Monday, July 21, 2008

Sequel Week

Earlier this week I finally made it to see the Hellboy II movie, and although it was good, I have to admit I was expecting more after seeing what Del Toro is capable of with Pan's Labyrinth. The cheesy Barry Manilow sing-along felt like filler, as did a few repeat scenes from the first movie. No complaints at all about the imaginative characters, especially the scenes with the Angel of Death and the Elemental. The elf prince was also very good, and I called it in the movie that he reminded me of the villain in the Blade II movie - sure enough, same guy!

Along with pretty much everyone else this weekend, I went to see the new Batman movie. Yes, it was really good - probably better than the first one. I really think the direction they are taking the comic book movies now gives the stories the seriousness they deserve. There is a reason they have a huge fan base that follow these stories for years. It's not just the artwork - the writing is excellent. The stories are involved, and the characters are multi-dimensional. Both Heath Ledger's performance and Aaron Eckhart's after his transformation are chilling. It was a riveting movie, and I was jumping in my seat throughout. My biggest complaint with the writing is that I didn't get enough insight into the Joker's story. It's as if he just popped up out of nowhere, and we never see what made him insane, or the real reason behind the scars.

That said, I also can't understand all the Oscar buzz around Heath's performance. It is not his best work - it's his last work. If we failed to give him accolades when he deserved them, why now? His take on the Joker was very good - the least cartoonish I have ever seen. But maniacal villains have been done better before, and haven't seen this much praise.