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Tuesday May 20, 2008
Iron Man, Tin Man, Prince Caspian, and Speed Racer.
Saw some films in the last few weeks. My thoughts in short:
1) Iron Man was wonderful. Robert Downey, Jr's interactions with the assembly-bots were inspired. I've only seen it once, but I'd see it again if I had time.
2) Sci-Fi Channel's Tin Man was a visually enticing re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz. Unfortunately, the end is kind of unsatisfying. Our heroine spends the entire miniseries (6 hours?) following a path someone else laid out for her. Neat plot twist in Part II, fun villains, cool heroes... and an ending with about as much punch as warm, flat Diet Sprite.
3) Prince Caspian was also visually very enticing. I haven't read the book in years (decades?) so the inevitable compression of events and abridged storytelling didn't grate on me. My biggest gripe (and it's a gripe that applies to a lot of the Narnia books) is the quite literal deus ex machina Lewis employs. Fortunately the stories are redeemed (hah! See what I did there?) by the fact that the heroes don't just wait around for Aslan. They strive, struggle, and yes, some of them die (just not the ones with names.)
4) Speed Racer... okay, it's tanking hard at the box-office, and if you've seen the trailers you're probably thinking "stupid movie." This, fair reader, is my runaway favorite of the bunch. I've seen it twice. I laughed. I cheered. I cried. It was corny enough and cheesy enough to open its own Tex-Mex chain, but it worked. I think the Wachowskis may have extended cinematic syntax a bit (or at least pushed the envelope) and I KNOW I'll be picking this one up on DVD for the kids. And then watching it with them. No, this isn't nostalgia speaking. I couldn't remember much of the original series, and what I could I didn't really like.
I have a list of summer movies I plan to see. I'll let you know what I think of 'em, though I'm sure there will be plenty of other folks yammering about 'em too.