Admittedly these are not the most current movies that I am reviewing. Like all movie-going audiences, I pick and choose what I am going to spend my money and what I am willing to wait to show up on Netflix (either streaming or when it comes up on my DVD Que). Thanksgiving provided an opportunity to view some titles that I felt compelled to review:
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
This has the feel of a comic-book movie. The characters, the weapons, the scenery are very stylized. I half expect to go to Toys R Us to find Lego versions of this movie being sold at outrageous prices. It can be a fun movie at times and it is not a movie I regret viewing, but it is not a movie I will be seeking out for a repeat viewing.
The movie begins with an accurate depiction of the tale of Hansel and Gretel. The two siblings are booted from their home by their mother and led into the woods by their father in the middle of the night. They are left alone and soon become lost. They walk aimlessly until they come upon a house made of candy. The door ominously opens up and the brother and sister walk inside. (Here’s a tidbit for you, if a door opens up by itself to a place you are unfamiliar with, perhaps you should just walk away. What waits on the other side is never a good thing.) The witch captures them, force feeding Hansel sweet goods. Gretel gets loose, frees Hansel and they kill the witch by shoving her into the oven.
Fast forward about 20 years, Hansel and Gretel are badass Witch Hunters. A small town is plagued by the kidnappings of young children and are desperate to keep their people safe. H & G are brought in; action, some decent story-development, and exploding bodies ensue.
Two things I took away from this movie:
1. Whenever there is a death, the body explodes in a shower of gore and blood. This is one of the reasons why I feel this is adapted from a comic book. Very stylized deaths that erase emotion from the loss of life.
2. I love the fact that Hansel has diabetes. This lends some realism to a movie that laughs in the face of realism. Any child that eats that much sugar that is implied during his imprisonment would become sick. It helps with later character development.
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is a fun, quick movie. Like a piece of candy. Goes down easy and quick and then simply vanishes.
Another very stylized movie from fanboy (and fangirl) favorite, Guillermo del Toro. Bringing in elements seen in children’s television and some Anime cartoons. Giant robots vs. Giant monsters. There is no more plot development than that.
In the near future, giant monsters come to our planet via a giant crack in the floor of the Pacific Ocean. The world unites and builds giant robots. We succeed in defending out planet and soon the world governments decided to build walls and forget about the robots. As per usual of government decisions, it backfires. Idris Elba (who plays the commanding officer of the giant robot squadron) has one year to get shit ready.
When we are introduced to the main lead, Raleigh, he is working on a coastal wall. He is recruited to pilot his old giant robot, but with a new partner. We also get a glimpse of the three other robots in the squadron. One of them features three arms. Cool looking and gets everyone excited for some robot on monster fighting.
So after about 40 minutes of story and character development, we get what so many paid money for. I was disappointed that in one battle, half of the squadron is decimated and defeated.
Charlie Day steals this movie with his antics. I look forward to a sequel just to see what they do with this character. The battles were pretty good. Yes there are some pretty dumb parts. But it is a fun, summer, popcorn movie. The point is escapism, not an Oscar.
To fully enjoy this movie, I give this piece of advice: Lower your expectations. Go into this movie knowing that it is all about an easy to follow story line, exciting fights, and not a whole lot of realism. Also a big bowl of popcorn.
So I have room for a new blog feature, One-word Movie Reviews:
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance…Horrible.