From the bookshelf with Jared Conti
By Jared Conti in Arts & Entertainment
September 15, 2011
Ladies and gentlemen, the beard is back. Welcome to another rousing round of ridiculousness from your barista with a beard. I’ll be reviewing comics, books, movies and other inane ephemera this semester to fill you in on the coolest stuff out there, and that which you should get to know better. That’s why they call it The Oracular Beard.
I went in with zero anticipation, yet it left me hanging, the entire way through the movie. Not that I was a fanboy, mind you, but because they didn’t hook me. The hero wasn’t realistic (for a superhero flick). The threat wasn’t believable and it tried too hard to shoehorn multiple bad guys. Green Lantern wasn’t given a chance to be a space cop…in space.
Facial Hair Rating: creepy ‘ol moustache.
Okay, so I had no clue what to expect. I had the briefest of knowledge of this Thor, other than him being a Marvel character. Never a winner in my book. Strong character development with a plethora of baddies to pit against him, and even his allies helped round out a supporting cast. Was a little to be desired in the obligatory love interest of Natalie Portman’s character, but you can’t help but fall in love with her.
Facial Hair Rating: goatee.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Though I’m not the world’s biggest James Franco fan, he did well pulling off the good guy you love to hate. Not a direct sequel of Marky Mark’s “Planet” remake, but more of a prequel to the 1968 “Planet of the Apes”, it really held its own. Realistic depiction of animal testing with killer side effects, made even more so with the imagery after-credits of a virus spinning out of control. Plenty of “Easter eggs” for fans of the previous movies’ incarnations.
Facial Hair Rating: beatnik with goatee and beret.
X-Men First Class
Not in any kind of comic book continuity and just as much connection to any of the previous X-Men films, this was just barely upstaged by the last movie on the list. Really great soundtrack and laughable moments gave the entire movie a James Bond movie, with superheroes. Filling in a little mystery of how ‘ol Charles Xavier lost his legs and how Magneto came to be such a badass villain. Kevin Bacon plays one of the best bad guys I’ve seen in years.
Facial Hair Rating: full beard.
What can I say? If this movie doesn’t feel right, I don’t want to know what does, because I can’t handle feeling that good. Again, another Marvel movie that I couldn’t give a fig about, but they know how to make their stories sing. Even though Cap is stuck in the fifties, the realism of his origin and the goofiness of his costume and non-heroic sidejob, they really hooked you in with the authenticity of WWII. Leads well into an early view of next year’s Avengers movie.
Facial Hair Rating: mountain man beard.