Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Comprehensive Movie Reviews

Man...one of the most advantageous things a filmmaker can do for his/her film is decide what kind of film it should be. Had writer-director Greg Mottola gone with just one of the dozen movies puttering around in this hackneyed retread, it'd correct a serious lack of connective tissue. We can't be all things to all people. It wants to be a filthy sex romp a la Superbad. It wants to be a sappy/angsty romance a la Garden State. It wants to be make a profane yet profound(?) statement about the world of amusement park employment, the same way some people think Waiting... unmasked the seedy server culture. And there's a bit of The Graduate thrown in there too, because when you're being a total hack, why not reach for the stars? I may have listed some interesting titles, but don't be mistaken. Adventureland certainly doesn't combine the best elements of these films, and what it does combine doesn't really come together. I think the publicity team behind Kristen Stewart wants us to think she's this angsty, alternative queen of the weird. But in films and interviews, she just comes off as entitled and an asshole. And she seems stupid, which means she probably really have the right to be either. Jesse Eisenberg isn't nearly as cute as Michael Cera, and I don't think Michael Cera is that cute. Ryan Reynolds, on the other hand, is every bit as cute and charming as he thinks he is and can kind of do no wrong. Seriously, does Hollywood not see that Reynolds is capable of much more than the projects he typically participates in? Oh, and Bill Hader is awesome (though it's not as if he needed to participate in this film to make that known).
Grade: C

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

What an absolute waste of time. More obnoxious were the fanboys and their exasperation with this movie. The same people who complained about how much the first three X-Men movies sucked were shocked and offended when this one (wait for it...) sucked. It's amazing how people get selective amnesia about these things, and all it takes is a flashy trailer with a helicopter. It bears repeating: What an absolute waste of time. Except Ryan Reynolds. It bears repeating: He can do no wrong.
Grade: D

Star Trek
Surprisingly enjoyable, which is saying a lot for me as I have little or no connection to the franchise. The cast are all positively inspired choices and it's not overlong (which is usually the case for films of this genre). The movie is smart because (unlike the Wolverine movie) it seems to start from the premise of "Okay...everyone knows we don't need another Star Trek movie. What can we do to get around that?" Very smart. It's tongue-in-cheek when it needs to be, with well choreographed action-scenes and a tight script. As far as loud, summer fare goes, one could do a lot worse.
Grade: B

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