Not Exactly a Review: The Princess Bride

It’s a bit funny for me to write a review of The Princess Bride, considering it’s a favorite film in our household, one which gets watched often and can be quoted in large chunks.  But until this past weekend I had never seen it in the theaters, unless my parents took me as a three year old when it originally came out (which I doubt).  It’s obviously a cult classic, and I watched it for years on TV before ever purchasing a copy of it.  I’ve read the book, and I have a tendency to take name tags which say “Hello, my name is…” at the top and filling in the rest of the tag with “Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to die.”  So how can I even possibly review a film I adore, which I’ve seen countless times?  Instead, you’re going to get some scattered thoughts about the film, particularly what it was like seeing it on the screen for the first time.

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Not Exactly a Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

Much as was the case with The Cabin in the Woods, I missed The Amazing Spider-Man when it was released in theaters last year.  There are a bunch of possible reasons for this, but the most obvious was that it just felt too soon to reboot the Spider-Man story.  Sam Raimi’s trilogy had only ended 5 years ago, and the first movie was only 5 years before that, and I just felt that if they weren’t continuing the story that they’d be better off leaving Spider-Man alone for a while.  However, over the weekend I watched it (thanks to a free weekend of HBO) and I generally enjoyed it.  While it’s too far removed from the film’s release to give it a full review (though I’d generally give it a B+), I thought I’d do another “Not Exactly a Review” filled with my disorganized thoughts.

I’ve always believed that films should be appreciated on their own merits, and that it’s unfair to judge a film either positively based on the reflected glow of other films (The Dark Knight Rises benefitting from the praise for The Dark Knight) or negatively simply because it is being compared to something universally loved.  However, it is fair, and in this case unavoidable, to compare this film with the Raimi trilogy, given the close time frame and wide appeal of the previous films.  The Amazing Spider-Man tries to blaze its own trail, succeeding in some ways and failing in others. Continue reading

Not Exactly a Review: The Cabin in the Woods

It seems a bit silly for me to review a film that came out over a year ago, just because I finally got around to watching it.  So instead of a traditional review, I’m instead going to offer up some disorganized thoughts about The Cabin in the Woods.  (For the record, I give the film an A.)  I didn’t see it in the theaters mostly because we generally don’t go see horror films, both out of personal taste and a general lack of quality.  I’ve never been one for the sort of “jump out and get you” scares, but prefer more cerebral horror.  Give me Hitchcock or The Exorcist over Saw any day.  (We also don’t see a lot of comedy in the theater, but that’s a story for another time.)

Obviously I should have known better, considering the script was by Joss Whedon and one of his frequent collaborators, but the trailers didn’t help the situation.  They presented it as a standard “cabin in the woods” type thriller with a sci-fi/conspiracy twist.  That sort of thing has been done before.  So after it was released I read the plot on wikipedia and it seemed more creative than I had originally supposed, but still not enough to get me to go see it.  However, I recently read the script online out of curiosity which changed my mind, and I finally rented The Cabin in the Woods.  Here are my thoughts: Continue reading

Why I (Probably) Won’t See After Earth

After Earth seemingly has a lot of things going for it that would get me to buy a ticket.  I love science fiction, in particular post-apocalyptic stories (which is why I continued watching Revolution, despite the downturn in quality).  I’m a big fan of Will Smith; I had a poster of him from Independence Day on my wall when I was young, I still think Men in Black is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen, and his performance in Ali is spectacular.  I’m also a big M. Night Shyamalan fan, even enjoying Lady in the Water and The Village.  And while I was more enthusiastic about Oblivion than I was about After Earth, I still planned on seeing both.

At this point, though, I think it’s safe to say that I no longer have any enthusiasm to see it.  That’s not to say that I won’t.   Continue reading