I haven’t posted here in this thread lately mainly because I’ve been mostly playing video games and watching anime or TV shows, but today I watched a few movies which just deserve some comment. I rented the Bluray versions of Prometheus, The Avengers and John Carter.
First was Prometheus which is best summed up with two words predictable and dull. I won’t give any specifics lest I spoil things for those who can turn off their cognitive functions and not realized when their being slapped in the face with what’s going to happen later in a movie that’s trying to be suspenseful, but I will beat around the bush. Lets predict who’s going to survive . . . probably the characters who get backstory because giving a lot of backstory on a character so we actually gave a crap about them might surprise us or at least care one way or another when they get offed. Another way to put it is things are about as surprising as a firefight in a first person shooter when you walk into a new area and the game auto-saves while you look out over rows of chest high walls, there’s gonna be some shootin . . . methinks.
I checked out Bluray.com and they give it 5 out of 5 for both audio and video quality which I guess I can’t argue with on a technical basis. However, reference movie IMO this aint. The colours are often shades of monochrome to suggest bleakness which doesn’t inspire much in the way “wow” factor. There was nothing really memorable about the audio track either no matter how “good” the quality was. However, I could forgive all of this if the movie had at least been interesting.
So back to more of why the movie sucked. The characters are flat. They do stupid things (I really hate this) to advance the “plot” which are often out of pre-established character traits. Really annoying is when they get to another planet and find something which may indicate not only other life in the universe but life forms which may have some relevance to life on earth and some characters are about as awed as someone opening their mailbox to see a bill inside. Actually more irritating and probably why (besides it being dull and predictable) I really dislike this movie is that it starts out with some promise of being a later day (read pop) version of 2001 but turns out to be nothing but a B grade scifi thriller on steroids. So overall I’d have to give this movie 2 out of 5
Next up was “The Avengers” which is yet another movie I can sum up in two words, totally awesome! This is by far the best of the “Avengers” movies so far and the best part is you could see this without having watched any of the previous movies and not really be missing much of the story though you’ve would miss out on heaps of characterization. However, if you were to only watch one of the prequels this should be “Thor.”
Unlike Prometheus this one doesn’t give any hint of trying to be something it’s not. It’s an action adventure movie interspersed with good humor. Best of all the humor is based on the character interactions which I say rather than dialogue because one of the best moments is just when The Hulk punches someone. A movie scene hasn’t made me laugh in as long as I can remember and this one made me laugh out loud it was just so appropriate.
Bluray.com only gives this a 4.5 for PQ but a 5.0 for SQ, and to that I say to Bluray.com piss off. I couldn’t give a crap it the PQ isn’t pristine because it’s simply a joy to look at. However, I really loved the audio track. This audio track has HT reference movie written all over it and best of all it matches what happening on and off screen giving a real sensation of being there including the LFE track. Unlike many movies where if you really pay attention the LFE is just some rumbling or booming but here when the Hulk walks you feel each footstep in sync with what’s on screen. Things fly by to the left and right both near and far away along with directly overhead. During several shooting scenes you here shell casings plinking on the floor despite all the other audio candy taking place around you. Both the frequency range and the dynamic range of this audio track are spectacular. In short this is exactly the audio track that M80s were made for.
There’s not a lot to say about the story since it is a comic book on the big screen. But how the story unfolds is well done even giving some backstory to the characters without resorting to flashbacks. The dialogue is great as is the interaction between the characters. Joss Whedon can really bring out the chemistry between actors. Even the action scenes which in most action movies would wear on me are interspersed with banter between the characters to keep you engaged with them.
Another part of the movie that deserves mentioning are the special effects. You just have to see it to believe it, there that good.
I could go on-and-on about this movie but instead of wasting your time reading this just go out and rent it, hell no buy the damm thing even if just for the audio track. You guessed it 5 out of 5.
And then there’s John Carter, the darkhorse in today’s race, for which the two-word summery is surprisingly entertaining. OK I know that’s not a ringing endorsement but what the hell this is really nothing more than a scifi action adventure based on very dated books and I had just gotten done watching The Avengers.
Bluray.com gave John Carter 5 out of 5 for PQ and SQ both of which are well deserved. No one thing about this movie stands out in these areas which in a way is praise in itself. It just looks and sounds great.
There’s a fairly long lead-in sequence which unlike most is quite entertaining so even though the main plot takes a while to get going you’re not left waiting for it. Overall the characters are interesting with the princess being the least so but not terrible. However, the best character, probably the best of the day, is the dog . . . thingy.
I’ve already dragged these reviews on for too long and it’s hard to follow up The Avengers so the best thing I can say about John Carter is that any movie that can keep me entertained after just watching The Avengers has to be a pretty damm entertaining movie. Overall I’d say this is 4 out of 5.
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