Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Week of Movies: A Mostly Successful Plan

 Before I begin, I just want to point out that the "double the 'c,' double the 's,' and then you'll have success" quote from Full House went through my mind as I was typing the title of this post.

Now that you know that, I'll tell you about my week of movies. When I reviewed Crazy, Stupid, Love. last week, I revealed my plan to have a week of movies. In case you missed that post, let's have a "previously on" segment. I know it's lame, but please indulge me for a second.

Previously on I Like TV and Movies:
"After going to a grand total of one movie in the theater this summer,
I've decided that this week is going to be the week of movies. 
I planned it out two nights ago; Tuesday is reserved for Crazy Stupid Love.,
Wednesday for The Help, Friday for Final Destination 5,
and possibly Saturday for Captain America."

After checking off Crazy Stupid Love. on Tuesday, I followed my plan and saw The Help on Wednesday. Then on Thursday, I ended up going to see Captain America. At this point, I was ahead of schedule. Unfortunately (although I suspect some of you who don't appreciate an good ole' gory guilty pleasure might say fortunately), I've yet to see Final Destination 5. Still, three out of four planned movies in one week isn't bad. In fact, the sane might even say that three movies in one week is a bit too much. But, they aren't any fun. Anyway, I don't have a whole lot to say about The Help or Captain America: The First Avenger, so I'm just going to condense both reviews into this post.

The Help

After reading the book in January, I was really excited for the theatrical adaption of The Help. As a big fan of novel, I can say that I was fully satisfied with the movie. All of the performances and casting choices are wonderful. Octavia Spencer was a fabulous choice for Minny, and her performance in the pie incident scene is just perfect. Bryce Dallas Howard, Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain, and Emma Stone give great performances as well. Even though his part is smallish, I was excited to see Chris Lowell cast as Stuart Whitworth. Although I know this is an unpopular opinion, I loved him as Piz in Veronica Mars, and I may or may not have whispered an excited "Piz!" to my sister when he came onscreen. Because The Help is a fairly long book, it was obvious that parts of it would be left out of the movie; overall, I was impressed with how it was condensed for the big screen. However, there are one or two changes that I found slightly baffling, and one particular scene from the book was left out that I was hoping would be included. That being said, The Help is a really well-made movie and a faithful adaption. 

Captain America: The First Avenger

Of the movies I saw last week, Captain America was probably my least favorite. That doesn't mean, however, that I didn't enjoy it. I just really enjoyed the other two movies and had some issues with this one. Most of my problems with Captain America centered around its villain, Johann Schmidt or Red Skull. I found him to be rather boring and over-the-top, and his scenes drag immensely. He becomes slightly more interesting part way through the movie, but I feel as if his character was not explained well. I went into Captain America knowing nothing about the comics, and perhaps I would have enjoyed the villain aspect of the movie if I had entered with knowledge of the back story. On the other hand, I really enjoyed the hero portion of the story. While snarky anti-heroes like Batman are fun, Captain America's earnest heroism is a refreshing break from the trend. His transformation from scrawny to brawny is gratifying to watch, and his underdog beginnings make him an endearing character. Plus, speaking from a completely shallow place, Chris Evans (who plays Captain America) is a very attractive man. I also enjoyed the 1940s setting of the movie; it adds a fun element to the story and provides a interesting style for the movie. Overall, Captain America is a fun summer action flick. It isn't spectacular, but a likable lead character makes it work watching.

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