Sunday, October 21, 2012
Quick Reviews (Catching Up Again)
"House at the End of the Street" started out slowly but I ended up enjoying it more than expected, especially since it didn't involve a supernatural murderer-come-back-to-life the way it seemed (at least to me, from the little I heard of it going in). And the revelation at the end was a surprise. My grade: B-minus.
I wasn't totally enthralled with "Looper." As much as I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt, I didn't like how they used some prosthetic nose getup to make him look like Bruce Willis. Like "Men in Black III," the time-travel machinations didn't make sense, and even though a meta commentary by Willis' character essentially told the audience that we shouldn't worry about time-travel continuity making sense, I can't go for that (no can do). A certain amount of logic is required. My grade: B.
"Hotel Transylvania" presents Adam Sandler as an animated Dracula. The idea of a hotel that caters exclusively to monsters and keeps them from contact with humans was sort of clever, but it wasn't what it could be, and, I repeat, Adam Sandler as Dracula. My grade: C-minus.
"Frankenweenie" is from Tim Burton, and after his disappointing "Alice in Wonderland" and "Dark Shadows," for me this was a return to form but, oddly enough, it strikes me as slightly dull compared to the recent non-Burton film "ParaNorman." Maybe Burton should have made something other than a black-and-white stop-motion film. My grade: B-plus.
"Taken 2" is apparently similar to "The Hangover 2" because it's basically the same as the original: here, Liam Neeson's family is threatened and he kicks ass and kills lots of bad guys. (I say "apparently" because having seen the original "Hangover" there was no way in hell I'd see the sequel.) But only minor changes in setting and plot aren't enough. I know sequels are a tricky thing, because you want to keep what made the first one work, but you also have to add new elements, and "Taken 2" didn't. My grade: C-plus.
I have two more, which I just saw in the last two days, but I'm holding them for a separate post or two. Hint: one was really great, and the other...much less so.