Pop Culture catch-up: Mini movie reviews and TV show assessments

Hey y'all, seems I owe you *gulp* 6 movie reviews as well as a new Girlz 'N' Games comic this week. I admit I've fallen a little behind, and this weekend I was feeling rather unmotivated and despondent about "life stuff." Although anyone who knows me is aware I never give up, I'm getting tired of living by process of elimination. Seems like everything I like, am enthusiastic about and try leads to disappointment. Anyhoo, on with the show... in the form of multiple mini reviews.

Film:

Iron Man 2: A solid 3 out of 5, but nowhere near as charming or charisma-driven as the original. With the exception of a drunk Iron Man scene comic fans have been waiting for, the film is pretty so-so until the climax, which is (mostly) a vast improvement over the cheesy showdown that capped the first Iron Man. Oh, and stay for the brief post-credits sequence if you're a comic geek. [Full review on the blog this week]


The Men Who Stare at Goats: A pretty big disappointment actually. The flashback scenes are great, and George Clooney is outstanding, but the contemporary storyline is dull and uninvolving. There were mass walkouts from the cinema. Just save your money and watch the trailers instead. They're funnier than the film as the whole and much tauter as entertainment.

Date Night: God, I hope Steve Carell and Tina Fey reteam in future for more comedies because they are a fantastic comic combo, without sacrificing likeability and identifiability. With an outstanding supporting cast that includes Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Mila Kunis and Ray Liotta, the film is highly amusing fluff whether you're on a date night or not.


Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang: I never saw the first Nanny McPhee film but the sequel, a UK-made family fantasy - essentially an anti-Mary Poppins - should keep the kids entertained despite the fact it's free of fart jokes and treacly sentiment. Adults will certainly have fun playing spot the British star. Given the film's climax though, I still think a better title would be Nanny McPhee and the Hurt Locker.

Leap Year: Wow. Utterly forgettable. I'm struggling to recall anything about this Amy Adams romantic comedy and I saw it less than a week ago. I do remember it is very predictable and that leading man Matthew Goode has a shocking Irish accent throughout. The film's not really bad, but not worth a full price cinema ticket either.

DVD:

Zombieland: Great fun for anyone who snickers at the thought of bludgeoning a fat man zombie to death with a pickaxe while questing for the last Twinkie in the world. Think of this horror comedy as America's answer to Shaun of the Dead. Twisted, very funny and an excellent reminder of how freakin' awesome Woody Harrelson can be in an offbeat, politically incorrect comedy.


Raw Deal: A surprisingly dull and one liner-free Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick from the 1980s. As a snapshot of the era's "nouveau riche" style cliches the film is amusing, but the carnage only really kicks off about 20 minutes before the movie's end, and negates the entire mission of Arnie's character - which is to infiltrate the Chicago mob for revenge and FBI career advancement. Commando is way more fun.

Television:

Spartacus: Blood and Sand: It's a case of 300 meets Gladiator meets Rome in this adults-only TV series that happily mixes CGI-enhanced ultra-violence, nudity, sex, profanity (expect plenty of "cocks" and "cunts") and ancient world politicking. A fabulously guilty pleasure that substitutes historical accuracy with lots of beautiful male and female bodies on display. Even Xena herself, Lucy Lawless strips off for some sauciness.


The Big Bang Theory: I know I'm very late to the party with this geek-centric sitcom, but I've been thoroughly enjoying playing catch-up. For those who don't know, this People's Choice Award-winning comedy centres on a pair of nerdy 20-something physicists who live as roommates in California, their perky blonde female neighbour and the guys' equally dorky and socially dysfunctional friends. Think of it as Friends for geeks.

Avatar: The Last Airbender
: Also playing catch-up here but my current fantasy show of choice is this Nickelodeon animated series, which ran from 2005 to 2008. Mixing elemental (air, water, earth, fire) magic and martial arts with appealing characters in story-centric tales, the show is more than simple kids' stuff. It's soulful entertainment that offers something for everyone, particularly the young at heart.

Comments

MJenks said…
I loved Avatar. It was such a fabulous show. I missed the finale, and after it ended, it disappeared off Nickelodeon's line-up completely, so I never got the whole series finished.
Pfangirl said…
I'm not sure if Avatar ever screened on TV locally so I'm not sure of its popularity here. However, I'm in the fortunate position of having been given a copy of the entire series by a friend.

My feeling is that the show is one of those rare ones with a reputation that will only strengthen with time... as long as the movie/s don't do too much damage to people's fond memories.

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