Note - This entry was originally posted by mistake as an edit of a completely different post. As such it would not have shown up in your RSS feed unless you got edited posts. My apologies - I've restored the original post that this overwrote and given this it's own entry. I am using a Safari Extension called ScribeFire for blogging now and didn't have the paradigm down.
I'm not sure why, but a lot of the movies I've seen lately have been either animated or based on graphic novels. Here's a rundown of them, but be warned that there be spoilers and not all of them are what you might call "new".
The Losers - For a classic "misfit soldiers get left for dead and seek revenge to get their lives back" flick, this is a good one. While I don't know that I'll ever be a fan of Zoe Saldana (someone buy this woman a milkshake!), the rest of the cast is fine with a standout performance by Chris Evans as the smart (and smartass) tech guy Jensen. He nails the graphic novel's character perfectly. The true cool, however, is Jason Patrick as uber bad guy Max, who chews the scenery about as much as it will tolerate before becoming dietary fiber. Really engaging, some great fight scenes, and if the plot gets a little, urm, unrealistic at points, it's a great romp. Highly recommended if you like your action film with humor that doesn't involve an Austrian accent.
How To Train Your Dragon - If Scott Pilgrim weren't on this list, I'd give this movie the Geek of the Week award for the great voice work done by the lead, Jay Baruchel. I was only slightly jarred to discover at the end of the movie that America Ferrera voiced his love interest, who looks like a white Zoe Saldana (although not nearly as famine-invoking). Great story, great animation, and I even didn't mind the standard "appearances are deceiving" plot, although it rises above the standard fare. Note that I did not see this in 3D (and in fact, only one of these movies was seen in a theater - I'm just too old for that much audio-visual stimulation it seems), but who cares. Great stuff.
Toy Story 3 - OK, who thought this was a good movie for kids under 10? Don't get me wrong, this is a fantastic movie, well done all the way around, and unlike some movie series this one just gets phenomenally better with every outing. But there is no question that there are plot elements that will give your 8 year old nightmares for weeks, and really the story isn't for them anyway. Where TS2 was about trying to regain lost youth through nostalgia, this one is about letting go of youth through sharing. Again, not seen in 3D and who cares.
Red - I admit it. I watched this movie because I really wanted to see Helen Mirren in a leather catsuit (and I don't know why I thought she was in one). On the other hand, watching her fire a .50cal MG was a close second. The only senior citizen on my laminated card. Oh, and the rest of the movie and cast was good too. And Mary-Louise Parker has had good work done in the past, but in this movie she looked a little closer to her age and it really suits her. No one does scared and bitchy like MLP. And who doesn't love John Malkovitch getting his crazy on in a big way?
Scott Pilgrim vs The World - Help, I'm trapped in a Nintendo console! I'm not sure how in the world these guys did this, but they took slackers, punk rock, 8-bit video games, sardonic (if young) babes with vari-colored hair, and anime kung-fu movies and made one of the craziest and "funnest" movies I've seen in a while. My wife didn't really get it, and I'm not sure I did either, but it was sure a wild ride. Bass duel! In fact, that was the only weak spot, as I can't stand Brandon Routh - he was an energy sucker in Chuck, and he's an energy sucker here, Goa'uld eyes or not. The Vegan Police were a scream, though. Certainly the most novel thing I've seen in a long time, and I highly recommend it if you are younger and/or have an open mind about what makes a movie.
Rango - I've loved everything else on this list, so I guess it makes sense that the one movie I walked away from wishing I'd spent my time grocery shopping was this animated film. At least it isn't even *offered* in 3D. I'm not a fan of Westerns, so I guess I missed all of the jokes. The funny ones, anyway. Sure, there were moments here and there (when Rango does his ember-writing during the campfire scene, there's KISS logo in the picture - too bad you don't have time to give it a better look). I knew the plot within the first 15 minutes of the movie without having been told, the color palate was your basic beige and not much else, the jokes weren't funny, the film references were tired for the most part, and the critters were a mite *too* realistic for my tastes. No question the imagery and detail were amazing, but it was more tech demo than anything else. If you love Westerns, especially the spaghetti variety, I suppose you might like this, but for me it reminded me of why I rarely see movies in the theater anymore. Oh, and this is about the worst movie to take kids to ever, despite the projectile-Skittles previews we were subjected to. Yuck. O.
That is all.