Hellboy II: I didn't think this movie was nearly as terrible as some of those I saw it with did. It is not even in the same building, let alone on the same level, as Iron Man or Batman Begins or even The Incredible Hulk. Ron Perlman was good again as Hellboy--despite the pounds of effects make-up and the character's surface wise-assery, Perlman is able to get it across that really, Hellboy is a big old softie. The rest of the returning cast were competent; Jeffrey Tambor was funny, the main villain was sufficiently creepy, and Selma Blair was not terribly annoying, though I did miss David Hyde Pierce as Abe the fish guy. Overall, it was entertaining. The fight scenes were pretty cool, the visuals were impressive to look at, and I got some laughs--that's all I really ask from a movie like this.
I guess this is one of the beefs I sometimes have with people who complain about action, sci-fi, horror, or comic movies. I mean, I am not a "fanboy" who gets riled about the difference between the movie and the original comic. I am not expecting Oscar-caliber dialogue. The acting doesn't have to be fantastic (although if it's VERY bad I do find it annoying--the woman who played the underworld princess in HBII was TERRIBLE, and I did find that somewhat distracting) and my suspension of disbelief can ignore a lot that others can't. Frankly, when I watch a movie like this, I want to laugh, maybe gasp a few times, shovel popcorn in my mouth and be fucking entertained. Not every movie has to have historical significance or a social message or be cinamatically stunning. Sometimes I just want to watch Bruce Willis blow stuff up or Nicolas Cage punch some dude in the face or John Wayne shoot some guys. I think movies should be FUN. I dislike the idea that movies should be like cod liver oil--that some you should just shut up and swallow because they're "good" for you. Not me! You know, I have seen Citizen Kane, okay? And you know what? It's totally fucking dull. I realize that cinamatically it's very impressive for its time, and that in a historical context it's very very important. I know all that because it's not like it's a secret. Talk to any first-year film student and he or she will probably fill you in. However--and this is of course only my opinion--it's no fun at all to watch. The characters are all horrible and I couldn't connect with any of them. It was not funny. It was not exciting. It had no suspense. It merely plodded on for what seemed to me like an eternity, and that right there is NO FUN. I spend enough of my life having NO FUN at work--I have no interest in torturing myself with films that are a chore to watch when I'm on my own time.
Perhaps I just better than most at lowering my expectations?