Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Movie reviews

I’ve been watching some comic book based movies recently (and eventually I will have non-superhero based reviews up here, I don’t know why I’m in such a superhero phase).

Spider-Man 2
Because I’m a bad nerd I never saw either Spider-Man or Spider-Man 2 in theatres. In fact I hadn’t seen Spider-Man until a couple of months ago when I watched it at my girlfriend’s house. I thought it was good. Anyway I was coming home the other day and stopped by Rodney’s house (yes, he will hopefully soon have reviews here too) and he said he was about to watch Spider-Man 2. I thought “I should watch this,” so I did. And I didn’t get home until 4am. This movie is long! (Okay, only two hours long, but yeah…)

I realized when I started to watch this I couldn’t remember the plot of the first movie at all. Peter becomes Spider-Man, fights the Green Goblin, Stan Lee appears, etc. But it didn’t matter that much, I mean these movies are basically taking the general idea from the comics and just putting them in a movie. I’m not sure if it works better as a movie. I mean they have the ability to just pick and choose what they want to used, they can ignore all the crap and just use the cool stuff.

And cool stuff they use in spades. I think using Dr. Octopus as the villain was a good idea, the science based villains are one of the major villain types in Spider-Man and it’s used well here. There was a good balance between the Spider-Man and Peter Parker stuff. You get your action, but you also get what makes the character so important.

Some of the dialogue was pretty lame, but I think that was in homage to the comic books themselves, which have had plenty of lame dialogue. There were some scenes where this was clearly a Sam Raimi movie. The scene in the hospital with the chain saw, it was excellent. But I have to wonder why Bruce Campbell wasn’t cast as the doctor.

Overall I thought the movie was good, but for whatever reason this review is incredibly disjointed. Um, yeah.

So what about for the next movie? I hear people constantly wanting Venom as the villain, but I don’t know if they could do him in one movie. Other ideas abound, the Lizard (I mean Dr. Curt Connors did appear in this movie… but another science villain so fast?)? Man-Wolf (sort of lame, but the John Jameson appeared in Spider-Man 2 as well, plus lots of J. Jonah Jameson)? The Green Goblin is set up too, but I think that’s too soon. Mysterio? Kraven? Sand-Man? Scorpion? Rhino? There are so many cool Spider-Man villains to choose from. I don’t really care that much as long as the sixth movie (if they get that far) is a sinister six movie.

Anyway, watch these totally wikkid lego versions of Spider-Man 2 (there’s a normal version and an alternative ending version, watch both).

Link: http://www.spiteyourface.com/spidey.html

The Cat Returns
This was one of the Studio Ghibli films released a few weeks ago. It was the one I knew the least about (I’d seen both Porco Rosso and Nausicaa before), but I picked it up anyway.

It’s a film by Hiroyuki Morita, who had worked on other Studio Ghibli films before. Hayao Miyazaki and others had been afraid of what would happen to the studio and were actively seeking out new people to direct films. However if this is representative Ghibli should be in good hands.

The movie based on a comic by Aoi Hiiragi, which hasn’t been released in English. It’s sort of a sequel to the movie Whisper of the Heart, which also isn’t in English. However where Whisper of the Heart is a drama thing, this is a comedy.

The movie follows Haru, who seems to be having some bad luck at school. On the way home she rescues a cat from a speeding van. After being saved the cat thanks her and walks away. Haru is pretty scared and confused. Stuff gets even weirder when the king of cats shows up and thanks her. Then she starts receiving gifts, which aren’t that great.

Eventually Haru meets up with Muta and the Baron (from Whisper of the Heart) and ends up in the kingdom of the cats.

It’s a really fun little story, a bit short (at 75 minutes) but over all good. I’d actually rank it higher then one of Miyazaki’s films (Kiki’s Delivery Service). However it’s not as good as similar “journey to magical kingdoms full of cute things” movie My Neighbour Totoro. But really, what is?

Unfortunately the short included on the Japanese version of the DVD isn’t included here, but overall this is definitely worth picking up if you’re looking for something cute and fun. If you’re looking for giant robots, try something else.

Link: http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/neko/


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