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Movie Diary

Pitch Perfect
I recently cancelled my netflix by mail. I had no problem waiting 2 days for any movie, but I had pulled myself down to only 2 movies a month and at that point it is really just a lot cheaper to rent from Redbox, so that is why I rented Pitch Perfect, since I’m limited to new releases. It did come with a reccomendation from Will West earlier that week who praised the accuracy of college acapella groups depicted. I can’t speak to that, but I did enjoy the music for what it was worth and also the performance from Adam Devine (Workaholics) in a less mentally unstable role. Anna Kendrick is an actress I really like in everything I’ve seen her in and playing a mashup DJ was a recipe for a huge crush. It reminds me of the Josie & The Pussycats movie in the way that it should have been very lame and by the numbers, but has enough bizarre humor and clever moments to elevate the material to a point where it can be safely enjoyed by someone not a teenage girl. There is puke, a physchotic whispering girl, and big nerd who I can’t help feel is making fun of Glee by his inclusion. Can’t say I’d watch it again and again, but it is worth a rent. I might watch the “Cups” video a few more times though.
Iron Man 3 
The runaway success of this movie is not something we should praise but expect. It is better than Iron Man 2. It is also better than the original Iron Man in a lot of ways. I’d even say it tops Avengers as far as telling a story with character development (Avengers was a series of amazing events and jokes, but no real development). The female parts of this movie stand out against the titular Iron Man very well. Tony’s girlfriend isn’t a Bond girl, she’s the CEO of his company and his most trusted ally. The female AIM agent that stands in his way wasn’t easily dispatched. The scientist Tony met with 13 years ago doesn’t pop up to rekindle an old flame or get revenge, she just wants to get the rest of the formula Tony wrote on a cocktail napkin. And with little exception NONE of these women are sexualized nor do that dress in a way meant to seduce him. Yeah, this movie passes the Bechdel test with flying colors. And we’re rewarded with an amazing climax and a ride off into the sunset. Please, no Iron Man 4. Do not try to top this. Bring Tony back for Avengers and cameos, but let Iron Man 3 be the movie that closes his solo adventures.
Superman Unbound
These DC movies can be hit or miss. Red Hood, New Frontier, Apocalypse, Wonder Woman, Elite… These were great stories with the characters and it helps that most were adapted from great stories with the characters. I mentioned before that Avengers was just a series of events with those characters, and that is kind of how I feel with Unbound. The movie is bookended with scenes featuring Lois Lane and Clark’s relationship with her. In the middle there is some good Supergirl stuff showing Kara being homesick. But the bulk of the movie is Superman fighting Brainiac on multiple fronts. That fighting is fun, good action dialog, and superb WB animation to bring it together. But the movie never once shows why it is called “Unbound” aside from the one time he is bound by Brainiac and breaks free like 12 seconds later. There are lots of reasons for Kal El to lose it as part of this story, from being worried about Lois or Kara or pining to live inside Kandor with his fellow Kryptonians. All those are touched on but never dug in to. I guess that is a lot to ask for a 72 minute animated feature, but I’ve see these movies characterize Superman and family well and the fact they only half assed it bothers me more than if they went full on Justice League mode and made the entire story about the action and never talk about secret identities and relationships. The movie’s opening shot is also the weakest most unrealistic thing I’ve ever seen animated. Thankfully the movie picks up and is fun from there, but I could not suspend my disbelief that a swat team would pour on to a rooftop with armed kidnappers firing with NO COVER AT ALL and then only a few are slightly injured. I’d have junked that gun battle entirely in storyboarding and have the bad guys get away as soon as swat arrives since that is what happens anyway. Spent that recovered 45 seconds telling me why they kidnapped Lois in the first place. All told, it is still a fun movie and worth watching, just doesn’t elevate to the same level as Superman VS The Elite or Under The Red Hood.

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