Last week, Sarah's sister Leanna was in town. This weekend, Sarah and Eleanor have been gone to North Dakota for Sarah's grandfather's 80th birthday. The babysitting and free time have meant lots of movie time for Professor Pope.
Pirates of The Caribbean 3: At Worlds End -- Like the second one. Parts were great. parts were a lot of fun. But there were too many parts; the film was needlessly complicated, adding in unnecessary elements (the whole Calypso subplot, and possibly even the whole trip to Singapore, although that part looked very cool). And while they added all this random stuff that seemed extraneous, they failed to deliver on a very, very cool possibility. All I am saying is, if you set up a huge, epic sea battle between the pirate lords and the British Armada, then I want to see a huge epic sea battle, dammit, not just a fight between two ships! It was as if the Battle of the Pelennor Fields just turned out to be Eowyn and Merry fighting the Nazgul and everyone going home after that. NAVAL BATTLES, PLEASE!
Live Free or Die Hard -- Ummm. . . Awesome, anyone? This was great. An old-school action film that holds the fine line between believability and camp. Sure there's no way anyone jumps from the back of a jet fighter onto some concrete onramp. But there's no way anyone jumps off the top of a building with a fire hose tied around them, shoots out the windows below, and swings to safety. Yet we go along with this outrageousness because of John McLane. In many ways he's so very human -- he's incredulous at his own situation, he does get hurt -- we're willing to buy it a little when he does the super human. Just good stuff all around, with only a few flat notes -- the villan was a little generic (although Rickman set the bar so high) and Kevin Smith has begun to get on my nerves. Still, it was awesome.
The Rise of the Silver Surfer -- There are four tiers of comic books: the ridiculous (see most of Marvel comics in the 1990's), the perfectly fine for comic books (where most books fall most of the time), the excellent example of the craft (I'd put a book like Powers here, or Amazing Spider-Man from 2003-2005), and the transcendent (Sandman, Watchmen, etc). I am not sure it's possible to have a transcendent comic book film. We've seen a few recent examples of excellent comic book films (Batman Begins, Spider-Man 2). Both Fantastic Four movie fall into the perfectly fine for comic book category. They are fun, light, have a fast plot and a bunch of cool moments. Not a bad way to be entertained for a couple of hours, but not really much more than that. The Surfer was cool. It was neat to see the Quinjet. But couldn't they have thorwn me a bone and anthropomorphized Galactus just a bit? One hand of cosmic dust cloud reaching out to crush the Earth? Wouldn't that have been a cool image?
Eleanor and Sarah are back today, so who knows when we'll get to the theatre again, but it was fun to binge while I could.
Oh, and while I was waiting for the Fantastic Four to begin, a family came in. The girl was maybe 5 and the book looked 4 or so. How much fun will it be when I can take Eleanor to movies? LOTS! One of my earliest memories is standing in line with my Dad to see Empire Strikes Back. Very excited about that future possibility.