I have returned after a truly long absence from my blog and especially the Weekly Updates, which I have terribly neglected over the last month or so. I realise that I have more than a month of catching up to do, but I assure you that I’ll be as swift in recuperating as possible. I hereby mark the first step to recovery.
Bridesmaids (2011) - 7/10
Like many others, I did not think much of Bridesmaids when I first heard about the movie, especially since the posters, stills and even the trailers made it look like the average female-oriented comedy. However, ever since its release the film has received universally positive feedback and hailed as one of the best comedies of the year up to this point, so naturally I changed my mind and gave it a go as soon as possible. All in all, Bridesmaids really turned out to be an entertaining and above-average comedy that is enjoyable by both genders in equal amount, but I couldn’t help but feel a little underwhelmed by it all after the praise that it’s gotten. Certainly, there were a few highly memorable comedy setpieces and the humour (usually) works quite well, but I kind of expected more from the movie overall. There were scenes where the comedy was almost missing and others where some of the jokes simply did not work. On top of that, there’s the overly clichéd conclusion the film came to that left me on somewhat of a disappointed note. Nevertheless, the times when Bridesmaids does work are definitely noteworthy and thoroughly hilarious, more or less making up for some of its weaker points. And, of course, Kristen Wiig was great in the leading role and I was also impressed with Melissa McCarthy and Rose Byrne. To sum it up, go see Bridesmaids because it is a solid comedy film, but don’t let yourself get carried away by all the stellar reviews it’s been getting.
Thor (2011) - 6/10 Thor is definitely not the be-all, end-all of superhero movies, and it also doesn’t rank as high as the Iron Man film series, but for what it’s worth, it’s a solid summer popcorn ride. The plot shares plenty of similarities with every other superhero origin story, focusing mostly on the character development of the protagonist, but there are a few surprisingly well-done moments that ultimately keep the storyline from falling prey to mediocrity. Thanks to director Kenneth Branagh and his refined ways, there are a few noteworthy Shakespearean elements to be found among the storyline, such as the thoroughly interesting father-son relationship between Loki and his father Odin. Thor also boasts quite an unconventional look, depicting the main character’s homeland Asgard in quite an intriguing way, but the visuals don’t always work in favour of the movie. For example, some of the major action setpieces failed to entice my interest, leaving me very lukewarm towards them. Also, the film isn’t as big in scale as one would expect, with most of the movie taking place either in Asgard or in a small town in New Mexico. On the other hand, Thor impresses acting-wise, with the spotlight landing on main actor Chris Hemsworth, who brings Thor to life with help of his charm and charisma, the always outstanding Anthony Hopkins, and, last but definitely not least, Tom Hiddleston with a very notable performance in the role of the antagonist Loki. Like I mentioned earlier, Thor does not rank among the best superhero films, but if you’re looking for a fun popcorn flick to watch this summer, it’s certainly worth your time.
Drive Angry (2011) - 4/10
I cannot say that I had any sort of expectations of Drive Angry going into it, but I certainly did not foresee it turning out to be as bad as it did. All I wanted was some good ol’ ‘Cagesploitation’ and some mild entertainment out of it, but unfortunately the film ended up fulfilling only the latter part of my hopes (to some degree). Right from the start, it’s quite obvious that the story has absolutely no aspirations whatsoever: it’s all over the place and rarely does it make sense to a satisfactory degree. As for Nicolas Cage, he’s clearly not at his best during this one, failing to provide anything notable in the leading role and ending up being completely overshadowed by fellow actor William Fichtner more and more as the film progresses. Speaking of William Fichtner, his performance is the only noteworthy thing in the entire movie, depicting a thoroughly intriguing and puzzling anti-hero possessing supernatural powers. As for Amber Heard, not even her remarkable looks managed to conceal her terrible attempt at a Southern accent and her lack of on-screen prominence. In addition to all the marks that Drive Angry misses, it also boasts incredibly cheap and awful visuals, which only furthers the film’s descent into pure incompetence. Did I mention how bad the script was? Suffice it to say, there’s unintentional laughter to be had among the muddled dialogue and braindead plot elements.