Saturday, June 30, 2012

Back in Business

Good lord, has it actually been more than three months since I've last posted? I apologize for the long hiatus, everyone. I don't usually go into personal details on here, but it was a particularly busy semester, one that's postponed my graduation from university from May to August, and then August to December, thanks to a number of problems, many stemming from a serious bout with depression. Now that summer's here and things are heating up (too much so), I'm back to blogging!

So what have I been seeing? Well, I've caught up on Breaking Bad, which holy shit, what a great show, right? And I've made the time to go out and see a handful of movies as well. Instead of doing full reviews for things I saw months ago, I'll give you this rundown of short blurbs, with a full review of Brave going up later this evening. Also be on the lookout for a new Radio Daze, featuring Gotye, J. Beibs, and that song that you know that you can never get away from. You know which one I'm talking about (hint: it rhymes with "Hall We Maeby"). Hopefully, I'll be back in the swing of blogging regularly, so those of you who have stayed, thank you for your patience, and to all the newcomers, welcome and enjoy.

The Lorax (dir. Chris Renauld & Kyle Baulda)

Sugary musical numbers, manic humor and Minions "Brown Bar-ba-loots" are employed to pad a barely-there story about environmental conservatism. Though the Lorax speaks for the trees, the film is too scattershot to say anything. C-

The Hunger Games (dir. Gary Ross)

I have never read the books, so I can't tell you how faithful this adaptation is. But the film was beautifully acted, particularly Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, and Ross clearly understood the material and handled it well. Though surely a few minutes could have been shaved off that running time? A

The Cabin in the Woods (dir. Drew Goddard)

Goddard and Joss Whedon gleefully riff on horror tropes with a tight script and terrific setpieces. The third act gets a bit out-of-hand, but it's great to see everyone have a grand, gory time. And "the board" (WARNING: THERE BE SPOILERS IN THAT LINK) is probably the single greatest image in cinema so far this year (if you've seen the movie, you know what I'm talking about). A-

The Avengers (dir. Joss Whedon)

If Marvel has its way, soon enough movies will only be about their stock of superheroes, teaming up in various configurations to fight evil. Luckily for this film, Whedon specializes in impromptu families, and gives this blockbuster team-up a healthy dose of conflict and fun. Plus, we've finally found a Hulk worth watching in Mark Ruffalo, an example of perfect against-type casting. B+

Haywire (dir. Steven Soderbergh)

Soderbergh's latest films have featured an impressive roster of actors, and this spy thriller is no different: Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Antonio Bandaras, Ewan McGregor, and Michael Fassbender all feature in this story of a betrayed agent (Gina Carano, a former MMA fighter). Though Soderbergh's films are always interesting, this one lacks a certain thrill, making it oddly bloodless. B-

Gone (dir. Heitor Dhalia)

Somewhere along the line, Lifetime rejected this film, and it somehow ended up with a theatrical release. Amanda Seyfried pouts and yells she's not crazy, yet even though you know how the story's going to end, I fail to believe the "not crazy" nonsense. Bury it in the bargain bin where it belongs. D

Prometheus (dir. Ridley Scott)

Sure, the story suffers a little from "otherwise very smart people doing incredibly stupid things because that's what the plot needs" syndrome, but this sort-of prequel to Alien delivers by asking big questions...and offering no answers. It's not all philosophical ponderings, though: a surgical operation scene looks like something David Cronenberg would come up with. A-

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