Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hugo Viewing - Dramatic Presentation, Long Form

This is probably the most fun category for me, since I don't usually see a lot of movies in a year. Because I'm trying to vote on the category, my husband decided that he would help me hunt down and watch each of these movies. Four extra movie nights with hubby! That's a good thing. Only four because I have seen one of the movies before. In fact, I have one of these movies on DVD. So let's start with that one.

  • The Lego Movie
    This was the only movie of the lot that I had already seen, and I loved it so much that I bought a copy for myself. Is it Hugo-worthy? I think it had a deep lesson about imagination and some great homages to science fiction... it was also filled with fantasy tropes like the wise mentor, most of which got turned on their heads in an often hilarious way. In short, I have no problem with this being on the list, and I clearly love it as well. To decide whether or not it's my top pick, though, I've got to see the other movies.
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier
    Well, this is a comic book in movie form, obviously. I enjoyed it for what it is, but I don't consider it the most excellent movie I've seen from last year. I mean, it does what it says on the tin, it's a good comic book movie, but... it's a comic book movie. It's almost as two dimensional as a comic book. There's no powerful twist at the end, it's all fairly straightforward in a comic book way. Is it worthy of the Hugo? No, I don't really think so.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
    I have never been a fan of the interstellar type of comics. Kree and stuff don't interest me. But honestly, this one is fun. It starts out with a major downer and turns into a bit of a romp as it goes along. However, in the end, it's just a popcorn movie. It's fun and I think it's slightly better than Captain America at what it does, but it's not something I would give a Hugo.
  • Edge of Tomorrow
    I was not expecting much from this movie. I'm not a big fan of Tom Cruise, and that was literally all I knew about it going in. But it quickly became interesting with the five-minute recap of the situation on earth and the stakes in the coming battle. Cruise was understated enough to be watchable, and the action moved along at a nice clip, never going over the same ground too often despite being a movie entirely about going over the same ground over and over. The movie didn't underestimate the audience, either, sometimes covering ground that hadn't been covered and expecting the audience to pick up on the nuances. In short, this was actually a really good movie. It was also seriously milSF, with awesome mech fights that only sometimes got long enough to become boring. This is going to give the Lego Movie a run for the top spot on my ballot. I'm actually going to have a tough choice for the top position!
  • Interstellar
    Coming in at almost three hours long, this was not a movie I could have sat through in the theater. Some of the scenes definitely would have benefited from being on the big screen, though, so it's slightly sad that I can no longer handle the horrible theater seats long enough to watch a movie like this. There wasn't a lot of wasted scenes in this, either. The scenes that I thought, why are they showing this? generally had a callback later on in the movie. I have some serious problems with some of the science, but I'm fine skipping over it. I think the biggest issue I had was in the resolution. I groaned when I realized (spoiler-rot13) ur jnf urnqrq vagb gur oynpx ubyr. And then there was the very final bit. If you're going to make it a happy ending, finish the job and show us the freakin' happy ending, darn it.
Well, it's down to The Lego Movie and Edge of Tomorrow for the top spot on the ballot. I adore the Lego Movie, but in the end there is a lot of fluff there compared to Edge of Tomorrow, which was smartly written, funny and explored a serious SF concept in ways that were not quite mind-blowing. Still... Lego Movie. Everything is Awesome. But... mechs! Time travel done right! I may go right up to the deadline, switching my votes on those two.

The third spot is Interstellar. I may be a comic book fan, but neither of the comic book movies were quite as good as the other options. Guardians gets the fourth spot and, sorry, Cap, but The Winter Soldier will take up the rearguard for me.

And with that, my viewing/reading is technically done. I've got another two weeks to read further and possibly change my mind on some of these, but my initial review of the material is done. I wish I'd had another month or two to do it in, because I really do feel like I'm going to have to go back over some of these works to make sure I've given them a fair shake.


Bonnie McDaniel said...

This is why (among other reasons) I don't see how a Best Series category could work. I barely have enough time to read/view/listen to the regular ballot stuff, much less a whole new category with multiple books.