While looking over my movie log I realized there were two theatrical viewings I saw awhile back that I neglected to discuss. So I thought I would quickly post my thoughts on them in case anyone was interested so I could get them out of the way before the summer blockbusters get here.
First up is Sam Raimi's OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (which I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned on here yet). I don't think anyone really wanted a prequel to WIZARD OF OZ and I personally went into this with pretty low expectations. Although I wouldn't call the movie a classic I thought it was very entertaining as a time passer. James Franco seemed like an odd choice for the title character, but he still does a good job. Michelle Williams (who has come a long way from her days on "Dawson's Creek") plays Glinda somewhat woodenly. Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Bill Cobbs all round out the cast and do a good job. Also, be sure to look quick for the Bruce Campbell cameo near the movie's climax. The visuals were also terrific but I felt that the story seemed to drag in some spots and I felt like nodding off a few times. Some people I know have compared this to Tim Burton's redux of ALICE IN WONDERLAND, but I thought this movie was better. For the record, I decided to see this movie in 2-D and have to say that aside from some scenes in the beginning that would have played well in 3-D, I didn't really feel like I missed anything. Definitely worth checking out on video if you keep your expectations low.
As for G.I. JOE: RETALIATION? It seemed like I was one of the few people who enjoyed G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA when it was released. I thought it was a fun popcorn movie with a great ensemble cast and entertaining action sequences that only Stephen Sommers could deliver. This time Jon Chu sits in as director (although Sommers is credited as an executive producer) and nearly all of the cast has been retooled save for a few characters. The majority seem to think that this film is better than the first one, but I think they're both on the same level. Dwayne Johnson, Adrienne Palicki and Bruce Willis are all good in their roles and it was great to see Snake Eyes return. I also thought Firefly was entertaining and I'm glad Cobra Commander was given an outfit this time that looks more faithful to the one in the cartoon. The story was fairly decent for this type of movie although there were a few holes that I felt were not clearly explained. But there is certainly no shortage of cool action scenes. I would not go so far as to call this a great movie, but anyone who grew up with the cartoon should check it out regardless of what they thought of the first movie.
So there you have it. Now that I've caught up on my theatrical viewings, I'll make it a point to keep on top of them as I promised to earlier this year. Maybe this week I'll catch up to that IRON MAN 3
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