Miss Niki said she missed my movie reviews. I told her it was because I've hardly seen any movies this year. She said that's no excuse. I'm behind on the following five films (3 of which made it to my 2006 Top 5 List), so here we go...
Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest, 3.75 Stars: This movie was everything I'd hoped it would be: exciting, action-packed, well-acted, great effects, beautiful cinematography, and (assuredly) a cliffhanger. Other than it being a bit long (but not tediously so), I have virtually no complaints about this film whatsoever. I would like to update, however, my original impression of the first Pirates film, which, while positive, was less-than-glowing. After repeated viewings, both are masterpieces of action-comedy. I can't wait for the third. Oh, and be sure to stay till the end of the credits.
Superman Returns, 3.5 Stars: After all the hype, it became fashionable not to like this film. Frankly, I don't get it. This was a great superhero movie. It's not Batman Returns, but since Superman ain't Batman, I wouldn't expect it to be. In fact, as Superman stories go, this was fairly dark. First off, I love that they wrote off Superman III and IV. They sucked and are worthy of dismissal. Brandon Routh was more than able as Supes; Kate Bosworth (lovely, if too skinny, as a brunette) was surprisingly good as Lois Lane, and Kevin Spacey was simply awesome as Lex Luthor. Kayser Sose owns every scene he's in. The only character I didn't get was Parker Posey's annoying moll. She was but a pale imitation of Valerie Perrine's great Miss Teschmacher. Bring on the sequel. Then let's have some Christian Bale - Brandon Routh action in Batman & Superman!
She's the Man, 3 Stars: This update of Just One of the Guys (itself an update of Twelfth Night) was on a cross-country flight, so don't worry that I actually shelled out money to see it. The only reason I put my headphones on was that during the opening credits I saw Vinnie Jones and David Cross, a combination not to be missed. It turns out that it's a pretty darned good teen comedy. Amanda Bynes was quite good as the girl in men's clothing who just wants to play soccer. So was everyone else. The real thing this film was lacking (which JOotG had) is boobs. A movie like this needs boobs. Bring on the boobs.
The Da Vinci Code, 2.75 Stars: Notwithstanding the race riot which almost started when Barbie told the folks in front of us to quit text-messaging with their flashlight-bright cell phones, this was a pretty dull interpretation of Dan Brown's bestseller. Tom Hanks's hair was creepy. Audrey Tautou was wooden. Jean Reno wasn't in enough scenes, and Ian McKellen was, as usual, marvelous. Ron Howard is, as always, capable in his direction, but no more. I wish someone like Michel Gondry could've gotten the job and done the book (which was pretty good, but not a masterpiece) justice.
Annapolis, 2.5 Stars: I saw this on the airplane on the way back. This is a passable boxing film disguised as An Officer and a Gentleman. James Franco is the angry, brooding Brando-in-On-The-Waterfront-type who gets into the Naval Academy off the wait list and somehow manages to pass his classes despite being fairly dim and never studying. The film, overall, is watchable, though predictable. Jordana Brewster is ridiculously hot. Tyrese Gibson is a suitably pissed-off Marine (why a Marine is at Annapolis is never explained), and Vicellous Shannon is given his first decent role since Hurricane.