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Channel Surfing on a Lazy Weekend: Two Brides, A Mad Man, and Another Mopey Superhero

And yet again, because I said I’d give a write up to whatever movie I happened to see at any point and for any length of time, here are some brief thoughts on a few movies I caught a bit of while flipping around on the TV during a lazy weekend.

corpse_bride

I only caught a few minutes of Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride on basic cable but I remember it being a pretty decent movie.  While not quite being near the heights of his previous stop motion effort The Nightmare Before Christmas, the few moments I caught definitely reflected the usual Burton-esque gothic imagery and the dull, drab colors of the world of the living.  But, to be honest, story-wise, I cannot remember a thing about what happens in this movie.  I didn’t really stay tuned to find out either since I was pretty bored and didn’t feel like lingering at any one place for too much.  The scene I did catch was when Johnny Depp’s character actually puts the wedding ring on the corpse bride and of course all sorts of mayhem ensues.  Well, I changed it before the mayhem really ensued.  The stop motion work was, as usual, phenomenal with a great sense of dark foreboding.  These guys do amazing work and I love seeing this stuff.  But story-wise, it’s a kind forgettable fable that dances between the land of the living and land of the dead.  A subject that Burton delved into much more successfully with Beetlejuice.  The fact I can’t really recall what happens after all of this tells me either I was in a kind of half-mind when I first watched it, which was very possible, or that while it’s the usual amazing visual work of incredibly talented artisans, it just doesn’t compare to others in the genre like The Nightmare Before Christmas or Coraline (two movies which I love, by the way.).

princess_bride

Anyways, changing channels I came across the basically universally loved Princess Bride.  I mean, c’mon, have you met anyone who doesn’t like this movie?  Girls love the romanticism, guys love the deadpan comedy, it’s just a great little fairy tale movie that never takes itself too seriously and has fun with the conventions of it.  It’s everything Shrek wanted to be but was never clever enough to pull off.  The annoying thing is, I don’t think I’ve ever seen this movie from the beginning.  Well, I may have once like a while ago but I don’t remember it at all.  And, as with most people, I usually catch the movie on basic cable somewhere because, well, it’s basic cable law I guess to show it at least a couple of times every weekend.  It’s that and Shawshank get that deal.  God only knows why.  Or Ted Turner.  But I digress…

I always come into the movie when Vizzini (Wallace Shawn), Inigo Montoya (Mandy Patinkin, easily my favorite character in the movie), Fezzik (the very lovable Andre the Giant), and Buttercup (Robin Wright Penn) are climbing up that steep cliff face running away from the Westley (Cary Elwes, in a role where his strange method of overacting fits quite nicely).  I can’t remember for the life of me what happens in those ten or fifteen minutes that occur before that.  And from everything that’s happening, it seems like I missed a lot but I don’t think I did.  And of course, I always eventually lose interest when they kill off Vizzini, easily my second favorite character in the movie.  I mean, c’mon, that guy is gold and you’re going to off him after the first act?  Rough.  It’s not like the rest of the movie is bad or dull or anything.  Nothing farther from the truth.  But when you’re flipping around, one can do with a little more Wallace Shawn.  It’s all I ask.

minority_report2

I literally caught like five minutes of Minority Report.  Really don’t know why I’m even mentioning it but whatever, I can do what I want.  Free country.  Whatchu gonna do?  Yeah, I’ve got nothing.  Pretty cool visual effects fit pretty seamlessly in the movie.  Feels very real world, like actual technology that could actually show up at some point.  I remember liking this movie a lot when it first came out but I haven’t thought about it in forever.  It was back when Tom Cruise actually had some mystique about him.  Those were the good old days.  Not like his acting talent’s changed.  He’s still damn good.  But he really put himself out there.  I’d really like to know a lot less about him.  Otherwise, good flick from what I can recall.  Why’d I change the channel so fast?  It’s a decent movie but really did not want to get into it.  Also, Spielberg has really got to get over the daddy issues that pop up in his movies over and over and over and over again.  Please, take it to your therapist’s couch and please leave it off the movie screens.  At least, for a little while.  Some branching out would be nice rather than trying to shoehorn it into every screenplay that comes across his desk.  He’s been attached to a Lincoln movie recently.  How much you want to bet that Lincoln did not have the greatest relationship with his father?  If he didn’t, he sure as hell does now.

Superman_Returns

And finally, I came across the last half of Superman Returns and…damn did Bryan Singer screwed the pooch on this one.  At the rate of superhero franchise sequels, we should’ve been neck deep in a Superman’s Back Bitches! Franchise trilogy by now and there’s a reason why we aren’t.  A Superman movie should do gangbusters at the box office and this one didn’t because Singer decided to make Superman an introverted loner, an absentee father, and climax his big action blockbuster superhero movie with his hero getting the crap kicked out of him and then lifting a giant rock into space.  No great face off with the villain. No great confrontation.  Not to mention that it’s another pretty lame villain plot but that seems to be par for the course with these superhero movies with a few notable exceptions.

What’s even worse is that he screwed up two superhero franchises in one go with this movie.  He abandoned the X-Men franchise which he had a great handle on to do this movie and left the X-Men in the hands of the “geniuses” at 20th Century Fox who ended up rushing a half baked X-Men sequel that, well, the less said the better.  And he went off and did Superman.  And I’ve got to admit, I don’t completely hate this movie.  The first half is fairly enjoyable from what I recall.  The part I caught though was mainly the crappy latter half where it all goes to shit.  The first half had some action and excitement and a nice little love triangle and some interesting avenues to explore.  And then the latter half the main character of SUPERMAN spends his time moping around that everyone moved on without him and doing his damndest not to be that heroic.  Hell, James Marsden is more Superman than the actual Superman in the movie.  It all just got bad.  Guess we’ll wait for the next reboot then.  Awesome…

Well, I think that’s it from what I caught this past weekend. So, yeah, I was pretty serious when I said I’d try to write up something on every single movie I come across. I am no liar.

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