So in the pat few weeks I've seen
The Amazing Spider-Man
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter
The Dark Knight Rises (totally wanted to call it Batman Rising... but I digress)
I've been slacking on reviews recently so here's 4 reviews for the concentration price of one.
A little bit about each movie first, then some compare and contrast and at the end some spoilers.
Spidey: I really like Andrew Garfield's portrayal of our favorite wall crawler. He has the energy and youth of Peter Parker, although he's less of a nerdy than we've seen before. Garfield is very acrobatic and it is hard to tell where his stunt work ends and the CG begins in a lot of scenes. However, I do feel that it was unnecessary for the movie to rehash the entire Spidey origin and spend so much time with Uncle Ben and Aunt may just to slightly alter the pivotal death scene and make it feel a little trivial. Personally I would have been happy if they had done the whole got his powers from learned that with great power comes great responsibility schtick in a flash back or in the opening sequence. I really didn't need to see Ben die, again. Considering that this reboot is coming less than ten years after the first Spider-man film and less than 3 years after Spider-man 3.
Green Lantern: I skipped this one in the theater and now that I've seen it I think I made the right choice. I like Ryan Reynolds and think he's a funny guy who could be really strong as a super-hero, however i don't think Hal Jordan is the super-hero he needs to be. If they wanted him to be a Green Lantern Guy Gardner is more Ryan's speed. One thing that pissed me off about this movie was that because it got made I may never get to see a Ryan Reynolds Deadpool movie. And Ryan's Wade Wilson scenes really were the best part of the Wolverine: Origins fiasco. The movie is pretty but there is way way way too much CG. It's no surprise that this film went from big screen to DVD red box in under 3 months.
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter: From the people who brought you Pride and prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters comes another story who's title is it's main selling point. I skipped Cowboy's and Aliens and was on the fast track to miss this in theaters too, but my pay Eloy was getting married the next day and wanted to see this as part of his bachelor party, so off we went. I'm going to say I enjoyed 2/3rds of the movie ironically. The last 1/3rd was too much even for me to stomach. I'll have more to gripe about when I get to the spoiler section.
Batman Rising: I got to see this just a bit earlier than the midnight movie viewers as Mosi Imax was doing a special 7:30 screening. Remind me to only go to Mosi Imax if I'm guaranteed to be able to get a seat in the very middle. My neck was so sore from turning my head to try to see the whole film. And their seats are not the best if you're going to be viewing a 2 hour 47 minute feature. But on to the movie. Prior to viewing the film I had my misgivings about Bane. Tom Hardy is a great actor and I thought his portrayal of the prison boxer Bronson was inspired. He's worked with Nolan before as well so I knew that they could pull off some good stuff, but still I was really blown away with his intensity. Bane is not a main tier Batman villain... i mean look how Schumaker treated him, literally a gorilla to work as an underling for Thurman's Poison Ivy... ugh that thing was a mess. This movie though really redeems Bane and makes him a cinematic force to be reckoned with. Again i'll have more in depth comments in the spoilers.
Compare and contrast time.
If you need to see one Superhero movie this year see Avengers... if you need to see two Batman is the best choice.
Spider-man may be a third option, provided nothing else really epic comes out... which I think it might, Hobbit doesn't count as a super hero film so you're safe there. Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter is fun, but falls short, I know you're saying BUT IT'S AN ACTION VAMPIRE MOVIE NOT SUPER HERO, to which I reply, bullshit. Blade 1-3 are all super hero films and so is this. Pulp to the core ladies and gents, even if the film keeps forgetting if it's supposed to be a historically accurate biopic or what...
Green lantern is so low on my superhero films radar right now, it's just sad. Gonna tear it apart in the next section.
SPOILERS YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.
Green Lantern's plot is so stupid and obvious and the special effects use wayyyyy too much CG. It felt like a sub-par video game. A lot of the shit Hal did was done better YEARS ago in the Mask. I didn't believe the romance sub-plot at all. The mini-boss villain was forgettable and lame. Was he even the comics? It's like they took the Leader from the Hulk comics and shoe-horned him in here. Parallax in the comics is Hal Jordan and he's terrifying because he's gone mad from grief and is slaughtering his fellow lanterns for power. The Parallax in this film is so fucking lame. I hate hate hate all the Carebear color coded emotions shit that the Green Lantern books have done in recent years... yeah some of it is cool Black Lanterns and giving the Scarecrow a yellow ring, but honestly this is the kind of shit they should have saved for an Elseworlds graphic novel. Not hoisting off on mainstream DCU. Probably part of the reason they had to do ANOTHER fucking universe reboot. What are they up to now 8 complete continuity wipes? Ugh. mini-rant over back to this movie. DC needs to get it's shit together, marvel is kicking ass in the film department and other than Batman DC has nothing, noooothing to fall back on. Which is probably why they'll be rebooting batsy if Nolan is seriously done... more about that below. Hopefully Superman can make a comeback in a new form, but after the lawsuit with the families of the Siegel and Shuster has been settled they're basically ripped apart the property and the new Superman may not be recognizable on film. Again getting off topic, Green Lantern blows. The final fight makes absolutely no sense. How the fuck did Hal even know to come to save whatsherface earlier? Because the ring glowed? Is he the green glow whisperer now? I can let that go, but when the battle for Earth goes into Space and they blatantly zap light years away in a blink of an eye it really got my inner astronomy nerd pissed. I'm not the most knowledgeable individual when it comes to the studies of heavenly bodies, I'll admit, but I do know that the closest meteor debris fields are well on the way to Jupiter and that even if you were going at the speed of light it would still take more than a few seconds to flit back and forth and trick a huge malevolent force into following you into the sun's gravity...
And then if all the other Lantern's were there, why didn't they help until Hal's power is almost completely depleted.... argh. And then the worst part is in the credits when Sinestro (who really probably should have been the villain of this film) sets up the sequel (which will probably hopefully never happen) by putting on the yellow ring FOR NO FUCKING REASON. The entire motivation to do it earlier to fight Parallax with his own power was not there anymore so other than naked ambition why would he do it? And what ambition could be satisfied by doing it, he was already the Head Green Lantern. Argh... ok done ranting about this.
Onto something positive. Spidey! OMG Emma Stone is so hot in this. I've had my eye on her since Superbad and man she is just smoking hot here. Those socks.... mmm anyway, enough creepy fanboy gushing. But seriously, her Gwen Stacey is reason alone to see this movie and Denis Leary really has a great performance here as Captain Stacy. I'd say that his bits as the caring father were probably some of the highlights of the film. Definitely showed a more believable family relationship than he Peter Ben May stuff... and speaking of families, part of the hype of this movie was all about how we were going to get revelations about peter's parents. Well don't hold your breath, that shit is on the editing room floor didn't make the cut, and it's largely why Web will not be coming back for the next sequel. Apparently he threw a fit about them leaving all that stuff out and is now persona non grata. Which is a shame, because I could have used more of that and less of the Lizard Dr Jeckyll Mr. Hyde stuff. Because honestly that's all the lizard is, he's a lower powered hulk, he's an animal villain and they are almost always lame. Poor Spidey, he's got the lamest rogues gallery, he's got a birdguy(Vulture), an octopi (Doctor Octopus) a kangaroo (Kangaroo...), and a lizard (The Lizard... they were so creative in those days) to choose from. But whatever, I thought the dude that played Dr. Connors did a decent performance, it kind of destroyed Peter's credibility as a genius that it took him so long to figure out that the guy who's been researching lizards might have something to do with the giant lizard... Anyway I'll start rambling if I keep going in this direction, so let me sum it up by saying, that the best parts of spider-man are the action sequences and montage of how Peter learns to become Spider-man and then Emma Stone... so much Emma stone. The ending is a little meh, I'm glad they decided to not recreate the ending of the first Spider-man to a T but leaves the hope of romance alive, but the extra scene with Dr. Connor's in prison talking to the shadowy figure makes 0 sense without the build up of the parents spy stuff. Maybe it'll be fixed on the directors cut, but I bet they don't mention it much at all in the next movie.
Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter really and truly lost me when he starts jumping from horse to horse in the middle of a stampede. It's so ridiculous and chop sokey wire fu that any hope of keeping the audience is thrown out the window at that point. Plus Licoln is only supposed to be able to face the Vampires because of his special training... yet when we get to the train battle laer on, pretty much anyone he tosses the axe to is a serious motherfucker at hacking vampires down. And none of those characters should have been able to keep up in the same manner, unless they had done a lot of training off screen. But whatever, another big physics gripe is that TRAINS DO NOT GO UPHILL THE WAY THEY HAVE THE LITTTLE ENGINE THAT COULDN'T CHUGGING AWAY AT THE END. THAT ENTIRE SEQUENCE SHOULD HAVE BEEN MUCH SHORTER AND ENDED WITH THE TRAIN COLLAPSING INTO THE RIVER AS SOON AS THE BRIDGE STARTED TO BLOW UP. Suspension of disbelief or not, somethings just don't work. And really it's too bad that Alan Tudyk's portrayal of Steven Douglas and the reveal that he was a vampire all along got cut down to just a few short scenes. According to IMDB they even took his credit off the movie... weird. Alan is awesome and I highly recommend seeing Tucker and Dale versus Evil instead of this.
Finally The Dark Knight Rises
MOTHERFUCKING CHRISTOPHER NOLAN put at least 4 big twists in this movie and succeeded in getting me hook line and sinker with the Talia reveal. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. Oh man, I was kicking myself in the theater. Of course it was a red herring saying that Bane was the child that climbed out and that he was the son of Ra's al Ghoul. Every Batman fan knows that Ra's had a daughter. I just blanked on it and was just like... yeah, makes sense born in a prison, that's part of Bane's real story so ok they bent it a bit for this movie but NO THEY UNBENT IT AND WENT A FULL 180 ON MY ASS. Damn, it's been a long time since I've been floundering like that, and maybe, just maybe I wouldn't have fallen for it if I hadn't been watching the movie at Mosi and been distracted by the full 360 immersion whatever, but I can't go back and watch it for the first time now. So my hat is off to Mr. Nolan, a job well done sir. I am sad that you've stated you won't come back for a 4th film... but I really really hope that the set up with Joseph Gordon-Levitt at the end turns into a Nightwing movie. Because that would be awesome. I haven't seen a bad Joseph Gordon-Levitt movie yet (mmmaybe GI joe..). And weirdly enough, he'll be in the new Lincoln movie. Oh as an aside, my friend Corey Castellano worked on Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter and then went immediately to go work on the Daniel Day Lewis Lincoln film. Corey is awesome and his make-up really helped keep the vampire hunter movie from being much worse.
And I'm gonna stop here since it's almost midnight... this'll teach me to hoard up movies to review. I doubt anyone is gonna actually read through this wall of text.
But if you do please leave a comment so I know it was not in vain that I typed this up.