Capsule Movie Reviews, Summer Edition

I’ve been rather remiss in posting little reviews of movies I’ve seen over the past few months. Here’s part one of recent movies I’ve seen, and I’ll post part two tomorrow.

Terminator: Salvation – 6/10 – Worse than the first two movies, but better than the third. It’s essentially a war movie, with Christian Bale playing his usual grim law-bringer role. The special effects are impressive, and there’s always something to look at. However, it lacks a lot of the depth of the first two films. The themes are much simpler, and there’s little of the time travel fun that made the earlier movies so enjoyable. Also, this movie included two female characters, both of whom had thankless roles as plot or expositional devices.

Up – 9/10 – Pixar keeps hitting it out of the park. They’re a factory churning out great animated films. I didn’t enjoy “Up” quite as much as “Ratatouille”, which was exquisite, but it’s still a superb film. Among other things, this film takes on a very unlikely topic of “how do we cope with life after the death of a loved one?”.

Away We Go – 6/10 – I wrote a review of this film that sums up my thoughts. Sam Mendes is a terrific director, but I was distracted by my disdain for the protagonists and their utter loser-dom.

Transformers 2 – 2.5/10 – It was everything I expected it to be: 57% killer robots, 32% huge explosions and 11% lingering shots of Megan Fox. This film may feature the most incomprehensible plot (a term I use charitably) I’ve ever seen. The only redeemable feature is Shia LaBeouf, who I believe to be destined for a long, Tom Hanksian career. On top of all the usual complaints, I was struck by how difficult it is to tell the killer robots apart. I was a casual fan of the TV show as a kid, but after Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, they all looked the same.


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