The summer movie season so far…

Thus far this season I have seen Iron Man, Wall-E, Hellboy 2, and The Dark Knight.  Here’s my take on them in the order which they were seen:

Iron Man

Excellent flick.  Robert Downey, Jr. made this film.  He was Tony Stark. His chemistry with Gwyneth Paltrow was excellent, but I wished they had found another actress as I can’t quite see the object of Shakespeare’s affections as Pepper Potts.  Tying Stark with the “war on terror” was an interesting twist, and sent a bit of a message while still having enough “boom” to not appear heavy-handed.  I give Iron Man a 9 (out of 10).


A bleak, brown, dirty vision of Earth 700 years from now.  A depressing, but believable image of humans 700 years from now.  Robots exploring sentience, or going crazy because of it.  And finally, the simple act of holding hands.  If you don’t mind getting beat over the head with environmental, health, and “bad big business” messages, you might enjoy the cuteness and slapstick humor of Wall-E.   Kids will enjoy the movie anyways.  My grade:  7.

Note:  The short “Presto” gets a 10.  It’s the best part of the whole show.

Hellboy 2

An enjoyable, visual feast for eyes, with enough humor to make sure people aren’t too scared.  Ron Perlman becomes Hellboy as much as Downey, Jr. became Tony Stark.  His relationship with Liz (Selma Blair) reaches new levels, all of which are familiar to just about any couple who have spent significant time together.  Abe Sapien (Doug Jones) is the geek who doesn’t quite know how to handle his emotions, and his “vent” session with  Hellboy involving Tecate beer and Barry Manilow will become one of those classic film clips that will be played over and over again.   Score:  8.

The Dark Knight


I really don’t know what else to say, but I’ll try.

All the Oscar hype you hear about Heath Ledger?  Believe it.  He remakes the Joker into something so sinister, you’ll laugh, then wonder why the hell you’re laughing at, no, along with something so evil, so wicked, so insane, so… brilliant.   I’ve always believed there’s a fine line between genius and insanity.  The Joker doesn’t walk the line, he plays jump-rope with it, cackling with glee while he does it.

Christian Bale tries to be the lead, but this film belongs first to Ledger, then to Gary Oldman as Lieutenant Gordon.  Then again, everyone contributed in some way, even the lowly sergeant who makes a terrible choice to give in to revenge.  One review I read remarked that “everyone has a back story,” and now I see what he meant.  Everyone, from Batman, to the lowly minion, contributes to the overall depth of the story.  Christopher Nolan has created another masterpiece.

A definite 10.  Probably one of the best films I’ve ever seen.

p.s. – This film will go over the heads of anyone under the age of 12.  Although it is PG-13, it only got that way because of the lack of visible blood.  “People will die,” the Joker says, and people do die.  People are forced to make life and death decisions.  It’s heavy, heavy stuff.  Speaking as the father of a 13 year-old who is pretty smart, don’t take the kids until you’ve seen it yourself.

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