7.21.2008

2008 Summer Movie Extravaganza Part II

Last week I laid out the Good, the Bad, and the Delicious for summer movies from May. Now I turn my critical squint on some more summer films of June.

Kung Fu Panda


The Good: This lighthearted tale of a young panda (voiced by Jack Black) who must slip his bulk into the role of defender against a twisted tiger warrior lays out some meaty martial arts sequences.

The Bad: Virtually no double entendres for the adults.

The Delicious: The opening scene features an edgy style of animation that hopefully pops up in other productions.

Mongol

The Good: Fascinating look into Mongolian way of life as seen through the eyes of young Temudjin, who would become known as Gengis Khan.

The Bad: Stark, beautiful landscapes impart the scenes with epic grandeur but the film's events are surprisingly limited in scope. Of course, expected future installments should fix that.

The Delicious: Rubbing your hands whenever somebody messes with the young Khan and thinking, "Oh, he is going to regret THAT."

You Don't Mess with the Zohan

The Good:
Exudes the happily dumb energy that's been missing from Adam Sandler's previous projects. Contributions from Robert Smigel and Judd Apatow probably deserve the credit.

The Bad: For a film that has a running gag about the lead character's bushel of pubic hair, Zohan is more good-natured than funny.

The Delicious: Watching Nick Swardson come to terms with Zohan "shtupping" his mom. And yes, I had to look that one up.

The Incredible Hulk

The Good: This lighter take on the Green One (compared to Ang Lee's 2003 Hulk) makes its brutal fights more realistic while limiting the emotional baggage to Iron Man's level.

The Bad: Tim Roth's pudgy appearance prior to his transformation from an over-the-hill soldier to genetically-modified killing machine is absurd for an elite commando.

The Delicious:
The Hulk's appearance makes Bruce Banner an outcast in society, but, more importantly, the Hulk stops him from freaking on Liv Tyler.


Get Smart

The Good: Steve Carrell's Maxwell Smart is smarter than the Max of old, but sports a timeless klutziness that would make Don Adams proud.

The Bad: In between hilarious scenes like the airplane jump and the ballroom dance are lengthy periods with few gags worthy of a chuckle.

The Delicious: Watching Max talk down an enemy agent with empathy and a shared love of Ryan Seacrest radio.

Check back for the third and final part in my 2008 Summer Movie Extravaganza and head over to the Large Association of Move Blogs to check out more movie madness.

23 comments:

Sarah said...

I saw a preview for Mongol a while back and really want to see it!
I think Get Smart is definitely going to be a renter for me.

Dead Pan said...

Why is it bad of Kung Fu Panda to not pander to the adults with double entendres? I love that in today's day and age where every kids movie is an adults movie in disguise we can have a wonderful, sweet, hilarious kids movie that doesn't have anything hidden up it's sleeve.

WaywardJam said...

I agree with dead pan. I liked Kung Fu Panda more b/c it did not pander to adults like Shrek and other animated junk coming out now.

Matt, nail on the head with everything else (except Mongol which I haven't seen). I especially loved Swardson's mama issues in Zohan.

Matt said...

sarah - Mongol was very entertaining as long as you don't expect a lot of blood spilling. There's some, but focus is on baby Khan's emotional development, if you can believe that.

dead pan - You're absolutely right. I really enjoyed Kung Fu Panda for being a fun, hilarious kid's movie. But greedy guy that I am, I wanted a more interesting plot that worked on another level beyond the obvious. And double entendres would've been icing on the cake. Taken another way, you could say I enjoyed Kung Fu Panda so much, that the lack of a minor thing like innuendo was my biggest complaint.

waywardjam - I lap up all the pandering I can get. Lap lap.

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