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Showing posts from November, 2013

This is so unlike you, brother. So... clandestine. Are you sure you wouldn't rather punch your way out?

Thor: The Dark World (2013)
(SPOILERS) Thor came in for a few brickbats from devout Marvelites, most of whom seem much happier with this grunged-up sequel. I enjoyed both movies, but I have a feeling (not being particularly au fait with the comic book character) that this one might be the best the studio can come up with in making a success of a not-particularly-interesting character with a not-particularly-interesting backstory and a not-particularly-interesting setting. In theory, Thor should be very different; the Norse legends lend themselves to myth and murk and majesty and mystery, but there’s very little of that in this Marvelised incarnation.

Maybe it was just the compromised take on the source material that fans weren’t on board with in the first Thor. Marvel (understandably, although perhaps they should have been less concerned in the wake of the success of Lord of the Rings) thought Thor would be a tough sell to even superhero-prone audiences; A Norse god living on an alien wo…

Thou naughty varlet!

Much Ado About Nothing (2012)
I’m beginning to think Joss Whedon’s lustre is wearing off, just as he’s attained the popularity he has always yearned. I though Avengers was great enough, like everyone else, but where once I revelled in his snappy self-aware dialogue I’m now more likely to wince at the stark truth that every one of his characters sounds the same. Much Ado fortunately doesn’t have that problem, since it’s adapted from the Bard, but I suspect the ever-falsely-modest one was tempted to “punch-up“ some of Shakey’s lesser dialogue.

I say suspect, as I could only tolerate a minute of Joss’ smug commentary before switching it off. I think it was around the time of Dollhouse that I started to get wise to his limitations; he’d already come up short with the last couple of seasons of Buffy, but the final year of Angel (which he unceremoniously took the reins of) might be my favourite of anything he’s done. And I was there urging him on to success during the wilderness period where h…

I’m not a kangaroo, mate.

Rise of the Guardians (2012)
I held a slim hope that this DreamWorks effort, a relative misfire at the box office, might diverge from their cookie cutter animation formula. I suppose it is less “laugh-a-minute” than usual, which is no bad thing when audiences are expected to lap up a Kung Fu Panda 2 that is impossible to differentiate from the original. But first time helmer Peter Ramsey has nothing to fill that hole; the hook of Rise of the Guardians is all there is to it. Once you’ve seen the poster’s character line-up you don’t actually need to see the movie. Most likely a much better version will have already played out in your head.

Guillermo Del Toro is on-board as DreamWorks animation’s executive producer these days, presumably in charge of making it a-little-bit-but-not-too scary and injecting a-little-bit-but-not-too-much atmosphere. You’d certainly be hard-pressed to divine his sensibility at work (God knows what he claims his contribution to Turbo was). This is the blandest ve…