Archive for the ‘ Sci-fi ’ Category

The Instant Critic sees the sequels: Reviews of Iron Man 2 and Ghostbusters 2

Welcome back, fellow film enthusiasts!

In case you missed last week’s post, two fascinating documentaries took center stage.

This week, we will head into the world of the sequel.

IRON MAN 2 (PG-13, 124 minutes – featuring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Scarlett Johansson and Sam Rockwell)

In honor of the new trailer for The Avengers, let us take a look at Iron Man’s second big screen outing.

Iron Man 2 endured unnecessary criticism during its time in theaters. Some complained the film felt “rigid” or “unoriginal,” while others hailed the final product as “a lackluster follow-up to a true American gem.”

Yada. Yada. Yada.

Iron Man 2 serves its purpose to a fine degree of excellence. The sequel raises the stakes for Tony Stark, introduces an effective set of villains and bridges the film with the upcoming assembling of The Avengers – a superhero team consisting of such heavy hitters as Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Agent Nick Fury.

Mickey Rourke creates a storm of fury as the vengeful Ivan Vanko, the disgruntled heir to a fallen legacy. Sam Rockwell adds to the villainy as Justin Hammer, Tony Stark’s conniving rival.

Director Jon Favreau deserves a pat on the back for maintaining the same spirit of fun that made the original a blast. Downey Jr. will always deliver as Stark, and Paltrow serves as a brilliant foil for Stark’s antics.

Iron Man 2 deserves your attention for providing a successful sequel to the original film.

GHOSTBUSTERS 2 (PG, 108 minutes – featuring Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson)

While a third outing for the men with the Proton Packs might be far from reality, the second adventure for the busters qualifies for added fun to the series.

This time around, the gang must reunite to stop Vigo the Carpathian, an ancient evil who desires to return from the grave.

While the sequel does not live up to the original classic, you can still find plenty of enjoyment.

The joyous sensibilities of Ghostbusters find their way into the new installment, and the set pieces this time around almost match the grandiosity of the original.

Murray and crew also provide some excellent laughs.

While Ghostbusters 2 may not hold a scary bone in its body, humor flows in abundance.

I do recommend giving this silly sequel a try.

What say you? Are you a fan of sequels? Are you disgusted by the lack of original content in Hollywood? Let me know in the comments section!

As always, the lines are open for a few requests. Please let me know if there is a movie on Netflix Instant that you would like to see reviewed. I will feature the review with next week’s post.

Until then, may your popcorn be fresh and your movies wonderful.

The Instant Critic


The Instant Critic steps into the Grid: Reviews of Tron: Legacy and The Pixar Story

Welcome back, fellow film enthusiasts!

In case you missed last week, I offered my two cents on two movies featuring horses.

By popular demand, this week’s post will take a look at a stellar adventure and an intriguing documentary!

TRON: LEGACY (PG, 125 minutes – featuring Jeff Bridges, Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde)

A sequel to the 1982 gem, Tron: Legacy excels as being a visual treat as well as a moving narrative.

The story takes place inside the Grid, a fictionalized computer world where Kevin Flynn (Bridges) has been trapped since the early 80s. His son, Sam (Hedlund), stumbles upon a portal that takes him into the Grid, igniting a series of events that will reunite father and son just in time for a battle of epic proportions.

Those looking for rip-roaring action have found their match. The film’s strongest moments come from the eye-popping visual effects. A certain light-cycle battle in an arena of thousands will leave you breathless.

The score, orchestrated by the techno duo Daft Punk, brings an added fury to the film.

Bridges channels his inner mellowness for Kevin Flynn, and Hedlund provides a strong, anchoring performance as Sam.

Tron: Legacy makes for a wonderful sequel, but the film also works extremely well as a standalone feature.

Now, let’s go from the Grid to Emeryville.

THE PIXAR STORY (G, 88 minutes – featuring interviews with John Lasseter, Steve Jobs, Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and George Lucas)

There is not a film studio that comes close to rivaling Pixar.

Any film that bears the Pixar logo enchants our imaginations in ways that most studio fare cannot.  Over the years, audiences have been spoiled by the astronomical levels of quality a Pixar title brings to the table. Toy Story, The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Monsters Inc. are just a few of the classics the studio has produced.

Care to see how this humble studio came to be?

A good documentary always tells a story that can rival the fictitious creation of a Hollywood screenwriter. A great documentary almost seems fictitious itself. I am happy to say that The Pixar Story falls into the latter category. This fascinating documentary gives viewers an engaging look into the storied past of the famous studio.

I do not want to spoil the surprises the documentary has to offer, but did you know the late Steve Jobs had an impact on the studio’s beginnings?

The Pixar Story is a success because the viewer will truly feel as if they have been granted an exclusive backstage pass into the world of Pixar.

What’s your take? Do you agree with my praise for Tron: Legacy?

How about The Pixar Story? Let me know in the comments section.

Next week, I’ll be taking a look at a pair of Oscar-nominated documentaries.

Until then, may your popcorn be fresh and your movies wonderful.

The Instant Critic