Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Once upon a time I was looking to this summer's movie releases. As it turns out I haven't seen one movie so far this summer. Oddly enough this has nothing to do with any inability to get babysitting, but rather the dismal reviews I've been reading. For example: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Abandon hope all ye seeking a coherent, much less satisfying, narrative. And At World's End is so insanely plot-heavy that it requires scene after scene of exposition, and the whole thing sinks simply under the weight of the story. Or how about the reviews for Spiderman Three, those should have been better right? Maybe not... A disappointment. Spidey keeps his mask off and weeps. Everyone cries. I hated the silly monolith sad sack Sandman. Did Dunst's contract stipulate she sing two songs? And Raimi makes just about every wrong move in the sequel playbook, substituting scope and scale for the warmth and wit that made those two previous pictures so memorable. In this case, more is less. Even Shrek the Third couldn't escape the scathing words delivered by critics this year. Flat and pointless, Shrek the Third is a sequel made for the worst reason, merely to keep a mega franchise in the public eye and to position it for TV and Broadway spinoffs. And There's no disguising the fact that Shrek the Third has come down with a bad case of sequelitis. You know the symptoms: Lots of razzle-dazzle to distract from the hole at the center of the story. You know, the place where fresh ideas should be. Is it any wonder I haven't found the courage to go to the theatre yet? I'm sure it's no coincidence that all of these movies were a third installment, it's extremely rare that a movie franchise can continue this long with any quality. Surprisingly, I think the Harry Potter movies have managed to maintain some integrity and even enjoyed the fourth movie more than the rest. But I think it's because the Harry Potter movies are based on novels and not some cobbled together screenplay contrived for the sole purpose of keeping a series of movies limping along. Of course, Harry Potter has its fifth installment this year, so we'll see if they can keep it up. But there are more dreaded three-peats ahead. We still have Ocean's Thirteen, The Bourne Ultimatum and Rush Hour 3. God I hope the Bourne Ultimatum gets good reviews, I'd like to get out sometime this year. All reviews pulled from the Rotten Tomatoes website.