Sunday, August 3, 2008

Batman and Joker, Mulder and Scully, Meryl and Pierce, Hellboy and that Fire Chick

Been away awhile again! Lots of excitement! I got fired from the job I bitched about all the time. What a relief. Well, at least for me. My creditors aren't so thrilled, but they'll get over it eventually. Like when I give them some money, which will probably happen one of these days.

In the meantime, though, I can catch up on my movie blogging! And, by the way, anyone out there looking for a full-time movie critic (someone whom you would actually pay)?

Anyway, on with the show. Hellboy II was great fun. Ron Perlman is perfect in the role of Hellboy (all that Beast training I guess). Guillermo del Toro obviously has a knack for making movies with a lot of non-human characters! The action is fast-paced, the dialogue is quick and smart, the humor is sharp and clever. Not an award-winner but definitely a good time worth the price of admission--even if you go at night instead of to a matinee!

What can I say about The Dark Knight that hasn't already been said? It was a three-hour thrillride and if it hadn't been for the fact that I REALLY had to go to the bathroom (damn sodas again), I would never even have looked at my watch. It was one of those movies that you just don't want to end. As I'm sure you already heard, and probably seen for yourself, Heath Ledger's Joker is amazing. As I mentioned in a comment on a previous post, Ledger's performance is breathtaking. Ledger didn't play the Joker; he was the Joker. But it wasn't just his performance that makes this movie so amazing that it's breaking all the records--everything about the movie is good. It's like a perfect storm of writing, acting, directing, filming, editing, timing, etc. While Ledger is in a class by himself, the other performers were nothing to sneeze at (what a weird cliche--anyone know the origin of that one?). Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Maggie Gyllenhall, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman--Wow. Most of these actors are on my "favorites" list. (Especially Gary Oldman--this guy is brilliant in his own right, although it's not that obvious in this movie. I've been a big fan for a long time, and I believe he was destined to be one of the truly great leading men, but I think a substance abuse problem got in the way somewhere along the road, and he doesn't seem to have ever regained his earlier momentum. He's still a brilliant character actor, though, and if Robert Downey, Jr. can make a leading man comeback (and WHAT a comeback), Gary can too! I'm pulling for you, man! Oh, and I'm single and looking. Oops, I digress, again.) Most of you have seen the movie, but for those of you who haven't, I won't say anything about plot details. I will just say GO SEE IT. I'm planning to go again. And maybe again after that.

And then there was Mamma Mia. Not being an ABBA fan, I wasn't all that open-minded about this show. I didn't even go see the road show when it came through Memphis, and I'll usually make an effort to see the big ones, or I'll at least bitch interminably because I can't afford to go. But when the movie was cast with Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Colin Firth, I was committed (not that I have anything against Stellan Skaarsgard; I just haven't seen enough of him to get excited about his name on a movie poster). It was actually a lot of fun. I think the actors were obviously cast for their name recognition rather than their singing and dancing talents (and it worked--it got me there), but the movie was delightful for me nonetheless. I left the theater with a smile on my face. I actually sang ABBA songs (shudder) in my head for a few days afterward. Fortunately for my friends, family and all innocent bystanders, I didn't sing them out loud, just in my head. If you haven't been yet and you're planning to go, be sure to stick around during the credits to see the men dancing in rhinestones and platform shoes--it's like a very entertaining floorshow in a very silly gay club.

Before I say anything further about The X-Files: I Want to Believe, let me point out that I'm a diehard fan from the early days right through Robert Patrick. Just seeing Mulder and Scully in the same bed and making out and stuff would have been enough for me. But the story is actually suspenseful, and it kept my interest and the interest of the people I went with, at least one of whom was decidedly NOT a diehard fan. I think she barely knew who Mulder and Scully were (inconceivable, and I DO know what the word means). But she liked the movie, too. The other person I went with was a diehard fan like myself, and she was disappointed that the movie did not include much, if any, of the "mythology" (fans know what I'm talking about). I had read enough about the movie to know that the mythology wasn't going to be there, so I was prepared. I think the stand alone storyline was a good thing. It's been a long time since the series left us. Even my diehard friend had forgotten about Mulder's and Scully's child. So a less diehard audience would have been lost with anything but a stand alone. I was entertained, and I got enough of Mulder, Scully (and even Skinner) to feel as if I'd had a sufficient fix. The movie is not for the squeamish, though. It contains some body-hacking and dismembered limbs and unattached heads and such.

So, there's my update. If anyone has any paying work for me out there, by all means, leave me a comment! Especially if you're looking for "snarky movie reviews" as one blogger friend of mine describes my blog. Oh, yeah, and Terminator: Salvation!!! Omigod! Next summer. I'm such a dork.