May Movie Madness!

What a wonderful month this has been for movies! I am an avowed cinephile, as I have frequently stated. I love most every type of movie, depending on my mood, but proudly proclaim that I am a huge fan of the so-called “popcorn” action flicks that hit hard in the summer months. Too often they are disappointing in some way even if entertaining – cheesy special effects or a dumb plot line – or something I am just not all that wild about. Last summer THE MOVIE for me was Iron Man. I still think that movie totally ROCKED!!!! When one sees a movie as fantastic as Iron Man – and I should add Twilight, although it isn’t precisely in the popcorn realm – it can almost be scary to get one’s hopes up for something as wonderful. The disappointment is then especially acute.Therefore I entered the May launch of summer blockbusters with tremendous excitement but a healthy does of trepidation. After all, we had 3 movies offering new takes of 3 of my favorite franchises of all time. I adore serials – big surprise there! – but at times a good thing should be left alone. Can we say an Amen to the latter 3 Star Wars.

So first there was Wolverine. Now, I am not a Marvel/DC aficionado, so I had no expectations regarding story line nor could I care less if the back-story to my personal favorite X-Man followed the “canon” of comic-book lore. I just wanted to watch a kick-butt action flick that complimented the previous X-Men movies, all of which I really enjoyed. Well, I got that in spades! Additionally, much to my happiness, it was also a tightly woven story that not only answered many of the Wolverine origin questions opened previously, but it introduced more interesting mutants to the mix. Sure some of the special effects were a bit over the top, even for super-powered mutants, but I can live with that. Especially when you have one of the finest specimens of manhood on today’s movie scene, the scrumptious Hugh Jackman, dashing about in states of partial and complete lack of clothing for a goodly portion of the 2+ hours! Who notices a plot hole when Hugh is flexing his perfectly defined pecs and scowling with those incredible eyes? Not me! Yet despite that admittedly shallow attitude, it truly was a great movie. Don’t listen to the critics who, as I know all too well, relish finding fault with everything fun. Wolverine is a must-see on the big screen and well worth the bucks.

Next up was the newest Star Trek cleverly titled…. Star Trek. Now, a bit of history: I was too young to remember the original series, believe it or not! I have caught a few episodes in syndication now and again, but my love affair and initiation into the Trekker world really began with the movies, especially The Wrath of Khan – definitely on my personal Top 10 Sci-fi movie favs of all time – and then with the TV series Next Generation and later on Voyager. I grew to love Spock, Kirk, Bones, et al in their older incarnations. Not all the movies have been that great, nor have the other series captivated me. Nevertheless, I consider myself a Trekker so like many fans of the franchise I simultaneously groaned and cheered when I heard another Star Trek movie was to be made. Frankly, I think I groaned, the cheering only occurring when I learned, 1) It was being written and directed by JJ Abrams, who I believe is a Genius, 2) It was going waaayy back to the beginning, and 3) Zachary Quinto was cast as Spock! I knew right then that I would be there as close to opening day as possible. But even with that and with all the articles I read, I was still a bit nervous and prepared to be disappointed.

Well, all fears were eliminated within the first 15 minutes, even before James Tiberius Kirk was born amid a mind-stunning action sequence that saw the original Enterprise destroyed! Could it keep up the momentum? YES!!! I just can’t say enough how stunning this movie was. BLOODY FREAKIN’ AWESOME! I shall say it again: JJ Abrams is a genius. I do not want to give anything away, story-wise, but let’s just say that he managed to reset the entire franchise and place it on a course that with careful handling should keep Gene Roddenberry’s vision alive for another 40 years.

Every last actor was perfect. Zachary Quinto of Heroes fame was so amazing as a younger Spock that it was eerie. Like he truly had mind-melded with Leonard Nimoy – still awesome himself at 70-someodd years and playing older-Spock in a terrific twist that should have been stupid but SO wasn’t. I really expected to cringe when Scotty yelled, “I’m giving her all she’s got Captain!” and Bones grumpily muttered, “Dammit Jim! I’m a doctor not a physicist!” – but I clapped and whooped instead because it was so wonderfully executed. The Star Trek geek alive and well within my soul was 100% satisfied. But what is even more fantastic and, yes I’ll say it yet again – genius – is that a person could watch this movie having lived in a cave for the past 40 years with no idea who Spock is and absolutely love it. It was sci-fi at the pinnacle of what sci-fi is supposed to be.

PhotobucketAfter the sheer bliss that was Star Trek, I was reeaalllyy afraid to get my hopes up for Terminator Salvation. Here again I readily admit that I am a devoted Terminator fan. I loved every movie, although the original is arguably the best, and thoroughly enjoyed the Sarah Connor Chronicles which I just learned, sadly, has been cancelled. *Sob* It made such an impact on me when it was released in 1984 that I can vividly remember exactly where I was, whom I was with, and how I felt when I saw it the first time. My husband and I so loved that movie, and so loved Michael Beihn’s character that we decided to name our son Kyle! I have watched the movies so many times that I can quote them. Everything I saw or read regarding the new movie impressed me and eased my mind that they weren’t going to mess it up too badly. I was especially stoked by the casting of Christian Bale as the iconic warrior and savior of mankind, John Connor. Those are some big shoes to fill, but Christian is an actor with the gravitas to do it.

So today we went to see it, not sure what to expect since the stupid critics – who really should quit reviewing movies altogether since they pretty much universally hate everything – were not overly favorable. Once again their flawless streak of knowing absolutely nothing holds, because this was a fantastic movie!!! We were blown away and so was every last person in the theater.

You had action galore. James Cameron must be so proud at the handling of his masterpiece. The writers of this installment went back to Cameron’s drawing board, largely ignoring the second and thi
rd movies. The influence both visually and in the story was strongly of the original. In fact, we even got an obviously digitalized but uber-cool visit from Arnold as the prototype T-800. The post-Judgment Day devastation and ensuing war were right out of Cameron’s glimpses in Terminator and enhanced to greater bone-chilling proportions. The themes of humanity surviving, love, and redemption were never overshadowed by the guns and bombs. And I have to add that I have seen few special effects movies that were this well done. I lost count of the number of times I jumped and gasped! No matter where you may sit on the Terminator-fence, big fan or just a so-so enthusiast, this is the type of movie, like Star Trek and Wolverine, that defines what a summer blockbuster is supposed to be. And it further proves that sequels can be continually made that are just as incredible. I like that fact!

Dare I hope that the streak will continue? Will Night at the Museum 2 bring the light-hearted humor and fun of the first? Will Transformers 2 be as surprisingly enjoyable and quirky as the previous one? And will Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince wow me and make me cry as I anticipate? I certainly do hope so. And if they do, then this will be the best summer movie season since I honestly can’t remember when.

7 Comments for May Movie Madness!

  1. Well, I think I’m not the best person to say anything about this movies because I just love Christian Bale’s work, He and Matthew Macfadyen are my favorites!!!
    I can’t wait to see Terminator, but I’m thinking how I’ll be able to wait till next year to see Matthew in Robin Hood along with the great Russel Crowe???
    It will be very hard to do it, lol

  2. Yes, I definitely will go and see the new Star Trek movie! I think it will be a little bit strange to see a new actor as our Captain Kirk, but till now I have only heard the best of the new movie.
    And I am looking forward to the next Harry Potter movie, and I hope that the new big Harry Potter exhibition is coming sometime somewhere near us.
    What I really miss are movies like "You´ve Got Mail" and "Sleepless in Seattle".
    I hope we all have a great summer!
    Susanne

  3. I have heard the new Star Wars movie is tremendous. Have seen the trailer for The Terminator movie, very crash, bang, wallop. Love Hugh Jackman in ANYTHING! LOL! I would recommend Angels and Demons also, fantastic movie directed by Ron Howard.

  4. I hope to go see Night at the Museum 2 this weekend. It looks like so much fun! Especially with Amy Adams playing Amelia Earhart.

  5. Oh yeah Becky! Your dream is much better! I’ll be hoping that your Mr. Darcy happens by. 🙂

    If you like action flicks and do not mind a little bit of violence, the Terminator movies are must see. Heck, you have now read The Stand so you can handle anything! I haven’t seen 17 Again but it sounds very cute. My daughter enjoyed it. So many great movies right now and so little time! And I want to see all 3 of these again!!! Aarch!

  6. This is so funny! I didn’t know you were such a huge action movie fan. 🙂 I’ve seen Star Trek, and I TOTALLY agree about its awesomeness! I don’t know if I’ll be seeing Terminator though. I haven’t seen any of them, so feel like I’d have to go back and watch all of them if I did. We’ll see about those. Did you see 17 Again? Okay, so NOT an action movie, but since I went in with really LOW expectations, I was really pleasantly surprised. Honestly though, it was the awesome nerd guy on the show that sold it all for me. He was one of the best Sci-Fi nerd guys ever created!

    Anyway, it’s so great to see this side of you as well. 🙂 Thanks for all the fun comments over on my blog. Yes, I’ll be reading Loving Mr. Darcy on my favorite beach in Hawaii…unless I can’t stand it any longer and read it on the couple of free days I have before I leave! Your comment about me sharing it with all the women there & their improvements to their love lives had me rolling. I was thinking when that "someone" walked by, it might be my own Mr. Darcy?!? Just a thought… A single gal can dream, right? So fun! Thanks again. CAN’T WAIT to read book 2…seriously.

  7. wow… I may just have to see those flims after review like that! I’ve never been into the "Kirk era" ST… Yes, I was a Trekkie once, but my ‘claim to fame’ in the Trekkie world is telling Majel that I hated the original! I do like a few eps and respect it for it’s history in the ‘universe’ and television land but I don’t care for the characters. I wasn’t aware of ST on tv… (I was 9mos old!) My intro was TNG.

    Wolverine was never and still isn’t one of my favorite characters but even though Famke was mre my type, I LOVED Hugh!

    Transformers… Some if the movie was filmed not to far from where I live! "China" was filmed in Long Beach. My friend and I have already planned to go June 24th.

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