Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Film Week

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

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST (2014)
You all know I'm not really a big fan of the X-Men movies, but outside of The Wolverine, this was easily the best one since X2. And I don't really like Bryan Singer, but I have to assume he's the reason why this movie was remotely enjoyable. Unlike most of the other filmmakers who have followed him, he at least had ideas about what the characters were supposed to be about, so this one feels like there's some purpose there, some urgency. Still, like all of these movies, it's a mixed bag. Any of the alternate future stuff is pretty incomprehensible and boring, even for an X-Men movie. But all of the stuff that takes place in the 70s is pretty damn enjoyable. The First Class-era actors are enjoyable in their roles (especially Fassbender), and with Hugh Jackman added, that works out pretty great. The celebrated Quicksilver scene is celebrated for a reason; it's a virtuoso sequence, but more than that, it's so rare in these movies to just see someone enjoying their abilities and getting to cut loose with them. The whole thing ends with a couple of retcons that were surprising, but might fix some of their broken chronology. It doesn't really make a difference to me if they keep making X-Men films or not, but if they keep putting them on HBO, I tend to watch them. This and The Wolverine were surprisingly enjoyable. It would be nice if they were stronger going forward. ***

TROLL 2 (1992)
I can't rate this movie seriously, but I do want to say: this is a really bad movie, but in an enjoyable way. This movie really illustrates the problems I have with the Ironically Bad Movie Industry we have today. Troll 2 is from an era when something epically bad could become a cult favorite--the kind of movie you had to see because it was so bad that you enjoyed watching it with people because can you believe this thing? We don't really get that kind of movie anymore because anyone with a digital camera can make a movie with their friends over a weekend and get it on Syfy. This is the era of Sharknado, when we're putting out Bad on Purpose movies constantly in an attempt to turn them into cult faves almost ironically. But I think Sharknado shows that you can't make a bad movie on purpose, especially since Sharknado never quite goes as gonzo as it thinks it does. A movie like Troll 2 happens because of that special mix of good intentions and general incompetence that you can't fake. It's weird that this movie made me wistful for a time that I think is gone now.

4 comments:

Nik said...

Have you seen the documentary Best Worst Movie about the making of and cult legacy of Troll 2? It's a great flick that celebrates the cheesy charm perfectly of these sorts of movies.

SamuraiFrog said...

I haven't, and after catching Troll 2 on MGM-HD I was disappointed to find that Best Worst Movie isn't on Netflix anymore.

H said...

I think you still get genuinely bad good movies - you just need the right mix of megalomania and uselessness behind the camera. If you don't believe me, you should watch The Room or Birdemic: Shock and Terror. Both relatively recent and shockingly, unbelievably bad. But those movies do tend to get lost in the industry of the bad on purpose movies which are really just shit (cf. Sharknado).

SamuraiFrog said...

One of the worst things that happened was that Syfy decided that was their brand.