The Dark Knight or even Iron Man, I can't say it was a letdown.
The story actually wasn't bad, though. Logan looks pretty good for a guy his age, which I'm estimating as at least 175 - who knew? The movie was entertaining, stayed pretty consistent with X-Men conventions (to the best of my admittedly limited knowledge, anyway), and did make Logan's backstory quite interesting. It was a bit confusing at times, though, and could have used a little lighter hand and more humor in spots. I thought it worked effectively as a prequel and in setting up the first X-Men movie, but that also leads me to wonder whether any other X-Men will be getting "origin" stories - is there an audience for any character's story other than Wolverine's?
It's safe to say that I was not at all disappointed with J. J. Abrams' re-interpretation of a classic. I was pulled in from the opening scene, and I thought the pacing was just right - no slow patches, but no real moments of sensory overload either. The casting was excellent as well; it was fun to see characters we know so well re-interpreted by different actors, and yet still feel like the characters we know. I particularly liked Chris Pine as Kirk and Karl Urban as McCoy - and next time, I want to see more of Simon Pegg as Scotty! I enjoyed a story that showed events that had only been referred to in prior stories, and readily accepted the premise that made this story possible. I also appreciated the little asides and references thrown in for long-time Trek and Abrams fans (there are some nods to Alias and Lost). Even with all that said, though, I really think anyone who enjoys a good story with strong characters, lots of action, and liberal dashes of humor can find something to like in Star Trek, even if they have no previous familiarity with it at all (but does such a person even exist?)
We waited until the second weekend to see this so we could go with our Trekkiest friends, but Tall Paul has already seen it a second time with Spencer, and I'm pretty sure I'll go back to see it in the theater at least once myself. The DVD will undoubtedly be in our home library by the end of this year (unless it's not out yet by then - but won't they want it on the market for the holidays?).
The comedy seemed to be on a larger scale as well; I thought the first movie was funny, but I don't remember laughing quite as much at that one as I did this time. Battle of the Smithsonian is light and silly-funny, but the humor is almost non-stop and the story is enjoyable. Ben Stiller is pretty good at playing obnoxious characters, but he isn't one here, and I like him much better. The funniest addition to the cast of characters is Hank Azaria as the Egyptian pharaoh who wants the golden tablet, and Amy Adams is adorable as Amelia Earhart. Christopher Guest's look as Ivan the Terrible seemed to have been borrowed from his role as Count Rugen in The Princess Bride, which is fine with me (he didn't have the sixth finger, though), but there wasn't enough Owen Wilson for my taste. If you're a fan of NBC's Thursday-night comedies, keep your eyes peeled for cameos.
We've been talking about a family trip to Washington D.C. next year, and now I really hope we'll be able to do it; our appetites have definitely been whetted for seeing the Smithsonian.
Bonus Pre-season Feature: I Love You, Man
This was actually a late-winter/spring-doldrums release, but since we saw it in late April, I'm counting it. I'd be surprised if it's still in theaters now - two months in movie time is kind of like dog years - but if you're a comedy fan and a movie renter, you might want to put it on your list.
A surprisingly sweet adult comedy about a guy who's definitely not a "guy's guy," I Love You, Man chronicles
Peter's attempts to make some male friends after he gets engaged - and realizes he has no one to include
in his wedding party. "Set-ups" by his mother his brother don't quite work out, but when he meets Sydney at an open house - Peter sells real estate, and Sydney's really looking for single women rather than a house, but anyway - they hit it off.
I enjoyed a male-bonding story that didn't revolve around sports and/or chasing women, and where the humor
came from the characters. My husband (who's a bit like Peter, and he'll tell you so himself) and I related to the social-misfit aspects of the characters, and we got a lot of good laughs. I liked the casting of Paul Rudd as Peter and Jason Segel (my favorite from Freaks and Geeks) as Sydney, and appreciated the fact that one of the things the characters connected over was Rush, a favorite band of every geeky guy I've ever met.
Have you been to the movies lately? What have you enjoyed - and what do you think people should avoid?
(all poster images found on MoviePoster.com)