I’ve watched a few movies recently, and haven’t had the chance to write anything about them, so I might as well do so now.
Poltergeist II – So after their last house disappears because it was built on a toxic waste dump and an Indian burial ground, the family moves into another that’s built where some cult members buried themselves? Those people have the worst luck with houses. Maybe that’s why Craig T. Nelson isn’t bothering to get a non-sleazy haircut.
The main thing I learned from this movie is that you can’t trust Southern preachers, especially dead ones. Mind you, I already suspected that from watching megachurch broadcasts. People have pointed out the similarity between Reverend Henry Kane and the late Harold Camping.
Their voices are different, as Camping was born in Colorado and grew up in California, but they both made failed predictions about the end of the world. I also feel I should mention the growing braces, which probably made kids even more afraid of dental appliances than they already were.
Monsters University – I didn’t get around to watching Monsters Inc. until some time after it came out, but I did enjoy it, so I thought the prequel was worth seeing as well. Beth actually saw it in the theater, but I was working that day. This film hits on most of the college movie clichés, including the nasty dean, the loser fraternity in competition with the snooty one, and the stress of studying for exams. And since it’s geared toward children, there’s also a lesson to be learned, with Mike finding out that he’s a good organizer despite not being scary, and Sully realizing that he can’t just coast through school based on his family fame. Because, really, where can you end up when you do that?
Oh, right. I also found it interesting that Mike and Sully were expelled but managed to work their way up through the ranks to their desired jobs. The monster universe seems to exemplify the American ideal much more than America actually does. Of course, anyone who’s seen the first movie knows that the company they work for turns out to be corrupt, but at least they promote based on merit. I do find it kind of funny that Mike isn’t supposed to be scary when he’s a gigantic eyeball with legs, especially when being compared to someone who’s basically a big teddy bear. But I guess part of the point of these movies is that the monsters aren’t scary when they’re just living their lives; that’s all business. They’re really more bizarre but cute.
Wishmaster – This must have been at least somewhat popular if it had three sequels (direct-to-video, but still, they wouldn’t have made them if they didn’t think anyone would watch them), but I can’t recommend it. It had some potential, incorporating the mythology of jinn and being based on the theme of wishes being interpreted in a way that hurts the wisher (a Monkey’s Paw sort of thing), but I feel that it didn’t follow its own rules. If the jinn can get someone to say that they want or would like something, that counts as a wish. You’d think they’d at least have to phrase it in a particular way. Beth pointed out that the jinn’s voice was similar to Tony Todd’s Candyman, and the heroine was pretty similar to Virginia Madsen’s Helen. Todd actually appeared in Wishmaster as a security guard, and Robert Englund and Kane Hodder also had roles. The jinn was voiced by Andrew Divoff, who has become known for playing bad guys, but I wasn’t that keen on his performance in this movie.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters – I’ll admit that I felt the original Percy Jackson movie was kind of half-assed. So why would I bother watching the sequel? I don’t know. I guess I just like the books enough that I was hoping they could improve things this time. And in some ways I think they did; the performances and special effects came across as somewhat less flat. The stained glass sequence with the oracle was pretty neat, and I thought the hippocampus looked like he belonged on a carousel.
I have to wonder why Kronos, when he showed up in not-quite-healed form, looked like a computer-generated devil; but maybe it was supposed to fit with how he showed up in an amusement park.
Dionysus actually had a part in this one, but Ares and Circe were left out. And while Clarisse was still bitchy, I felt like the movie presented her as nasty in a cute way rather than the total jerk she was in the books. Then again, it’s been a while since I’ve read them, and I sometimes get confused as to what happened in which volume. I was half expecting to see Daedalus show up, then I remember that he was in The Battle of the Labyrinth. Then again, the Hydra was in The Sea of Monsters, yet he appeared in the first movie. If they make any more movies in this series, I’ll probably watch them, even if Rick Riordan won’t.