There’s a lot to lament about the current state in Hollywood. More and more, we’re being flooded with remake after remake. Movies are being remade that have already been remade. The movies that aren’t remakes are sequels to decades old franchises that should’ve been left alone. Many complain about the flood of comic book movies as well, I however am pleased with it as I’m a big comic fan myself.
There have, however, been a few movies that go against the grain and manage to entertain the viewers. They remember that a movie’s primary purpose is to entertain you and these films deliver in spades. They don’t get bogged down by angst or unnecessary drama, they bring the concept of fun back to the moviegoing experience.
A big one was Grindhouse, like everyone else, I didn’t see this in theaters. I did, however, pick up the DVD’s. I wish I had seen this in theaters because as enjoyable as it was to watch in the comfort of my own home (and it was highly enjoyable) I regret not seeing this one on the big screen. Some movies just beg to be seen in a crowded theater and this was one of them.
Another surprisingly entertaining film was the adaptation of the musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. I’m not normally a fan of musicals, I don’t hate them they just don’t appeal to me, but this was one of the more entertaining movies I’ve seen in quite a while. Alan Rickman plays the bad guy, you can never go wrong with that. Many may be put off by the “sing talking” style of most of the actors. While it would’ve been nice to get some people with singing capability, it was fine as it was. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend checking it out.
While I haven’t seen it yet, Sam Raimi’s latest, Drag Me to Hell, has been described as a fun and entertaining movie that manages to be scary but not so intense that it’s off putting to the viewer.
The recent remake of My Bloody Valentine was another movie that had that element of fun. It wasn’t a good movie on its own merits, but seeing it in a theater in 3D with a crowd of people was worth the 8 bucks. That is to say, that it was worth it up until that stupid, audience insulting ending.
The recent Star Trek reboot was also very enjoyable. The acting was stellar, it was funny, the action scenes were great, and the characters were fleshed out. In a summer that has been rather lackluster thus far, this was a major highlight.
While DC seems to think that The Dark Knight was only successful because of it’s dark themes, Marvel has remembered that comics can be well written but still lighthearted and fun. Their rival may be making the same mistake many comic writers did after the success of Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns, but since Marvel launched their own studio company, they’ve been delivering fun, entertaining, and well written movies. Both Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk gave fans the moviegoing experience that they had been asking for. I, for one, can’t wait to see the movies that they have slated to release in the next couple of years.
The 2007 Transformers movie is a major source of contention. Some people hate, and I mean truly hate, that film. It had its flaws, yes, but all in all I enjoyed it. It’s Transformers, I don’t really know what people were expecting. If watching giant robots beat the hell out of each other and hearing Peter Cullen voice Optimus Prime isn’t worth my 9 bucks, I really don’t know what is. The movie was standard Michael Bay. It may’ve been claptrap, but it was highly entertaining claptrap.
The Dreamworks animated films have gotten a lot of flak for being a poor man’s Pixar. While it’s true that Pixar’s films are generally better, Dreamworks has put out some good movies. I enjoyed the first Madagascar movie as well as Over the Hedge. Kung Fu Panda may not have been as good as the gem that was Wall-E, but it’s still a good movie that you should check out when you have the chance.
With most of the Oscar contenders just being long, downer movies (both No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood were great, but they still fell victim to this) and most horror movies moving into the “torture porn” genre. It’s nice to see some movies that remember that going to the movies is supposed to be an enjoyable weekend experience.
Hollywood’s idea well may appear to be almost dry, but they still manage to draw a few drops of high quality entertainment out every now and again.