Greetings from the Odinson,
The Odinson concludes his 2014: The Year in Review!
Part 3: The Movies.
Before I get started, I must point out that Interstellar was the Odinson’s favorite movie-going experience of 2014. From the great cast to the direction and visual storytelling of Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins) to the science fiction of it all, Interstellar was a fantastic time at the theatres. I did not see Veronica Mars or, unfortunately, The LEGO Movie which I hear is amazing. I also missed out on Big Hero 6, Snowpiercer, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Edge of Tomorrow, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, so the Odinson has some movie catching up to do.
However, about the movies I did see…
I, Frankenstein – Not bad at all. The acting is a little wooden and it is heavily inspired the super cool Underworld franchise, but this horror/action adventure about a war between Heaven and Hell and Frankenstein’s monstrous creation caught in the middle is good fun. Odinson Rating: 3 out of 5 Hammers
RoboCop – As a huge fan of the original film from the 80s, I went into this one very guarded. However, other than a few minor gripes over storytelling choices, I rather enjoyed this remake. Plus, Michael Keaton is gold and worth the ticket price to any movie he is in. Odinson Rating: 3 out of 5 Hammers
Amazing Spider-Man 2 – The Good: From the way he moved and talked to the way his costume rippled in the wind, this was, hands down, the absolutely best looking Spider-Man visually we’ve seen on the Big Screen to date. The Bad: The story fell way flat. The mystery surrounding Peter’s parents took up way too much screen time. Plus, I just didn’t really find myself caring for any of the characters in the film. The Ugly: To this day they just haven’t gotten the Green Goblin right in the movies. They tried it their “Hollywood Way” now three times. The next time around, the Odinson would love to see them just go for it and visually adapt the character right from the comic page. After all that, ASM2 was still not the worse Spidey flick to have ever hit theaters. Odinson Rating: 3 out of 5 Hammers
Godzilla – For the Odinson who grew up watching Godzilla, this film was a no brainer. However, I went in wary for I’ve been fooled before (see Godzilla 1998). I should not have worried though, because the mighty leviathan retuned and once again established himself as the undisputed King of All Monsters! Let them fight. Odinson Rating: 4 out of 5 Hammers
X-Men: Days of Future Past – If this is where comic movies are heading, adaptations of established storylines, then the Odinson is all for it. Movies have been adapting novels for decades. I would much rather see an adaptation of say Watchmen or Planet Hulk rather than see what Hollywood thinks our beloved heroes should be. Plus, the Quicksilver scene was absolutely amazing. Even the mighty Joss Whedon will have a hard time topping that one in the next Avengers movie. Odinson Rating: 4 out of 5 Hammers
Maleficent – Sleeping Beauty along with Robin Hood and The Little Mermaid have always been the Odinson’s All-Time favorite Disney animated movies. So, I was excited to see what they’d do with a live-action adaptation. Maleficent is the Disney Universe’s ultimate villain, but this tale tells a very different story from the villain’s point of view. The film didn’t blow my hair back but it was a unique vision of the classic tale. Odinson Rating: 3 out of 5 Hammers
Hercules – This film is perhaps the most underrated movie of the year. The Rock stars in the title role of this adaptation of a story from Radical Comics called Hercules: The Thracian Wars. It tells the story of the mighty hero in the years that followed his legendary Twelve Labors. It is The Magnificent Seven meets Spartacus. My favorite moment of the film is when Hercules lets the battlefield and the audience know just how he feels about centaurs. It’s not highbrow entertainment but it is genuinely good popcorn fun. Odinson Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 Hammers
Transformers: Age of Extinction – I’m a fan of Marky Mark but his acting in this movie was mailed in. It’s a Transformer. I did like this film but it was way too long. Three hours works for some movies but not a giant robots smashing other giant robots movie. The movie had three endings. Every hour on the hour, there was resolution that could have ended the flick but then suddenly the story takes off in another direction, creating a whole new mess of trouble for our heroes. The special FX were top notch and it’s always fun to see Optimus Prime regulate on some evildoers. Odinson Rating: 3 out of 5 Hammers
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – This installment was good but it was quite obvious that the entire movie was just one big set up for the next one. Four movies was a little much for this whole story of The Hunger Games. It all probably could have been told in two. The first two Hunger Games films are basically the same movie with different endings. They could have just merged and edited them together to make a more streamlined story, and the last two films, Mockingjay Part 1 and 2, could have been edited down to one film as well. Now, I say all this having never read the books, so I have no preconceptions or loyalties to the source material. It just seems like the saga of Katniss Everdeen has been stretched out and turned into a much bigger tale than it really is, much like The Hobbit, a book I absolutely loved, but a book that never the less did not need to be turned into three movies. Odinson Rating: 3 out of 5 Hammers
Mr. Peabody and Sherman – When I was a child, The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show was Must See Saturday morning TV and Sherman and Peabody were a fixture of this seminal cartoon anthology. Sherman and Peabody featured vignettes about a boy and his super intelligent dog and their time machine that lets them travel back and experience history first hand. This animated feature takes the original premise and cranks it up to eleven! Odinson Rating: 4 out of 5 Hammers
Guardians of the Galaxy – This movie has all the wonder, humor, and joy of the great films of our youth, films like Star Wars, E.T., and Indiana Jones. It has the awesomeness of a comic book come to life like the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s written well, the acting is great, the characters are memorable and lovable, and it’s a really good movie, too. Marvel proved that it’s not only the Mount Rushmore heads of comics – Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, and the Hulk – that can get people into the theaters and create blockbusters. Guardians of the Galaxy is truly a movie that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Odinson Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 Hammers
Tusk – From writer-director Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats, Dogma) comes a horror/comedy the likes of which you’ve never seen before. What if funnyman Kevin Smith made a Hammer Horror Film? Tusk is the answer. The most unusual thing about this film, and that’s saying a lot considering the horrific subject matter of the feature, is that its origins stem from a conversation Smith had with his longtime collaborating creative partner Scott Mosier on their weekly podcast – SModCast. Casual fans may be turned off by the left turn the filmmaker takes with his latest offering, but hardcore fans will get enjoyment out of all the Easter Eggs and inside jokes from the podcast that make it into the film. Odinson Rating: 3 out of 5 Hammers
Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Take the fact that Marvel can seemingly do no wrong with their Cinematic Universe and set it aside for the moment. Take the fact that this is a film adaptation of one the Top 5 best Cap stories in the history of comics and set that aside. And, Take the fact that Captain America is my All-Time favorite comic book character and set that aside. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is easily one of the best films of the year! Just like The Dark Knight, Winter Soldier is not just a good “comic book” movie, it’s a really good movie, period. (See The Odinson Reviews Captain America: The Winter Soldier for my full review.) Odinson Rating: 5 out of 5 Hammers and a Thunderclap
2014 was undoubtedly a fantastic year for the fanboys and girls. Believe it or not, 2015 has the potential to be even bigger! DC and Marvel are offering up Universe-changing storylines with Convergence and Secret Wars respectfully. Marvel will challenge DC for dominion over the small screen. DC television hits like Arrow, Flash, Gotham, and Constantine will be challenged by new Netflix shows – Daredevil, Luke Cage, Alias, and Iron Fist. Plus, Marvel will continue its Box Office dominance when Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theatres this May and Ant-Man hits later this year.
So there you have it. Here’s to 2014. It was fun. Now bring on 2015! Happy New Year everybody!
This is Odinson bidding thee farewell