Sunday, July 15, 2012

American Culture

When Prof. Drezner goes with his Zombie Theories to ComicCon and NYT runs a front page article; we know things are serious in this regard.

"I need my beloved, underdog comic culture back!" That seems to be the rally cry here by these Geek Boys (will admit, I fancied myself to be part of that too; but did not succeed much). They are like 'where is my toy'; as these Hollywood Billionaires are descending on their revered land of 'comics' to garner some serious mollaha.

I agree with the general assessment - as Hollywood does not have anything else to make money apart from SciFi and Action Movies; we are running 'empty stomach' as far as Hollywood script supply goes. Not that anyone is much interested in simply 'undressing' of  a young and upcoming actresses - Freida Pinto in Trishna. This is so over used formula getting passed as a creative movie. That may be so boring, like watching some extended Tourism Ad even though it is Thomas Hardy adaption and the movie indeed may not be so bad.

But all this is fine so long as Hollywood continues to make good animation / fiction movies. That Hollywood has done so this year, we enjoy that even if all this seems one-dimensional. Here is what I enjoyed this summer:

Hunger Games (B++)
Good movie, solid execution and easy to grasp political references. The beef for me is that the movie stays at the 'human drama' level only but does not link the story to any larger theme, especially societal issues, since the movie came so tantalizing close to such issues.

Marvel's The Avengers (B)
Good movie, excellent special effect and competent execution.  Scarlett Johansson prominently, but most of the cast is sexy and visually appealing. Apart from that, there is nothing much expected from such type of action movies and this one is no exception to that.

Prometheus (A-)
By far the most liked movie for me so far this summer. Very intriguing, bold and not afraid of taking audience to unusual places; figuratively, literally and visually too. Special effects are top notch. On critical side, there are few issues like why Charlize Theron did not run perpendicular to the falling ship in the end and lack of 'clarity' in telling the whole story in succinct manner . 

Snow White and the Huntsman (B-)
Having two blockbuster movies in one summer, that is something of a feat unstoppable Charlize Theron have pulled off. This movie is all about her, her body, her expressions and her scheming. She has done it quite well. Character Snow White - I was underwhelmed. She is cute and has done her part well, except that at times I found her 'delivery' more of a contemporary teenage girl than the historical context needed. Rest of characters and movie - so, so. 

Madagascar 3 (D+ for adults, possible B for kids)
My ten year daughter liked the movie. I have no idea how other kids of her age in general would view this movie; but may be the movie is 'passable' for them. Otherwise excess of cliche's, too much stereo typing - Hollywood at it's worst - and very predictable plot and script. Hardly any surprise or novelty. Not many memorable 3D effects either apart from the circus finale in London; that part is some nice visuals.

The one waiting for is 'The Dark Knight Rises'; the Batman....may be it will be as good as all the hype.

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