From That Guy Named David:
Shrek 2 (B+)
If you liked the first Shrek, you’ll enjoy the sequel. The movie starts off with a new song by San Francisco’s 2nd finest band, the Counting Crows (the Grateful Dead is still the Bay Area’s best). After this beginning musical scene (reminiscent of that great “I Love L.A.” scene in The Naked Gun), you are introduced to more of the same from the first Shrek. In this one, Shrek’s new bride is summoned back to see her parents (the King and Queen of Far, Far Away) and introduce her new husband to them. Of course, they think that she is coming back with Prince Charming, who was dispatched to save her from the castle in which they stuck her as a child when they realized she was a freak. You see, Prince Charming was supposed to kiss her and end the horrible curse that had turned her into a freak. Anyway, without going into any more painstaking detail, you can imagine how the plot evolves. I’ll admit that I thought the plot dragged at times (nothing like Master and Commander, but still relatively boring on occasion); however, the introduction of Puss in Boots (played by Antonio Banderas’s voice) really added a new spark to the movie that made it enjoyable throughout. Donkey (Eddie Murphy) was as entertaining as in the first, and there were multiple jokes relating back to various aspects of popular culture that made me laugh out of recognition at what was being spoofed. Good, light, summer movie that I’m sure will make a killing at the theaters.
And The Movie Snob adds his two cents’ worth on Troy.
I really liked this flick, maybe because it brought back fond memories of my college days when we were all reading The Iliad for freshman literature class. Sure, the director took some liberties. I sure don’t remember any romantic subplots in Homer’s original, which is all about wrath and honor and the quest for immortality through glory won in combat. But there’s plenty of that in the movie, as well as some close-up looks at the dirty, agonizing reality of war. The battle and combat sequences were all very good, and Eric Bana and Peter O’Toole as Trojans Prince Hector and King Priam actually give fine performances amid all the swordplay. (Although Bana should have bulked up a bit more to be a suitable opponent for Brad Pitt’s Achilles.) A few other comments–Diane Kruger, who played Helen, was very pretty, but did she really have “the face that launched a thousand ships”? I’m thinking Nicole Kidman might have been a better choice. Also, did they give Rose Byrne (from the excellent 2003 film I Capture the Castle) hazard pay for her performance as the captured Trojan priestess Briseis? She had to be black and blue after that shoot. Anyway, on the whole, I had a great time. I give Troy a strong B+, maybe even an A-.