Stuck Up Cinema – Summer 2012 Round Up

Summer blockbuster season is a big time for most movie-goers. Understandable considering what is usually released. Big budget movies that focus on the spectacle as opposed to story, not to say there isn’t the rare exceptions in the season. High grossing films that rip through the box office and take over the audience by storm. It’s no coincidence that all the popcorn super hero movies get released during the summer after all.

I love Blockbuster season. I prefer Oscar season more than it, September to December is time for top tier filmmaking, but that’s not any sort of hindrance to the summer, they are two very different kinds of movies with two very different kinds of quality. Of course, both completely trounce the January/February release season which only has the purpose to be a black hole to film quality.

This post is all about looking back over all of the films I saw over the summer season. Some I may have already talked about on this site– for those I’ll post a link to the review or post a little snippet of thoughts if my opinion on the film has changed over time. This also provides a chance for me to post some mini-reviews on films that I saw but never found the time to post about here.

Without further ado, let’s get this round up going!

“There’s a review coming, Mr. Wayne.”

The Avengers: Original Review

Looking back on my experience of watching The Avengers I don’t think I enjoyed the movie as much as I originally stated. I believed that I enjoyed it more because of the hype my friends and fellow moviegoers were giving it. I went in expecting a great movie and I was definitely entertained, just not as much as I think I was in the moment. Going over it again I really feel that it was a good entertaining popcorn flick and didn’t really have anything worth any real value. I don’t regret giving it an 8/10 in my original review, but I’d currently give it a 7/10. It seems the good performances and show-boating summer blockbuster set pieces weren’t enough to keep the hype going for me in the long term of the film.

Moonrise Kingdom: Original Review

Prometheus: Original Review

My opinion for Prometheus hasn’t really changed in retrospect. I still find the movie to be a great example of wasted potential. I like mysteries in movies and the opening of the film really sucked me into the mysteries it was presenting. When all the plot points started coming together (or rather, falling apart) things got really messy and I didn’t care about the initial mysteries I once cared about.

I wanted to like Prometheus, I really did– and no matter how beautiful the movie was, I can’t say I loved it… let alone liked it. Read the Duel again if you’re so inclined, Nathan’s perspective is a bit more glowing than mine.

Brave: How could you not like a Pixar movie? I’ve seen all of them, apart from Cars 2, and I loved every single one of them. Up may be one of my favorite movies ever and every time I watch it I get reminded of why I want to be a filmmaker in the first place. There’s something that Pixar is able to do that makes me feel like a kid again in every one of their movies.

Brave, their most recent effort, doesn’t hit as strong as say Up, Wall-E, Ratatouille, Toy Story 3, or most of their other amazing movies, but it’s still a strong film. It tells its story and it tells it well, all while looking beautiful in the process. Seriously: how in the hell is it legal for Pixar to make movies that are so beautifully animated? They have some kind of monopoly on it, I swear.

It won’t hurt to watch the movie, it’s entertaining and good, but it lacks the kind of feeling that one associates with Pixar. I also feel that there could’ve been a lot more to it and the climax should have hit stronger. It’s message is there and it’s a good one, and I’d easily recommend this movie to people. Pixar does know what’s up, and I don’t want to jump on the band wagon of ‘their golden age is over’, it’s just that they too are being effected by the inevitably of change.

Brave: 7/10

The Dark Knight Rises: Here we go, the truth comes out. Yes, essentially this entire post of Stuck Up Cinema was a mask for this review. I didn’t see many movies this summer, but I figured I’d collect them all into one big place. This movie was easily my most anticipated of the season, and from the moment I walked out of its predecessor I was hyped for its sequel. I’ve loved Batman since I was a kid so obviously I enjoyed the hell out of Nolan’s movies. When it came time to sit in the theatre for TDKR I was giddy with anticipation. Did it live up to its hype for me?

No. It did not.

Sure, when I watched the movie I enjoyed it. I was taken in and I went through the motions of the movie but as I’ve thought about it since that faithful day I saw it I’ve become less and less impressed. I think it all comes down to an opinion that’s going to get me in a lot of trouble: Christopher Nolan makes dumb movies. You know what, I’m not even going to elaborate on that further right now, I have enough to say on that topic that it’ll take an entire Stuck Up Cinema to post on. I’ll do that in next week’s, my unpopular opinion of Christopher Nolan. Don’t get me wrong, I like his movies but when you peel back everything in TDKR you’re left with a very soulless movie.

To sum it up incredibly quickly The Dark Knight Rises really bummed me out because I didn’t get that excited that one should get from a Batman movie. I mean it’s fricking Batman. There’s a fantastic moment in the climax of The Dark Knight where Batman takes out an entire building of SWAT, Joker’s Thugs all while battling The Joker. That moment in that movie just reeks of Batman. It’s badass, spectacular and you feel the skill and prowess that Batman has and you know that Batman is the only one that can do something like that. The thrilling climax of TDKR was… a fist fight. Sure, a fist fight between two dudes that have combat skill that is unmatched, but the weight of the battle just wasn’t apparent in the movie.

In the end the movie took a bunch of clichés and wrapped them into a pretty package. It lacked the love of the previous movies and it was really just a husk of its older brothers. Bane was a great victim and the whole middle section of the movie where every hero was getting shit on by his plan was great. The hopelessness that I felt during that second act was great filmmaking, everything else was just slightly above average filmmaking. Another great example is the first confrontation between Bane and Batman. That scene also gave the vibe of just how hopeless the world was to Bane’s grasp and how weak Batman was in comparison to him. Really this moment should’ve set up how Batman would need to come back with more strength, wits, energy and drive to beat him in an ultimate climactic battle… but instead we get a wimpy ass brawl between convicts and cops that Batman suddenly just walks into. It’s frustrating, even more so in retrospect!

So yes, I didn’t like The Dark Knight Rises as much as I could’ve. I honestly wanted a 9 or 10 film experience, but instead I got an entertaining, but not breathtaking film experience. The actors did a good job and the movie had that Crystal Clean Nolan Look, but it was just frustratingly empty. Everything was by the numbers, all of the set-ups and pay-offs were visible from a mile away and there was nothing in the movie that couldn’t have been in any other Paint By Numbers action flick. THAT was my biggest gripe, this wasn’t a Batman movie. It was a movie, with Batman, but it didn’t have that feeling of excitement and success that its previous two iterations had. Yes, it’s good on its own… but in comparison to its older brothers? It’s terrible.

The Dark Knight Rises: 7/10

“Maybe he just didn’t get it!”

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