Monday, August 07, 2006

Expanded List of Genre Movies Releasing This Year: How They Stack Up So Far

Earlier this year, I posted an Expanded List of Genre Movies (mainly scifi and fantasy) that were coming out this year. Now that the year is a little more than half over, I can give brief up/down votes on those that have already come out.

Here's my brief rating system based on the fact that I see pretty much every movie with my lovely wife.

  • Happy Married Couple -- Both of us enjoyed the movie.

  • Disgruntled Husband -- My wife liked the movie, but I was less than happy. My wife will have to sneak viewings of the film when I am out of town on business or out with the boys.

  • Estranged Wife -- I enjoyed the movie, but my wife was less than happy. I'll have to sneak viewings of the film when my wife is out of the house.

  • Dinner was Good -- Neither one of us thought the movie was all that special, but neither one of us hated the film. At least the dinner and conversation was worth the time out. We will probably watch it again when it is on HBO.

  • We Could Have Stayed In -- We would have had more fun if we stayed home watching Monk or Stargate. The experience wasn't terrible, but $20?

  • Who's Idea Was This Again?! -- We both hated the film and the person who recommended it will be reminded ad infinitum when making future recommendations.

  • Here goes:

    • Tristan and Isolde Opens January 13. I enjoyed this film quite a bit. It took a mature look at the relationship between Tristan and King Mark. It's out on DVD, so pick it up. Happy Married Couple.

    • Underworld: Evolution Opens January 20. Not as good as the first film. The plot was really sketchy, and that is in comparison to the first, but it is pretty at times and the action was fun. Dinner was good.

    • Nanny McPhee Opens January 27. Saw it on DVD and I should have seen it on film. I really liked this quirkly piece of film making was entertaining, though it is extremely formula for a fairy tale. Happy Married Couple.

    • V for Vendetta Opens March 17. Remember remember the 5th of November? The directors and the producers of this film would have been well reminded to read about the Gunpowder plot of Guy Fawkes. Not as insightful as the graphic novel, and that wasn't really all that insightful. Kinda pretty though.We Could Have Stayed In>

    • Stay Alive Opens March 26. (Massive Multiplayer Online RPGs can Kill!) I have to add this to my Netflix queue. Couldn't build the courage to see this in a theatre.

    • Silent Hill Opens April 21. Despite the fact that some of my friends liked this, I have yet to see it. My wife was resistant and we had other priorities.

    • X-Men 3 Opens May 26. Can you say disappointing? Where did all the money go on this production? Obviously not into sets and effects, or to screenplay for that matter. Wait for DVD, it just didn't live up to prior entries. Dinner was Good

    • The Omen 666 Opens June 6. Though I really like Liev Schreiber, I am hesitate to watch another remake of a classic film with him as star. Manchurian Candidate disappointed, and I fear this one will too. I'll catch it on DVD.

    • Superman Returns Opens June 30. I loved it. Does it have problems? Sure, but it felt like a Superman movie and had the right heart. If I hear about "deadbeat Superdad" one more time, I will kill that person. Superman left moments after the Second movie, in the "universe" of this film, and Lois doesn't remember the romance she had with Supes. What's to prevent her from dating the day after Superman 2? Not memory of a romance. And given Lois' filmic identity, I don't think she cares much about "protection." Only disappointment is that this is essentially Superman 1 redux, as DisContent pointed out.Happy Married Couple.

    • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Opens July 7. I'll know if we liked this when the third one comes out. It was fun, but very dark in subject matter and ended on a down note. All symptoms of being the middle movie of a trilogy. You can read my longer review, but to sum it up...Too much buckling and not enough swashing. Happy Married Couple (if the sequel is good), Dinner was Good (if the sequel isn't).

    • Lady in the Water Opens July 21. Contrary to the critics, my wife and I very much liked this film. We watched it for what it was, a fairy tale. It followed formula perfectly. Alas, one of the characters was a film critic and you know how critics react to being criticized. Could have used one more rewrite on the names, but the lack of depth in the mythology is really only a lack of depth of the characters in the film's understanding of the mythos. The problem with "creating" a mythology is that you ought to share more of the history with your audience than Shyamalan does. Happy Married Couple

    The rest of the movies in the initial list haven't come out, but I will provide capsules as we see them.

    On a side note, we saw Ultraviolet with Milla Jovovich. No real story, but if you like watching Milla chop up baddies for 90 minutes and can tolerate 5 minutes of "development," the movie is fun. Reminded me of a version of Equilibrium without the Fahrenheit 451 references or commentary on our phara-culture. I think the 3.7 on IMDB is a bit harsh, but understandable. My wife and I did watch this on DVD while playing a board game, the game was more engaging. Dinner was Good

    We also saw the Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D. Have you seen The Neverending Story? Yes? Then avoid this movie. No? Go watch The Neverending Story. The film didn't utilize 3D technology in any innovative way, unless you consider spitting out food at the audience innovative. Same boring 3D tricks, with better technology on the 3D, as the old 3D films. Script was derivative of both Neverending Story and Wizard of Oz. What's that? Blink three times and you'll return home? Is that a tornado? Who's Idea Was This Again?! It was mine, I think it will take longer to live down than my wife's recommendation of Head Over Heels I hated that, even though I adore Monica Potter.

    That's it for now.

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