02 August 2012

Movie Prowlin: July 2012

Doing these month-by-month reports on what one has watched seems to have quickly become a 'thing', and by golly, this Minnesota blogger will not be the odd man out of writing a 'thing'! Thus, instead of doing four volumes a year, I'm making this monthly, with some comments (because all the cool kids are doing it) and humorous asides, and pictures! Before going on, I must apologize - July has been superhero month, and anyone who knows me even the slightest know I love me my superheroes, so, um, there's a lot of Spider-Man and Batman this month. Rewatched. Frequently. August should be more diverse. Enjoy!

Andy's Watch List: July 2012
90. The Amazing Spider-Man - Initial thoughts: Wow, that was worth it. Not the 3D, but the remakingness. Well worth the time and energy, and I frankly am not super looking forward to a sequel!
91. The Amazing Spider-Man - Again, thought it was great. Andrew Garfield is Peter Parker.
92. Top Gun - Movie theater had a Classics Night, and this was my first time seeing this Tom Cruise vehicle, which, for the most part, was pretty enjoyable. However, confession: whenever it was flight time, I became terribly lost at who was who, and completely lost during the climax with some bad guy jets, where I gave up figuring out the good guys from the bad guys. Still, enjoyable flick.
93. Snow White and the Huntsman - Charlize Theron still owns this movie, but I found myself less impressed with a second screening. But gee, the digital work on the elves continues to make me giddy at how well it was done.
94. The Amazing Spider-Man - Double feature with the above movie accompanied by a friend, who, to my happiness, liked Amazing Spider-Man more. What can I say? Director Webb and the screenwriters know how to build character, and those first forty minutes are superb.
95. The Dictator - Stupid, like really, really stupid, but I hate to say this, I actually enjoyed myself and laughed here and there. But if you ain't a fan of Sasha Baron Cohen, this isn't for you. At all.
96. Moonrise Kingdom - A miracle has happened: the second Wes Anderson movie I liked, the first in live action! A sweet blossoming love story with two great young leads, and a style that didn't pull me out of the film like I feared.

97. Batman -Still strongly, strongly dislike Jack Nicholson. Still feel there are problems with the movie. Still not my favorite. But I favored it more now than ever before. So, progress (?).
98. Batman Returns - When folks complain this movie is too dark, I think they refer to the lighting, because there is barely any light in this flick whatsoever. Oh, Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne's chemistry was pretty good. Otherwise, meh.
99. Batman Forever - Go ahead and hate me for saying this, but of the older movie productions, this one is my favorite. It's just so...fun!
100. Batman & Robin -If one looks at this as a big budget homage to the 60's Adam West series, than this movie is Batman gold. But that's only if you taint the film in a specific way. By all other avenues, this is a piece of trash, and I was hoping I wouldn't feel nothing but disdain towards it when I rewatched this '97 disaster, that perhaps I would find some value in its content. Nope.
 101. Batman Begins - Still what I consider the best of The Dark Knight Trilogy. Had to watch this and...
102. The Dark Knight - ...this before heading out to see....
103. The Dark Knight Rises - Initial viewing: disappointment and satisfaction. Weird night.
104. The Dark Knight Rises - Still has problems, but y'know what? Worthy ending to Nolan's vision.
105. The Dark Knight Rises - Back-to-back screening, nothing new gained.
106. The Dark Knight Rises - Now that's more like it. Fourth time's a charm. Official stance: really good conclusion, but still boasts noticeable problems that drive me a bit bat-y.

107. Ted - Still as funny as the first time
108. The Watch - Baffling, really, how little I laughed and liked this garbage. This group of comedians facing off against alien invaders sounds, to me, like comedy gold. Instead, it's reduced to dick and sperm jokes. If you're going to do that, give this material to Kevin Smith who can infuse some damn heart and coherency to your story. This is what not to do, folks. .. ... ... still, those aliens did look pretty cool.
109. King Kong vs. Godzilla - [American Version] Preparing myself for a month of monster movies, this film is both absolutely hilarious and absolutely fantastic fun. Anyone not seen this flick needs to remedy that pronto.
110. The Raid – Redemption - As amazing as everyone has said, this flick has some of the most extreme, original fight scenes I have ever seen, I was glued from start to finish. Can't recommend this enough. Amazing.
111. Abduction - Wow, this was bad. Taylor Lautner, please don't pursue acting after your tenure as Jacob concludes. Please.
112. God Bless America - America is shit, and one old guy who thinks he's dying decides to buy a gun and take out his aggression towards the people who make America a piece of shit. Had potential to be something truly phenomenal, but it doesn't push itself as far as it should, and the overall film isn't as deep as it should be. Missed potential, but for the overall product, not bad.
113. Jeff Who Lives at Home - Just when I was feeling that Jason Segel was starting to repeat himself and not really offer audiences anything new, he springs this on us. Fantastic work by Segel as Jeff, a dude who sees signs around him and seizes control of his life, the movie has one great performance after another, and these characters are so richly realized I didn't want the flick to end.
114. Johnny English Reborn - Was hoping for something funny and enjoyable, instead I was left with a movie that made me embarrassed for everyone involved and for all the folks that saw it and liked it.

M O V I E        O F        T H E      M  O  N  T  H
Yeah, like this was much of a surprise. When the title card hit the screen at the climax of The Dark Knight (2008) as Batman takes the fall for the crimes of Harvey Dent, right that second, that's when my anticipation for what would become The Dark Knight Rises began. And then the title was announced. And then the villain. And slowly plot details. And then pictures. And trailers! Lots and lots of trailers! Frankly, I'm not sure if my own future wedding will have me as excited as this event motion picture did. Ultimately, even after four viewings, I still don't quite know what to make of it. My expectations were met in some areas, and were not met in others, areas that I thought were critical to the trilogy narrative (e.g., Bruce and his arc in relation to Gotham's arc). But this is what we have. And although I'm less than over the moon with The Dark Knight Rises, I still cherish the damn film. I will always remember the anticipation, the pre-release buzz and hype and viral marketing and hours upon hours of podcasts I listened to debating what exactly was going down in Nolan's final Batman movie.

This may be blasphemous to say, but Christopher Nolan did present to this generation the Ultimate Trilogy. There's the original Star Wars movies, or The Lord of the Rings trilogy, or The Godfather trilogy, but this Dark Knight Trilogy, three consecutive movies of sheer, utter brilliance - it's one hell of an accomplishment, and I'm glad to have been a part of it. So in conclusion, no, I'm not in love with The Dark Knight Rises, but there's no way on this planet 2012 will be remembered as anything less than The Year of Batman.

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