Saturday, October 6, 2012

Thoughts on 5 Films

1. Kill List - Totally weird and creepy.  I was completely invested in the story, the characters and the mystery. We get a clear indication from the beginning that there is something going on in the story, underneath the one that we are watching.  It takes the entire movie for it to unfold, but it's worth it.  The reason it works so well is because the presented story is a very complex domestic drama about an assassin who has severe anger issues. It's an intriguing tale on its own, that you almost forget about the horror undertones in the beginning. The pace doesn't let up (which is amplified by the sound design - absolutely brilliant) and it has a truly horrifying ending. I would say it's probably the best "genre-bending" film I have seen in a long time.  I don't know what else to say; it's just something you have to experience for yourself. 

2. What to Expect When You're Expecting - A toddler gets hit in the head with a beer can!!  HILARIOUS, right??  Other "jokes" include a woman offering sexual favors to get her partner to do what she wants (always funny) and Jennifer Lopez still trying to convince everyone that she's an actress. The intersecting of different narratives is reminiscent of Valentine's Day/New Years Eve movies, only this one features the common thread of women vomiting (Yeah!!). The single most offensive line in the whole move comes from Elizabeth Banks towards the end: "I just wanted to glow, like the pretty women on the covers of the magazines...". The assumption that women believe that pregnancy is all a "glowing" miracle is a tad ridiculous.  If you aren't aware that pregnancy is a trauma to a woman's body, then I question whether you should bring a child into the world.  I would rather watch a film that is blatantly misogynistic, then one that pretends not to be.  The female characters in this movie are stupid, shallow and manipulative.  In fairness, the male characters are pretty lame, as well.  The scenes with Chris Rock and the other "fathers" were just sad.  Worst film of the year.  Game over.

3. The Pirates! Band of Misfits - Really cute and clever animated flick.  I was entertained through the whole thing and I think kids would get a kick out of it too. It's surprisingly educational (some nice little science and history references). There were some great recognizable voices (David Tennant!!  Oh how I miss him as The Doctor.  Watching Doctor Who is a such a chore now). Hugh Grant was surprisingly amazing as The Pirate Captain; he should definitely consider doing more animated tales.  My favorite character was The Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate (voiced by Ashley Jensen).  That made me laugh.  I think it's probably one of those movies that has a lot of hidden jokes here and there; the more you watch it, the more you pick up.  But, even on first watch, I laughed quite a bit.  Any kids movie that has Charles Darwin as a character, has my approval. 

4. Battleship - At no point in the film does anyone say "you sunk my battleship", which I think would have made the film 100% better.  At least it would take the "serious" level down a notch and infuse some fun.  If you're going to make a Michael Bay movie, then get Michael Bay to make it. Battleship literally stole parts from Armageddon, Pearl Harbor and Transformers and combined them into one story (for the record, I was completely entertained by all three of those movies; I don't care what anyone says!!).  The lack of fun and the desperate rip-off plot are not the films only mistakes - they also cast Rihanna.  Disastrous.  The rest of the cast was decent.  I feel a little bad for Taylor Kitsch.  He obviously needs a new agent.  I was really happy to see Jesse Plemons (another FNL alum; luckily this is his only post FNL dud so far.  He seems to be popping up everywhere - Breaking Bad, The Master. I hope it never stops.).  His sole purpose in this movie was to provide some much needed comic relief and he succeeded ("He's not dead. Not dead!!!").  I also don't mind Brooklyn Decker.  She is physically flawless, like a Barbie doll.  People are going to hate on her, but so far she has been satisfying in all the roles she's been given (she was also probably the best part of What to Expect When You're Expecting).

5. The Five-Year Engagement - I was super excited to see Chris Pratt and Alison Brie within the first 5 minutes.  My hopes and expectations for the movie automatically shot through the roof.  They were easily the best part(although Alison's British accent??  oooof.  That was rough.); the rest of the movie was bland and uninteresting.  The relationship between the main characters (Emily Blunt and Jason Segel) felt honest, with very realistic problems, but it just went on, and on, and on for about 40 minutes longer than it needed to.  A little editing could have made it a decent chick flick.  There was some funny stuff, but the unfunny stuff is what ended up sticking (like the whole deer scene and the "experiment").  Mindy Kaling was under-used and since I had issues with the entire plot-line that she was involved in, I think she could have been cut out, altogether.  Also, the girl who looks like Jess Weixler but amazingly isn't, described Emily Blunt's character as "old".  Um....what?  She's 28 and is stunning.  It's too ridiculous to be funny. 

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