I saw a few movies over the past few weeks. Here are my quick thoughts on each:
Speed Racer is one of the worst TV shows of all time. I've met people before who describe themselves as fans and who actually claim to have made it through an entire episode. Some of these "fans" have even sat through multiple episodes. I've never been able to do that. I've tried. And I've failed. To begin with, I'm not a fan of Anime. Let me be more frank: I think Anime sucks. Especially bad Anime, a subcategory in which the Speed Racer series most definitely falls. It sucks big time.
But when I saw the trailer for the new movie based on Speed Racer, I thought it looked pretty cool. So I saw it.
I'm not sure if it was the enormity of the Imax screen or if it was all of the excited kids in the theatre who couldn't stop laughing and hollering with excitment, but I had a blast. It isn't going to win any awards (and judging by the box office, it probably won't even make much of a profit, if at all), but it was actually a really clever, really well done kids movie.
You know what would've made this movie less annoying? If it had been called "Jar Jar" and was just two hours of a pregnant Jar Jar binks wise-cracking in his Gunganese creole.
"Meesa Jar Jar Binks. Meesa forshizz up the spout!"
Seriously, this was one of the most annoying, awful movies I've ever seen. People liked this? This won an award for best writing? If you thought Daria and the collected works of Jenneane Garrafalo are the crowning achievements of Western Civilization, you might enjoy this movie. Otherwise, you'll find it as obnoxious and impossible to believe as I did.
There just wasn't one character moment, one piece of dialogue, one single epiphany that didn't seem forced, over written, or the least bit genuine. Call me crazy, but I enjoy hearing actors recite dialogue that sounds authentic and as thought it might actually come from a character's mouth, not straight from a pretentious, trite screenwriter's Macbook.
What a piece of crap.
The Incredible Hulk
I'll admit right from the start that I was one of the four or five people who actually liked the original Ang Lee Hulk film from a few years back. It was over written, over produced, and had one of the worst finales I've ever seen, but it was a pretty good comic book movie and the Hulk scenes were awesome. You can read my review of that film here.
I honestly wasn't expecting much from this film. It didn't look as cool as the first film, it didn't have a director as well known and respected as Ang Lee, and -- frankly -- Ed Norton is no Eric Bana. Eric Norton is actually really overrated and kind of annoying.
But this movie pretty much kicked ass.
The story wasn't really a sequel to the first film, so it was able to start fresh without any baggage. In a way, it owed as much to the TV show than it did to the first film. There were even cameos by Lou Ferrigno and Bill Bixby (in a roundabout way, by a quick clip from an episode of the courtship of Eddie's Father.)
But who cares about all that? What really sold this movie, other than the obvious love for and fidelity to the source material, was the amazing, comic book action scenes. For my money, the Hulk didn't look quite as good as he did in the first film (he was a bit too monstrous), but the set pieces were off the hook, each better than the last, all culminating in the best comic book style fight finale in film history. When the Hulk and the Abomination finally went toe to toe in the streets of New York City, I nearly wept in my seat. It was everything I've ever wanted to see on screen since Marvel first started making films in the first place.
Go see it. Go see it multiple times. I want to see another sequel.