Posted by: Phil | May 25, 2009

Block Bustin’

Summer Movies!

Summer Movies!

Hey, guys! I’m going to try to keep this up-to-date with various things. Because Drew, who’s idea this actually was,  has violated and broken the structure

not impressed.

not impressed.

of this blog (one day me, one day Drew), I’ll most likely be the most frequent poster on here. Not like any of you will actually be reading, but its a fun excersize for me anyway.

To start off with; let’s talk about summer blockbusters. To be frightfully fair, that’s the only time I actually go to movie theaters (yeah, a filmmaker such as myself… only going to theaters for the crappy big-budget flick?), It’s true. I have no shame in that.  I find them to be entertaining, and I use them to reassure myself of its crappyness so I can feel a lot better about life: that there still isn’t some super-amazing film that came out yet (don’t even go there, Dark Knight people! Dark Knight was good. I admit. It was the best in a looooong time.).

It’s safe to say that I’m not like you other guys, where I seek life-changing enlightenment from stuff made by a bunch of guys in the film industry (independent or non). I just watch it for entertainment’s sake. I analyze movies, that’s for sure, I see the underpinnings and the themes; but I don’t feel the same way most do. I just take it as it is. I think that’s a good thing, considering if I want to make movies, its better to keep your mind straight and focused then “swept away” in the moment of experiencing a movie. Don’t get me wrong: I see the experience in the movie I watch. I just choose not to comply with it. For me, its healthy and I like it.

Anyway, to the mini-reviews of my SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER experience this year! I just watched two movies (okay, three); and they were: X-Men Origins: Wolverine (only the unfinished workprint version… but I loved watching that version. Loved it.), Star Trek, and Terminator Salvation.

I’m not going to elaborate, because I tend to agree with critics at Rottentomatoes.com. However, I have a problem with their ratings for Star Trek . While the movie was enjoyable, and mildly interesting, it was not ground-breaking nor impressive. Really, It was okay. Cinematography was (yawn) nothing new… same old, teal-ish grading and

Laugh all you want; Abrams is considered a god among many nerds.

Laugh all you want; Abrams is considered a god among many nerds.

late-00s lighting set-ups. Acting was nice. Casting was nice. Except Simon Pegg, as good as he is; He’s Simon Pegg. I like him, but not as Scotty. He is Tim from “Spaced”, Chris from “Hot Fuzz”, Shawn of “Shawn of the Dead”, but he’s not Scotty. I can’t accept this. Anyway no, its not as good as critics give it credit for. Definitely not. Most importantly:

Apparently J.J. Abrams blasts his cameramen with seizure-causing flashes before filming a take; because there is hellaciously annoying camera-movement throughout the entire picture. The camera is a shaky shaky mess! Not to mention the action scenes! Oh, man. That was bad. It’s worse than Batman Begins’.

So anyway: Decent movie. In the “real” universe, this STAR TREK movie scored a decent 70% Fresh on Rottentomatoes. Not the 95% it got in this alternate reality. Much like the one in the movie.

Terminator Salvation was the problem I faced. This whole year, as people were anticipating this movie to come out, we all were in a deep controversy over the film’s quality (omg htis isnt rated R!!!!1111); I didn’t care about the rating as much as I cared about the attached director: McG. For starters, Who calls himself McG? Also, seeing his track record of three lame movies. One of them being a stupid football movie of mediocrity; and the other two being Charlie’s Angels 1 and 2. I was pretty confident that McG would mediocrify this newest Terminator film. Many film-buffs and friends of mine, who are deep-thinking film critics in their own rights, told me to “have hope” in McG’s skills. Thankfully I was right all along, and my routine IMDB pre-rating on Terminator: Salvation was TOTALLY accurate. I predicted a 5 out of 10; and that’s what it is. A very very forgetful and messed up movie. So much potential gone down the toilet. Thanks, McG.

Hugh Jackman discovers a poorly placed water jet in his hot tub.

Hugh Jackman discovers a poorly placed water jet in his hot tub.

Watching X-Men Origins: Wolverine was fun. Why? Because I watched it a month in advance. How? Because of the leaked workprint I got from a friend. I enjoyed every minute of it. It’s like a dream come true: I was able to see an unfinished workprint of a blockbuster movie! It was soooo fun! So fun to see unfinished effects, so fun to see crappy sounds, and temp music. The temp music! I recognized every cue and song inside it! It was predominantly the score for “Transformers”, with a little bit of “Blade”, and a little from “300”. It was also interesting to compare it with the final version. The music by Harry Gregs0n-Williams was a knock-off of the temp-music; it was highly mediocre.

Anyway, did you want to know about what I thought about the movie? I twas mediocre. A dumb action movie with really no grit or interesting factors in it. 20th Century Fox said that that was an “early” workprint, that was leaked out; but I knew that not much would change; and it hasn’t.

What’s the verdict? I’ll do it in percentage:

Star Trek: 70% | Terminator Salvation: 30% | X-Men Origins: Wolverine: 40%

So what’s next in the busting of blocks? I think it’s Transformers: This Movie Will Suck, and Harry Potter and the Half-Baked Movie.

I’m betting STAR TREK will be the best of the year, and that’s not saying much. Then again, there is “The Wolf Man” remake in November. But that is also going to be mediocre thanks to Joe Johnston directing. Joe is a great effects designer (he designed the X-Wings and TIE Fighters in the original Star Wars), but his movies were mediocre at best.

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