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Sort of mismarketed as the “two guys wear luchadore masks go on a Mexican rampage over a girl” movie. Sort of.

Savages often feels like it’s trying really hard to be a Tony Scott movie. True Romance mixed with Man on Fire with a little Dominothrown in for grins. It’s as mixed a bag as that sounds and there are several places where whatever Stone is going for just falls flat. However, the movie is expertly cast and has a sense of fun. The philosophical back and forth is a bit simplistic and doesn’t come to a satisfying conclusion (more on this later) but all in all I can’t say I didn’t enjoy the movie. Most of this is owed to the performances, Stone being a master visualist, and an against-type approach to the conflicts and gonzo characterizations in the film.

The one thing this isn’t, though, is a movie where two guys go on a big action spree against a cartel. There are two action scenes and one is a cheat. I think this could have been a great no-frills action movie but it would have been less interesting, if potentially more satisfying. The one thing you can say about Savages is that it is often interesting in spite of itself. Again, this is because of the characters for which there is a lot of affection in the script, all of which translates to screen even with the creepiest and most villainous ones. Read the rest of this entry »

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Don’t let cool images like this fool you. The crazy space opera stuff is just so much window dressing.

I pride myself on trying to find cool quotes, or at least apt ones, to fit my reviews. The quote I chose this time is a chastisement against what I view to be the thing Green Lantern is the shortest on. There is some sense of scope, and there’s certainly imagination involved in creating the planet Oa or the creature Parralax, but most of this is owed to the comics. I’m hard pressed to give the filmmakers much credit for translating the work of others and doing such a piss-poor job of making even that work, let alone adding anything to the proceedings.

Green Lantern is a by-the-numbers movie. Yes, superhero movies have progressed to the point where there’s a template of bland genericness which seems to be a combination of samey origin stories, daddy issues, and what worked in Iron Man. We get it already, Hollywood, these movies are hip to the fact that they are about ridiculous guys in tights with unlikely names. At the same time, a movie that was much more earnest than Green Lantern yet had many similarities in apparent scope and context is Thor, which is by far the better movie. Read the rest of this entry »

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