17 July 2011

Movie Three Pack

I saw Buzz Aldrin twice in the past week. Once in Transformers 3 and then again on a rerun of 30 Rock. Looking over his IMDB page, I guess I'm surprised I've never seen him before. For example, in 2009 he was at the MTV Movie Awards, in 2010 he was on Top Chef, etc. And here he is doing a Funny or Die video with Talib Kweli and Snoop Dog. It's good to be the second human on the moon I guess. With NASA having shut down their shuttle flights, it's probably a good time for other astronauts to start securing cameos in movies.

I've discovered over the years that expectations play the largest part in enjoyment of a movie. If you set your sights high, your brain will keep analyzing things and asking, "is this good, is this good?" If you set your expectations low, you usually leave the theater satisfied with just getting out of the summer heat. Then again, for thirteen dollars a pop, a movie should really be spectacular to make it big screen worthy. Stuff like Transformers though, even though you know what's coming, has to be seen in the theater. For something like this, most viewers could care less what happens, and it's important to just have high gloss visuals and pounding sound. I left Transformers 3 perfectly satisfied with the experience.

The gads of money Michael Bay threw at special effects and set pieces amounted to $195 million, which sounds awfully low. Transformers 3 barely cracks the top twenty of most expensive movies ever made (right above the fourth Indiana Jones) but it sure looked like it could have been number one. While it won't win any Oscars, this Transformers was better than the last one -- and I really enjoyed the Patrick Dempsey turn as a bad guy. What could movie four possibly be about?

Bridesmaids was disappointing. After reading and hearing so much about how it was a milestone for feminism in Hollywood, I found the actual film to be not that funny. Then again, I don't really like this sort of humor and knew that going in. I just wanted to see it so I could comment afterwards and also to support Paul Feig (Freaks and Geeks). While Bridesmaids may have been a triumph in some ways, I didn't find it to be that funny at all. Even the hype about Melissa McCarthy stealing the show was misplaced, and she'll still always be Sookie to me.

The last time I went to a midnight showing of Harry Potter, I waded into a herd of high schoolers by myself, stood in line to get my popcorn and Slurpee, and kicked back with the Order of the Phoenix feeling very old. For the Harry finale, I went with my cousin and her friend, somewhat recent high school graduates, and tried to feel a kinship to them as they lamented the end of their childhood. Nearly everyone in the theater grew up on Potter and the general feeling was one of excitement and sadness. When there was effusive clapping after an ad for the new Thundercats, I wondered how anyone in the audience even knew what Thundercats was.

Overall the movie was exactly as expected. I enjoyed Part 1 a lot more but it's impossible not to give Part 2 an A grade just based on the fact that it's the conclusion to the series. No missteps were made and there are a few thrilling scenes. While I really wish Harry would have stayed dead for longer than ten minutes, I guess it's hard to argue that he should remain alive. The whole dilemma of him being the last Horcrux kinds of loses tension when it turns out it was more like an extra-sticky temporary tattoo.

Anyway, there's enough Harry summaries and reviews on the Internet so I'll just leave you with this, The SummHarry by dedicated fan and talented artist Lucy Knisley. Who doesn't want that poster on their wall? Oh and this is my friend and her friends all dressed up, she's the owl.