Sunday, June 30, 2013

Thoughts on 5 Films

1. Oz the Great and Powerful - Really cool idea with some interesting references to The Wizard of Oz.  The movie tackles all kinds of questions that one might ask about The Wizard of Oz and answers them. Some of these answers are downright genius. However, that's all the positives I can think of.  It's a terrible movie.  The beginning is torturous.  I find it hard to take James Franco seriously after his appearance in General Hospital (yes, I watch that show. I have been watching it for over 20 years).  He's given some great performances in the past, but this isn't one of them (neither was GH; truly horrific).  In fact, despite a fantastic group of actors, most of the acting was horrendous.  Rachel Weisz is the saving grace.  I've never hated Mila Kunis before, but this was a terrible performance; her crying scene was rough to watch.  Also, it seemed like it is supposed to be a surprise as to who the "wicked witch" is, but Entertainment Weekly gave that shit away months ago when they plastered her on the cover.  The basic plot of the movie is how the witch turns "evil", and of course it's because she is heartbroken - "I want him to know he made me this way". Fucking stupid.  Visually, it is also a bit disappointing.  CGI overload.

2. Deadfall - The movie has a lot of potential, but there are too many things wrong with it.  The plot is really strong - a brother and sister rob a casino, but during their escape they get into a car accident near the Canadian border, during a white-out blizzard.  The beginning starts off really intense but the inconsistencies are obvious right from the start.  I questioned their accents - Olivia Wilde was doing a Southern accent, while Eric Bana was trying to hide his Australian accent (First, taking away his accent is taking away half of what makes him great. Second, I'm still not sure what accent he was going for.  Even worse, by the end, I think he gave up altogether).  I assume they were in Michigan (that's the only place that makes sense) and the Michigan accent is pretty distinct.  Sure they can be from somewhere else (should have been addressed), but if they are siblings they would have similar accents.  I was also really distracted by the dried blood stain on Bana's forehead (which can be seen on the poster) because it kept changing in size and consistency.  Things like that drive me insane.  The reason that I was able to focus on all these little errors is because the movie (after the initial crash) is really boring.  Then the end picks up and goes way over the top.  I'm sure I won't remember anything about this movie a year from now.

3. Safe - Really boring for an action movie.  I hate movies that have people fighting, but you have no idea who they are or why they are fighting each other.  I love action movies, but I like my action movies to have a basic plot.  I gathered from the trailer that this movie was about this tough guy protecting this young girl from mobsters.  This is, indeed, part of the movie but it feels more like a subplot with the main plot being fight scenes that have no point.  I seriously questioned what was going on at least 3 times.  Sure, I could have paid more attention but it's the movies job to hold my attention and this one didn't.  I really like Jason Statham, but I rarely like movies in which he is the star.

4. Beautiful Creatures - The consensus seems to be that it's "better than Twilight", but I don't think that is saying much.  It's practically the same thing just switch the gender roles, swap "vampires" with "witches" and set it in the deep south.  It reminded me more of True Blood than anything else and I hate True Blood (amazing concept, poorly executed and acted.  I actually gave up watching it after the second season and it takes a lot of terrible for me to give up on a show).  In regards to the cast, the actors are a thousand times stronger than the Twilight crew (which I think accounts for the "better than Twilight" comments). The main guy (don't care enough to look up his name) is actually more creepy looking than attractive, but his acting was decent.  The supporting actors included Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, Margo Martindale and Emma Thompson - all of whom should have been doing something better.  I don't like Emmy Rossum (it's an unjustified dislike. I have no solid reason, but she has yet to change my mind).  The movie overall was pretty dumb and predictable, but I did laugh when the kids were doing the Civil War reenactments and one of them said "Do you want to just kill each other?".  That made the whole movie worth watching.

5. The Call - Unfortunately, this is a disappointing movie as well (that's 5 for 5! Usually, I like at least one of the movies in these posts. Sad face.).  It's a shame, because the first hour of this movie is excellent.  It felt like something different.  Has there ever been a movie that focused on 911 operators?  Because it's actually a really interesting (and stressful) job. Halle Berry plays Jordan, an operator who makes a totally understandable, but devastating mistake that effects her psychologically and emotionally.  Then, she comes across an emergency call from a teenage girl who wakes up in a trunk.  Jordan comes up with some pretty fantastic ideas to try to save this girls life (I was taking mental know...just in case).  There were some frustrating moments, of course, *slight spoilers ahead*, like if the car got off an exit and they know which exit, then a helicopter would have definitely been able to spot them.  Also, if you have a chance to scream where someone might hear you, then ALWAYS SCREAM.  You're going to die anyway.  And, if you light a match and throw it in a gas station, the fire wouldn't be contained - the whole station would go up in flames.  OK....I'm done picking apart the plot (I wrote down 7 other things that bothered me...but it's unnecessary to nitpick any further).  Despite all these things, like I said, the first hour is completely entertaining and intense.  Then all of the sudden, it becomes another movie. It's a fast decline into what-the-fuck territory. The the last minute of the movie will make you hate everything that came before it.  It's also completely unnecessary to have Abigail Breslin in her bra for the last 20 minutes. She's 17 and it isn't essential to the plot at all.

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