21 12:44 (UTC) (Link)
I am postponing re-watching everything that Tom Hiddleston has done (I will do that soon) because I am enjoying too much thinking of him as Loki. I think I will probably go see that movie again very soon. I have already watching Thor twice on streaming Netflix. I agree with you about the hotness of all the guys involved. Does not hurt the film a bit! How about that cutie who played Captain America? He would make a lovely earnest elven warrior, maybe someone like Finrod?
elfscribe5 at 2012-06-21 18:17 (UTC) (Link)
I didn't see Thor, but I will now. Those two are awesome. All that fantastic testosterone-fueled brotherly rivalry.

And an emphatic yes re: Chris Evans (Captain America)What pretty blue eyes and that brooding sense of righteous justice. Yes please for an elven warrior. Finrod would do just fine. Now that's the guy I wished they had cast for Glorfindel in LOTR.
dark_malignity at 2012-06-24 08:38 (UTC) (Link)
omg, you MUST see thor! (and then youtube for the cut-scene of thor and loki having a private conversation just before thor's early coronation).

puts all their brother-talk in perspective ;)
elfscribe5 at 2012-06-25 04:56 (UTC) (Link)
Oh really? That sounds intriguing. What's the youtube title? That intense brotherly rivalry helped give the story an emotional impact that I think it would have lacked otherwise. I enjoyed the flic and might even see it again.

Haven't seen you about in a long while. Hope all is well. Cheers.
dark_malignity at 2012-06-25 14:24 (UTC) (Link)

actually, now that you mentioned it, that might be the reason that so many girls enjoyed the brother bits. it really was the only complex, emotionally charged, *relatable* relationship in the movie. sure black widow and hawkeye had History, but everyone has Family.

Youtube link is here: http://youtu.be/o7BG-f5yjN0 :) Enjoy!
phyncke at 2012-06-21 14:47 (UTC) (Link)
I found your comments interesting. The Hunger Games books were much more detailed and interesting to me, while I did love the movie, I thought the books really portrayed that world better and with the layers of back story and detail that it needed to be a full picture of the universe. I got much more out of the books and you really need to read those to fully understand the story. The movies don't stand alone really. For example on the Capitol weapons and all that. So I have to disagree with you on your point on the Hunger Games. I think you have to read the books to actually really understand that story and the movie was a pale comparison to it. Not nearly enough.

That is all I am commenting on.

elfscribe5 at 2012-06-21 18:21 (UTC) (Link)
Hi phyncke. Well, I've only read the first novel of the Hunger Games, which I did like. I just thought the movie added a little more about the political background of the guys in charge. Most likely they were drawing from the other books for that. Otherwise, the movie was remarkably accurate to the book and I really liked that it focused on the story and the main characters and their relationships and not on what they could blow up or do with greenscreens.
nelyo_russandol at 2012-06-21 17:27 (UTC) (Link)
It's been ages since I've been to the cinema, so it'll have to be the DVD for me.

I watched Thor (again on DVD) a while ago. Entertaining but not to rave about it. Of cours I liked Loki as the outrageous lying, back-stabbing villainous brother far better than I liked Thor.

And yes, he could be your Sauron, after a session with a stylist. I guess that's what they're doing to get Thranduil ready, right?

elfscribe5 at 2012-06-21 18:27 (UTC) (Link)
Why is it that sometimes villains can be way more intriguing than heroes? Not always. I've seen enough cardboard villains (why do these guys WANT to rule the world, I ask you?) But villains, whether complex or simple, are the dynamic movers of the action. If they are charming like Loki, with that certain bad boy charisma, well, irresistible. Although I wouldn't want to depend on them for anything.

A session with a stylist -- I really loled at that. I'd love to see that scene. As far as Lee Pace whose playing Thranduil, they'll need to get out the eyebrow tweezers.
nelyo_russandol at 2012-06-21 19:19 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, bad boy charisma works a treat. But you've made me worried now. What do you mean "why do these guys want to rule the world"? Don't you?

Yes, Lee Pace will be a challenge. Thranduil with a black three o'clock shadow... no, please, spare me that image!
(Deleted comment)
elfscribe5 at 2012-06-21 18:29 (UTC) (Link)
Lots of hunky slashy possibilities in the Avengers, that's for sure. And you would know it, it's certainly out there with lots of fic being written as we speak. You'll have to write your hot brunette/Loki.

It's too bad Hollywood movies seem to make money even if they don't have good characters or a good script. Oh well.
Jaiden S
jaiden_s at 2012-06-21 22:30 (UTC) (Link)
My sick little mind is plotting some Tony/Steve smut...that likely will never see the light of day, but it's fun to talk about. ;)
elfscribe5 at 2012-06-22 01:20 (UTC) (Link)
Oh do share. Would love to see it.
dodger_sister at 2012-07-04 00:44 (UTC) (Link)
As a huge fan of The Hunger Games book series, I was anxious about the movie. But I was really quite happy with all of it. I though they hit most all of my favorite moments and they showed more than we actually get to see in the books, with the limited first person POV.

The Avengers was a good time and I think one of the things that shone through more than anything else was the chemistry this cast has with each other. It was a fun ride. I felt for Loki quite a bit in this movie - (I did in Thor too actually) - you could see he was struggling with everything in the movie, hated being under the control of the alien dudes, and still angry at his brother in a way that he didn't think he could come back from. Yeah, I love Loki.

I have never seen any of the Alien movies.
elfscribe5 at 2012-07-14 04:40 (UTC) (Link)
Hi Dodger,
sorry about the late reply. I recently saw Thor and really liked it. I'm surprised that so many people have panned it. I especially liked that Loki was a complicated villain with real reasons -- the desire for his father's approval -- for doing what he did.

imho, the second Alien movie, Aliens, was the best one. The ones after that, not so much.
dodger_sister at 2012-07-14 20:41 (UTC) (Link)
Never worry about the late reply - I am like a month behind on my Flist at all times. :)

I could totally relate to Loki in the Thor movie - daddy issues, yes. ;) I always love when the villian is not just portrayed as pure evil as a justification for his actions. The more layers he has, the better I think the conflict is. It is why I am such a fan of Magneto in the X-Men universe. I thought they did a really good job with the brotherly relationship between Thor and Loki in both movies as well.

The BFF and I are talking about doing an Alien/Aliens marathon as neither of us have seen them.
mithrial at 2012-10-07 19:12 (UTC) (Link)
I think I've seen most of the Alien Movies, and Prometheus might have been a step too far. But I think the new girl and the android were the only characters to count. I guess they're edging for yet another follow up.

Not seen the Hunger Games - will seek it out.

I felt the same way as you about the Avengers. It had enough fun dialogue to keep it going, and after all - it's from a comic strip. Yep Thor and Loki had chemistry. I guess there'll be some slash around on LJ. The art pic you posted of Loki is amazing.

Thranduil - bring him on. He looks hot. ;D
elfscribe5 at 2012-10-08 03:52 (UTC) (Link)
Hello ardisia. Welcome to my LJ. I friended you back. I loved the Avengers and briefly did some dabbling around looking for Loki/Thor. There's some good artwork out there about it. I'm sure the new Thranduil in the Hobbit will inspire a lot more slashy fics than um are already abundantly out there.
mithrial at 2012-10-08 13:47 (UTC) (Link)
Looking forward to fun with it all. :)
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