Friday, December 10, 2010

Quick Movie Reviews: Despicable Me, Harry Potter & more!

Once again, I'm back! Life always has a way of tearing me away from my blog, and once again, it was just at the right time. Hence I'm happy to say, that everything is right in the world of Alex.

Well, it's been quite a while since I've reviewed movies. I've been promising this latest installment for quite some time now, and finally, here it is.  Enjoy and basque in its awesomeness.

(I went ahead and decided to split this uber-long lineup of movies into two posts, so look forward to my reviews of Toy Story, The Town, Red and Karate Kid shortly.)

The Expendables: If there's one thing that I've learned over the past couple of years of watching movies like Rocky Balboa and Rambo, it's that films directed by Sylvester Stallone are the cinematic equivalent to horse crap. The only reason that they're actually in theaters and not completely overlooked in the Sundance Festival is because his name is on it.

So, it goes without saying that The Expendables is an absolute train wreck. I understand that they were trying to poke fun at all the action movies that have come and gone, but everything was way too overdone! I couldn't believe anything that was going on in the movie which alienated its audience by being blatantly unrealistic, all the while still trying to take itself seriously. Frankly, Rambo was the same way. How can you say that you're making a tribute to action movies with this over-the-top ridiculousness when the last movie that you made had the same exact style, and it didn't make any excuses for itself?!?

Even the movie's vast menagerie of famous action stars couldn't rectify the emptiness and flagrant stupidity that is The Expendables. Frankly, the acting of nearly all the "stars" was incredibly sub par and downright disappointing.

Lastly, it shouldn't come as a surprise that once again, Stallone attempted to humanize his character, which I wouldn't totally be against if it was done in a way that resembles good storytelling in any way shape or form.

Rating: 3 (Vomitous)

Despicable Me: Going into it, I didn't expect much from Despicable Me, it's a CGI children's cartoon about a comical villain, aided by a myriad of even more comical henchman, who finds himself the father of three young orphaned girls. Upon leaving the theater, my original expectations hadn't been proven unwarranted.

Despicable Me is entertaining, but is completely unoriginal. Instead, it tries to use ever popular actor Steve Carrell, cast as the main title villain, to make up for what is obviously recycled material that we've seen hundreds of times in other movies.

Carrell is totally wasted in this role. He's become popular due to his acting; not voice acting. The character hardly draws from Carrell's signature, quirky, style of comedy at all, making the choice to cast Carrell ever the more pointless.

While the children will eat up the asinine antics of Carrell's 'Minions', parents and everyone above the age of 12 will find themselves rewatching a story that has been told countless times.

Rating: 5 (average)

The Last Airbender: While staying partially true to its source material, The Last Airbender deviates away from and neglects what made its inspiration great; fun, character development and the awesome ethnic setting, but mostly fun.

Now, with that said, I really don't understand why this movie has been belittled as much as it has. Yes, it deviates from it's source in more ways than one, yes some of the actors are stiff, and yes Iroh isn't obese, but this movie really isn't that bad.

The original cartoon was fantastic (it's the only anime show that I've ever found remotely interesting), so it hurt to read what many a movie critic had to say about it. And while I really wanted to like this movie more than I do, it simply strayed too far away from everything that made the TV show great to stand outside of the immense shadow that it's descendant cast.
Rating: 5 (average)

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows: Part 1: With the action entirely taking place outside of Hogwarts, Hallows' creators had the perfect opportunity to do something very different with this latest installment. They did. Deathly Hallows Part 1 is the most unique of all the films and may in fact be my favorite film over the entire series.

The movie, like most of it's predecessors follows the plot of the novels closely and sums up the first half of the book, capturing all it's major plot points, quite accurately. The entire movie had a somber, tenebrous feel to it, and it worked wonderfully.

Hallows was one of my favorite books in the series, so to finally see the initial chase/fight sequence on the big screen was something of a Fanboy dream.  I even found myself more wrapped up in the character's adventures, especially the suspense between the trio more so than when I read the book through the first time.

Despite what critics are saying about the movie's so called, cut-off ending, I couldn't disagree more. The film ended at a perfect spot, with an extreme amount of foreboding permeating the very air that you're breathing as the final scene fades to black.

Let me put it this way; everything in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part I coalesces perfectly, from character development, to staying true to the book, to the beautiful cinematography, creating one, if not the, finest installments in the Harry Potter movie franchise to date. Only one question remains, will the next and final movie be able to top it and wrap up this adventure that we've all followed for over a decade?

Rating: 8 (superb)

Get ready for the 12 days of Christmas-Fanboy Style, starting December 12th!

Also, it was Gina from Fantasy Casting's birthday yesterday. Head on over to her blog, give her a birthday greeting, and how 'bout a follow while you're at it? You know that's what you'd want on YOUR birthday!


  1. I completely understand about life taking over. Sometimes the blogs just can't get done in light of the real world.

    Thanks for the movie reviews I look forward to more. I'm the type that waits to see others reactions before I dive into most games or movies.

  2. Thanks for the fascinating movie reviews. I think Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows: Part 1: is worth a gamble. I wonder what words of enlightenment will Potter have for us?

  3. My husband loves The Expendables, and we both have really been wanting to see Dispicable Me!

  4. Oh, how sweet are you? Thanks Alex!

  5. Loved avatar: last airbender cartoon, was seriously disappointed in the film, i think the potential it held for many fans and the fact it didn't deliver contributes for most of the poor opinions of it out there.


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