Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thoughts on 5 Films

1. Immortals - If you love Greek mythology and enjoy films like 300 and Clash of the Titans, you still won't like this film.  There are some battle scenes that are beautifully choreographed but not enough to make the film worth watching.  Most of the film is rather dark (like actually dark in color, I had to strain my eyes to make out what was going on) and the plot is hard to follow (not because it is complicated but because the editing is very messy).  For the record, I'm obsessed with Greek mythology, love 300 and Clash of the Titans (the original), so if I don't like the film then I can't think of anyone who would.  Henry Cavill has yet to impress me.  He faded into the background amongst a fantastic group of actors in The Tudors and he failed to command my attention in this film.  But really, none of the actors had much to do.  It was all about the set design, visual effects and that weird helmet worn by King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke). 

2. The Future - With so few female filmmakers in existence, I have to admire Miranda July.  I use the words "have to" purposefully because I don't really feel like I have a choice in the matter.  I think some might fault her for following and capitalizing on the whole "hipster" trend, but if you look into her background you will understand that she isn't following the trend, she is the trend.  So, even though her overly artsy, self-indulgent, quirky aesthetic isn't really to my taste, I still enjoy the passion that she displays in her work.  The Future wasn't as interesting as her first film, Me and You and Everyone We Know, but it had some aspects that worked really well.  The best part of the movie was the cat.  Hearing the thoughts of a stray cat on the verge of being rescued just about broke my heart.  I have a lump in my throat just thinking about it. 

3. Wanderlust - Fantastic first 1/2 hour or so.  Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston captivated me from the second they appeared on screen.  The dialogue was witty, the pace was perfect and the character dynamic was wonderful.  The plot unfolds as our main couple buy property in NYC, only to lose it weeks later, forcing them to move in with his brother in "Hot-lanta".  Cue a hilarious road trip montage of the couple bickering, singing, sleeping and bickering some more.  The road trip ends when car trouble leads them to stop at a cult-like commune.  I thought this would be where the film begins to falter with it's stereotyped characterization of this culture, but instead it was still funny, like when the mixed-race couple announce "we're just as much in love as if we were the same color".  After spending the night with these surprisingly enchanting people, our couple continue on their trip, reaching their destination.  The hilarity continues with Ken Marino (ah Party Down, I miss you so) and Michaela Watkins, who had some of the funniest (and saddest) lines in the movie, like "If you smile all the time, you can trick your brain into thinking you're happy".  It's really when the couple decide to return to the commune that the film begins a deep, downwards spiral.  I stopped laughing and more importantly, I stopped caring.  It doesn't help that Malin Akerman is featured more later in the film (I really don't like her.  It's totally unjustified.  I'll try better next time). Also, Justin Theroux used to be a favorite actor of mine but he hasn't done anything substantial since his role in Six Feet Under (which was 8 years ago).  He was absolute shit in this movie.  The story ended in a predictable nature and left me feeling very disappointed as to what could have been.   

4. Mirror Mirror - This is the second Tarsem Singh film that I watched recently (he directed Immortals, as well).  I was actually a bit surprised that these films were directed by the same person because they could not be more different. Like Immortals, Mirror Mirror is visually beautiful,  but unlike Immortals, it bursts with bold color and brightness.  Most fairytale "updates" try to modernize the tale by darkening the story and putting a damper on the fun, so I commend Singh for keeping the "fairytale" look.  The narrative is fairly simple and obviously familiar but surprisingly it never got boring. Julia Roberts shines as The Evil Queen, as expected (she's fantastic at being evil - i.e My Best Friends Wedding).  There was a nice Marie Antoinette style extravagance to her character that made her fascinating to watch (she even delivers the line "Tell them bread is cake").  In comparison, the rest of the cast is rather dull.  While Lily Collins certainly looks the part, her acting skills need some serious development.  She took the part way too seriously, while everyone around her was clearly having fun.  I wouldn't really recommend the film to anyone I know, but it's a decent kids flick. 

5. The Vow - Not as bad as I expected, but still pretty bad.  It's actually a decent plot and the fact that it is based on real events make it all the more interesting.  I just wish they took the story and made a film that explored the psychological trauma that this woman endured.  After a car accident, she lost the memory of 5 years of her life, yet the only part the film explores is the love story.  This exploration is terribly uninteresting.  For a "real" love story, it feels incredibly fake and contrived.  The hardest part to believe was that during this 5 years time she changed so dramatically that she didn't recognize herself.  People change, yes, but that drastically?  Hardly.  Also, the reason that we are given as to why she no longer talks to her family has to be more complex in reality. ***spoiler***  Her father cheated on her mother with her best friend.  So she disowned her entire family and group of friends???  That doesn't make a bit of sense.  I don't know how much longer I can tolerate Rachel McAdams.  She was so good in Mean Girls but she hasn't been good since (and that was 8 years ago!!).  She needs to step up her game and take on a challenging role.

1 comment:

  1. Shit, you really didn't like Immortals. I really thought it was pretty awesome, and I felt the opposite about Cavill. I'm looking forward to him as Superman.