Weekend Viewing Roundup, Quick Thoughts on Comic-Con, & RED 2 review

Hello everyone! Hope you had an awesome weekend. If you happen to be at Comic-con the past few days, then I’m sure you had a blast (and you know I’m so green with envy!!) It made me feel a bit nostalgic seeing all those SDCC pics, maybe one day I’ll make it there again. Now, I haven’t read all the highlights from the big event but if I were at Hall H on Saturday, these two would’ve surely been the most scream-worthy panels!!

XMenDaysOfFuturePastCast
Click for a larger version

Just LOOK at this X-Men: Days of Future Past cast… I mean seriously!!! It’s incredible how good Hugh Jackman still looks after his breakthrough role as Wolverine thirteen years ago. Can’t wait for this movie already!

LokiComicCon2013
Thor who? Loki ruled Hall H!

I LOVE Tom Hiddleston‘s theatrical style and boy, this would’ve been the closest thing a lot of the Comic-con goers to seeing him ‘on stage.’ He certainly brought the house down with his performance! You can watch a video of it here.

Well, my weekend was ok (well considering I wasn’t at Comic-con), but hey, I got to see TREMORS, thanks to Cinekatz‘ Not-So-Secret Santa Review Swap in which I was “gifted” the monster flick from 1990 (review coming soon). I also rewatched Pacific Rim at IMAX Saturday night, which looks absolutely glorious in the giant screen. So that’s TWO monster movies in one weekend, which is a record for me 😀

Tremors
TREMORS
PacRim
PACIFIC RIM

I also got to re-watch one of my favorite superhero movies of all time. Well, even with a slew of comic-book movies since, I still rate this very high on my list. Batman Begins is one of the movies I’d bring if I were stranded in a desert island and I’d definitely pick it again in a heartbeat!

BatmanBegins
BATMAN BEGINS

Now, here’s my new release review from the screening a few days ago:

RED2poster

Though I enjoyed the first movie, I wasn’t exactly looking forward to the sequel. The only main draw for me is the cast and really, that’s the main highlight of this movie and the filmmakers knew that. You don’t go into these kinds of movies looking for an engaging story or character study, but you know what, they didn’t pretend to be a bombastic, over-the-top action flick so I still end up enjoying this quite a bit.

There’s really no point talking about the plot here, as the story is set up in such a way where it actually suits the actors playing these cartoonish characters. It’s as if the filmmakers had a checklist of what they want these actors to do in the movie and so the plot is written around that, if that makes sense. Seems like the actors are hired to do what they do best, some of them even did a parody to their famous characters they’ve done in the past (you’ll know it when you see it). The Retired-Extremely-Dangerous gang is once again on the run, being chased left and right as they attempt to solve the puzzle of finding a portable nuclear device.

Red2Stills

It’s too bad Karl Urban isn’t back to reprise his role as he was one of the highlights for me in the first movie. Also, instead of Morgan Freeman, we’ve got another seasoned actor (both happen to be 76 years old!) Anthony Hopkins. Nice to see him doing a comedic role though he’s not as fun to watch as Freeman.

Bruce Willis is back as Frank, which is basically a variation of John McClane (seems like Bruce is done with playing any other characters these days). Mary Louis Parker gets more screen time this time as his love interest Sarah, which is fine by me and she, along with John Malkovich‘s Marvin are the real comic relief in this movie. Their scenes together, especially the car chase all over Paris in a white Citroën, are preposterous fun. I guess you could describe the movie in that way as well. I don’t think I’d have enjoyed this movie as much if it weren’t for the actors. I love watching Dame Helen Mirren reprising her bad ass role of Victoria and her car case with Byung-hun Lee is hysterical! It’s right up there with all the outrageous action in those Fast & Furious movies.

Red2_DameMirren

I think the weakest link for me is Catherine Zeta-Jones as a Russian femme-fatale who used to be Frank’s lover. Her character is so darn boring and her romance with Willis’ character just falls flat. “Katja’s Frank’s ‘kryptonite,” Marvin explained to Sarah, which then drives her to do all kinds of jealous-driven shenanigans to one-up Katja. I do like charismatic Korean actor Byung-hun Lee here (not a bad replacement for Mr. Urban) who has a personal vendetta with Frank. He’s clearly hired for his awesome fighting skills and he totally delivered on that front.

Final Thoughts: The A-list cast seems to have a great time making this and it shows. Whilst it still brings the laughs and I was entertained for the most part, I do think the writing is so lazy and derivative. I hope they’re done with this movie, I mean how many franchises does Bruce Willis need?! I’m being generous here with my rating, because Mirren, Parker and Malkovich made me laugh so hard in this movie! Oh, there’s also Brian Cox in a small but memorable role, so yeah, there are TWO British thespians who’ve played Hannibal Lecter on screen!

3 out of 5 reels


Well, that’s my weekend recap. What did YOU watch this weekend?

51 thoughts on “Weekend Viewing Roundup, Quick Thoughts on Comic-Con, & RED 2 review

  1. Quite a weekend, Ruth! Ah, TREMORS. Love that monster flick. And see why I loved and rewatched PACIFIC RIM in IMAX ;-). Regarding RED 2, we had a fun time with this sequel. My daughter hadn’t seen RED so we watched it together on Blu-ray at home before we went to the movie theater to check this out. A wonderful day with my daughter checking out that memorable meeting of the Lecters on screen ;-).

    1. Hi Michael! Yeah, pretty busy. I enjoyed Tremors, it’s hilarious and pretty fun, though the monsters are so disgusting. That’s cool that you had a RED family weekend, ahah. I didn’t realize the two Lecters are in the film until right in the middle of watching it and Brian Cox showed up 😀

  2. ninvoid99

    I also saw “Pacific Rim” today (my review will be posted tomorrow). That Loki speech was just awesome. It just makes me love Tom Hiddleston even more. I’m so gay for him.

  3. Nice recap, Ruth! Oh, the things I would’ve done to be in that Loki panel. I’m such a fan! I even named one of my dogs Loki!

    Also, can’t get over how awesome the X-Men cast is. Insane.

    Not very interested in RED 2, as I thought the first one was merely OK.

    This weekend I only watched Pacific Rim. I think I’ll write a review soon. Didn’t really like it.

    1. I’m a huge fan of Loki too! Ha..ha.. that’s cool that you named your dog Loki. I’ll be checking out your post about Comic-con.

      Ah too bad you didn’t get as much out of Pac Rim. Yes there’s a good deal of cheese in it, but I find it to be quite ‘savory’ 😀

  4. Zoë

    This weekend? It was packed. I got to watch 7 movies and a whole bunch of series in between. What can I say? This weekend was destined to be super lazy!

  5. Ted S.

    You’ve never seen Tremors before Ruth? It’s one of my favorite movies to watch back in my early teens, I still watch it once in a while even as a grown up. I think I bought the BD a while back, might have to dig through my piles to find it, LOL. Funny you brought up this movie, I totally forgot about its director, Ron Underwood, after this film was a big hit on home video and his next film City Slickers was a huge hit at the box office, he’s on his way to becoming a house hold name. But after City Slickers, he made a couple of comedies that failed, then he decided to jump into a big budget event film, the remake Mighty Joe Young, it tanked big time. Then he top that one with Eddie Murphy’s Pluto Nash, which still consider the biggest flop of all time if I’m correct, cost over $1mil to make and it only made about $4mil. I should’ve included him on my What Happened list.

    Nice review of Red 2, I’ll prob just rent it, I wasn’t that impressed with the first film.

    I rented two movies over the weekend, Dead Man Down and Killing Them Softly. Both were pretty average thrillers, both has potentials to be great but just came up short.

    1. Ahah no, I haven’t even heard of Tremors until recently when I read someone’s rave review of it. It is funny and more entertaining than I thought but not something I’d watch again though.

      Oh man, Underwood made Pluto Nash?? Well that’s just ill-advised on all front. That’s gotta be THE biggest bomb ever even for today’s standards.

      I was initially curious about Dead Man Down, but now, not so much.

      1. Ted S.

        Yeah after Pluto Nash, all Underwood’s been doing were TV shows. Guess when you made such a big flop, no one wants to hire you to handle another big film again.

        Dead Man Down wasn’t bad, just that it’s so predictable and the plot’s not that interesting, it’s just an average revenge thriller. I was curious about it because the film was directed by Niels Arden Oplev, he made the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. But it looks like his career won’t be taking off here in States since no one saw this movie in theater.

  6. SDCC is on my life’s bucket list! I just have to make there at least once in my lifetime! I loved the announcement of the Superman-Batman film, a Justice League movie soon (finally), and not to be upstaged, Marvel announces an update on Avengers 2. Guardians Of The Galaxy looks exciting too! Sorry geeked out a little there 😛

    I was planning to see Red 2 last week with my girlfriend, but decided to go bowling instead. The first movie was OK, but somehow this sequel just doesn’t appeal much to me. I’ll just wait for the DVD then.

    1. That’s a great bucket list Asrap, hope you’ll fulfill that soon! I’ve only been there once and it was quite an experience. Not super excited yet for Guardians Of The Galaxy but hey Lee Pace is in it 😀

      Red 2 is perfectly ok to just rent, I only saw it ’cause it’s free 😀

  7. RED 2 isn’t something I would see at the theater. The trailers didn’t really grab me.

    Busy weekend at the multiplex. So many films clamoring for attention this week. The Conjuring came out way out on top. It’s definitely enjoyable. I’d recommend it if you enjoy old school style horror films. 🙂

    1. Well then, just rent it Mark, it’s not a MUST-SEE movie by any means but enjoyable.

      I’m not surprised that The Conjuring topped the box office, seems to have gotten a great buzz and the rest of the movies are sequels/animated. Interesting that BOTH Ryan Reynolds movies tank at the box office, man he needs a new agent… or just retire early, ahah.

  8. I saw the picture of Tremors and suddenly had an urge to dig out my DVD! A great horror-comedy! Love the characters in it – they make it so re-watchable.

  9. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth:

    Good stuff!

    ‘Tremors’ is an excellent update on the 1950s Big Monster movies. Made on a shoestring budget, but superbly executed!

    ‘RED 2’: Great cast, better writing and Helen Mirren being Helen Mirren. Though, I’ve never been much of a Catherine Zeta-Jones fan. Too smooth and packaged for my tastes.
    Enough said!

    1. Hi Jack! Somehow I have a feeling you’re a fan of Tremors. Yeah, the characters made it so fun, even if it shows that it was made w/ a shoestring budget.

      You’ll LOVE Helen Mirren being Helen Mirren in RED 2, that scene of her w/ Byung-hun Lee is downright awesome!! I used to like Zeta-Jones but she’s not all that interesting now.

  10. Sweet weekend! Pacific Rim on IMAX did indeed ROCK! 😀 And Tremors?! I love that one–too much silly fun–totally spoofs monster flicks. And glad to hear RED2 is at least entertaining–I enjoyed the first one.

    My weekend? I worked, as usual –but speaking of monster movies–I did slip in some old school Aracnaphobia with my daughter and her roommates (1990–wow! They were all saying how they were not even born yet!) –forgot how much fun that was!

    Later!

    1. Hi Nedi! Yeah, Pac Rim is one of those movies that’s worth seeing on IMAX, glad we made it there. So yeah, both monster flicks I saw were both great 😀

      Ahah, Arachnaphobia?? I think I might’ve seen parts of it, but hiiiih, not something I’d want to see again. I hate spiders!

  11. Well, RED 2 isn’t going to win any screenplay awards, you’ve got that right. LOL But I had more than enough fun with it due to the comedic characters. Youre right, Zeta-Jones is definitely the weak link here, but Malkovich and Mirren more than make up for it!! 😀

    Nice review Ruth!

    1. Hi ya Fogs, how’ve you been man? I really think the wonder here is in the casting, the chemistry between Willis and Malkovich are fun and the unlikely pairing of Mirren and Lee are awesome!

  12. Good review, Ruth. I’m not sure I’ll see Red 2 in theaters, but I might give it a chance.

    I saw Pacific Rim and Only God Forgives this weekend, as well as a few classics, like Dead End (starring Humphrey Bogart) and Stella Dallas (with Barbara Stanwyck).

    1. I’d say it’s only worth it if you like the cast, Josh.

      Yeah, I already read your review of Only God Forgives. Nope not interested in that one.

  13. Great post Ruth, certainly sounds like a fun packed weekend!

    That X-Men cast is phenomenal, right? I’m really looking forward to that, so many people I love in it. Just throw in Cumberbatch and it’s probably the perfect cast! Ha!

    I saw The World’s End this weekend, which was good fun. Not quite the laugh-fest I was after but still a lot to enjoy.

    1. Ahah yeah, I wouldn’t mind seeing Cumberbatch in every movie, but he’s already a super busy guy as it is! Looking fwd to your review of The World’s End, I’m more inclined to see that one than This Is The End.

  14. Yeah, I would love to make it to Comic-Con one day. One of these days, maybe! I’m looking forward to that X-Men film, but I’ll be posting a tribute to Hugh Jackman as Wolverine sometime this week. Still working on it.

    1. Oh cool! I’m looking forward to your tribute. Jackman is such an awesome guy, I listened to him at the Comic-con panel how he got dressed as Wolverine walking around San Diego and nobody bothered him, ahah. I hope you get to make it there one day, it was the experience of a lifetime when I went 2 yrs ago.

    1. Fair enough Chris! Yeah, it’s not really a must-see at the theater despite the great actors. Hope you had a nice vacation man, welcome back!

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