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For those of you who by some extremely unlikely set of circumstances happened to stumble upon this page, I apologize to you. For those of you who intentionally came to this page - yikes! As the title of the weblog indicates, these are my Ramblings About Whatever. There is a chance that I will ramble about just about anything (as I am in this introduction), but only a select few topics will actually make this site. Enjoy! (I guess...)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Springtime at the Movies

Seeing as how this (we)blog is actually titled ‘Ramblings About Whatever,’ I decided that I would take the time to expand the subject matter of the posts since all of the more recent ones have been related to sports.  And so with that said, I’m going to now discuss a number of the movie commercials that I have seen in recent weeks.  (This should come as no surprise if you did take the time to read the title of the post.)

I should start off by disclosing that I very rarely go to see movies in theaters.  Since 2007, off of the top of my head, I can recall having seen Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Dark Knight, Quantum of Solace, Avatar, Fast Five, The Three Musketeers, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows in the theater.  So, that’s nine movies that were released from 2007-2011.  There are a couple of points I should mention, however.  I know that Transformers was released in 2007, and I’m almost certain that I should have seen it in the theater, but I honestly cannot recall having done so.  A second point is that I saw four movies released in 2011 in the theater.  (Although to be exact, I saw Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows on January 2 of this year.)  To recap, in the last five years, I’ve seen nine, maybe ten, movies in theaters, and of those nine or ten, four were from 2011.

So enough rambling – you can clearly see that I don’t go to see movies in the theater with any sort of high frequency, though, last year could be considered an anomaly.  With that I will launch into my discussion about the various promos for movies that I have seen thus far this year and detail the likelihood that I’ll actually buy a ticket to watch said films.

John Carter

When I saw the commercials for this movie, I initially thought that it looked intriguing.  I did not read a lot about the movie (and still have not), but I seemed to remember it being mentioned in at least one commercial that the eponymous character was from Earth and was supposed to help save this world, or something along those lines.  And if this fact (or assumed fact) doesn’t intrigue you as well, I think there is something wrong with you.  Because I still long for the day when I’m transported to some other realm and I’m asked to rescue the native population, don’t you?  Of course, after I’ve rescued the native population I would have to decide what type of dictator I wished to be, but I suppose that decision can wait until after I have actually liberated my future subjects.

However, another advertisement that I saw for John Carter mentioned something along the lines of ‘critics have said that John Carter is the first blockbuster of the year!’  To me, this is one of the more asinine things that I’ve heard said in the promotion of a movie.  It is perfectly analogous to saying ‘critics say that a lot of people are buying/going to buy high priced tickets to watch John Carter!’  This line is not a critical review of the movie and thus it seems absurd to me to use this as a promoting point for the movie.  A lot of people go to see crappy movies.  (One could argue that if you look at some of the movies that I have listed that I’ve seen that this is proof of the point I made.  But that person would be wrong because all of those movies are awesome!)  So all together this movie falls between the categories of Maybe I’ll See It-Maybe I Won’t and I’m Somewhat Unlikely to See It.

21 Jump Street

I remember watching bits of the television program in the 1980s on which this movie is supposedly based when I was a kid.  However, whereas I seem to remember that the television program was a somewhat serious drama based on serious topics, the movie that was recently released is ostensibly a comedy, the commercials for which seem to belie this point.  The bottom line about this movie from what I have seen from the commercials is that it looks extremely stupid.  I have never been a fan of Jonah Hill; I don’t find him very funny.  And everything that I just said about Hill applies to Channing Tatum as well.

I don’t feel that I have to say that much more about this movie.  In the end I would say that it probably rates in the category Probably Still Wouldn’t Watch it Even if a Ridiculously Hot Girl Wanted to See It.  (Okay, obviously one key would have to be just how hot the girl was, but regardless of how hot she was, I would have to question whether such a relationship would have a long-term potential if the girl was interested in watching such a stupid movie.)

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games, which was released this past weekend is another movie that looked very intriguing to me, perhaps even more so than John Carter.  I guess part of this reason is that I have always been a fan of stories about dystopian societies, the events that led to the states of being in those societies, and the actions the characters take to try to change their circumstances.  Additionally, the cast members who I could identify from the commercials were all fairly likeable.  There did not to seem to be anything other than pure laziness that should get in the way of me seeing this movie.

However, as the days counted down, drawing closer to the release date for The Hunger Games, I started seeing media reports on various channels about the excitement building for the opening, including seeing hoards of people, mostly teenagers, camped out in tents waiting for either the Hollywood premiere or to get tickets to initial screenings.  Just as I became suspicious a few years back when I initially thought that the promos for the movie Twilight looked intriguing without knowing anything about the books, but realized that something had to be wrong when both my sister and a friend with whom I have almost no similar taste in movies were discussing on Facebook their joint desire to see the movie since they had both read all of the books in the series, I became a little suspicious about The Hunger Games.  There is no way that a movie that elicits this much enthusiasm out of teenagers could be worth my while to see in a theater.

So whereas by all rights this movie should probably fall between the categories Leaning Toward Seeing It and Maybe I’ll See It-Maybe I Won’t, the fact that it is a huge draw for teenagers knocks it all the way down to Not a Chance, No Way.

American Reunion

I think that the first movie in this series, American Pie, was released while I was in college.  I did not see that one in the theater, but I never thought it was as good as most of friends claimed it was when I eventually did see it.  Most of the characters just were not that funny to me.  The only actors who I liked in the movie were Seann William Scott and Eugene Levy.  Most of the other actors I could not stand, and it still is difficult for me to watch them in other movies.  (Jennifer Coolidge is perhaps the lone exception.)

Needless to say, I did not watch either of the first two sequels to American Pie, in the theater or on television/video/DVD.  So, I can imagine that it should come as no surprise that there’s no chance that I’m watching American Reunion in the theater since I’m fairly certain that the American Pie type of humor has not grown on me in the twelve years since I graduated from college.  Just in case you missed it, American Reunion falls into the category of Not a Chance, No Way.

The Three Stooges

This is probably my favorite of the movies to discuss because the discussion will be the shortest.  Since the time I can remember being capable of rational thought, I have not found The Three Stooges to be funny.  The promo commercials look stupid for the movie, and I cannot imagine a scenario in which this movie is not stupid.  And so this movie falls into the category of Not a Chance, No Way.

Dark Shadows

And finally I come to Dark Shadows.  I’m aware that the movie is inspired by the soap opera of the same name from the 1960s, and this might have caused my interest in seeing it plummet just on sheer principle, but it is a Tim Burton movie and Johnny Depp does appear in the film.

I have enjoyed most Tim Burton movies that I have seen and believe that he does an outstanding job of creating movies in the comedy/horror genre.  I thought that Beetlejuice was a fantastic movie and watch it anytime that I have the opportunity.  I enjoyed Batman, Batman Returns, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sleepy Hollow, and Alice in Wonderland.  Burton, better than anyone else, has the ability to present a story that while undoubtedly dark is also undeniably funny.

Additionally, I think that Depp is an outstanding actor.  No one does a better job of playing eccentric characters.  You can look at his performance as Edward Scissorhands, or his performance as Willy Wonka, his take as the Mad Hatter, and of course, his four performances as Jack Sparrow.  (I feel I must disclose that I have only seen the first three of these Jack Sparrow performances.)  He knows how to play the role of the lead actor who by all rights should be absolutely loathed, but somehow possesses an impossible-to-ignore charm.

And so with all of this said, Dark Shadows gets a rating of Likely to See It.  I should note, however, that seeing as how this movie is about a month and a half away from its premiere, this rating will undoubtedly drop as the release date gets closer due in no small part to my aforementioned laziness.  So please don’t be surprised if I provide an update a few weeks from now revealing that I have not actually seen this movie because there is a reason, after all, that I have only seen nine or ten movies in theaters in the last five years.  (Okay, let me clarify.  You should be extremely surprised if I update this post at all because I feel I have already written enough on this subject.  Perhaps I’ll write about other movies later on as the summer approaches.  But should the unlikely occur and I provide a proper update to this post, then you should not be surprised if I have not seen Dark Shadows.)


Let me make it clear that this is actually an addendum and not an update.  There were a couple of other movies that could have appeared in this post that would lean toward the Likely to See It rating.  These are Casa de Mi Padre and Wrath of the Titans.  Casa de Mi Padre would probably suffer because it's in Spanish, my Spanish isn't all that great, and I certainly wouldn't feel like reading subtitles throughout the movie.  Wrath of the Titans probably would garner the rare I'm On Line for Tickets as I Type.  I don't think I need to explain this one further.

I sure am glad that I am not a movie critic and thus can avoid watching most of these crappy movies.

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