May 132014
  May 13, 2014

To distract Eugie from pain, etc., we decided to watch some movies, some mediocre to poor movies.  Why didn’t we choose good movies when we knew beforehand these were not cream?  I ask myself that now.  The films:

I, Frankenstein
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Vampire Academy

So, time to rank films.

1st: Pampeii.
It was silly and cliched, but still fun as only a disaster movie merged with a sword and sandal epic can be. As long as I never tried to think about it, it was a good time. Things blew up, a lot. People got stabbed, a lot. Men flexed, also a lot (oh, so much male flexing). Women stood around and looked pretty.  If a fireball falling on a guy with a raised fist and a sword in his gut sounds like entertainment, you’ve found your film.

2nd: Vampire Academy
OK, if that’s second, things are looking pretty dim for 3rd and 4th. Comparing it to the other magic stories based on young adult books that have been streaming out of late, it is near the top of the heap. Faint praise indeed, but praise.  I wasn’t groaning as I was during the Twilight saga, so…there’s that.

3rd: I, Frankenstein
This is the movie to see if you want to watch Underworld, but think that film is too intellectual and emotional for you. It’s Underworld, but dumber. It does have 90% more CGI. Luckily, I liked Underworld, so I didn’t mind a return to the universe of blue tinting.

4th: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
The other three succeeded in reaching their low bar, but Jack Ryan failed to even figure out its bar. Was it an action film or a political thriller? It didn’t know, so it was neither. The 9/11 stuff was out of place. His recruitment was simplistic and empty. And every scene with him and his fiancee fell flat. Which left us with a really laughable evil Soviet plot — that could have worked if the filmmakers had gone arch and put the Russian mastermind in a volcano headquarters and given him a cat to stroke. “No Mr Ryan, I expect you to die.  Throw him in the laser shark tank!” Don’t bother with this one when it comes to free cable. Watch Hunt for Red October or almost any James Bond film instead.