Tom Ramcigam (magicmarmot) wrote,
Tom Ramcigam

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I'm glad I didn't have plans last night.

I left work yesterday with the intent of doing some cleaning & repair, either on the front porch or the studio or the basement. It was fairly nebulous, because most of the time-critical stuff is either done or waiting for other stuff to happen.

I got dog food on the way home, and when I got home, I picked up the dog and we went and got a refill for the propane tank for the grill. I walked in the door at about 5:15.

Val, our new roommate was sitting in the living room. She asked if I could give her a ride to a meeting that started at 5:30, which was about 15 minutes away. I said sure, and we went. Traffic was pretty nasty, but we made it there just a few minutes late. Then she said "it should be about an hour". I asked if she needed me to come pick her up, and she said yes, so I told her to call me when the meeting was done, as I probably wasn't going to be near a clock.

Drove back home. Nasty traffic yet again, 20 minutes, plus a fill-of-the-tank. Changed clothes. Turned the computer on. The phone rang. It was Val. The meeting got done early. I drove down to get her (another 15 minutes), and then had to wait while she chatted with one of her meeting buddies. Got home a little after 6:30.

Barb got home a few minutes later and said "Feel like seeing a movie?". Unfortunately, she said it within earshot of Val, who decided to go along.

So I finally managed to see X2 last night. At the Regal at 7:30.

Okay, I had a little bit of a hard time figuring out exactly why I was not completely thrilled. Yes, it was a well-crafted movie. I absolutely love the art direction, set design, lighting, composition-- basically the technical aspects of the film.
The actors were fine. Hugh Jackman as Wolverine was quite good. Halle Berry as Storm is a definite cutie, but there wasn't a lot for her in the movie. I kinda like the way they were going with Rogue in the beginning, but they just left it there. Cyclops was barely in the movie. Nightcrawler was a hoot, but again, underutilized. And Jean Gray... why was she even in the story?
So yeah, there was a lot of focus on Wolverine. But it really didn't go anywhere. He didn't really find out anything about his past. He didn't really grow at all.

But I think it was the story that killed it for me.

Yes, yes, it was reasonably faithful to the X-men comic series. Maybe that was the problem.

The characters in the series are dated. They are designed archetypes, with the basic sense of "being different" and not belonging being very attractive to adolescents-who-buy-comic-books who are maybe not the popular ones, and who like the fantasy escape of perhaps having fantastic powers, and being accepted by a group of others like them.

It's one of the reasons I like the character of Rogue. Teenage girl, hormones raging, but who can't touch anyone out of fear that she will hurt/change them. It's perfect and easily identifiable by both teenage girls who have excitement and fear about intimacy, and teenage boys who have a great affinity for a teenage girl who wants to be touched.

And then there's Mystique. Okay, I'll admit that I find Rebecca Romaijn-Stamos attractive. Not an issue there. But the character of Mystique was very intriguing to me in this movie, moreso than in the comics. Aside from the breasts which were rather prominently featured in the movie, and fabulous breasts that they are, there were a lot of hints that Mystique is a deeper character than we get to see. I got the sense of history and a great backstory. And I was intrigued. I wanted more. And I still do.

And Magneto. Ian McKellen ain't no hack. There were perhaps a few overblown moments of ego, but overall I like Magneto. If he weren't just such a megalomaniac, I'd hang wit him. Well, partly because I'd get to see Mystique's breasts more often, but primarily because he's right.

Stryker: Not a good villain. Good concept, but kinda boring.

There were a few moments of "oh fuck yeah".

The scene where Jean Gray and Wolverine kiss, and the fire flares up in the background. Nice touch.

The scene with Nightcrawler and Mystique, where Nightcrawler's tail twitches. Mine was twitching too.

The scene with the soldiers guarding Cerebro, and magneto with the grenade pins. That was simply inspired.

But overall, I felt it was predictable and a little trite, if very pretty.

However, there were some interesting trailers.

The Hulk:
Hmmm... The CGI Hulk looks like CGI. Looks good, no doubt, but there is a certain flatness to the lighting on CGI stuff that makes it stand out. I don't think this is particular to the Hulk, but is endemic of the current state of CGI.
The second bit-- where the father has done genetic experiments on his son-- why release that bit in a trailer?

Legally Blonde 2:
This is a case where the trailer of the movie takes you through the story plot point by plot point. There is no need to see this movie if you've seen the trailer. And really, the story wasn't even enough to fill a 2-minute trailer.

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen:
Sean Connery. As Hemingway. Okay, aside from the obvious, I'll give it a whirl. It looks pretty. Art direction, set design, lighting, all done well. But showing Mina Harker as a vampire? In the trailer? Things do not bode well for this movie.

28 Days Later:
This one is interesting. An Irish "zombie" movie. Shot on video, transferred to 35mm. From what I can see, it's available on DVD. It looks to be worth a watch.

The trend of giving away too much in the trailer is disturbing to me. I mean really, who makes these decisions?

It used to be that the trailer was representative of the film. That hasn't been the case since Grosse Point Blank (an excellent movie, BTW). So I've grudgingly come to accept the trailer as a try-to-suck-you-in ploy. But when you give away too much, you spoil the movie for me. I want to be surprised. I want to see things develop in the movie.

Otherwise, I'll just wait for the DVD.

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