Anyway, I'll throw five quickie reviews at you now.
John Dies At the End (2012)
|This is not as messy as it looks.|
Oz: The Great and Powerful (2013)
|"You shouldn't mess with me. I'll ruin everything you are."|
As much as I have liked James Franco in other things: Freaks & Geeks, 127 Hours, Pineapple Express, Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy - I found his portrayal of the titular con-man . . . well, irritating. Adding insult to injury, Franco plays opposite a live-action Zach Braff in the prelude and a CGI monkey voiced by Braff for the rest of the movie, so I spent the whole movie thinking about how much more appropriate Braff would have been in the role of Oz the Wizard.
Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis are fairly one-dimensional in their roles. (I won't give any spoilers, but they're sisters. You figure it out.) Michelle Williams is delightful as always, but my favorite characters in this turned out to be the little China Girl (voiced by Joey King) and the Master Tinker played by Bill Cobbs. I wish that Raimi had spent more time re-thinking the casting and less time trying to figure out how to make things jump out and scare us and finding a 30-second cameo for Bill Campbell.
Like I said: disappointing. I wish that they'd made an adaptation of the existing prequel Wicked (the novel, not the Broadway musical).
Warm Bodies (2013)
|"Dude, there is not enough Axe Body Spray™|
in the world."
And now six.
I loved this movie. Loved it. A zombie love story told from the perspective of the zombie is a very clever idea, and Nicholas Hoult is perfect as the zombie. Aussie Teresa Palmer is also great as the girl who warms his cold, dead heart. I really like this actress. She has kind of a Kristen Stewart-vibe, but, you know, watchable. Rounding out the cast are John Malkovich, Analeigh Tipton (love her), and Rob Corddry, who normally I could do without but manages to be charming in this.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
|In this issue of Dwarves Quarterly: |
overcoming short-man syndrome.
|The lyrics to "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"|
just got infinitely creepier.
Rise of the Guardians (2012)
I will begin this review by acknowledging that its disappointing box office performance led to 350 employees being laid off from the Dreamworks studio. Being unemployed sucks, I know, and I hope that all of those people have found other jobs by now.
That having been said, I thought this movie was brilliant. Building off of the idea that Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), and other legends of childhood lore are sort of an immortal Avengers team charged with protecting the magic of the childhood experience, the story centers around the outcast Jack Frost (Chris Pine) who wanders the world unseen by humanity - lonely, finding solace only in the bits of mischief he can cause with his power to control cold. When Pitch, the Boogey Man (Jude Law), decides he wants to rule the world through fear, the Guardians reluctantly enlist Jack Frost's help.
Funny, thrilling, and touching, I'm not sure why this movie didn't strike a chord with audiences. Based on the number of Jack Frost costumes I saw at Denver Comic-Con, I expect it may have - just a little bit later than expected. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out.
So there's five for now. Please feel free to share your thoughts, agreements, or movie recommendations in the comments.