Spring '14 Super Heroes (and Giant Monsters) - Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla, and X-Men: Days of Future Past

I figured not every single review needed to be 6,000 words filled with gifs and images breaking down every intricacy of the plot. So I'm gonna start doing this on top of the full-length ones. Because I'm determined to give myself more work until I become overwhelmed and have a complete emotional breakdown. 

I saw all of these opening weekend, 1 of them opening night, yet didn’t post anything until right now. Did I wait all this time so I could form a well researched and thought out opinion? No, it’s just fighting off panic attacks from trying to write out 5,000 words about Nic Cage invading Alcatraz was enough on my plate. Am I just now going back to these movies because I'm out of ideas, or because I want a cheap excuse to get an increase in views? Yes.




X-Men Days of Future Past


The future is fucked beyond repair and there’s only a handful of mutants left, so Wolverine is sent back in time to join the First Class crew and right the wrongs and save the world and blah blah blah. Why Wolverine? Because his movies print money whether you like it or not. 

I can’t decide if I liked this more than Winter Soldier. Until I get a chance to rewatch both of them it’s 1-A and 1-B and everything else is below them. The only real problem I had besides Jennifer Lawrence phoning it in and Mystique’s character arc in general was that as the movie reached the climax it became apparent how it was going to end. But it’s a big budget superhero movie, that’s pretty much par for the course. Hundreds of millions of dollars lie in the balance, they’re not gonna throw a curve ball and show you Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen getting brutally murdered by giant cyborgs. 

You have to give Brian Singer credit for just how much work he put into expertly crafting a story and series of events and a masterful mix of Holocaust imagery, appropriate humor, and interesting character relationships all just to make X3 not matter. The lengths he went to are really impressive.
 
I had two big takeaways from this movie. First, I love how much shit they got for Quicksilver’s look leading up to the premiere and how everyone online was completely shitting on him, and then his scene completely stole the movie. Second, I hope Fassbender plays Magneto forever. He’s even better than McKellen, and McKellen and Stewart are just about as good as you can get for the combination. You’re watching the movie and you just wish Charles and Magneto could stay allies forever because Fassbender is perfect in the role and he has amazing chemistry with McAvoy. 

gotta go fast
If you still haven’t seen it and are annoyed about Wolverine being the focal point again, don’t be. He drops out near the climax because it’s not his movie. He’s there as a link because his brain can regenerate from the damage done from being forced so far back in time he is a humongous star and even his piece of shit Origins movie made more at the box office than First Class. 

The movie is way more violent than you’d expect, which is fine by me but should be put out there. If I was a little 10 year old fat kid ready to see the X-Men stop the evil robots and I saw some of the shit the Sentinels did,  I’d probably start crying. 

Long story short, if First Class is your favorite X-Men movie, you should love this. If you hated First Class, I have nothing to say to you. I was excited for Apocalypse, but Singer had to go and molest boys so we’ll see what happens there before I get too hyped. 

Godzilla 

Monsters attack. Army is useless. Force of nature comes in and shithouses everything.


I was so geeked out for this movie and spent all year eating up every piece of trivia and every second of leaked on footage I could get my hands on. I was there opening night and loved it. 


The pacing was slow and the human characters were bland and useless, just like in the other 30 Godzilla movies. I saw a bunch of people upset that a majority of the movie focuses on the effects of the monsters on the world and Godzilla only gets involved against the monsters in the third act. Apparently nobody has seen a Godzilla movie before, because that’s what happens in literally all of them. 

The size, scale and sense of destruction are amazing. The director does an amazing job of portraying what would happen if Godzilla came out of the ocean and fought a monster. The devastation and panic come across beautifully, and there were plenty of times when the human characters were in the frame as one of the MUTOs and I inaudibly mouthed "holy shit."

I knew going in it would be a slow build until the finale, because that’s how good monster movies work. Jaws wouldn’t be as exciting if you saw the shark 15 minutes into the movie. I guess when the only other comparable monster movie in the last decade, Pacific Rim, has a giant robot fighting a giant monster 10 minutes into the movie, people automatically assume that’s what they’re getting here.
  

It’s disappointing that the main character was so great as Kick-Ass but just so fucking bland here. The movie keeps teasing you and teasing you with glimpses of Godzilla to the point where you start to think "ok movie I’ve been patient here but you do this shit one more time I’m gonna get mad." And then at that point the shit hits the fan and the monster battle begins and oh my GOD. It is gorgeous. I saw it in 3D IMAX and at one point in the fight there’s a close up of Godzilla as he roars for about 15 seconds uninterrupted and it was so loud in the theater I felt the floor shaking beneath me. It was glorious.  

I loved it but I know the more I watch it the less patience I’ll have for the first hour, so I’m glad I had the 3d imax experience. If you're interested at all and you know going in that it's going to be a while until you get to the "good part," absolutely see it in theaters. You owe it to yourself to see it on such a massive scale.


If you want Pacific Rim 2, you’re gonna be disappointed. I loved Pacific Rim, but just because it has giant monsters doesn’t mean they’re comparable. It’s like Jaws and Deep Blue Sea. Yeah they both have killer sharks, but one of them is a deadly serious movie that ratchets up the tension until the shark appears for the first time, and the other has LL Cool J.  
 

Amazing Spider-Man 2


Peter Parker must face the challenges of love, loss, and 2 and a half shitty villains.

I put this last because I didn’t wanna give new readers the impression that this is one of those blogs where I get REALLY MAD about movies and swear a lot and start yelling really loud about how something doesn't make sense. There's hundreds of Youtube channels out there if you want to see some fat guy get mad about stuff that doesn't matter. 

I wanted to like this. I wanted to love this. ASM1 left absolutely no impression on me and none of the trailers got me excited for this, so I’m not sure why I went in with moderately high expectations. I wanted a big ass Spider-Man movie that tells one of the most famous comic story lines ever. What I got ruined my weekend. Literally every scene had something I hated. Right from the beginning with Paul Giamatti’s awful accent I began to sink in my chair thinking “oh no. Oh NO.” It only got worse as Jamie Fox’s Electro channeled the cinematic mastery that was Jim Carrey’s Riddler. 

Everything is just…it’s just bad. The pacing is almost embarrassing for such a big budget, high profile movie. Not a single character relationship made sense, the villains were terrible, and Spider-Man’s one liners weren’t even funny. The ghost of Dennis Leary popping up randomly was funnier than anything Spider-Man said. 

Electro is obsessed with Spider-Man and has Spider-Man stuff all over his apartment and even fantasizes Spider-Man making him a birthday cake. Then he hates Spider-Man, because the plot needs him to. Peter hasn’t seen Harry Osborne in a decade, then they’re best friends again, because the plot needs them to be. Peter and Gwen keep breaking up then reconciling then arguing then reconciling then they love each other then she’s leaving but she’s leaving right now instead of waiting, because the plot needs her to. Then halfway into the movie some fucking subplot about uncovering a mystery about Peter’s dad happens for NO REASON, then takes up 45 minutes of this almost 2 and a half hour movie. And then the mystery is revealed and it’s something everyone just assumed already. Thanks.

There’s zero flow or rhythm, scenes just happen with no sense of context or transition. The action scenes are few and far between and every time I try to go “ok, a cool action scene, I’ll try to get into it,” something stupid happens. In the Times Square fight with Electro, they use some god awful score with Pharrell chanting the character’s inner thoughts over the music because they were too lazy to film anything that mattered. Hey Pharrell just yell THEY LIED TO ME over and over again instead of us writing a character arc. 

5 Minutes in

The final climactic fight literally cuts away to two planes that are about to collide. Who’s on the planes? Nobody. It’s just two planes that could collide if the power grid doesn’t go back online. Not a single character anyone knows, it’s just bullshit used to ratchet up the tension, but it doesn’t work because there’s zero stakes involved and who could possibly care. And the slow motion. If you think the action scenes from the Underworld movies are totally bitchin’ then you’ll think this is super cool, complete with the dubstep version of Itsy Bitsy Spider. Literally. 

Then the Green Goblin finally shows up for 5 minutes in this almost t w o a n d a h a l f h o u r long movie. And I swear to God I almost burst out laughing. I’m not trying to be that guy wearing the fedora sitting alone in the theater chuckling loudly to himself about how beneath him this is. I mean he looked like he was halfway into a werewolf transformation but it was interrupted by a bout of leprosy. It’s the kind of scary makeup they use on a Disney Channel movie where they want the bad guy to be an evil monster, but don’t want to make it too scary for their demographic. 


Imagine doing something worse than Willem Dafoe's Power Rangers helmet
There’s no reason for Goblin to even be in this movie. It’s obvious watching it with its awful pacing that this clearly should’ve built to Goblin getting his own movie and this one just having Electro, but Electro is written so “Ice to see you”-esque that there’s no way he could hold his own movie. 

Well, the web slinging looked cool, I guess. 


I didn’t grow up reading the comics so I’m not coming from some furious HOW DARE THEY NOT DO JUSTICE TO IT standpoint. I just wanted a good movie. They lost me early and every time they started to get me back something stupid would happen. At least Spider-Man 3 was fun to laugh at.



[ Next: I, Frankenstein ]



3 comments:

  1. i need to see everyone of these movies, including Xmen First Class and the first amazing Spiderman. :/ So behind.

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    Replies
    1. You really don't need to see the first amazing Spiderman. It's mediocre as fuck.

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  2. Among all of those, X-Men: Days of future past as best thing I watched, Spiderman was good but nothing new was in it. Good post, thanks for sharing it

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