Monday, November 26, 2012

Thoughts on 5 Films

1. Detachment - An extreme disappointment. There is a distinct anger and passion that is felt throughout the movie, but none of it is ever fully explored and it doesn't say anything new.  The title refers to Adrien Brody's character, as a substitute teacher, who purposefully avoids responsibility by remaining "detached" from his students.  Instead, he becomes weirdly attached to a teen prostitute, who is played by the girl from Blue Bloods and is perhaps the least believable prostitute I've ever seen in a movie.  The "interview" style interludes were supposed to evoke some sort of realism and emotion, but it felt too artificial to be taken seriously.  With a cast like this (check it out for yourself: ), I expected to be blown away by the acting alone, but everyone was really bad.  Lucy Liu was probably the worst offender, her performance is actually appalling.  Also, the most aggravating part (and a bit spoilery), is that when one of the students commits suicide, the substitute seems to blame himself for not making her feel important, which is supposed to be a "lesson" for him to learn about the dangers of his "detachment", but it really shows a lack of understanding of mental disorders. It's all a bit narcissistic and self-aggrandizing. It really irked me. 

2. Snow White and the Huntsman - I was expecting much worse.  The movie is completely watchable; interesting update to the Snow White story, impressive cinematography, stunning effects and gorgeous costume design.  The missing ingredients are a strong lead actress,  believable chemistry between the characters and a coherent plot.  Charlize Theron transcends the film and therefore feels out of place.  Kristen Stewart as "the fairest one of all", is laughable when compared to Charlize (I'm not trying to be mean, but the truth is that Charlize is one of the most beautiful women in the world - only a handful of women are in the same league. Fact.).  It was a brilliant idea for Charlize, as The Queen, to be more obsessed with immortality and therefore Snow's "youth" because at least that makes sense (sort of).  There were some painful displays of bad acting on Kristen Stewart's part - that motivational "let's kill her" speech was cringe-inducing.  I'm still trying to get the hype that surrounds her, so I am still giving her another chance - but if she fails in On the Road, then I am done. 

3. Intruders - Not really a horror movie, more of a psychological thriller - and a disappointing one at that.  The poster image is super creepy, but the film never lives up to this image.  The parallel stories don't really work together cohesively (although it is obvious as to how they are connected).  By the time the "revelation" occurs, I lost all interest.  I always thought of Clive Owen as a solid actor, but this movie made me question that.  Looking at his body of work, I realize he isn't all that great and he plays the same character quite often (I think his best work was in Trust - there was some great subtlety in that performance that was quite heartbreaking).  Here, he is pretty bland which blends in nicely with the rest of the movie. 

4. The Raid - Crazy, intense action movie.  It's a bloody, brutal, adrenaline pumping, completely awesome movie.  The only problem with a movie like this, one that is non-stop action, is that it becomes a bit redundant and one becomes desensationalized and detached from the violence.  The plot is pretty simplistic, there is barely any character development and the "twist" is predictable, but it hardly matters for this type of movie.  It's all about the choreographed fight sequences and the epic and unapologetic gore. It's a spectacle, for sure, and if that's not your thing, then don't bother watching it. 

5. Tower Heist - Aside from the fact that the plot is absolute lunacy, it could have been a fun action flick with some minor adjustments.  First, get rid of Ben Stiller's awful NY accent (I think that is what it was supposed to be).  Second, get rid of Eddie Murphy (who played the offensively stereotyped, angry, black criminal).  Third, fix the dialogue ("back up before I put a cap in your ass" is actual dialogue from the movie).  Fourth, (*Spoiler Alert*) tone the foreshadowing down a bit.  If you didn't realize that the car is a major plot point from the second it appeared on screen, then you probably enjoyed the movie more than I did (and you might want to have your cognitive skills checked.  Yes, I just called you stupid. That was super mean of me.  I'm in a bitch mood.  Deal with it.).  I could probably go on and on, but then I will have made too many adjustments and it will just be an entirely different movie.  So, I will just point out one more thing - I am able to suspend belief when watching ridiculous heist type movies like this, but a car dangling from a sky-scraper is just too much.  Also, the fact that no one in the crowd of people below noticed this car dangling above them- even though they were all looking up at parade balloons - is mind-blowingly stupid.  On the plus side, Casey Affleck and Michael Pena made me laugh. 

No comments:

Post a Comment