Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.


SUPERMAN/BATMAN: PUBLIC ENEMIES (2009)
The series of animated DC Universe films does an incredible job with its depiction of kinetic action sequences, doesn't it? This movie barely even cares what its plot is; it really just wants to show Superman and Batman engaged in powerful action sequences fighting seemingly half the DC Universe. And you know what? It works. It's a lot of fun. It's also wonderful that Kevin Conroy, Tim Daly, and Clancy Brown reprise their roles from the TV series as Batman, Superman, and Lex Luthor. Kevin Conroy just is Batman. When I read Batman comics, it's his voice I still hear in my head. *** stars. Batman and Superman seem more homoerotic than ever. Bats is clearly jealous of Lois.

THE ILLUSIONIST (2010)
Beautiful animated film about magic, the changing world, and growing up from the genius Sylvain Chomet. Very sad in the end, and bittersweet, but beautiful. **** stars.

IT HAPPENED HERE (1965)
Great idea, but the execution doesn't live up to it. It's supposed to be a docudrama about a London where the Nazis have won World War II, but it just doesn't grab the viewer. ** stars.

SIDDHARTHA (1972)
Interesting adaptation of the Hesse novel about Siddhartha, a young man who walks the path of materialism but eventually--as they always do--learns the importance of spirituality. Involving, and beautiful to look at. Gorgeous photography by Sven Nykvist. **** stars.

BODY SLAM (1986)
An 80s movie that needs a lot more cheese to work. It's about a sleazy, down-on-his-luck agent who tries to start a rock 'n' wrestling show. I always like to see Roddy Piper, but this movie needed a LOT more of Captain Lou Albano. Tanya Roberts and Billy Barty pop up, too. Could've been fun, but really isn't. *1/2 stars.

THE BUSHIDO BLADE (1981)
Surprisingly awesome low-budget Shogun rip-off has American sailors in the 1800s trying to make a deal with the Shogun to build a railroad in Japan. When the titular sword is stolen by a warrior, the Americans try to get it back. Fantastic cast for a flick like this: Richard Boone, Toshiro Mifune, Mako, Sonny Chiba, Laura Gemser--and James Earl Jones shows up for an all-too-short cameo as a philosophical whaler. Fun as hell. Nothing I would've sought out, but I sure did enjoy watching it. ***1/2 stars.

GREEN LANTERN: EMERALD KNIGHTS (2011)
Nice little anthology about the Corps; your mileage may vary based on how involving you find the stories. I particularly dug the one about Kilowog (of course!), and the story about Bolfunga the Unrelenting (Roddy Piper again!) trying to fight Mogo is wonderful. I would really love to see more of these, especially with Nathan Fillion and Jason Isaacs as Hal Jordan and Sinestro. Could've used more Tomar, but I was having too much fun to care. *** stars.

2 comments:

Kal said...

I enjoyed 'Public Enemies' a lot. The characters are all beefed up like they should be and I have never loved powergirl more. That pixie cut looks fantastic on her. The huge battle royals were fantastic and the ending, when Superman thought Batman was dead, rang true to me. They really are great friends and partners.

Tallulah Morehead said...

I just wached THE ILLUSIONIST a few days ago. What a gorgeous movie, melancholy, but filled with moments of breathtaking visual beauty. And when the ventriloquist dummy was reduced in the pawnbroker's window to "Free," it made me gasp. Nice to have one last movie from Tati, 29 years after he died.