[Published as email on April 14th 2013]
I've been watching movies but haven't had time to write formal reviews. For the record, the movies I've seen lately are:
- Jurassic Park 3D - I saw this the first time when I was teaching in Japan and saw it at a small rinky dink closet of a movie theater. I wasn't too overwhelmed at the time and even after countless viewings on VHS and DVD, I thought of the movie as unremarkable. But now, seeing it in 3D, it's actually a pretty good film and the 3D effects are exploited for full impact. As a side note, another older movie, Top Gun, also came out in 3D but do I really want to see a bunch of guys with their shirts off playing volleyball in 3D? Verdict: Matinee but make sure to see it in 3D.
- Olympus Has Fallen - solid action movie. It's pretty much Die Hard in the White House. You know the scene in Die Hard when the Hans character is threatening the Takagi character with a gun pointed at his head and when he blows his brains out, you see the splatter effect on the door? I remember seeing that when Die Hard first came out and thought "holy shit ... that's brutal". Well, Olympus Has Fallen must have at least 10 splatter effect scenes and while effective in showing the viciousness of the enemy, it doesn't really carry the same "holy shit" feeling that Die Hard did. Verdict: Matinee.
The following I saw on Blu-ray:
- Zero Dark Thirty - this was a good film but shifts into high gear when they raid Bin Laden's compound. Verdict: see it for the last 40 minutes
- Argo - it's like the Players meets Zero Dark Thirty. Verdict: I liked it. I would definitely see it, especially for the last 40 minutes
- Skyfall - in this Daniel Craig era of Bond, this was better than Quantum of Solace but not as good as Casino Royale. Verdict: I liked it, but the last 40 minutes was a bit tiresome
- Life Of Pi - my expectations for this movie was really low but turned out to be pretty awesome. Verdict: I really like it, especially the last 40 minutes
- The Hobbit - I saw this in HFR (high framerate) + IMAX 3D when it came out December of last year. It had the same LOTR vibe to it but not the same momentum that Fellowship had. I know the Peter Jackson decided to break the book into three films instead of two and while I applaud his effort, the extra filler makes it feel bloated (kind of like the last handful of scenes in Return of the King). Verdict: I still liked it but it takes Bilbo 40 minutes to get out of the Shire.
- Les Miserables - I never read the book or watched the play. I liked it but I guess I was expecting a Disney-esque type of musical, where characters suddenly burst into song at the most in-opportunistic times. Verdict: there was more than 40 minutes worth of singing.