Friday, May 13, 2011

My Thoughts on 4 Films From 2010

So many movies, so little time. I am still catching up with 2010 - here are some films I watched recently:

1. 127 Hours - So I had absolutely zero interest in this film based on a true story about a guy who gets trapped rock climbing and has to cut off his own arm. It reminded me of Into the Wild (which I didn't really like) – only because we are supposed to sympathize with this careless, narcissistic, cocky asshole. Nobody deserves what he went through, but that doesn’t mean I feel sorry for him. As they say “if you play with fire- you are going to get burned”. I think the character (based on the actual person) in 127 Hours isn't as annoying as Into the Wild, but I still don't understand why anyone would go on a hike in the middle of nowhere without telling anyone – it is simply a dumb idea. I’m all for an adventure but if you like living so much then you should probably be somewhat safe. I was pretty much forced to see it because of James Franco's supposed brilliant performance - and I have to admit he totally rocked in this film. I loved Franco’s “oh shit” moment when he realized he was stuck– his performance was so great that I felt like I was having an anxiety attack through the whole film. Obviously, the scene that stands out is the much discussed cutting of the arm. I rarely have had to look away from a gory scene but this one I had to – My mouth was gasped open in shock. I don’t think my will to live is that strong – I would be totally f**ked. How did he not pass out? Then he still had to hike his way out of there – with 1 freaking arm!! The whole story is pretty unbelievable. I am surprised that it captured my attention through its entirety. I am glad I finally experienced it for myself.

2. The Wolfman - Thank the Lord that I did not sit through this film in the theaters. I am speechless at how truly awful it is – let’s just call it indescribably bad. It was boring, over-acted, dark (like actually dark – you couldn’t see what was going on) and pretentious. I was never a huge fan of Benecio Del Toro until he was part of the acting ensemble of 21 Grams, but he has not impressed me since. I do adore Emily Blunt but she was lifeless in this film. The thing is that I KNEW it was going to suck – I have had the Netflix disc for over a month but was just absolutely dreading watching it. Why didn’t I listen to my instincts and skip it altogether?? The key with a film like this (a film that has been done so many times before) is that it has to be modernized in some way otherwise the audience feels like they have seen the film already. It was pointless to watch.

3. I Love You Phillip Morris - I was excited for this film - a love story about 2 gay men who meet in prison. Ewan McGregor is usually fantastic and I actually prefer Jim Carrey in more serious roles. I'm not really sure how I feel about the film - it was sort of sweet, but sort of offensive. The characters were full developed, but the over-acting was off the charts. The ending was at first, completely offensive and cliched. It actually made me angry to think that we can't seem to get a film about gay men that don't have AIDS...I was hoping that cliche was over - but then the ending took a strange turn that was completely shocking (which made me feel uneasy because it was actually hilarious). I can't really say that I liked the film - as a whole it was pretty unwatchable. But it was also strangely entertaining.

4. Hereafter - A friend of mine warned me not to see this film - and not just because of the obvious deep religious context, but because the film is horrible and he wanted to save me from the misery of sitting through it. I wish I listened, but I am stubborn like that. I knew that the tsunami scene would give me chills, but I wasn’t expecting it so soon in the film (because that was pretty much the only exciting thing from the trailer). Watching the news after the 2004 disaster was devastating. I still can’t watch Nate Berkis without getting chills (he was in Sri Lanka when the tsunami hit). The film was about 3 different stories (I usually love that as a plot device). I tried my best to put the pieces of the 3 stories together but failed miserably - you know why? Because they don't go together at all!! The 3 characters end up in the same place at the end - that is the big "connection". So then, I thought - o.k maybe the film is trying to convey some big message. Is the film going to take a negative stance on cremation? Is the film going to show the spiritual connection that is said to live among twins? An hour into it and I’m still not really getting that it has a “message” or a “stance” on anything really. Also, I really don’t like Bryce Dallas Howard – I want to, she seems like a nice girl who stayed away from the trappings of Hollywood and being a celebrity’s daughter but I just don’t. She can’t really act – in this film she just played dumb and wide eyed. It was truly awful.

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