Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Movie Reviews Long Overdue

Not that I'll ever catch up on all the films I watch on NetFlix...


Legend of the Guardians
Or as my wife called it, “The stupid owl movie.” (And she really wanted to see it, too!)
Zach Snyder’s directorial style is in full force here (think The 300) and the animation is superb. One particular scene with an owl called Soren flying in slow motion through a waterspout is incredible.
However, the story felt flat. I just wasn’t involved with the characters or overall storyline. It’s supposed to be an epic fantasy on par with LOTR, but I just didn’t feel it. And it may be based on a children’s book, but this flick is not for the little ones.

The Losers
I heard some good buzz about this film but missed it in the theaters. An elite Special Forces team (The Losers) is double-crossed and decides to clear their name the only way they know how. Cue the bullets and explosions. This is a guy movie with good characters, fun dialogue, and a smoking hot Zoë Saldana.




Kick-Ass
The superhero movie that turns the genre on its head. Kick-Ass (from a graphic novel series) tells the simple story of a teen nebbish who decides to turn his life around - by becoming a superhero despite the fact he has no powers whatsoever. Funny, poignant, crude, and over-the-top. I really thought I’d hate this movie, but it’s quite entertaining.


Planet 51
One word - bad! I finally gave up after 30 minutes. (Yes, I survived 122 minutes of Sharktopus, but that was for a cause!) It’s as if someone took an unedited, rough first draft screenplay and made it into a film. Bad dialogue, poor editing, and a lame story. I felt bad for the animators who worked on this film because they did a fine job!

And to wrap up this movie-fest of a week - Friday is the roundup of October movies!

63 comments:

iZombie said...

mmm loved kick-ass and the silly owl movie is a fail, beautiful sure... the title is too long and for me the the title is everything. and for losers... you are correct, zoe... from out of no where she came around.

good solid!
jeremy

welcome to my world of poetry said...

You must really enjoy your movies,
Great review blog, some of them haven't reached this side of the pond yet.

Yvonne.

ediFanoB said...

Thanks for the reviews. I was thinking to give Planet 51 and Legends of the Guardians a try. But after reading your reviews I decided to refrain from these movies

Journaling Woman said...

Thanks for the reviews.

I need goo plot, good characters and most of all...not to be bored. My ADHD does not allow for "cricket time" or my move on.

Journaling Woman said...

That should be "good" plot, but hey I'll take a goo plot so not to be bored.

Misha said...

I watched the Legend of the Guardians yesterday and quite liked it.

However, it also didn't live up to my expectations story-wise. The animation was truly stunning, though.

I didn't read the book (which is now something I plan to do), but the movie felt more like a summery than a full version of the book. I could FEEL the missing pieces, even if I didn't know what they were. I think that they shot a lot more, but edited it out.

In other words, I think that they should have let the movie be longer. Yes, I know that kiddies can't sit still for much longer than one and a half hours, but really. If you're going to put it out as an epic fantasy, you should look at how much you can possibly squeeze into 100 minutes...

Renae said...

I'm so glad you reviewed The Guardians, my daughter wants to see it, but if it's not for the little ones we may wait for the DVD. That's too bad, because the books are really good. Thanks Alex!

The Golden Eagle said...

I started reading the books by Kathryn Lasky, but I didn't like them. They just reminded me of Warriors, or any other animal-based series. It was too high-drama-ish and I thought the owls were weird. I probably won't watch the movie anytime soon; maybe if my library gets the DVD. :P

Amity said...

Oh u always watch movies? Not in the big screen or what is that Netflix?

Wish I had much time to do the same... :(

Amity said...

Oh u always watch movies? Not in the big screen or what is that Netflix?

Wish I had much time to do the same... :(

Copyboy said...

Kick ass was really good I thought. I hear Milar has a sequel planned. Can't wait!!!

Liza said...

I saw an ad for Legends of the Guardians last night and commented to my husband that it looked pretty good. Thank you for saving us the time.

Mason Canyon said...

Even thought it's a 'guy movie,' The Losers sounds like the best of the list. It's always fun to watch a group get even.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

DEZMOND said...

I keep hearing that the story in GA HOOLE is flat :( Well, we know that Snyder was never a good in stories as much as he is amazing in visual department. I won't say anything until I see the movie myself, usually when a film is trashed over at ROTTEN TOMATOES and similar fanboy sites, I usually love the film :)

Nebular said...

"The Losers" was mediocre at best.

"Kick-Ass" was smart, witty and filled with stylized action. Loved it.

"Planet 51" was one of the dullest animated flicks I've ever seen. And I've seen a lot.

Still have to see 'the stupid owl movie' :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Sorry to hear the Owl movie wasn't better. I did like the Losers a fair bit myself.

Helen Ginger said...

You watch so many movies. I like coming here and reading your reviews since I don't go to the movies often. This way, I can narrow my choices for when I do go!

Clarissa Draper said...

I haven't seen any of these but then again, I don't like going to crowded movie theatres.

CD

Liz Fichera said...

Kick-A$$ is on my list of movies to see. Was not aware of THE STUPID OWL MOVIE (like that title better). May have to check it out.

Tara said...

Always love your reviews. Guardians was that bad, huh? Daughter wants to see it, son says he never wants to - thinks it'll bad. Guess Baby B was right. Planet 51, too? Sheesh. I better start looking for Netflix alternatives!

aspiring_x said...

the guardians movie left me so confused! visually- so breathtaking. worth seeing just to look at, you know. but.. the intensity... and the boredom? how is it possible for a movie to be too intense and boring at the same time? i just left the theater shocked at what i had shown my sons. i would never have taken them to see it if i had known. the ending... my hubs argued for it saying there was no blood... but still. the battle just felt gruesome, you know. (good thing my four year old fell asleep early on!) but still, i wish my middle son could unsee it. i thought it was supposed to be a family film.

and now, i'll totally contradict myself and say that i expected to hate kick-ass, but found it to be very deep (and hilarious). that scene where he's being beaten up and people grab out their cell phones. that just says so much. i've had people tell me i'm morally flawed for enjoying the movie. but seriously, i thought it was saying some really deep stuff. what a shock... the good kind. :)

Mara Nash said...

Thanks for the reviews. Unfortunately, I've already seen Planet 51 and it was just as bad as you said...hated it.

Haven't seen the others and don't plan to see the owl flick. I've seen the previews and I just don't think I can stretch my imagination to accept animated owls. I never really had any desire to see it anyway!

Carolyn V. said...

Great reviews! I had to laugh when I read your review about the owl movie. We know our kids will want to see it, but we are dreading going. *cringe*

Michele Emrath said...

Legend--Love when a movie has something amazing about it like the animation here. Makes you think the director has potential...with a good story.

Losers- Never heard of it, but Saldana is hot.

Kick-Ass-Hate crude, but love a little loser-rising-to-the-top situation.

Planet-Sad. Seem to be lots of bad animation flicks out there...and we keep trying them out with kids in our house!

Thanks for the reviews. A whole list of movies I won't see! Hope you get to watch a GREAT movie soon.

Michele
SouthernCityMysteries

Bossy Betty said...

Thanks for the reviews! I am so out of it when it comes to movies, but with your help I can try to seem cool at parties!

Falen (Sarah Ahiers) said...

LOVE Kick Ass. Love it.
As for the owls, i liked it more than you did. Visually it was wonderful. But i did feel the story was stilted. I've read the first book and i feel the reason why the story was off in the movie was because they tried to cram in too much in too short a time.

I agree 100% with Misha. An extra half an hour would have really helped smooth it out

TS Hendrik said...

You deserve some kind of award for attempting Planet 51.

Colene Murphy said...

Kick-ass was shockingly amazing. Haven't seen any of the others though. Planet 51 just looks lame.

Karen Peterson said...

I saw The Losers in the theater, only it was called The A-Team.

Funny how all these plots start to sound so similar...

LTM said...

omg--thanks, Alex! I was planning to take my two little ladies to see the stupid owl movie. You totally saved the day/my a**! :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Edi, you might at least appreciate the amazing animation of Guardians, but steer clear of Planet 51.

Journaling, Planet 51 had a 'goo' plot!

Misha, it did feel as if some thing were rushed, just for the sake of time.

Renae, it's really intense and lots of owl fighting scenes.

Amity, NetFlix is a rental-by-mail and they also have watch-now movies online.

Liza, you might enjoy it - just didn't connect for me.

Dezz, flat is a good word. But judge for yourself!

Nebular, I just got a kick out of The Losers. And dull is an excellent description for Planet 51.

Liz, that title just stuck in our household!

Tara, Guardians wasn't bad - I just didn't connect.

Aspiring, I didn't say that in my review, but I was bored a couple times as well. And I thought I'd be offended by Kick-Ass, but I really enjoyed the story.

Michele, once you get past the first fifteen minutes, Kick-Ass really isn't that crude, either.

Betty, glad I can add to your coolness!

TS, it was bad!!

BryStearns said...

I thought Kick-Ass was okay as well. But I really enjoyed The Losers, it was just a fun flick that didn't try to be anything else. Oh, and it had Jeffery Dean Morgan. 'Nuff said.

Hart Johnson said...

I LOVED Kick-Ass. Saw it with my son in theatres, and I thought it was fabulous. I liked the twist of it and I am a big fan of Nicholas Cage in his campy form. I've considered The Losers--if the son requests, I will probaby submit, but testosterone flicks aren't generally what I pick if it's my choice. Thanks for the warning on the other 2.

Jump_Raven said...

You could catch up on all the films you've watched by doing a post where you list all those films you have seen and give them a rating of 0-5 owls in remembrance of the stupid owl movie.

The poster for that owl movie immediately made me think of The Goonies.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

"Stupid owl movie" - that's funny!

Jeffrey Beesler said...

I've been wanting to see that movie, Kick-Ass. It definitely fits what I like to write and read. I'll have to check it out on Netflix or something.

Old Kitty said...

Oh No!! the Owl movie sounded really good!!! Oh dear!! Thank you for the very succint reviews!! I hope October's batch heralds a better selection! Take care
x

arlee bird said...

What! No play by play of Planet 51?!
I'm not drooling over any of these films.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Lynda Young said...

The only one I haven't seen is the owl one and all I've hear about it is it looks gorgeous. I think you are the first to mention story. Ha.

I didn't mind planet 51 -- but I'm an animation freak so I enjoyed the art ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jump Raven, that's a great idea!

Jeffrey, you'll enjoy it!

Lee, I was so numb while watching those 30 minutes, I couldn't think of anything.

Lynda, the animation was really good. Maybe if I turned the sound off...

Jemi Fraser said...

I was hoping the stupid owl movie would be good! The books are fun and I thought the movie might work.

Danny King said...

I wasn't a fan of "Kick-Ass," although I know that most people who have seen it enjoyed it. I was just never convinced by the mixture of tones that were employed. I thought the film should have picked one intention and stuck with it. I do think Moretz is great, though.

Matthew Rush said...

Good to know, thanks Alex! I love when you do this because you usually have a couple films I was completely aware of but haven't seen yet, and then almost always one I hadn't even heard of, but sounds cool (The Losers).

Thanks!

Budd said...

I interviewed my oldest about the stupid owl movie.
I enjoyed the comic for KA more than the movie.

Cheeseboy said...

I saw Planet 51 and while I thought the plot was interesting, the execution was weak and it was blah. My kids kind of liked it, but not enough to beg for it again.

Kelly Dexter said...

I love Kick Ass, it's one of my favorite movies of the year.

It's disappointing to hear that about Legend of the Guardians, as the animation looks beautiful and I was intrigued by the trailers.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jemi, it wasn't bad, just not engaging.

Matthew, you'd dig The Losers!

Kelly, who knows? You might enjoy it.

Samantha Vérant said...

Hey- your first book comes out the day AFTER my birthday. Can you guess the date?

Velvet Over Steel said...

Thanks again for doing these reviews. They help my son and I pick movies! He really wants to see Losers and you just convienced me that I would like it! Thanks, Alex! :-) ~ Coren

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Samantha, I bet I can!

Glad I can help, Coren.

ali said...

I love that you do this. The Losers is one that I missed, so we'll check it out! Sorry to hear about Legend, but not too surprised. Thanks Alex!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Too bad about the owl movie...it's a fairly decent children's chapter series.

I thought Planet 51 looked rotten, too..glad I didn't take the kids to it!

Cinette said...

Kick Ass and The Losers are two I've been meaning to see. Glad to hear you liked them!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Oh man, I actually didn't mind Planet 51 so much. Okay, I did fall asleep, but I was really, really tired :P

I'm surprised to hear Legend of the Guardians is not for little ones! I thought it would be. That saddens me :( I was hoping to take the fam to see it. Although, if it falls flat, maybe it doesn't matter anyway.

Ellie said...

Thank you, Alex, for saving me a lot of time and frustration~ Kick-Ass
does look interesting, though...

Too bad about the owl flick, I was hopeful~
I like your wives review~lol

Jen Daiker said...

I have to say I haven't seen any of these movies! I appreciate the information on all of them though! I'm more of a chick flick, laugh out loud funny, and a few horror flicks from time to time... hehe :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You're welcome, Ali!

Carolina, You might enjoy it, but it is really intense for little ones.

Ellie, she started it!

Jen, Sharktopus was horrifying, but for all the wrong reasons.

Stephen Tremp said...

Planet 51 had so much potential, but as you said, it was lame.

I really want to watch Kick-Ass for some incredibly stupid reason I'm not sure of.

Legend of the Guardians just didn't grab me with the trailers. Thanks for the heads up.

Losers sounds like my kinda flick after everyone goes to bed and I've had a few beers and will have a few more. And a bag of chips. Maybe a taco too.

Jamie Gibbs said...

Guardians looks god awful, especially with the 30 Seconds to Mars soundtrack. I wanted to see The Losers but missed it, and Kick-ass is all sorts of fun; one of the few times Nicholas Cage plays a good role. I'm glad I never bothered with Planet 51, if it's in Sharktopus territory I'll certainly give it a miss :P

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Stephen, get some beer and tacos and watch both Kick-Ass and The Losers!

Jamie, Planet 51 didn't even hit Sharktopus territiry - it was so lame, I couldn't even make fun of it.

Eric said...

Since I seem to disagree with your opinion on a few of these, I'll probably go see the "silly owls" anyway. I loved the Losers, particularly the sniper character. I couldn't see myself watching Kick Ass, particularly because young kids using extremely foul language just rubs me wrong. It's a personal bias, but I just can't ignore it. And I thought Planet 51 was hilarious. So the only thing we agree on is The Losers. Oh well LOL.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Eric, the girl really doesn't cuss that much, which surprised me. Let me know what you think of the owl movie!

Hold my hand: a social worker's blog said...

Although I was hesitant, I just rented Kick-Ass. I am glad I read your comment, it may be entertaining after all.

Doris