A Midsummer’s Movie Report: Avengers, Prometheus, Cabin, Huntsman, Battleship

Movies and Television

Five Summer Movie Reviews in 500 words; more or less.

The Avengers. Kicked off summer in style. It’s a throwback to the days when blockbusters were fun – without being stupid – and worth seeing over and over. Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk made a nice addition to Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson and company. My only complaints would be the blah villain and the linear progression from one character and event to the next, to set up the finale.

Oh: 3D, not worth the dinero. Oh #2: and the score: I kept hearing Alien, Poltergeist, Raider’s of the Lost Ark and so many other familiar sounding themes on the score. Or am I hearing things?

Aren’t I pretty when I glare and scowl? Theron as Dark Queen @ 2012 Universal Pictures

Final Snark: Whedon + Superheroes = Kick Ass.

Snow White and the Huntsman. When Charlize Theron – lovely and golden with just hints of age and pain – wasn’t shrieking or gnawing on the scenery, she made a compelling Dark Queen. Regrettably not shirtless, Chris Hemsworth was a respectable Rouge-with-of-course-Heart-of-true-Hero as the Huntsman.

Kristen Stewart. She’s got fair skin, dark hair, red lipstick. But a warrior princess or compelling heroine, she wasn’t. And considering how few lines she had, the editors could tell. In one of the most painful scenes she’s trying to get her St. Crispin’s Day on – and it’s dreadful.

Any week Game of Thrones is better and I’d expect Stewart to be schooled by the likes of Tyrion Lannister (the fab Peter Dinklage). But when punk ass little shit Theon’s Go Get ‘Em speech is world’s better, that’s major casting and writing fail.

Final Snark: Pretty to look at Grimm fantasy, lacking heroine.

The Cabin in the Woods. For a non-slasher but casual horror fan (and possibly ‘former’ Supernatural viewer) this was both a scary homage to horror classics and a right, riotous send-up parody, as only Joss Whedon can do. It was also the third time Hemsworth graced the wide-screen this summer and I ain’t complaining.

Final Snark: Odd mix of horror and humor and hijinx, that oddly works.

Battleship: I was desperate for some distracting brain rot, but this shit couldn’t shave IQ points from an amoeba. Predictable, terrible, horrible. No wonder it scared G.I. Joe 2 into waiting for a 3D retrofit – not to mention turning me off the iPad game.

Michael Fassbender, nicely creepifying as David. © 2012 20th Century Fox

Final Snark: Worse than standard bad Michael Bay, this was awful, idiotic Transformers 3 bad Michael Bay – which I didn’t think possible – and sure to set Peter Berg’s career back.

Prometheus. Nee, Alien the Retconning. Ridley Scott still knows from spacey suspense; Theron can brood and scowl like she means business; and Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class) fucking nailed the Lawrence of Arabia inspired android-turns-against-humans AI David.

The rest was entertaining, but pretty formulaic in its “we fucked up because that’s what humans do, screw everyone for millennia to come” meme.

Final Snark: Alien or even Cameron’s Aliens are better; nothing new but worth a look.

Final Final Snark: It’s easy to see why The Avengers has dominated the box office; along with The Hunger Games, it’s about the only summer movie to truly entertain my eyes and my mind.

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