Some good, some bad, some truly awful. Read on if you want to hear more about “Hulk”, “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, “Matchstick Men”, “School of Rock”, and “Band of Brothers.”- Hulk: The fact that this movie was based on a comic book was my primary motivation for seeing this one. Fortunately, I did not pay to see it in a theatre, nor did I pay the slightly higher price to see it when it was a “New Release” at the video store. Ang Lee came up with some nifty camera effects to simulate comic book illustration, but beyond that, there isn’t much to recommend this film. The action is predictable. The characters are extremely shallow. The plot…uh…the plot… There was something like a plot, but I wouldn’t call it a plot. The special effects were nothing special. If the folks at ILM didn’t have the Star Wars films on their resume, and if Hulk was all I knew of their work, I would not feel uneasy or unfair describing their special effects work as second rate.
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: When a movie that initially looks like it has some interesting qualities is panned, and hard, by everyone who sees it, I’m always a bit curious about when, where, and how such a great idea went so horribly wrong. Such is the case with this movie. A great book turned into a complete trainwreck of a movie. There is a character that was so obviously added just to satisfy shallow American audience members that I experienced profound disappointment everytime that character was on the screen. The special effects were remarkably pedestrian (how do you skimp on special effects when adapting a comic book to the big screen?!?). The characters weren’t even shallow; they were completely two dimensional. The plot…uhh…
The plot of this movie made Hulk appear complex and compelling by comparison.
- Matchstick Men: The plot here is interesting and has several twists. Overall, the characters have some depth and we can understand what drives them. Nicholas Cage, who I generally feel cannot act, does a decent job in this film. The film didn’t leave me feeling like I had just wasted a good portion of my life, so I would recommend it.
- Band of Brothers: Not a movie, per se, but a mini-series originally aired on HBO. It can be rented or purchased on DVD. I just happened to watch it on the History Channel. This series was incredibly compelling and interesting. The characters have depth and actually seem to be real people. The plot of each episode is different, but all fit within the Allied march towards Berlin in WWII. Even Sarah, who isn’t much for war movies, found herself drawn in to the series and compelled to watch. If you see only ten hours of movie/video this year, seeing all ten episodes of Band of Brothers would be a worthy use of those hours.
- School of Rock: This film was entertaining, but not very compelling. If you want to see Jack Black at his finest, and a more compelling storyline to boot see High Fidelity.