Dearest Blog: Yesterday I ended my week's vacation at Marquee Cinemas with a double-bill of Geostorm (finally) and Thor: Ragnarok.
Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers or a quick check of the IMDB cast listings.
First on the docket: a delayed screening of Geostorm.
When a satellite controlling extreme weather events is sabotaged, it's up to its prickly creator to make nice and go fix it.
Dear reader(s): Having missed two weekends at the cinema (!!!), I'm a little late to the Geostorm party, so I won't be the first to inform you the movie features a stupidly implausible plot, inane dialogue, and second-rate performances. What I may be the first to tell you is that I haven't had as much fun at the cinema in months. Indeed, Geostorm is the only picture in recent memory to render me totally oblivious to the outside world for a couple hours.
There's no denying Geostorm is a pretty bad movie by almost any quality barometer; it's Sharknado-level idiocy on a big-screen budget. Meathead extraordinaire Gerard Butler is the ideal hero for such a film, delivering a performance on par with "shepherd number two" in the third-grade Christmas pageant. Jim Sturgess and Abbie Cornish are even more laughable, and you really have to wonder how Ed Harris and Andy Garcia got talked into this. (My guess is blackmail. It's the only thing that makes sense.) The story plays out in predictably silly fashion, with painfully obvious "twists" and every cartoonish character behaving exactly as you'd expect. The good news is all that isn't really bad news because Geostorm knows exactly what it is, and thus couldn't be any more enjoyable. Throw in some solid disaster effects and a timely (if cheesy) message, and you've got a hilariously terrible outing that may well be the best time I've had at the movies in 2017.
Geostorm clocks in at 109 minutes and is rated PG13 for "destruction, action, and violence."
Geostorm is the best bad movie I've seen in a good long while. Of a possible nine Weasleys, I am exercising great restraint in awarding Geostorm only seven.
Fangirl points: Ohmygosh you guys, Robert Sheehan is in this movie!!
Next on my agenda: Thor: Ragnarok.
And you thought Loki was the bad sibling.
My usual Marvel disclaimer: For the most part I don't think Marvel movies are anything special; rather, they're enjoyed and quickly forgotten. The notable exception is Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which stands alone in its greatness, but, as series go, the Thor movies are always my Marvel faves. Ragnarok gives me no reason to change either of those opinions: Marvel movies are still nothing special, but the Thor series remains my favorite.
Getting the bad news out of the way first: Thor: Ragnarok feels about twelve hours long. I wouldn't say I was bored, but...well...for some of it I wouldn't exactly say I wasn't, either. The battle scenes didn't seem as repetitive or overlong as most Marvel movies (lookin' squarely at YOU, Avengers!), but, my god, it felt like I was sitting there forever. Luckily, that's about the only really bad thing I have to say about the film. Ragnarok isn't a funny superhero movie; it's a straight-up comedy about a superhero, fully self-aware. No shoe-horning in a Tony Stark wisecrack every 20 minutes, Ragnarok is organically hilarious. Trippy 70s effects, a bit reminiscent of Doctor Strange, are particularly well-suited to this outing, giving it the feel of an old-school arcade game. Chris Hemsworth (sadly shirtless only once) isn't just a perfectly-sculpted hero, he's legitimately funny, with great comic timing and terrific expressions. The supporting cast is filled with names that, on their own, are enough to draw me to any picture: Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, Karl Urban, Cate Blanchett...and--OH!--this is Cate as you haven't seen her before! Hiddleston's Loki remains the best thing about any Thor movie, but it's Cate's Hela who steals the show here, and whose pics you'll be Googling for your new phone wallpaper as soon as the credits roll (or was that just me?). Triple bonus points for carrying Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song from the trailer into the film itself--not just once, but twice!--a musical move so inspired as to be almost Edgar-Wrightish in its perfection.
Thor: Ragnarok runs 130 minutes and is rated PG13 for "intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action and brief suggestive material."
Thor: Ragnarok is another fun outing in Marvel's best series. Of a possible nine Weasleys, Thor: Ragnarok gets eight.
Fangirl points: Hey, Bruce Banner, you're lookin' mighty fine in that Duran Duran shirt!
Until next time...