I’ve watched a lot of theatrical releases lately. I figured I would give you guys a run down on a few that I’ve seen recently. I attend prescreenings so some films I’ve listed have not been released yet.
Iron Man 3 3D (May 3) – Robert Downey, Jr., Gwenyth Paltrow – When Tony Stark’s world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution. I believe this is the final entry for this franchise, at least where Robert Downey, Jr. is concerned. I think it was a great movie to round out the trilogy. It wasn’t quite as good as Avengers for me, but that’s an extremely tall order. I also think I preferred Iron Man 2, but not by a landslide or anything. We received special 3D glasses for the event. I chose the Iron Man pair, but they were not as comfortable as the typical 3D glasses. I found myself constantly trying to adjust them, especially on my nose. They didn’t incorporate the 3D very well at all. In fact, it’s a post-conversion proving that they only intended to include 3D for the markup value. Definitely see it if you have not, but just know that you can save a few bucks on the 3D.
The Great Gatsby 3D (May 10) – A Midwestern war veteran finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor. It was okay but it could have been better. I felt every bit of its 2 hours and 23 minutes which is usually not a good sign. The pros: Leonardo DiCaprio (as usual), the costumes, and the visuals. The most notable con: the soundtrack was horrid. When I heard Jay-Z would be doing the soundtrack I was thinking he’d be creating music that would be a fusion with that 1920s style with a bit of jazz and ragtime, but it wasn’t. He used songs from his existing discography which clearly clashes with the theme. It actually took away my enjoyment from the film. There was an interesting Crazy in Love cover but that didn’t fit the movie either. The instrumental pieces were nice at least, but all in all I don’t know what the hell they were thinking when it came to the music.
I can see why the film was in 3D. It looked great at times. I felt like it was more useful than Iron Man 3 which clearly only offered 3D for mark up potential. But on the downside, 3D adds a tint to the picture so you’re probably not getting a full sense of the vibrant colors and scenery.
Monster’s University (June 21) – Billy Crystal, John Goodman. A look at the relationship between Mike and Sulley during their days at Monsters University — when they weren’t necessarily the best of friends. I was pleasantly surprised. Sometimes Pixar’s sequels are hit and miss for me but this was a definite hit! They truly have come far since 2001! I think a prequel storyline was a great idea and I loved the university theme. The characterization was on point, and there were the usual emotional highs, lows, and well-timed humor that Pixar has mastered so well. Monster’s Inc. is near and dear to my heart and this was a fantastic companion to go with it. The audience seemed to love it and it got a lot of applause at the end. The version I saw was 2D, so I cannot state weather or not it is essential to see the film in 3D, but in my experience Pixar 3D films are only good for a mark up. This was great without the 3D. Apparently this version was about 99% complete. They are tweaking the soundtrack for the final film, but what I heard sounded fine for the most part. I look forward to seeing the completed version when it’s out.
This is the End (June 12) – James Franco, Seth Rogen – While attending a party at James Franco’s house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse. There were cameos abound in this film and an arsenal of funny men. I don’t want to give too much away, but it was absolutely hilarious at times with a few surprises. There were instances where I literally screamed in my seat and that’s not normal for me. The effects looked cheesy, but I believe for the version I saw the effects were not complete. I plan to see the finished product, be it in the theatres and/or on Blu Ray. I will definitely own it.
Pain & Gain (April 26) – Mark Walhberg, Dawyne Johnson. A trio of bodybuilders in Florida get caught up in an extortion ring and a kidnapping scheme that goes terribly wrong. Considering this is based on a true story, it basically turns a horrific murder mystery into a black comedy. There were times I was laughing and then felt like a horrible person because it was a true story. I definitely left the film feeling conflicted, wondering what the heck I just watched. It was very interesting though and I think The Rock totally owned his role and was the one redeeming quality of the film. However, The Rock’s character wasn’t a real person, just a hodgepodge of different people.