We're just a few weeks from the summer movie season...as with years past,I've looked at the recently-published list of upcoming films in my local paper and have already planned which ones I plan to see.I mostly stick to fantasy-sci-fi-action films these days,having forsaken (the Hollywood versions of) comedies and horror movies a loooong time ago.
Most of the summer movies I've gone to see,I've liked,but I've had my share of disappointments...The Wild,Wild West,Green Lantern,R.I.P.D. ....but I've also liked movies that I've liked that when I do see them mentioned,it's usually on someone's "worst movies of all time" list.Although they're not all summer flicks,here are a few...
Speed Racer (2008)...I've seen many of the favorite TV shows of my youth...Scooby Doo,Fat Albert And The Cosby Kids,Land Of The Lost...turned into some truly rotten movies.Not so here...I think the Wachowski brothers did justice to the source material,giving it the same kinetic energy they gave to the first Matrix movie.This movie enthralled me so much,each viewing actually had me staying all the way to the end of the credits...and not to see some after-credits scene,of which there was none...but to listen to the modern interpretations of the Speed Racer theme.And I don't even like rap or hip-hop.
John Carter (2012)...The criticism I heard most frequently against this was that so many filmmakers,like George Lucas,had already borrowed so many ideas from Edgar Rice Burrough's original novel,published more than a century ago,that there was really nothing new here.All I know is that I watched a thoroughly enjoyable sci-fi adventure,the only critique of which I have is that the title should've been the much-better sounding John Carter Of Mars.
The Avengers (1998)...as you can deduce from the year,this isn't the Marvel movie,but an adaption of the popular British TV series of the late '60's.What I loved about this was that it was far removed in style from the James Bond films,set in a surreal London of nearly-empty streets,with a hero and heroine who comport themselves as proper Brits,all manners and natty dress (an idea also done by the recent Kingsman:The Secret Service).Did I mention the villain is played by...horror of horrors...Sean Connery?!? Bond has gone over to the other side!!!
Prince Of Persia:The Sands Of Time (2010)...I didn't find out until well after I saw this that it was based on a videogame...swear to God. My gaming days never really went beyond my visits to the arcades,none of which even exist anymore.I liked it because it was a top-notch Arabian Nights-style adventure.
Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow (2004)...This movie,set in an alternate-world 1939,concerns a daredevil pilot and his metropolitan-newspaper-reporter girlfriend learning of a plot to destroy the world...literally.It is so jam-packed with references to some of the great fantasy adventures of the early 20th century,and its visuals are of a monochromatic world,a virtual-landscape movie that predated both 300 and Sin City by several years.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)...I really don't give a flying f-ck how many bad reviews this got. I liked it.
I probably should mention that I never read the original comic,or watched any of the animated versions.I only know the Turtles from the movies,the only other one I really liked was the first one (1990).Those dummies at New Line Cinema should've never fired Judith Hoag!
Grindhouse (2007)...it still absolutely kills me that this didn't even make the top spot in its opening week, losing that richly-deserved spot to a crummy not-Pixar CGI movie from Disney and a goddamn Will Ferrell movie...it didn't help much when this wasn't released on home video the way it was released to theaters,except on some limited-edition thing available only in Japan. (No longer true...I got the DVD of the theatrical release several months ago) Since the whole grindhouse thing was something I never really experienced,watching this was like the cinematic equivalent of a sugar-rush...in a world where sugar is illegal.
There are other examples,but I couldn't help noticing this is dangerously close to becoming an angry rant,so I'll stop here.
See you at the movies!!!