The Greatest Showman may not be the greatest movie musical to come down the pike with some average storytelling, but the musical performances themselves and songs more than made up for its shortcomings.
Pan had some of the right ingredients between a good and capable director and respectable cast but between some odd choices with the soundtrack, mainly a rendition of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, and an utterly joyless film which is surprising for a movie about Peter Pan, it makes for a soulless and forgettable flick.
X-Men: Days of Future Past: The Rogue Cut, while not as strong or tightly paced as the theatrical version is still well worth checking out especially for fans. The Blu-ray released by Fox is a bit of a mixed bag. Yes, the audio and video are incredible, there’s a fine selection of bonus material but I’m not sure why they didn’t port over the features from the first release.
Neil Blomkamp’s Chappie isn’t quite the homerun some expected it to be with a thin story and even thinner characters but like District 9, it impresses in the technical department with excellent motion capturing and all around solid visual effects. The Blu-ray itself has a nice selection of bonus material while the audio/video transfers are both demo worthy.
The Wolverine is a marketed improvement over X-Men Origins: Wolverine in some places, but I felt the story could’ve been tightened up as it dragged in many scenes and took a long and winding path to the same place without muddy character alliances, who hates who and who wants who dead; it doesn’t make much sense and definitely didn’t help the story as a whole. Even so, Hugh Jackman delivers a, prepare for critic’s cliché, tour-de-force performance.
I hated Movie 43. I didn’t find the jokes particularly funny – and mind you, I don’t mind crude/rude humor – nor was it very controversial. Instead this looked more like a college film project with a higher budget and one which was made for insiders rather than a larger audience. Interestingly enough, at the premiere, Seann William Scott apparently was the biggest name of the cast to show up which says a lot when the others, even in their small roles, didn’t even bother attending.
Kate & Leopold is a fun romantic comedy where one should ignore the inconsistencies that often come with time travel. Even so, the chemistry between Meg Ryan and Hugh Jackman is good enough to make this a memorable and worthwhile film to see. The Blu-ray offers up some OK features, especially Mangold’s commentary, the video isn’t great but acceptable and the audio is good.
Real Steel is a fun movie that the whole family can enjoy. The mixture of practical and visual effects is fantastic and the story has a great heart behind it. Hugh Jackman once again delivers a fine performance and the young Dakota Goyo isn’t nearly as obnoxious as other child actors I’ve had to endure in movies over the years. No, this isn’t a great movie but it’s an amiable one with a satisfying finale.