Monday, June 02, 2008

What I watched in May

THEM (2007)- 6 (not bad French horror tale that’s a little too long for its own good)
LAKE DEAD (2007)- 1 (or Pond of Boredom)
IRON MAN (2008)- 10 (wow!)
SS GIRLS (1977)- 3 (terrible but funny)
MORE DEAD THAN ALIVE (1968)- 6 (odd western with an out of nowhere ending)
THE CHAIRMAN (1969)- 5 (mediocre Cold War political thriller with Gregory Peck)
21 (2008)- 7 (good, well acted if slightly predictable thriller)
P.S. I LOVE YOU (2008)- 7 (well done weeper)
THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS (1991)- 3 (better than a remake but….)
THE SINGING DETECTIVE (2003)- 7 (a good shrinking of the original)
WHO COULD KILL A CHILD? (1976)- 8 (great Spanish horror film)
THE PSYCHIC (a.k.a. SEVEN BLACK NOTES) (1977)- 7 (Fulci goodness) (rewatch)
INSIDE (2007)- 4 (French horror starts off well but goes far too OTT and becomes stupid)
LOST (2004)- 7 (sharp, simple thriller about a …. But that would spoil the fun!)
ON THE RUN: TRILOGY (2002)- 6 (French thriller)
THE RETURN OF DRACULA (1958)- 6 (small scale but effective b&w chiller)
THE MIST (2007)- 9 (rewatch)

I had heard from friends that the new Indiana Jones film was bad. In fact, several of them insisted that it was completely terrible. Now that I’ve seen the film I find that attitude ridiculous. It’s not that the film is awful- it’s just not very good. Sadly I think far too many people are going into INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL with high expectations and the resultant less-than-spectacular movie is crushing them. I can understand this to a large degree. When you’re expecting great OK just doesn’t cut it. Indeed, merely OK can seem like a slap in the face. And in this case it doesn’t help that the entire movie plays like one of those greatest hits CD collections with one or two new songs on it to entice you to buy the old stuff again. There are so many nods to the earlier three movies that that at a certain point I stopped counting them and just rolled my eyes.

Another problem is that there are way too many stupid moments where it was obvious Lucas/Spielberg thought they had delivered a fantastic cinematic moment- but they hadn’t. The nadir had to be the vine swinging scene. Ugh! CGI monkeys? Let’s be clear- this is the George Lucas of the Star Wars prequels and NOT the man who wrote RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. That earlier Lucas no longer exists and if anyone out there had any question about it this film should end all speculation.

Still……I kind of enjoyed myself. True- it’s not a great film. It’s not even as much fun as the previous two sequels. It IS better than a Stephen Sommers or a Michael Bay movie. But with something as rock solid as IRON MAN in theaters right now this just doesn’t cut it. It’s not as bad as I’d been told by overreacting, disappointed fans, but that’s damning it with faint praise, now ain’t it.

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