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Mini Movie Reviews - 2011 May to August
Captain America: The First Avenger
Captain America: The First Avenger - Don't get misled by the name. It's a good 'comic book movie' that has an idealistic underdog and that good old 'craggy, irritated by everything else' face and acting of Tommy Lee Jones. He was already famous for it and he seems to have perfected it by now. The main character is just an average nobody, though idealistic, played by Chris Evans and he certainly looks like a young man who is confused by all of his new found super powers and he doesn't know what the hell he is supposed to do with them. It is like an old school type of movie with elements taken from action, adventure and war movies and it also reminds you of the times when idealistic heroes were still there in the movies. It has a quiet, decent, idealistic hero on whom a lot of gifts are bestowed upon and he tries to do something good with it but then he quickly realizes that this is a big game in which he is playing. It is in the grand operatic style of all the old comic books that we used to enjoy reading where good and evil were clearly defined and they both had big organisations behind them and they would fight like soldiers to the end and so, the grand old story of Good vs. Evil returns to your movie screen. Plus Hydra, the biggest evil organisation in the marvel universe, makes it appearance on a movie screen for the first time and you will also get to see Howard Stark who is also one of the founding fathers of S.H.I.E.L.D and the father of Tony Stark aka Iron Man help Steve Rogers with his suit. You can consider this as a prelude to next year's The Avengers as well, as the Tesseract aka the Cosmic Cube that the Red Skull played by Hugo Weaving is after, will come into much prominence later as it will play an important role in the storyline of The Avengers. Final Verdict - The only problem with the movie is that it finishes abruptly. Other than that, it is good for a watch as it is in the old tradition of Good vs. Evil. Yup, this one is both an old school movie and also a good comic book movie. So Marvel Films has just cleared the final hurdle successfully and now it is looking forward to the conclusion of phase 1 with the release of The Avengers next year. P.S. If you wait till the end of the credits, you can see the first teaser for the forthcoming The Avengers. Some Assembly Required? Avengers Assemble!!!
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 - So finally the last part of the long series arrives. After seeing HP8 (or maybe it is 7 & 2/2, I don't know!) the main thing I realized is that when the first one released, I was studying and when the last one releases, I am still studying! It is an enjoyable movie made by the director David Yates and it has a good score by Alexandre Desplat and the music has some dark and beautiful themes in it. Hogwarts becomes an apocalyptic battleground and in between its ruins, a final fight to decide the fate of the wizarding world takes place between the forces of Harry Potter and the army of Voldemort and finally the long Harry Potter series comes to an end after 10 years on the screen. It is no surprise that after years of investment in this movie series based on the novels written by J.K. Rowling, all the kids around me were going crazy at everything and anything that was happening on the screen. It is like they saved the best for the last and Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, Luna and all the others get one last hurrah on the screen. All the characters played by Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman and so on manage to make an impression on the screen despite having a very large number of actors behind them. Final Verdict - It brings all the threads of the story to an end and it is definitely one of the best and most memorable events in recent history. So keep good expectations and then go. At the end, the real question is - whose story was it really? Did the story belong to Harry, Voldemort or Snape? The answer is there in the first shot of the movie itself. After all this time, Snape, always... There's no doubt that this one is gonna make a lot of money because this is, in 3 words - A Blockbuster Event! You know where everybody is gonna be this weekend - in the nearest theater, watching this movie!
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - This movie is... DA BOMB!!! Finally the villains become villains and the heroes become heroes and this is easily the biggest and the best of the series. Finally Optimus Prime shows why he is the leader of the Autobots and there is a 10 minutes 'transformer on the moon' sequence at the beginning that is the high point of the movie. After the crap that was Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, finally they have something to show for the series and it is THE summer action blockbuster of the year. Besides, it's always good to see the hero look at his enemies and then say "WE, WILL, KILL THEM ALL!!!". An all out war happens between the Autobots and the Decepticons with the future of Cybertron in the balance and it all happens right here on Earth and Sentinel Prime voiced by Leonard Nimoy is the pivotal part in the movie. The characters of Sam Witwicky played by Shia LaBeouf and his girlfriend Carly played by Rosie Huntington-Whiteley also get involved in all the action but the main focus is given to the fight between the two opposing sides of Transformers. Megatron voiced by Hugo Weaving returns and so does Starscream. Shockwave also makes his appearance in the movie along with his pet Driller and he is voiced by Frank Welker. Final Verdict - Michael Bay's movies are always kinda low on the intelligence scale but they all have good visual ideas and this one has an aggressive style of cutting and with that, they prove that 3D can be used even in modern, fast moving action pictures also. Not that it's required but anyway... And more importantly, this one focuses on the action side of things and so Optimus voiced by Peter Cullen as always, gets something to do as the leader of the Autobots. As far as story finesse goes, it doesn't touch Transformers 1 but due to its heavy action, this movie is gonna be a success.
X-Men: First Class
X-Men: First Class - If you take the movie just as it is then ya this movie is enjoyable, fun and overall it is a good time pass movie. It closely follows the history of the X-Men comics and tries to create a new continuity for the X-Men series. But that is going to confuse the fans of the earlier movies as plot points have changed the background of some of the characters and events. But still, if you are already used to seeing characters from the comics get a chance to come alive on the screen then you might like it as a movie for time pass. It's like they went for a smaller, closer look at the characters and stories of the past of some of the characters like Professor X, Magneto and so on that we have already seen on the screen anyway but still, if that's what you want to see then that's what you are going to get. Though it has James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Bacon, January Jones and so on, it really makes you wish they had made the story stronger or that it had something spectacular to make it different from the other movies and so it really doesn't aim to be much more than a time pass venture. Final Verdict - It's not that great and there isn't anything memorable in it but still, It's enough for a weekend time-filler. If you have got nothing better to do then yes, you can go for it as a weekend distraction. P.S. Wolverine, once again played by Hugh Jackman, is there for just 5 seconds and utters just 1 line and that got the loudest response from the crowd. So that's not a good sign for the quality of the entire movie but still it's enough for some time pass. I guess in a few years after X-Men: First Class, we will get to see the next sequel, X-Men: Economy Class!
Kung Fu Panda 2
Kung Fu Panda 2 - This is one of those 'bigger but not really better' sequels. The characters get more backstory and there are a lot of things that happen on the screen but it is more of a high energy sequel that just focuses on the action side over everything else and hence, even though there is a new villain and more of a backstory for Po who is voiced by Jack Black once again, we don't really care that much because the charm, the awesomeness and the mix of the styles from the old Kung Fu films that made Kung Fu Panda 1 such a fun, original movie to watch is not there in the movie this time. Plus, there isn't any sequence that resembles Samurai Jack and worst of all, the 3D is horrifyingly bad and whoever thought of putting dark 3D on a movie that has a lot of dark red and black colours should be fired and even Jean Claude Van Damme, who plays a small role in the movie doesn't get any memorable lines and just like the furious five, is just totally wasted in the movie. Master Shifu and Tigress, played by Dustin Hoffman and Angelina Jolie respectively, do get some scenes but that also doesn't add much to the movie. Final Verdict - Perhaps this will be ok for some timepass on 2D or on your laptop someday but from what I saw, all I can say is that it was an atrocious movie because of the incredibly bad 3D. Try it someday without any expectations and maybe you just might like it. Other than that, please don't go to the theatre for 3D and waste money on this one because it has none of the charm or likeablity of the first one.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - After seeing POTC 4, only 1 word came to my mind - NOTHING. There was absolutely nothing in the movie. It is so flat that I wondered how they could even think that they could call this a movie. Surely there are movies that are much worse than this but I don't think anybody had so much guts to try to convince people that this is a good movie. Even the hardcore fans would desert this franchise if they keep making movies like this and this beloved franchise would certainly end in total and despicable gloom. Captain Jack Sparrow was like a bystander in his own movie and it became everybody else's movie but his. If you haven't watched it yet, then please don't go to the theater. Even Barbossa played by Geoffrey Rush probably has more story elements in the movie than Captain Jack himself. Though Blackbeard played by Ian McShane looks formidable, neither he nor his daughter Angelica played by Penelope Cruz are able to bring something brilliant to this movie. The concept of Jack Sparrow is that of the Shakespearean trickster becoming the main part of a movie but unfortunately, without adequate backing he has nothing to stand against or play along with. It is obvious from the first scene itself that we have all gotten used to him a little too much and that there isn't any fun being had even by Johnny Depp himself in playing him. Final Verdict - It makes you wonder if it was just Johnny Depp's performance that made this franchise into something so big because that alone couldn't save this movie at all. Without Gore Verbinski's energetic direction, this movie simply falls flat and it is irrecoverably bad. Even the normally dependable Hans Zimmer isn't able to make any good music in it worth remembering. In 2 words - An Atrocity! Run Away from this movie. It's that BAD.
The Best Movie is... ?
Though Captain America: The First Avenger is an idealistic, old school type of picture, it is mainly interested in being a summer commercial blockbuster and so it doesn't really change anything in the superhero genre and though X-Men: First Class is good for timepass, all that it proves is that without Hugh Jackman, this series cannot go forward and though Kung Fu Panda 2 has some stuff within it, it doesn't go anywhere near the ingenuity of the first one and so it isn't memorable and though Transformers: Dark of the Moon is good as an action picture, it will start falling apart the moment you start using your brain and think seriously about it and so, after considering all the facts, due to having an exciting finale and thereby bringing the long series to a beautiful ending after having spend so much time with all the movies in the series and by giving a majority of the characters from the first 7 movies a chance to shine in the 8th movie and by bringing all of the stories and all of the threads of all of these characters to a wonderful conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, The Best Movie of 2011 May to August is... Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2.
Trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2
Thank you for reading Mini Movie Reviews - 2011 May to August. Hope you have enjoyed it and had a good time with my movie reviews. There are 2 opinion polls below regarding which movie you thought was the best movie and what you thought about my article of movie reviews, so please feel free to take them, comment and give your opinions. Hope to see you soon on another article about movie reviews. Have a good day and once again, thank you for reading Mini Movie Reviews - 2011 May to August.
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