Movie Monday – Super 8, Conan, Gnomeo and Juliet

Last week we watched Super 8, the new Conan movie, and Gnomeo & Juliet.

I think of the three we enjoyed Super 8 the most. In a nutshell, a group of kids in 1979 witness a train accident of epic proportions and then strange things start happening in their small town. The movie has a lot of flavor of old school flicks like Stand By Me and The Goonies. I don’t want to give anything away because that’s part of the fun of this movie, not knowing exactly what is going on and being carried away with the kids as they try to figure it out. I had my suspicions as the movie went along but it kept me guessing which is something to appreciate when so often surrounded by predictable plots. The nostalgia of the 70’s was fun too.

Conan was disappointing. It was superficially entertaining but it lacked…something. Depth? Quality performance? I don’t really know. It just lacked. It was definitely action packed, lots of sword fights, and good choreography but that was about all it had to offer. The set looked fake frequently, either a by-product of the 3D filming and watching it on 2D at home, or just plain poorly done. More than anything I was disappointed in the character played by Rose McGowan. She just wasn’t believable as the villainous sorceress. And it’s not like I don’t like these kinds of movies. I thought of other movies like Prince of Persia, The Mummy series, and even The Sorcerer’s Apprentice while watching Conan and where these other movies excelled, Conan just fell flat. Save yourself the time and skip this movie, or better yet, watch the original again. It’s on my netflix queue and I’m betting it’s better than this version.

Gnomeo & Juliet was just plain silly. And cute, at times. It was pretty much about what I expected in terms of entertainment value. Usually we like kids movies, things like How to Train Your Dragon, Toy Story, Kung Fu Panda, etc. This doesn’t have the staying power of those films but I thought they did a decent job of re-inventing the Romeo and Juliet story, giving it a new backdrop, playing with the idea of lawn gnomes, etc.

~ The Princess Bride


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