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Tag Archives: Sequel

Review: Sherlock Homes- A Game of Shadows (2011)

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Our favorite wise cracking Englishman, Sherlock Holmes is back. But it is still a sequel. Can it overcome the “sequels are never as good as the original” curse? Why, the answer is elementary my dear Watson.

Yup, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law are back, and this time, the girl is different! With Irene Adler leaving the scene early on, all the two hero’s attention is on the villain this time. This time they face an adversary (Professor Moriarty) that can match wits with any one, including Holmes. With the villain set, all we have to do is sit back and watch the next edition of Monk meets The Bourne Identity.

Yes, the plot isn’t quite the best thing in the world. In fact, I don’t really remember a whole lot of it. But the reason you’re watching Sherlock Holmes is for the action scenes, the humor, and the wit. Robert Downey Jr. is at his charismatic best as Holmes, and Law plays the straight man to perfection. Yes, the chemistry between RDJ and Rachel McAdams is missing from the majority of the movie, but Noomi Rapace is no slouch. And adding Stephen Fry as the other Holmes is a stroke of genius. It doesn’t beat the original, but A Game of Shadows comes awfully close to matching it. Hopefully the third will complete the possibly excellent trilogy.

My Rating: B+

Review: Cars 2 (2011)

Cars, while not Pixar’s best, was still a decent movie. It showed off America’s reminiscing of yesteryear road trips on roads like Route 66 among others, and had some clever car jokes, but it wasn’t exactly Toy Story or Monsters Inc. Pixar, in a move, I’m not quite sure of, decided they could drag another storyline out of this land where there are houses, but no humans.

Forget Radiator Springs. In fact, you can forget about America for the most part. Cars 2 takes a cue from Rowan Atkinson and tries its hand at the bumbling spy routine. While it keeps most of the original cast, most are regulated to very minor roles (except for superstar car Lightning McQueen and rusty tow truck Tow Mater). On a globetrotting adventure, Mater finds himself mistaken for a spy, attempting to get to the bottom of a green fuel conspiracy. Meanwhile, McQueen hands his own “hands” full with his race to be declared the greatest race car in the world in the newly announced World Grand Prix. As McQueen tries to handle the embarrassment of his sheltered friend, cars are dying out one by one. Will they be able to get to the bottom of things before Lightning meets his demise?

Like I said before, Cars 2 is the first Pixar movie to not be met with rave reviews. And, surprise surprise, I can see why. For Dream Works, Cars 2 would be a standout, but with our high standards for Pixar films, Cars 2 just flops. I think a large part of this is what they changed. The first movie’s success, for me at least, was owed to its Americana factor. Now, with the adventures expanded to make a globetrotting spy movie, they lost the thing that made people like the original. Yes, it’s a perfectly fine kids movie (although a lot of explosions), but it doesn’t have the mass appeal of the previous films.

My Rating: C

Review: Iron Man 2 (2010)

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If you want to know what to expect from Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2, I’ll just say it has enough shattered glass to build a skyscraper. But honestly, there isn’t much bad to say about Iron Man 2. But did it have enough firepower to overtake its predecessor? That’s the real question right there.

Iron Man 2 picks up right where the first one ends, when Tony Stark announces that he is, in fact, Iron Man. The difference is, we are in Russia, and Ivan Vanko is with his father (former partner with Tony’s dad Howard). Ivan is suiting up for paying back the Stark’s for wronging his father. A bunch of explosions later, and Samuel L. Jackson, ahem, Nick Fury, is trying to get Iron Man into the Avengers. Oh yeah, there’s a really big battle scene between Iron Man, War Machine, and a bunch of droids.

First things first, I loved the original Iron Man, and in my mind Tony Stark is one of the best characters in any superhero movie. Thankfully, Iron Man 2 competes with the original and might even surpass it in some areas. Of course, Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark leads the way with his charisma his humor and making the comic book seem like the Sunday funny’s. The addition of Scarlett Johansson as Natalie Rushman AKA Natasha Romanoff AKA Black Widow isn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and even brings the most kick-butt action sequence in her short time as the Black Widow. One of my personal favorite actors Sam Rockwell, does an excellent job as portraying the nerd who want’s Stark’s fame but keeps getting wedgies, but does so in a way that you still hate him, even while he gets trampled by basically everyone in the movie.

Of course not everything is sunshine and rainbows. Although he didn’t detract from the film, Mickey Rourke as Ivan really didn’t bring much to the table. Most of the time you couldn’t understand him, and well, he just seemed kind of boring. Also, what’s the deal with all the shattered glass. how is half the city not cut up?

Did it have the kick of the first. Not quite. But it was just a hair behind. Hopefully the 3rd (2013) will be able to live up to the predecessors, and stay up there with Christopher Nolan’s Batman franchise.

My Rating: A-