<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT"%> 2003 Cover
Dangerous Universe
Summer Movie

As the summer movie season winds down over the next few weeks here is a rundown on the movies I saw this season and what I thought about them:

The Good

"X-Men 2: X-Men United"
I'm not ashamed to say that I'm not a big fan of the original X-Men movie. To put it simply it wasn't that good. However, "X-Men 2" delivered on the levels that the first missed. I actually cared about the characters and the storyline was engaging. Heck, even the visual effects were stunning. I'm excited at the proscpect of another sequel – will the "Dark Phoenix" make an appearance? Time will only tell.

"28 Days Later…"
28 Days Later…" is, simply put, a great, scary movie that inserts certain images into your head that won't go away. Like the church full of corpses who aren't all dead, the fish tank three fourths of the way drained of water with fish still inside, London with the lights off (except for one), an entire city on fire, etc. Visually the movie is excellent shot entirely on video giving the movie a "you're there kind of feel."
It's more than a simple zombie movie, "28 Days Later…" feels genuine. And that's where the power of this movie lies, it doesn't pull any punches. The movie is shoved down the viewers throat with the force of a Mac truck. I found myself wanting more.

"The League of Extraordinary Gentleman"
Even though "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" is not all that faithful to the comic omehow the tone of everything is there. It's sort of like how Jurassic Park the movie bore little resemblance to Jurassic Park the book, yet each was good in their own right.

I'm sort of upset that the movie didn't do as well as it could have in movie theaters. The movie must have not connected with the audience on some level.

The Mediocre

"Pirates of The Caribbean -The Curse of the Black Pearl"
I don't think the movie could decide what it wanted to be – a serious action piece (people are attacked, throats are cut) or a goofball dramety (a pirate has a wooden eye, Johnny Depp rides a sinking boat into port) in the vein of the ride that was the inspiration of the movie.

The movie looked wonderful. The costumes looked great. The scenery looked great. The CGI looked great. There was just something missing between the complex, and sometimes very long, swordplay and bits of story along the way.

(Yes, I realize that I'm in the minority here on this movie and that just about everyone else really like it. Still, I didn't leave the theater satisfied and wanting more.)

The audience in the theater I saw the movie in broke out in cheers when Seabiscuit wins a major race. I can't remember the last time an audience at a movie actually clapped so I suppose the majority of the audience was really into the movie.

My main contention with the movie was that the filmmakers kept shoving the main theme of the movie down the viewers throats; that even though something is old and damaged doesn't mean that it needs to be discarded. Again and again characters would deliver their speeches to each other with this theme.

I found myself thinking "enough already, I get it."

"Wrong Turn"
Yes, I was one of the three people who actually saw "Wrong Turn." The movie would have been a lot better if the creators would have turned away from all the usual trappings of the horror movie genera. You know what I mean; characters who have sex are killed, the "bad-guys" are seemingly indestructable, etc. And, the plot of the movie, that there is a clan of inbread/mutated hill-jack cannibled living in the woods of West Virginia, seems to be recycled from an X-Files episode I once saw.

Still, the movie isn't horrible and is borderline enjoyable.

The Ugly

"The Matrix Reloaded"
The word that best describes the movie "The Matrix Reloaded" is "letdown." Imagine if "The Empire Strikes Back" really-really sucked after the glory that was "Star Wars." That pretty much defines what The Matrix Reloaded was to me – dull and uninteresting at best.

What made "The Matrix" so special was lost.

Just the fact that the entire first half of the movie could have been cut away without effecting the story of the last half is indicitive of the movie's low quality. There's a twenty minute orgy/dance/rave scene. Orgy/Dance/rave scenes do NOT belong in action movies.

Part of the movie is an exploration of what turns Bruce Banner into the Hulk; the gamma rays and the experaments his father did before he was born. The other part, too small in my opionion, is the Hulk on a rampage tearing things apart. The movie constantly takes leaps of logic like people INTENTIONALLY TRY TO TURN BRUCE BANNER INTO THE HULK!? Wouldn't that be the last thing you'd want to do? I found myself constantly going "What? That makes no sense at all."

The movie's titled "The Hulk" yet is Hulk-less for the first hour of a very long movie. In fact, the Hulk's in the movie so little the true title of the movie should be "Bruce Banner." A long car ride is better than watching the Hulk. 08/21/03

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