Monday, August 19, 2013

Thoughts on 5 Films

1. The Host - I can't express to you how truly awful this movie is. One of the worst movies that I've ever seen.  I thought that nothing would come close to the awfulness of Movie 43 this year, but this one came really close.  I will still place it slightly above Movie 43, only because it has an actual plot.  A decent one at that - the world has been replaced with aliens using human bodies as "hosts".  But, instead of  a really cool sci-fi adventure about a group of humans trying to outrun the aliens, we get a really boring tale of one girl (one of my favorite young actresses, Saoirse Ronan), who is captured and used as a host.  Her human side, however, refuses to disappear so she spends the entire story fighting with....herself.  The inner monologue used throughout the film is absolutely painful to listen to, as is the rest of the dialogue.  She actually says the line "kiss me like you want to get slapped" to the guy she likes, which is probably one of the worst things I've ever heard (especially for a film that is supposed to be geared towards teens).  Things become "complicated" when the host falls for a different boy than the human, creating an odd love triangle - one that could be interesting if either of the boys had any personality. The weirdest part of the whole movie is Emily Browning (another great young actress) appearing at the end, which is listed as "uncredited".  Were they actually setting up for a sequel? Please, oh please, tell me there won't be a sequel!?!

2. Playing For Keeps - Rom-com disaster.  I thought it could be entertaining to watch Gerard Butler running around playing "soccer", but I was so wrong. However, he is, by far, the best part of the movie. Catherine Zeta-Jones (can't act), Jessica Biel (no screen presence) and Uma Thurman (Ugh), all in ONE movie?! Kill me now. They might as well add Katherine Heigl for fuck's sake. It could have been saved by Judy Greer (love her!), but she is probably the worst written character in the movie.  She fulfilled the "emotional woman" stereotype, but also the "batshit crazy" stereotype as well (double bonus points).  Thurman plays another one of my favorite female character stereotype - the married woman who is ok with her husband cheating on her because he buys her stuff.  Biel plays the "one true love" character, which is a hard sell because her and Butler have zero chemistry.  I blame her because I've never seen her have chemistry with anyone, ever.  Her character is also super annoying because she gets mad at him for sleeping with someone while they aren't together (and it is her choice that they aren't together and she is engaged to someone, she has no right to get upset).  In short, this is just another misogynistic tale of "women are crazy" disguised as a "romantic comedy".

3. Olympus Has Fallen - Exactly what I expected it to be, which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  It's pretty much an episode of 24, where one guy is left to save the day because everyone else is incompetent.  My biggest complaint is the terrible effects, especially for a big blockbuster movie.  Actually, I take that back, my biggest complaint is Gerard Butler with an American accent.  That should be against the law!!  There is a fairly large cast of recognizable faces, but that is also a detriment because you kind of know that at least one of them has to be "the bad guy".  I predicted who it was the second I saw his face.  There are some ridiculous plot points - like when "the bad guy" decides to chit-chat instead of just killing "the good guy" (this happens in a lot of movies, and it drives me insane).  Plus, some laughable dialogue - "Why don't you and I play a game of fuck off. You go first." So funny.  I was entertained - although, I can't tell if it's actually an entertaining movie, or if I've just watched a lot of shit lately.  This year really sucks for movies (for life, as well).

4. On the Road - As much as I enjoy the Kerouac novel, it always makes me roll my eyes when someone lists this as their "favorite book".  I was dating a guy who said this was his favorite book and it completely changed the way I thought about him.  I don't know why, it's just such a cliche to say; it automatically makes someone uninteresting to me.  I can obviously appreciate Kerouac's style, considering that I write in a very stream of consciousness/spontaneous way.  I just write exactly what is in my head and press the little orange publish button; no editing required.  If I stopped and read the words I wrote, I would never actually finish anything, because I over-analyze too much.  I went back and read an old post once and I counted 6 grammatical errors within two (run-on) sentences. I will never do that again (the reading; not the grammatical errors.  You're just going to have to deal with those. In exchange you get my honest opinion, vomited into words). Sooo...what was I talking about? Oh yah...the movie. It sucked. Boring as fuck.  All of the actors are really dull, including Kristen Stewart (shocker!), but the worst actor in the movie is Garrett Hedlund. I really liked him in Country Strong, so I was surprised by his performance here.  Is his voice really that low? It seemed like he was struggling to sound masculine.  It just felt really unnatural, as did the rest of the movie.  It was filled with random sex scenes, random writing scenes with an annoying voice over, followed by really annoying shaky camera walking scenes.  After an hour, I gave up trying to pay attention and the movie just became background noise.

5. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters - Wow. Another terrible movie to add to the list for this year.  I can appreciate wanting to modernize a fairy tale for an adult audience.  However, if that was indeed the intent, the filmmakers failed - adding unnecessary violence and gore, and an awkwardly placed "fuck" in the dialogue, doesn't instantly grab an adult audience. You need an interesting, less-predictable story for that. I honestly don't understand how anyone can find this sort of thing entertaining, unless you enjoy watching a woman get repeatedly punched in the face. Speaking of, they really aren't that great at their "witch hunting" jobs because they both get their ass kicked over and over and over again.  On the positive side, Jeremy Renner (enough said)!!  Also, Gemma Arterton won me over. She's been in a lot of shit films, this included, but for some reason I really liked her here.  She reminded me of Jennifer Garner, as Sydney Bristow; not in her looks, but in her mannerisms and facial expressions.  The movie also moved very quickly, which I was very thankful for (since it was crap), so kudos to the editing team.

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