Adventures in Marvel Movie-going

I have never been a comics fan. First and foremost, I find the the physical act of reading them really difficult. I suspect they’re too visually busy for me, causing me to get distracted easily and have problems following the narrative thread, but I’m not really sure, as I don’t have the same problem with newspaper-style comics, even the more visually experimental ones like the later Calvin & Hobbes strips. On top of that, I haven’t been overly impressed with the writing of most comics I’ve attempted (which is, to be fair, not many, thanks to the aforementioned problem reading them). To me, they read like something halfway between a novel and a film, but with neither the depth of a novel or the immersiveness of a film. (Sorry, fans, I’ll turn in my geek card now.) On top of that, I don’t like the typical plots of traditional comics – superheroes gifted their powers by some bizarre accident involving radiation (or whatever) are inherently less interesting to me than someone who’s developed their natural abilities to the highest level via hard work and dedication. And supervillains with grandiose plans to destroy the world are even worse. So yeah, nothing against those of you who do like them, but comics so far have just not been for me.

Comic book movies haven’t been that much better, in general. Spider-man and Spider-man 2: yawn. Batman Begins: yawn. The Dark Knight: better, but only when Heath Ledger was onscreen. The Dark Knight Rises: on my list to watch someday on account of Tom Hardy, but not very high on my list. Supermannever watched in any form, unless you count this Smallville humor vid. X-men: on my list to try, but again, not exactly high on the list.

Marvel’s recent oeuvre, on the other hand, has started to pique my interest a bit more. It’s managed to produce not one, but two entire movies based on comic books that I really liked. I’m not sure how long this will continue, considering that the contracts on its biggest stars are running out, but for now, I’m enjoying it.

My adventures in Marvel movie-going, so far:

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Center Stage Movie Review



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Review:

Okay, this is not a good movie. Let me just state that right up front. The plot is cliched, the characters are stereotypical, the dialogue is sometimes cringe-worthy, and the acting is competent at best. However, it does have some great dancing, including ballet, Latin, modern, and jazz, and that makes it worth watching for anyone who loves dance. 2 stars for the movie itself, but a bonus half for the dancing.

My rating: (2.5 / 5)

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Star Trek (2009) Movie Review

Review:



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I wouldn’t describe myself as a Trekkie, but I do enjoy Star Trek, and like many fans more dedicated than myself, I have somewhat mixed feelings about this film.

On the one hand, it’s a lot of fun and I thought they did an excellent job with casting. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, and the rest all did a great job bringing a fresh energy to their characters without sacrificing familiarity.

On the other hand, it’s very flashy and pretty to look at without having much underneath. Large chunks of the plot and worldbuilding for the reboot are blatantly, almost insultingly, ridiculous.

In short, it’s a fun movie to curl up with on a rainy afternoon, but I hope in future that the reboot films will be taken over by someone with more respect for the soul of the original Trek. Meanwhile, the best thing about the reboot universe is the top-notch fanfiction it’s inspired.

A couple personal favorites:

Yeah, I like Uhura.

My rating: (3.5 / 5)

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