Sunday, December 30, 2012

3 Thoughts on Killing Them Softly

1. I wasn't all there - I saw the movie with a mild concussion.  A few days before, I hit my head on a metal object. I didn't realize how bad it was until I started having some memory problems (and the nausea started to set in).  I hesitate writing about the movie, because I honestly don't remember all of it.  My friend had to remind me that we even saw it.  A few weeks have gone by and I've been racking my brain trying to put all the pieces of the movie together, at least enough to decide that it wasn't amazing.  It was good (and obviously, I will watch it again at some point), but it seems like most of it has been done before. 

2.  Something went wrong - It's hard to pinpoint what that is, but it's a movie that has all the elements to be great.  Yet, it wasn't.  Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini and Ray Liotta were all incredible.  The plot was engaging.  Some of the shots were sublime.  I guess that leaves the pace, which was a tad too slow and the dialogue, which could have used some humor.  From the trailer, it seemed like more of a black comedy, but all of the funny bits were shown in the trailer - the rest is very serious. 

3. It was a little too obvious - The in-your-face commentary on Capitalism was unnecessary.  It could have benefited from a little thing called subtlety. 

*I realize this is probably the worst post I've ever written about a movie, and it's a bit unfair to judge it based on my situation. I will certainly give the movie a second look once it is released on DVD. 

Thoughts on 5 Films

1. Your Sister's Sister - Even with the implausible plot, the movie is successful in many ways.  The acting is superb (however, I am still not a fan of Mark Duplass as an actor).  The three main actors, Duplass, Emily Blunt and Rosemarie Dewitt, are credited as "Creative Consultants" on the film and that can be heavily seen in the movie.  There was a natural connection between them, the playful banter flowed beautifully, and if I didn't know better, I would believe that Emily and Rosemarie are sisters in real life.  The movie also has some really funny moments ("I'm emotionally allergic to butter." ). I have seen this movie on several "Best of 2012" lists, but I don't think the genuineness (is that a word?) of the movie is enough to make it great.  There are several plot issues that surrounds this love triangle story.  *spoilers ahead* First, as soon as they introduce the male and female as "best friends", I knew it would turn into a love story between them (so frustrating).  Second, what is so great about this guy that he has two of the most stunning women after him (one is just using him for his sperm - but seriously, why do you want his sperm?).  The film fails to make him special - he isn't funny, attractive, witty, honest or pleasant to be around.  He just mopes around with his Justin Bieber hair cut; he actually reminds me of Jimmy Fallon's Bieber impression.  Third, if you are a lesbian who is desperately trying to have a baby, but you don't want to have a relationship with a male (and you don't want him to have a relationship with the baby), then why would you pick your sister's best friend?  Fourth, why poke holes in a condom???  There are less manipulative ways to have a baby.  Last, "AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!" That was just me releasing my frustration with manipulative female characters. 

2. Magic Mike - I really, really, really, really, really did not want to watch this movie.  Absolutely dreaded it.  It wasn't as bad as I imagined, but it wasn't a good movie by any stretch of the word.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I like Channing Tatum.  I don't think he is as "sexy" as most women think, but I think he seems like a good guy, he is a decent actor and an extremely talented dancer (as can be seen in the "My Pony" scene. Damn.). However, I hate Alex Pettyfor.  HATE.  The rumor that he is abusive to women is not the only reason for this hate - especially since it is all just a "rumor" (however, my instincts usually speak the truth).  Judging on his acting, he is incredibly bland (does anyone even remember I am Number Four?). He is bland here as well, considering that he had a major role in the movie, his character is mostly forgettable.  The girl in the movie is also incredibly lifeless (not Olivia Munn, of course, the other one).  She just seemed like the most miserable, uptight, judgemental bitch alive.  Her jaw was clenched through the whole movie and even when she laughed, it was the fakest laugh in the whole world.  I didn't root for any character, especially Mike (Tatum) after he says the line "look at what she is wearing.  She wants to be bothered.". Unacceptable. The rest of the dialogue consisted of a lot of "bro's"and "dude's" (I counted 3 "bro's" and 2 "dude's" within a one minutes scene). The film is typical for a "stripper" movie, with Mike saving his money to follow his dreams - proving that he is more than just a "stripper".  It does differ greatly in that it portrays male stripping as a profession that is fun and lucrative (which is very different then how female stripping is portrayed).  I'm not a huge Soderbergh fan, but this isn't his worst film. 

3. 2 Days in New York - I adored 2 Days in Paris. It was very Woody Allen-esque (which usually I hate, unless it is actually Woody Allen), but from a female perspective.  Julie Delpy has a very clear voice as a filmmaker, a knack for humor and language, and she is gorgeous.  My real reason for loving 2 Days in Paris, though, was mostly because of Adam Goldberg.  He does the whole miserable, whiny, complain-about-everything type character really well (and by "well", I mean that even though he is annoying as fuck, he is still really funny and entertaining to watch). Even though the movie was about a couple who endlessly bickered, you still wanted to root for them.  2 Days in New York does not work as well, mostly because of Chris Rock.  I hate to blame the entire failure of the movie on him.....but, well, I can't think of any other reason as to why it doesn't work.  He just doesn't have that lovable quirky presence, instead he's just kind of an asshole.  There were parts of the film that bordered on genius; like the underlying racism from the sister's French boyfriend; he asks Mingus (Chris Rock, and yes, that is his characters actual name. Mingus.) if he likes Salt-N-Pepa and tells his sister that she looks like Beyonce (she doesn't).  The culture clash with her French family started to border on absurd (there is a difference between miscommunication and downright bat-shit crazy), but it was still pretty entertaining.  The most genius part of the whole movie is when the buyer of the soul is revealed.  I won't ruin it for anyone, but it is sublime casting. 

4. Killer Joe - The film is described as a "twisted, redneck trailer park murder story" and for personal reasons, I have a hard time watching something like that. Since I heard so many good things about Killer Joe,  I couldn't ignore it.  All the good things are true.  Matthew McConaughey is the best he's been since A Time to Kill.  William Friedkin created another film that is not only bold, but a tense, shiver-inducing, claustrophobic nightmare.  Gina Gershon acted her ass off (I honestly didn't know she could act). She was definitely aided by the excessive eye make-up during "the scene" (and I laughed out loud with "Sharla, your mascara is running"), but she really impressed me. The whole KFC thing was a bit overblown, in my opinion. Let's just say, it could have been worse, and leave it at that.  It won't make my top 10 list
this year, but I can definitely see why others have included it in theirs.

5. ParaNorman - The beginning is quite cute, funny and entertaining.  I found myself smiling through the first 1/2 hour.  "That statue just pissed at us!"  I laughed so hard, still laughing.  Ah, but soon the laughs ended and it became difficult to pay attention to.  The animation was cool, and it probably would have been a blast in 3D (for people who like 3D.  I'm told these people exist, although I've never met any of them).  It wasn't a bad movie, I'm sure kids will be entertained by it, but I just can't see remembering anything about it a few weeks from now. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thoughts on 5 Films

1. Beginners - I can't believe that I forgot all about this movie!!  Last year, a friend of mine recommended it to me, adding that the girl in it reminded him of me.  I was extremely confused when I realized that the girl is Melanie Laurent, who is a french actress, with blond hair and green eyes and is a hundred times prettier than I am (ok...a thousand times).  We have no similarities other than being petite.  Then, I started watching the movie and I realized that he was referring to her character, Anna.  It's weird to discover how others perceive you, but I can see what he means.  She is low-key, quiet, observant and emotionally cautious.  There is a deep sadness to her, even when she is smiling and you can tell that she has been hurt before (not necessarily by love, but by life).  The scene where she reveals something personal about her father, in this really unexpected way, is exactly something I would do.  I tend to reveal things about myself specifically to see how people react and this is how I know if that they are someone I want (or don't want) in my life.  It's weird that the movie isn't about her at all, but I felt a deep connection with her character, so I guess my friend is right.  I think she is totally adorable, so I am going to take it as a compliment (even though i have a feeling, that he didn't mean it that way.  Whatever.).  I would like to think that I am a little less disheveled, but I'm probably not.  Anyway, enough with the personal rant,  the movie is incredible.  It would have made my Top 10 list of last year (and probably would have broken into the top 5) had I seen it earlier in the year.  This is my kind of love story.  One that is about more than just love - it's about dealing with loss and finding out what truly makes you happy.  It's really just about living.  Ewan McGregor is fantastic (and I don't think I've ever said those words in the same sentence before).  It is a very understated and subtle performance, but I think a lot of people can connect with his self-sabotaging ways.  "I don't really believe that it's going to work and I make sure that it doesn't work".  I know so many people like this and it baffles my mind.  I never want to live my life wondering "what if", so I make sure I give it my all.  If it still doesn't work, at least I knew that I did everything I could. It's very contradictory of my cynical nature, but as I said above, I am very cautious of who I let into my life, so once I've let someone in, I would hate to push them out. The movie is really sweet and charming, but doesn't shy away from the complications of love and life.  It even had a happy ending, and I am completely ok with that (!!!). I know the film garnered attention due to Christopher Plummer's work as an elderly man who reveals that not only is he gay, but he is also dying of Cancer. He deserved the Oscar (for his impersonation of house music, alone), but I think the other performances and the screenplay should have been recognized as well. 

2. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - It's a movie about Abraham Lincoln killing vampires!!!  That sounds like some awesome, albeit silly, fun.  It's not.  I think I am most disappointed because it is from the same director as Wanted - which was awesome, albeit silly, fun.  It even copied the same sequences from Wanted (the becoming an assassin sequence, the train sequence), yet it was really dull.  I didn't even recognize Mary Elizabeth Winstead, as Mary Todd.  I've never seen her so lifeless before.  Then, I was super excited to see Anthony Mackie, because he has incredible screen presence, but just like Miss Winstead, there was no energy at all.  Even worse, the star of the movie, the guy who plays Lincoln (I'm too lazy to even look up his name) was so blaaaaah (I've run out of words for boring).  The movie sort of reminded me of Cowboys & Aliens, in the way that it has this completely preposterous plot that could be gloriously entertaining, but it just weighs itself down in all this serious dialogue, choppy editing and forgettable characters. It's not even bad enough to be memorable, it's just bad. 

3. Savages - Expectations were lowered, and I think that was a good thing because I was completely entertained by it.  I wouldn't call it a good movie, but there were parts of it that were done really well. It's much more fun to talk about the bad parts, though - like the laughable dialogue, problematic casting and Benicio Del Toro's mullet wig (which was far more distracting than it should have been).  It clearly would have been a better movie with stronger lead actors.  Blake Lively is absolutely beautiful and I am completely jealous of her perfect body, but her acting isn't strong enough for a movie like this (yet).  I was impressed by her in The Town and even like her sometimes on Gossip Girl (tonight is the last episode! Sad face.  Not really, that show should have ended 3 seasons ago), but she was pitiful in this movie.  Her voice is monotonous, which is problematic since she is the narrator of the story.  Aaron Johnson really irks me, for no reason in particular.  And, Taylor Kitsch, poor Taylor Kitsch.  I really want to root for him, but this movie was a disaster for him (as was John Carter and Battleship).  The supporting cast, Benicio, Salma Hayek and John Travolta did their best to make up for the bad performances, but it just wasn't enough.  Worse than the acting, though, was the dialogue.  Lively's character says things like "I have orgasms, he has wargasms" and describes the differences between her two lovers as one is a "Buddhist", the other is a "baddhist".  For real.  I did love the portrayal of a non-conventional relationship, but the movie made it clear that it's not a relationship that would work (and if the movie doesn't believe it, then why should I?).  The odd double ending, was just that.  Odd.  Like, what the fuck?  The first ending was satisfying enough. 

4. Rock of Ages - Truly horrific movie.  I don't think I could possibly think of anything nice to say about it.  I didn't really expect to like it, but I didn't think I would be tortured by it.  I've never seen the Broadway production and this movie makes sure that I will never see it (although I am sure the stage version is much better).  As someone who is a huge fan of Glee (or should I say "was" a huge fan.  I actually stopped watching the show.  I can no longer defend it's awfulness), I thought that I would find some humor in Rock of Ages, as they do a lot of the same covers of rock songs on the show.  However, it made me long for the talent that the cast of Glee has, because the actors in this movie CAN NOT SING.  I'm surprised that my ears didn't start bleeding.  Tom Cruise and Malin Akerman completely butchered one of my favorite songs "I Want to Know What Love is" (greatest rock ballad ever!!)I've always disliked Akerman, and this movie didn't do her any favors.  Now I actually hate her.  Tom Cruise was clearly trying to prove something (what that is, I'm not sure).  I appreciate that he gave 100% of himself into the role, even if it was still a disaster.  His "rocker" character was just a bad combination of Axl Rose and Bret Michaels.  Julianne Hough seems like a nice enough girl, but I am not sure why she was picked for a role like this - she can't sing (she does do an amazing hair flip thing).  Catherine Zeta-Jones had the worst role in the movie, as the "bitch" who wants to ruin all the fun.  So, she protests rock music, by singing rock music (makes total sense).  I truly feel bad for Bryan Cranston and Paul Giamatti because they clearly don't belong in this trash.  The only saving grace is Mary J. Blige, who can actually sing.  She made everyone else like they were singing karaoke during amateur night.  Aside from the singing, the movie is extremely dumb.  Girl moves to L.A to follow her dreams of being a singer, falls in love, gets her heart broken, becomes a stripper, etc., etc., etc. 

5.  Vamps - I was excited for a new Alicia Silverstone/Amy Heckerling movie, but also Krysten Ritter is in it as well!!  I loved her on Breaking Bad, and she is really hilarious on Don't Trust the B* in Apt 13 (although the show isn't that funny - it would be if it was just about her and Dawson).  Vamps is about two fun-loving vampire "besties" who stay out partying all night and sleep all day (obviously).  It's campy, cheesy and cute but it should have been much funnier and wittier.  I was expecting Clueless-type dialogue, but this movie just regurgitates the same "I can't keep up with the times" dialogue.  It didn't help that they were supposed to be college students (sorry, but no).  It had some fun moments and represents a friendship between two females that isn't catty, which is rare.  Thumbs up for the Un Chien Andalou clip. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

3 Thoughts on Silver Linings Playbook

1. I love Bradley Cooper - I've written about this love before, but I can't express how happy I am that he has succeeded.  As an Alias fanatic, I adored Will Tippin, although I was totally in love with Vaughn (Michael Vartan) and man, don't get me started on Sark (David Anders) - sexiest bad guy ever.  Anyway, I've followed Bradley Cooper's career post-Alias, and he has done some solid work.  His TV show Kitchen Confidential was hilarious (and canceled waaaaaay too quickly), he was a super douche in Nip/Tuck and of course, shot to movie-stardom with The Hangover.  Silver Linings Playbook is his best work to date.  It's Oscar nomination good.  With the film taking place in his home town, he seems really comfortable; exuding a natural ease with the role while still displaying an emotional exposure that is unguarded and wonderful to witness. With this, he's proven he can do it all from comedy, to action, to this little quirky drama.  I'm going to ignore the fact that Channing Tatum has the new title of "Sexiest Man Alive" and just pretend that Bradley is continuing the title for a second year.  He's got the talent, the looks and the confidence (yes, it's a cliche, but confidence is always sexy. Fact.). 

2. I love Philly - There aren't too many movies that come to mind that truly get the "essence" of Philly.  Sure, we have the Rocky movies that made Philly famous in the movie world and there is M. Night Shyamalan that always films his movies in or around Philly.  But, when I say "essence" of Philly, I mean movies that really showcase the city and all of its eccentricities and quirkiness.  This film made me really miss Philly (I lived there for a few years).  It's a very neighborly place. Those rejected from the fast pace of NYC and the pretentiousness of Boston are welcomed into Philly with open arms.  The whole football aspect is done really well, because the movie is really not about football at all.  However, the Eagles are a big part of Philly life and whether you like it or not, they are in the background of life there, everywhere you go.  Literally, EVERYWHERE.  Grocery store, restaurant, the DMV - inevitably someone will start the Eagles chant. E-A-G-L-E-S...EAGLES!!!  I remember sitting in the theater, watching Spider-Man 2, and someone started the chant in the middle of the movie.  It's annoying as fuck, and I am not a fan of football at all, but I love passionate people and that is what Philly and this movie are all about. 

3. I hate the ending - *spoilers* Now that I've gone on about Bradley Cooper and Philly, I guess I should comment a little on the movie.  I loved it.  Funny, touching, and memorable with incredible performances from every actor (while Bradley has my heart, I would say Jacki Weaver was the stand-out performance). It will most likely be in my top 10, but it would have been much higher on the list if only it didn't end on such a super positive note.  I didn't really mind the love story, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence have great chemistry and did a fantastic job of getting me to root for them.  However, I didn't need the whole "I wrote that letter a week ago....I'm in love with you" sappiness.  These are two people who have a history of mental disorders (bi-polar, depression etc), so it is a bit realistic for them to be on a "high", but I felt like the movie should have ended with at least a hint of the "low", instead of a happily ever after.  Mental disorders don't magically disappear because people fall in love, in reality they often get worse (and this deep love for someone is what sets Cooper's character off in the first place).  It needed to be addressed, in my opinion, and the opinion of my movie partner, who said "fuck that ending" when the movie was over.  He took the words right out of my mouth.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Thoughts on 5 Films

1. Take This Waltz - I'm not sure if this movie qualifies for a 2012 release, since it was released in Canada in 2011, but it might make my "best of 2012" list.  It's an odd little movie splattered with imperfections, but I am sort of in love with everything about it. Michelle Williams is always an extreme hit or an extreme miss for me, but she nails this role.  The character, Margo, is immature, selfish, needy, silly and somehow incredibly relatable.  Her relationship with her husband, played by Seth Rogen (who has never displayed this much vulnerability in any role), is so simple and honest, yet flawed and realistic.  They have a connection, but inevitably this connection isn't enough and boredom sets in.  Margo becomes infatuated with her neighbor and eventually falls for him.  In most of these types of movies, someone (usually the woman) is portrayed as evil or the clear "villain", but in reality, let's face it - shit happens.  People fall out of love a lot easier than we like to admit and if we are completely honest, the thought of a "new love" is always enticing.  As it is pointed out in the movie, the "new" will always become "old".  It's rare for a movie to point this out, and for someone, like myself, who doesn't really believe in "love" (at least in the sense that others do), this incredibly refreshing.  There are so many scenes that I love, that it is hard to narrow down - but three stand out.   First, the most "stand out" scene is the one with the Scrambler ride. Absolutely stunning. The way it was shot, is sublime.  Another one, is the scene with Margo and Daniel, when she asks him, rather shyly, what he would do to her.  I do not find that guy attractive in the least, but after his answer, I would totally go back to his place.  And the fact that he burst into laughter after an answer like that, made it all the more perfect.  It's very obvious from that scene alone, that the movie is written by a woman (Sarah Polley), because guys like that don't exist in real life (if they did, the world would be a much better place). I also love the actual "waltz" scene, which perfectly equates the physical "dance" to a literal "dance" of life, it's so well-done that it gave me chills. Plus, the scene where she sees Daniel's work (he is an artist, of course) and she asks if he shows it anywhere.  His answer: "No, because I am a coward." The way he states it, so matter-of-factly.  It's just perfect. Ok, that was 4, not 3, and I could continue, but I will stop. To be fair, I will admit that not all of the movie was perfect. Sarah Silverman had some painful dialogue to work with - her entire character was problematic.  She could have been cut altogether, with no loss to the movie.  That's really my only complaint.  There are other imperfections, but none of them matter.  Sarah Polley did a superb job. 

2. Sound of My Voice - Brit Marling has a presence that is hard to ignore.  Another Earth was one of my favorite films of last year, and this film is pretty fantastic as well.  Even though it differed in subject matter, the films are similar in a lot of ways.  They are both small movies, with huge sci-fi ideas grounded in reality with unsettling, melancholic tones.  Sound of My Voice is based on two people trying to infiltrate a cult to "expose" the corruption and lies that the cult is based on.  Brit Marling is the cult leader, Maggie, who claims to be "from the future".  It's all very interesting, even if it is unbelievable.  The scene where the new members question her "story" and she begins to sing a song from the future is creepy, hilarious and absolutely brilliant.  It was fun trying to guess which one of them would be convinced by her story, because inevitably one of them would.  The ending, with the handshake thing, was definitely interesting.  It wouldn't be enough to convince me, but I could see how others would be swayed, though.  Especially people who are desperately seeking meaning to their life and feel the need to belong to something.

3. The Campaign - Really not funny at all.  Ok, I admit I laughed once, when Zach Galifianakis is described as looking like the "Travelocity Gnome".  But that's it!!  The movie came out in a timely manner, right before the Presidential election, and acted as a commentary on the Democratic process.  But that is giving the movie far too much credit.  It's much too dumb to be considered a political satire.  Both Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell are funny guys, so it's disappointing that a movie with them is this weak.  Most of Will Ferrell's movies are considered over-the-top, and for me, it just doesn't work that often.  This isn't nearly as bad as Blades of Glory or Semi-Pro, but it's still a big waste of time. 

4. Safety Not Guaranteed - I had high hopes for this movie, but unfortunately it didn't live up to those expectations.  The heart is in the right place and the plot is, thankfully, original.  The story revolves around Aubrey Plaza (or her character's name, Darius, if you are convinced that these are 2 different people - I am not), who is an Intern at a newspaper.  She joins her colleagues on a research trip to investigate a man who placed a wanted ad, searching for someone to travel to the past with him.  Aubrey/Darius is the typical socially awkward, sarcastic, loner type who begins to let her guard down once she meets this man who claims to have made a time machine.  The beginning of the movie is sort of endearing and cute, but it starts to border on annoying about mid-way through.  This "time traveler" is played by Mark Duplass (who wrote and directed the incredibly sweet movie, Jeff, Who Lives at Home), and honestly, I am not thrilled with his acting. As an audience member, for the film to work, I should form some sort of bond with him and root for him, but I actually hated every scene he had, every line of dialogue.   To make matters worse, *spoiler alert*, the film becomes "love story" territory, which was unnecessary.  Two people can form a bond, without falling in love.  I did adore the ending, but not enough to make up for the rest of the movie. 

5. Seeking A Friend for the End of the World - Love the idea of this movie.  With all the talk of the end of the world, most movies dealing with the subject matter turn to the "disaster movie" genre.  It's a great concept to have the "disaster" as a catalyst for a romantic comedy.  *slight spoilers* Like Safety Not Guaranteed, this movie would have been much better without the "love" part, but I was able to tolerate it much more in this movie.  I actually didn't know it was a love story, considering that the title refers to "a friend" and I was really surprised that the two main characters, played by Keira Knightley and Steve Carell,  had casual sex towards the beginning and seemed pretty content to leave it at that.  The movie went into a downward spiral the second she began to feel jealous of him searching for his lost love, with her pathetically and silently pining for him. Females can, in fact, have sex without forming emotional attachments, the cliche that we can't is tiresome.  Aside from the fact that Keira and Steve have ZERO sexual chemistry, I think the film could have been more effective if it was about two people finding comfort in one another, instead of dying alone.  Although, personally, I would rather die alone, than in the arms of a complete stranger, but I am weird like that.  The film also contained at least a dozen editing mistakes (not even obscure ones, like-in-your-face-obvious mistakes), so a new Script Supervisor would have been helpful.  And a new location scout was desperately needed.  For a film that is supposed to take place in NJ, a place where I currently live and the guy that I saw it with has lived his entire life, we both didn't recognize that it was even supposed to be NJ until 1/2 way through.  It was CLEARLY Southern California.  The biggest error was the beach scene, which showed cliffs and bright blue ocean water (which was supposed to be somewhere in Delaware, but such a place does not exist in the North East).  I know I am nit-picking but I am just a little confused as to why the filmmakers even bothered to have the location as NJ, when the location isn't essential to the story at all.  It literally hurts my brain to think about. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

3 Thoughts on Life of Pi

1. "Believe the unbelievable" - As an atheist, claiming that this story will make me believe in God, is obviously intriguing.  It failed on every level, but I give the writer credit for trying.  I really loved the beginning, the way that religion is questioned by the protagonist.  He points out that with so many different religions, so many different "Gods", he is unsure of what to believe.  His father responds to this with the most amazing advice ever, which is to trust logic and that if you believe everything blindly, then you might as well believe in nothing.  Then, the film proceeds to convince us to believe in God (and is never clear on which one), which is ultimately frustrating.  This is clearly an allegorical film, dedicated to convincing people that may question their faith, but I doubt it will change the minds of the already decided. 

2. It's not for kids or animal lovers- I blame myself for seeing a movie that is marketed as a "family movie" the weekend after Thanksgiving at the Garden State Plaza (one of the largest malls in the country) for the terrible experience I had, due to the insufferable audience members.  Not only did I endure someone kicking my seat the entire movie (an adult, for fuck sake), someone in my direct eye sight filming the movie with his phone, and a couple in front of me talking through the entire thing; I also had to listen to kids crying because they were absolutely terrified.  I can't argue with the PG rating, but that doesn't necessarily make it appropriate for children.  I would have been traumatized if I had seen this movie at a young age (considering that I am a little traumatized by it as an adult).  Just consider for a moment, that there were other animals that were rescued by that small life boat and you can guess what happens to them when they try to co-exist with a tiger.  When the kids were not being traumatized, I am sure that they were bored out of their mind.  The themes of spirituality and self-discovery would probably go right over their head, as would the jokes about the mathematical value of "Pi" and Columbus setting sail to India.  As an animal lover, I find the movie terribly offensive.  The message that the film sends - that what separates humans from animals is a "soul", and that animals have no feelings, it's just humans projecting their own feelings on to them, is a HORRIBLE message to send.  Certain animals, like tigers, are not meant to be caged or domesticated (or trapped on a life boat in the middle of the ocean), so it may seem like they are "soul-less" but I refuse to believe that is true.  It's also convenient story-telling that the family are vegetarians (separating themselves from carnivorous "animals") but most humans are not vegetarians, so what message is that sending about humanity?  It's all a little contradictory and insulting (even to a fellow vegetarian). 

3. "Unfilmable" - Technically, the movie is spectacular.  I didn't see it in 3D, which I only regret slightly because I doubt it would be worth the headache, but even in regular old 2D, it was stunning.  However, as visually exciting as it was, it felt really superficial. With all of the effects (especially the CG created tiger) and the bold, intense colors, it loses it's realism and turns pure fantasy.  It doesn't really work for a story that tries so desperately to be "believable", but then again, to make it a "believable" story it would have to be a little more gritty and I think that version would be truly "unfilmable".  I didn't hate the movie as much as this post may let on; I was in awe of it's beauty and scope, fully engaged in the story and impressed by the effort.  It's just not my type of movie, I guess.