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Summer Movies


Well the three big “3? movies have now come out (Pirates, Shrek, Spiderman) and I’m assuming most people have seen them. As expected each movie is making oodles of money but after huge opening weekends, there has been steep drop-offs in ticket sales. Although none of the movies can remotely be considered a bomb, each movie will probably fall well short of the box office efforts of their sibling releases.

I came out of each movie entertained but somewhat disappointed. What’s interesting is that I found the same fault with all three movies in that the filmmakers tried to shoehorn too much stuff into each movie. I can just hear the director of Spiderman saying, what’s better than having one villain? How about two? Then someone pipes in “hey let’s have three villains!? Sure three villains may sound cooler but it muddied the movie. Spiderman v. Sandman would have made a taut, thrilling movie. Spiderman 3 couldn’t explore deeper the whole Sandman character because it also had to deal with Venom and the Goblin. The end result being that all three villains were given short shrift.

The same could be said for Shrek and Pirates. There were so many characters having so many issues to resolve that each individual character wasn’t fully realized. This was an acute problem with Shrek, especially since it clocks in at a tidy 85 minutes. An additional 10 minutes may have actually helped. In the end it was the same old jokes and wry commentary on pop culture and fairy tales. Much like cotton candy, it just kinda melted away and was forgotten about by the time I got to the parking lot. The final battle in Pirates was awesome to behold, the effects were stunning and there was little there to suggest that most of it was CGI. However what was the deal with Calypso? It made no sense, added nothing to the picture and was a distraction. At 2 hours and 45 minutes plus, Pirates could have easily been cut down to a more manageable 130 or 140 minutes. Again too many characters, too many subplots to explore and try to resolve, and not enough selective culling. Was it better than Pirates 2? Absolutely, hands down. Was it as good as Pirates 1? Not even close.

It seems that the makers of the blockbusters are so worried that they have to amp up the WOW! factor that they add characters, sub plots, and set pieces at the expense of storytelling and identifiable characters. A few, well directed, incredible scenes are all we need, more than that just waters down the whole movie. Spiderman 3, Shrek 3 and Pirates 3 are good counter-examples of why sometimes less is more.

Summer Movies planning to see:

Knocked up
Transformers (looks absolutely amazing)
Harry Potter
Simpsons Movie
Fantastic 4 (good mindless fun)

What do you think of the movies thus far? What movies are you looking forward to seeing?



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I pretty much wait for everything to come out on DVD, but I may make an exception for Transformers if I can find a theater with a captioning service, since I'm not expecting dialogue to be crucial in that one, anyway. :-)

Otherwise, my big summer blockbuster will likely be 300 when it finally gets released on DVD.

I thought Spiderman 3 was the best of all of the Spiderman movies, although there were a few "cheezy" parts during which Spiderman was becoming arrogant. Overall, it was very entertaining and the special effects were fantastic. Spiderman 3 is going to have a great influence over Halloween costume popularity this year.

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