Saturday, May 15, 2010

I'll Have a Large Popcorn, and a Story Please

Excited for a rare movie & dinner date with my hubby today, we had planned to go see the new take on Robin Hood, with Russell Crowe & Cate Blanchett, directed by Ridley Scott. That is, until I researched reviews of the film (when you only go to a movie theater a couple times a year, it is not something to be taken lightly) and found it to be pretty universally panned.

I was surprised it wasn't better received, with the cast and director it has. However, the consensus seemed to be it was more CGI than substance. This is a trend I've noticed in Hollywood over the last fifteen to twenty years as technology has opened new frontiers in visual effects. Many directors are more focused on what they can do with effects to wow the audience, while the story gets kicked to the curb. I mean, the story of Robin Hood has been around since the 15th century, there must be something to it, right? Seems like you'd have to really go out of your way to screw it up.

So, what did we end up seeing? Well, pathetic as it sounds, we had never seen Iron Man, so we rented the DVD last night in a desperate cram session to be prepared to see Iron Man 2 today. Shocking as it may seem, I actually liked the sequel better than the original. I thought the backstory of how he became Iron Man dragged. In fact, I yelled out at the screen, "Just finish the friggin iron suit and get out of the Middle East already!"

You know, in a comic movie you expect to have to suspend disbelief a lot, but I really liked the supporting characters in the sequel (Samuel L. Jackson with an eye patch! Mickey Rourke with a Russian accent!), the dialogue wasn't too over-the-top, with many genuinely funny moments, and there was a nice balance of emotion and action. I especially liked the relationship between Tony Stark and Pepper Potts.

I guess there is hope for the marriage of CGI and story. Take a lesson, Mr. Scott.

10 comments:

  1. I can't wait to see Iron Man 2. We are going next week!! So glad that you liked it. As far as Robin Hood, I'm on the fence. It looks like it will be stunning but I've seen some really bad versions of the legend and I kind of like the Disney version best. It is so tounge-in-cheek funny that its hard to take anyone else seriously.

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  2. I'm sad the reviews of Robin Hood aren't looking too good. I really wanted to see it. But Scott and I will probably opt to see Iron Man 2 as well. I'm on a Robert Downey Jr. kick. We just rented Sherlock Holmes and I really liked it. :)

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  3. Amen about the Disney one being the best. I promised Steve I'd go see it with him . . . maybe I can turn the tables and be able to see a chick flick too . . . :)

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  4. I went to see Robin Hood yesterday. It's great! Don't be deterred by the critics. There's plenty of "story". It tells how Robin Hood became the outlaw of Sherwood. In my opinion, there's more story and substance in Robin Hood than in Iron Man 2.

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  5. Hooray! Thank you, Gussie! My faith has been renewed. :)

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  6. I loved Iron Man and the sequel Iron Man 2. My daughter and I went to Robin Hood Friday night and thoroughly enjoyed it. I know what you mean about being selective about the movies you spend your money on. Though, you might rent Robin Hood when it comes out on DVD. Just a thought.

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  7. Glad to hear some good things about Robin Hood. I would definitely rent it. Thanks for the feedback!

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  8. I always dread remakes of perfectly good movies (The Poseidon Adventure, Clash of the Titans, etc) so Robin Hood has been one that I've been wary about. But I'm glad that a couple of you liked it and it may sway me to go.

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  9. The first thing I thought when I saw the Robin Hood preview was, Gladiator with a bow. Boooring! Same old tale, same people, blah blah blah. I saw Iron Man 2 instead. It was a nice escape from reality and Robert Downey Jr is h-o-t fine!

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  10. Based on the fact that the critics liked Iron Man 1, hands down, better than Iron Man 2, Maybe you'll end up loving Robin Hood.

    Sometimes I think the critics have just seen too many movies :)

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