Monday, September 03, 2012
Bad Boys and Disney Magic
Movie Review #21: Bad Boys
Don't be alarmed, we're Negros.
An up and coming action star in Will Smith and a still funny Martin Lawrence made Bad Boys a great movie when it came out. Looking back on it now, it is still a top shelf buddy cop movie. Will Smith showed great signs of being the great action star he would later become (his acting hadn't quite reached the level it is now). And Martin Lawrence was really at the top of his game here, probably due to the fact that he wasn't resorting to dressing up in Grandma outfits in order to get cheap laughs. Plus, Michael Bay directed it. Say what you will about his films, but I love them. They keep me entertained even as ridiculous as they can get.
Story-wise, the plot is fairly simple, but it really stays fresh because of the banter between Smith and Lawrence. Simple discussions about a car and cup holders becomes a laugh riot because of the two of them. I would love to know how much of the dialogue was actually written by the writers of the screenplay and how much was ad-libbed. I don't want to discredit the job screen writers do, but so much of the dialogue seems so random, I feel like so much of it was thought up on the spot to hilarious results. And not only is it funny, as an action movie, it DOES have some great action scenes. I mean, that is what Bay is good at, right? Overall, this movie has lost none of its appeal and it is still as entertaining now as it was back then while not seeming dated at all. 4 out of 5 cheeseburgers
Movie Review #22: Bad Boys 2
We ride together, we die together. Bad boys for life.
I'm not sure what took so long, but after 8 years, it was cool that they released another Bad Boys film. And truthfully, they never missed a beat. Yeah, they took it to the next level in every way imaginable and it became semi ridiculous, but it was still entertaining as Hell, maybe even more so than the first film.
In between the first and second films, Will Smith had become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood and his presence in the film definitely reflects that. He just oozes so much more charisma in this film than the first one and he takes on more of a serious role than he did previously. Martin Lawrence, while comical in the first one, is more of Will Smith's foil in this film, being the comedic sidekick to Will Smith's serious cop. This is not to say that they don't have comedic moments together. There are plenty! But they definitely have more defined roles in this one than in the first one and it works just as well. Martin Lawrence is absolutely hilarious in this one, but he was just probably happy to do a movie where he didn't have to dress in a fat suit.
As for the action, it takes on a whole new level. In fact, many reviews criticized the film for being so gratuitous with the violence. While it may be over the top, it's just for the sake of fun and it is just what you would expect from a Michael Bay movie. Again, we are not trying to throw this into consideration for an Oscar, but for pure entertainment and action with a great dose of humor, this movie totally gets it done and I would be there opening day if they decided to do a third film. 4 out of 5 cheeseburgers
Movie Review #23: Bambi
It is Man. He is here again. There are many this time. We must go deep into the forest.
After being fairly disappointed with the last two Disney films I have reviewed, I didn't have much hope for Bambi, a movie I haven't seen since I was a kid. I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the film. What is interesting is just how simple the film really is. The plot is so basic and bare-bones, but somehow manages to make such a memorable impact on those who watch it and appreciate it.
I also really like how the "villains" of the film, humans, aren't even seen. They aren't necessary. The threat of them are enough to make the point that film is trying to make and enough to try to put the scare into the loveable characters of the forest. And the characters are really adorable. They really did a good job with giving them such great personalities in such a short amount of time. It really is a special film that is full of Disney magic. 3.5 out of 5 cheeseburgers
Movie Review #24: Beauty and the Beast
He's no monster, Gaston, YOU are!
While Little Mermaid ushered in a new age for Disney movies (they had been struggling for a few years with underachieving films), it was Beauty and the Beast that took it to another level. Upon watching it again, I really do see why it got nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Animated or not, there are so many amazing elements in this film: a wonderful story, great characters, and a fun soundtrack. Like Little Mermaid right before it, the song features so many memorable songs that have been sung over and over throughout the years. What is great about all the songs is how well they move the plot along. The songs aren't placed in there for the simple task of filling time. Each song is essential and make the movie what it is.
But besides the music, the characters themselves are perfect. Belle is a classic Disney princess, albeit one that can definitely handle her own. The Beast is perfect as the lovable grump, and Gaston is about as good as villains get in the Disney realm. And that doesn't even hit on all of the great and memorable supporting characters. Throw in a perfect, touching love story and you have the makings of a spectacular film that you forget is even an animated film near the end. 4.5 out of 5 cheeseburgers