Friday night, Becky and I rented Johnny English|http://www.johnny-english.com/, with Rowan Atkinson playing an inept British intelligence agent. The concept of the movie, like Atkinson himself, is a bit goofy… first, all of MI:6’s top agents are killed, leaving only Johnny English to carry out the most crucial of tasks. Then, a French prison-construction mogul (played by John Malkovich) attempts to seize the throne by killing off all of the other legitimate heirs and asserting his own dubious claim. He plans to use his new power to convert England into the world’s largest prison. J.E. suspects the Frenchman, and takes it upon himself to reveal this nefarious plot. In any case, the movie is filled with typical Mr. Bean-esque physical humor, so if you’re a Bean fan, you’ll probably like it well enough.
On Saturday, Becky and I went to Chunky’s|http://www.chunkys.com/ to see Sony Pictures’ 13 Going on 30|http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/13goingon30/. It’s a sickeningly sweet comedy, kind of like “Big”. Only in this movie, Jennifer Garner’s character fast-forwards in time along with the rest of the world, where Tom Hanks’ character in Big simply gets older while the rest of the world remains the same. There are the usual “oh, wow, I’m older” gags, some “80’s revival” gags (like when the whole dance club does the dance from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”), and a healthy dose of romantic comedy thrown in. It certainly doesn’t rank as one of my favorite movies, but at Chunky’s price of $6 for an evening show, plus eating dinner in the theater, it was a worthwhile evening.
Lastly, on Sunday, since Becky had gone away for the night, I went out to see the type of movie that she has absolutely no interest in seeing: Hellboy|http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/hellboy/ (another Sony Pictures film). Now, I didn’t know anything about Hellboy other than what I had seen in the trailers and read about on the website. I haven’t read the comic|http://www.darkhorse.com/zones/hellboy/index.php. So I am probably not the best person to judge. But in my opinion it didn’t live up to the quality of some other comic book based movies I have seen recently such as Spider-Man or X-Men. There were some great special effects, some cool action sequences, a few good one-liners here and there. The plot was a sci-fi mainstay, of the “ancient-evil-returns-to-wreak-havoc-only-to-be-stopped-by-our-ultimately-undefeatable-heroes” variety. The characters were just a tad on the shallow end throughout, and the final conflict was resolved far too simply. While it is true that the Spider-Man and X-Men movies also used typical sci-fi plots, they at least gave you a little more to chew on in terms of character depth and quality performances. My advice – wait for it to come out on DVD or VHS, then just rent it. Or at least wait for it to come out at discount theaters. Certainly don’t pay the $9.25 I spent to see it. The best part of that evening was the Pepperblue Steak|http://www.panera.com/menu_sandwiches.aspx sandwich I had at Panera|http://www.panera.com/ before the movie. Yum.
Going forward, I’m very excited about this summer’s I, Robot|http://www.irobotmovie.com/. If you’re going to base a movie on something, you might as well base it on a concept by one of the world’s most respected science fiction authors. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow|http://www.skycaptain.com/home.html looks fun, too. And of course, Spider-Man 2|http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/spider-man2/index.html (hmm, another Sony Pictures movie…).