Saturday, June 21, 2008

You'll Like Him When He's . . . Hungry.

So I went to three movies today. I paid for the first one and then went to the next two gratis. This took some planning and some fortune. The planning was making sure the timing was right on the different showings; the fortune was that all the screens were in the same part of the theatre.

First up, The Incredible Hulk. Ebert liked it but thought there wasn't enough character development with Bruce Banner, like there was with The Hulk, and too much "smashing" (The TV character is David Banner because they thought "Bruce Banner" sounded too gay.). I disagree with Ebert. I must admit I've not seen the Hulk from Ang Lee starring Eric Bana in its entirety, but I think I like the new one better. Edward Norton does a fine job when he's on the screen conveying his struggle with the power inside him. Plus there is plenty of smashing, which is executed nicely with their special effects team. It doesn't hurt that Marvel Studios is laying the groundwork for a movie that has all their recent superheroes like Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk. Tony Stark made an appearance in this film, and a newspaper clip opening montage that covered the origins of the Hulk included Nick Fury who makes an appearance at the end of Iron Man.

Penultimate, Get Smart. It was good. At 110 minutes it might have been a bit long, but it was good, and the casting was all very good. Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Alan Arkin, and Dwayne Johnson all did a fine job. I've never seen an episode of the original show, but I've heard they (Mel Brooks and Buck Henry) were going for a cross between Inspector Clouseau and James Bond. I haven't seen any Clouseau movies either, but I think Carell might have been not blundery enough. He seems to have plenty of heart and competence, just some occasional clumsiness or ineptness. But I don't mind, I like it, and the movie worked for me.

Finally, Kung Fu Panda. Jack Black as a kung fu fighting panda. What more could one really want. I do know that the movie wanted for nothing. It was well animated, voiced, and scripted. I particularly appreciate that it was able to be contemporary without any pop culture references. And while Jack Black was the lead, it wasn't an animated Jack Black, just a panda voiced by him. It is tricky sometimes to find the balance twixt using an actor's persona and not just the actor.



At June 21, 2008 10:26 PM, Blogger CëRïSë said...

I actually do want to see those last two, although I'll probably wait until they hit the cheap seats. I'm not so sure about Hulk, though.

At June 21, 2008 10:40 PM, Blogger Ellen said...

I love Inspector Clouseau.

At June 21, 2008 10:43 PM, Blogger Wishydig said...

I was a big fan of the show. It's among the first series that I remember watching regularly as a kid. I loved the Cone of Silence. If it doesn't make it into the movie I'll be disappointed. Also the lines "...and loving it," "Would you believe ___?" and of course "Missed it by that much."

I'm curious about the movie. But I'll probably wait for it. Unless Buffy wants to go for her birthday. She has a crush on Carell.

At June 22, 2008 12:54 AM, Blogger David said...

I too saw the new Hulk movie today. I never saw the first Hulk movie because I heard it was incredibly lame. I had heard this one was better. I wasn't too impressed.

One thing that really pissed me off about this movie was Liv Tyler. I've always thought she was incredibly hot... until this movie. It ruined her for me. Her character annoyed the heck out of me.

Glad to hear Kung Fu Panda is good. I've been wanting to see that.

At June 23, 2008 6:57 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Michael, according to the local review I read of GS, they still have all the catch phrases, and good work is done with the Cone of Silence.

David, I agree with you about Liv Tyler. She seems to have plumped her already full lips, and she's not much of an actress, but didn't deliver enough looks to compensate.


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