I usually comment here on the site whenever I’ve seen a movie, but recently I’ve been Twittering quick posts after I see a new movie. Usually it’s nothing worth repeating here. Nevertheless, after seeing The Dark Knight Saturday morning, I think I’m done with Summer Blockbusters. I’ve seen just about everything I’ve wanted to see. I still like discussing movies with you guys, so I figured I’d comment on everything in one post.
So let’s do a list of the movies I’ve seen this summer, Top 5 countdown-style. I’ll try to avoid it where possible, but spoilers are possible. (You’ve been warned)
5. Hancock – “One of these things is not like the others.” In a summer full of super-hero movies, Hancock stands alone. Contrary to what the trailers would have you believe, Hancock is not a super-hero movie. That’s not to say it was a bad movie, it just didn’t fit the mold of the rest of this year’s blockbusters.
I didn’t mind Hancock. I’m a sucker for summer movies headlined by The Fresh Prince (although I’ve been disappointed more than once) and Hancock is no exception. This certainly wasn’t his finest movie, but it wasn’t horrible, either. The movie has a lot of flash and eye candy, but was weak in parts.
I’m a big fan of Jason Bateman, who carried this movie for me. His dry humor (somewhat reminiscent of his Arrested Development character) along with his good heart made him a likable character, even when things come apart for him.
Overall, Hancock had everything a popcorn movie should have. But not much more.
4. Hellboy 2 – I’ve sort of adopted Hellboy as a favorite comic book character. I’m not familiar with the comic book itself, but I’m a fan of Ron Perlman’s interepretation of the character. I’m also in love with Guillermo del Toro’s fanciful imagination. (Nat has implored that I see Pan’s Labyrinth). Oh, and Hellboy has a really big gun and likes to punch people with his demon hand.
Hellboy 2 had its moments. Moments of excessive cheesiness and moments of awesome. On a visual level, I loved Hellboy. The Golden Army was a sight to behold and the monsters impressive. Bits of the story weren’t my favorite.
Overall, Hellboy 2 gets a demon thumb up from me.
3. The Incredible Hulk – I didn’t hate Ang Lee’s version of the Hulk. Take away the Hulk Poodles and the daddy issues and you’ve got a pretty good movie. Nevertheless, The Incredible Hulk is better in pretty much every way. Ed Norton was better than Bana, Hurt was marginally better than Sam Elliot and the Tyler/Connelly matchup is probably a push. Roth is a much better villain than the super freak dogs.
Again, Hulk doesn’t disappoint in the SMASH department, either. There is a lot of that. When the Hulk gives Roth’s character (in human form) the big boot, I think I cheered. It was awesome. This version of Hulk has a perfect balance of frenetic running and a tenuous balance between Banner and Hulk. It felt a bit claustrophobic.
I give it an irradiated third thumb sideways (pointed up).
2. Iron Man – For me, Iron Man comes this close to super-hero perfection. It just needed that little extra butt kicking, high-tech suit-of-armor style. It just needs moar action. That’s about the only bad thing I can say about Iron Man — if it had a wee bit more action, it would have been almost perfect.
Downey Jr. was great (he sort of played himself, right? He had to be good) and Howard and Bridges were good, too. Acting was good, the story was great and lots of fist pumping action. Just not enough.
It gets a mechanically assited digit straight up.
1. The Dark Knight – And of course, that brings us to Batman The Dark Knight. I’m almost hesitant to write too many words about this movie. Not that I would spoil too much, but that my clumsy words would lessen it’s greatness in some way. That’s probably impossible, it was so good. So good, that after some consideration, I’m thinking of putting it my “Top-5 All time” list of favorite movies.
Where to start? One way my friend and I determine how much we like a movie is whether the movie is “quotable” as in “how often do we quote the movie?” The Dark Knight has some great, quotable lines. It has some memorable moments that also will be reminiscenced over and over again. It jammed so much into one movie that it’s just begging to be seen multiple times.
And let’s get this out of the way — Heath Ledger’s performance stands alone. It’s every bit of amazing that you’ve heard and read. I’m not sure there’s more I could say that would add any more credence to the mindswell. He was maniacally amazing.
And he does great magic tricks.
Everyone else? They did a pretty bang-up job as well. My secret man-crush on Christian Bale probably biases me, but his Batman is probably the best. Aaron Eckhart’s Harvey Dent was also believable. Gary Oldman delivers another underrated performance.
The Dark Knight is an hundred and fifty minute thrill ride that never slows down and barely even lets the viewers relax or catch their breath. I saw the movie in IMAX (my first IMAX experience) and that just enhanced the experience. If you have a chance, this is the way to see it.
It’s my movie of the year for 2008. I can’t wait to see it again.
I give The Dark Knight one demented crazy round of applause.
What a summer this has been for movies!