Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My Thoughts on 3 Films From Last Year

1. Somewhere - I am not a huge fan of Sofia Coppola - I enjoyed The Virgin Suicides but have complete hatred for Lost in Translation. I think she gets too much credit for mediocre work. Somewhere can pretty much be described the same way I describe Lost in Translation - which is irritatingly pretentious. It's about a famous actor who is just so bored with his celebrity lifestyle - so bored that he can't even appreciate a pole dancing routine performed by twins! (Probably because both routines were actually really boring and fantastically hilarious at the same time). The film lingers on every scene a bit too long to somehow capture his isolation but fails miserably. Then his daughter enters the picture (portrayed by the delightful Elle Fanning) and apparently the film is supposed to be about him bonding with her - but they never really bond. At all. Then it ends with him declaring "I am fucking nothing. I am not even a person." So profound...right?!! The only part that I enjoyed was the cameo by Benicio Del Toro in the elevator because it reminded me of the time he claimed he banged ScarJo in an elevator at the Oscars. That was on purpose...right?

2. Buried - Aside from the multitude of questions that arise while watching this film - overall it is pretty boring (and ridiculous). I am indifferent on Ryan Reynolds. I don't think he is a strong enough actor to carry a film and aside from the abs he really isn't that hot. The film is 1 hour and 34 minutes of Ryan Reynolds in a box. It's worked before (127 Hours) but I don't think it worked this time. I have a hard time relating to characters like this because honestly my will to live is just not that strong. Seriously, if I woke up trapped in a box - I would just suffocate myself. Done. End of Story. Instead, he wakes up and spends his time panicking (and grunting a lot) and getting super aggressive with several people on the other end of his cell phone that are trying to help him (and they might if he wasn't such a dick to them). So here are my questions: Why does he insist on using his lighter - it burns Oxygen (that you need) and creates heat? Why would anyone think the best way to get rid of a snake is to burn it? Wouldn't he suffocate from the fire? Does 911 work from other countries? How does he get reception underground? Why is everyone he talks to so unwilling to help him (aside from his hostility)? Why does he hesitate on giving his SS#? Would a company really fire him for something they have no proof of (especially after all of the media coverage of his situation)? Why is this film so awful when 127 Hours was so interesting? The only good thing about the film is the ending. That was really well done.

3. Biutiful - I have written about my love for the partnership between Inarritu and Arriaga before. Some of my favorite films were created by these two (21 Grams and Amores Perros). I am disappointed by the dissolution of this partnership and hopeful that one day it will be reestablished. A few years ago, Arriaga ventured solo with The Burning Plain and it was so bland and predictable - it was completely disappointing to say the least. I had heard good things about Inarritu's Biutiful - but mostly because of Javier Bardem's Academy Award nominated performance. This nomination was well-deserved but as great as Bardem was, he was actually not the stand-out performance for me. It was actually his ex (the mother of his children) played by Maricel Alvarez. She blew me away with her perfect portrayal of what can only be described as a "hot mess". Sadly, her character reminded me of the late Amy Winehouse. The film was pretty boring though - the emotion was there but the story just wasn't that complicated. I think my super high expectations ruined the film for me.

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