Sunday, December 9, 2012

Three Movie Reviews

1: Men In Black 3

I thought it was better than Hugo, but I can see why not many other people liked it. I thought the story line was pretty good, and they had some excellent acting by Jermaine Clement as the bad guy and Michael Stahlburg as Griffin (whose character endearingly reminded me of Mork of Mork and Mindy fame).  I will say that while they don't shy away from the use of goo and slime in this movie franchise, this film was significantly lacking in bathroom humor compared to the first two.

2: The Amazing Spiderman

Definitely one of the best films I've seen in a while. Even though Andrew Garfield is my age, I found him completely believable as an awkward 17-year-old boy. There is so much I liked about this film. I know it has been criticized for telling close to the same story as Toby McGuire's Spiderman, I found it to be superior in every way. The characterizations were more complete. As a viewer, you gain a greater understanding as to why Peter Parker loves Aunt May and Uncle Ben. Peter's relationship with Gwen makes a lot more sense than his relationship with Mary Jane ever did. In all the previous films, Peter desires a relationship with Mary Jane and we hope Peter succeeds in this endeavor, but only because the filmmakers tell us that we should, and not because Mary Jane is nice or smart or even interesting. Gwen and Peter have a meeting of the minds - this Peter Parker is more obviously intellectual, and is attracted to an intellectual girl. I see it as a great cultural victory for Nerd Girls everywhere.

3: The Dark Knight Rises

My first thought I had when I saw this movie, and this may be controversial to say in public, was along the lines of, "if you're going to pick a movie during which to unleash a brutal mass murder, this one is a good choice." Even by my standards, this is an especially violent movie.And it's kind of all over the place and a little weird. There's a plot twist at the end that I did not at all see coming, but that wasn't enough to keep my favorite part of the movie from being ending.

A significant portion of the movie is devoted to a hypothetical essay about what would happen were our social structure to completely break down. I found it representative of our cultural shift from an outward-looking society (spending money on space exploration and moon landings in the 1960s, resulting in many, many cheesy sci-fi movies) to an inward-looking one. The films of our era focus not on the glories of outside exploration, but on the tragedies and neurotic anxiety of loosing what we already have due to any number of disasters. Examples include (and these are in no particular order): 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, Twister, Volcano, The Core, Dante's Peak, and others. It's probably not an accident that our government spends so much on Medicare and the TSA and so (comparatively) little on NASA these days.

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