In the last 4 weeks, Bob and I have seen three movies. Or as he likes to call it, I dragged him to see a bunch of movies he didn't want to see in the first place!
Thor * * * *
This was a darn good movie. I'm not a fan of comic books in general, so I know nothing about how Thor fits into the Avengers or whatever, 'cause I've just never been exposed. So coming in from the outside, this movie was done very well in my opinion. The beginning narrative takes a few minutes to explain the Asgardians(?) and their war with the Frost Giants on Earth which eventually, over time, faded into human myth. The scenes that take place in Asgard were amazing and stunningly beautiful. The story is rather fast paced, and a lot happens, and sometimes it's not always clear why at first, but before the end of the movie everything ties together.
It was fun to see the SHIELD tie-in (from Iron Man), Natalie Portman was great, and while Chris Hemsworth (Thor himself) wasn't shirtless nearly often enough, I thought he did a great job in the part. I also thought the Rainbow Bridge, Frost weapons, and other "magical" elements of the story were rather cleverly concealed as highly advanced science, while still leaving an element of "magic" to the story, thus making you feel that people of Asgard are people, and not necessarily "gods." Tons of fun!
Priest * * * *
I somehow managed to get Bob into the theater without him remembering that this was a vampire movie until it was too late! Muahahaha - score for me! Fortunately, Priest is not your typical vampire story - it's kind of a post-apocalyptic vampire western, if that makes any sense. The vampires are a product of evolution, and they are most definitely NOT human, cultured, seductive, or sparkly. They ARE mutated, slimy, gross, disgusting, and creepy! Humanity has been fighting against the vampire hives for a very long time, and while they finally won the war, they nearly ruined the earth in the process. The few remaining vampires have been contained in heavily fortified "reservations" and most humans huddle in massive cities controlled and protected by "the church." The priests of the church are the ones who finally won the war for humanity, but integrating back into society after being a warrior hasn't been easy for them.
There's lots of parallels to be seen, and some not-so-subtle commentary on some current and past American events, but once the story takes off it takes off fast, in a grab-you-by-the-jugular-and-don't-let-go sort of way. It's loads of fun, some scares and thrills, great action and fight scenes (I love Maggie Q!!!) all racing faster than a massive speeding train full of hungry blood-suckers!!
My only problem with the movie was the ending. Specifically that it didn't. End, that is. Turns out the whole movie is a setup for the NEXT movie, but if they don't ever make that sequel, then we won't have anything anywhere near a satisfying ending. All we know is that the survivors agree to meet at a rendezvous point, and then the credits roll. However, it's still a good movie and it's still totally worth seeing!!
I loved it - and even Bob admitted that it was pretty good, which was a pleasant surprise for him!
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides * * * * *
You've seen the previews, the trailers, the commercials. So you know that this one is about the search for the Fountain of Youth. There's been a lot of talk around the 'net about how the franchise has fallen into a rut, character are doing things that don't make sense, blah blah yada blah. Bottom line? If you like Johnny Depp, pirates in general, previous Pirates of the Caribbean movies, or sword fighting - then you will probably like On Stranger Tides. Yes, there is some stuff that doesn't always make sense. Yes, there are some loose ends. Yes, Captain Jack Sparrow is still the same. Yes, some really improbably stuff happens.
But ultimately none of that matters. Why? Because it is a Pirates Movie - 'nuff said!!!
One thing that I really liked was the scene where Jack was taken to see King George; Jack wanders around touching & sniffing everything, seemingly randomly. But watch the scene closely, and you'll see that Captain Jack has a method to his madness - he's not just wandering around the room in a drunken haze. He's carefully and cleverly plotting his escape!! This scene added a layer of subtle cleverness to the character that I knew had to be in there somewhere, but that hadn't really been showcased in this way before.
Penelope Cruz shines as Angelica, Blackbeard's daughter (or is she?), and the ending scene with her and Jack brought us back to a very familiar place. I sense that we haven't seen the last of Angelica...
I personally loved the movie, as it was everything I expected and wanted from a fourquel - it was fun, it was sword fighting, it was pirates! ARRRRRGH!!!
Movies that I'm looking forward to this summer (June & July) include:
X-Men: First Class
The Green Lantern
Mr. Popper's Penguins (I love Penguins!!!)
Bad Teacher (might wait for the DVD)
Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Captain America: The First Avenger
Cowboys & Aliens - (OMG!!! Looks. So. Awesome).
Have you seen Thor, On Stranger Tides, or Priest? I'd love to hear what you thought of them if you did!! Also - what movies are you looking forward to seeing in the next few weeks? As always, my Little Addicts, let me know in the comments!!