Saturday, September 7, 2013

Thoughts on 5 Films

1. Lockout - Fairly generic action movie, with absolutely nothing memorable to even mention in this short post.  In theory, it should be good - It's touted as "Luc Besson presents...", stars Guy Pearce as the protagonist who must rescue the president's daughter from a group of thugs, who have taken over a prison (in space!), in order to clear his own name.  It's futuristic, original and moves quickly, but it fails to make any sort of impact.  Guy Pearce did a good job of trying to make it fun, but the dialogue isn't as witty as you want it to be.  The plot had potential, but it didn't grip me. It all was pretty straight-forward and linear. I can't really take Maggie Grace very seriously, especially with her specialty role of "the victim".  I would love to see something different from her. I do really like Joseph Gilgun, though.  He is awesome as a bad guy.  And I totally just remembered that I'm at least a season behind on Misfits! There is just always so much to catch up on!

2. Welcome to the Punch - Having just recently watched Trance, and liking it, I was really looking forward to this movie just because of James McAvoy.  I love when he does action movies (like Wanted, minus the American accent), because he's not like a "typical" action star, yet he does it better than most. I prefer when the star of the movie has charisma and personality, instead of a dull muscle-man. I also love that he never does anything expected; his next film, Filth, looks really dark and fucked up (I can't wait!!). Welcome to the Punch is an action-packed cop/gangster thriller, that relies heavily on suspense and violence, but I kinda already knew the twist (I mean, come on...that guy is always the bad guy), and the violence seems empty and cliched.  It's entertaining enough, but it doesn't really pack a "punch" (had to do it.).  The supporting cast is solid - Mark Strong (speaking disappointing is Low Winter Sun?!), Peter Mullan and Andrea Riseborough (I'm not familiar with her, but she is really good here. Definite screen presence.), but I'm not sure if the movie would have held my attention if it weren't for McAvoy.

3. The Devil Inside - Exorcism tale told in a faux-documentary style.  I was in the mood for a stupid horror and that's what I got.  I like that the story is from the perspective of the daughter, as she investigates what drove her mother to murder 3 people.  In the beginning, she expresses her concern for the future of her own mental stability (unfortunately, I have the same concerns) and wonders how much of her mothers sickness is genetically predisposed.  Instead of focusing on this, though, the movie tries to convince the audience that her mother has been possessed by an evil force.  In order to believe in this, one must believe in God and the Devil, and since I don't, the whole movie seems a bit ridiculous. I think it all can be explained by mental illness, disorders, chemical imbalances, brain aneurysms, tumors, etc (and from people faking it, which I guess, is also a form of mental illness).  It didn't convince me. Not even a little bit. The movie is gory, predictable and poorly acted.  However, the woman that plays the daughter, Fernanda Andrade, is so absolutely stunning. I could not take my eyes off of her.

4. Dredd - I never saw the Stallone version, Judge Dredd, so I decided to watch that right before the updated version.  It wasn't a great movie, by any means, but it was fun and entertaining.  I've never read the comics, so I didn't have the issues that those fans have with it.  I was surprised at how different Dredd is from its predecessor and if it is closer to the comics, like I've been told, then I understand why people hated the Stallone version so much. Dredd is a much darker movie, with a much better lead character. Karl Urban is really hot, so I was a little disappointed that he never removes the helmet. The best part of the movie, though, is Lena Headey as Ma-Ma (speaking of, every time someone said the name "Ma-Ma", I thought of Raising Hope, with Cloris Leachman as "Maw Maw". It made me laugh, which is obviously not the desired effect).  Lena is absolute bad-ass perfection in this role.  In contrast, I really didn't dig Olivia Thirlby. Her presence should have been stronger, a "good" bad-ass to compete with Lena's evilness. Plus, no offense, but she's no Diane Lane (but not many women are...). Dredd reminded me (a lot) of The Raid, and it seems like I'm not the only one who thought that. It's violent, thrilling, stylish and filled with constant action confined in small spaces.  Overall, it was fun and entertaining, yet a completely different kind of fun and entertaining than Judge Dredd is

5. The Iceman - I don't know if I can properly give my thoughts on this movie, because I got instantly distracted by the fact that the main character, a notorious contract killer, lived in Dumont, New Jersey.  This is where my mom currently lives with her husband, who has lived there his entire life.  It's such a tiny, little suburban town (or "borough", as NJ likes to call them), that it came as a complete shock to me (although, there has been some recent incidences in the town like this one:  I spent most of the movie browsing the Internet for information about him and his time in Dumont.  Turns out, he lived only a few blocks away from my mom's current location.  I can't wait to ask her husband about him. He knows everyone in his town, so chances are he has some information.  Too bad talking to him would involve me calling my mother and that is the biggest chore in the world.  Anyway, like I said, I was distracted for a lot of the movie, but to be honest, it didn't really do much to catch my attention.  Michael Shannon did a terrific job at being a cold-blooded killer, but that's expected.  Since I did so much Internet searching on the subject matter, I find it weird that a lot of stuff was over-looked for the movie - like the fact that he was allegedly abusive to his wife (he may have even stabbed her).  I think they were trying to stick to the "facts", but Richard Kuklinski was only convicted of 3 murders and the movie definitely shows him murdering more people than that.  They showed a brief flashback of him being abused by his father, but it was a "barely there" moment that should have been explored.  The movie just seemed to play it safe; stuck to the surface level of a murderer instead of digging down deep.  I am constantly looking for stories that show the cyclical nature of violence and abuse - most of my interest lies from the female perspective of women who stay in abusive relationships, but it's also extremely interesting to think about the cyclical nature of the male abuser (ones who have been abused or witnessed abuse themselves, as a child).  That's obviously not the story that these filmmakers wanted to tell, but it would have been far more satisfying.  Even weirder is the fact that the poster states: "Loving husband" - Ummmm....what?  That's completely offensive, considering that she has actually stated that she was abused. That just makes me think that the filmmakers either didn't do enough research, or really had no interest in telling the truth.


  1. Great stuff Michelle. I thought Guy Pierce was fantastic in Lockout which made it a pity the film was so dull.

    Haven't seen Sucker Punch but I agree that Andrea Riseborough is great. You should catch her in Oblivion.

    You really watch a lot of movies!

    1. Thanks! I didn't realize she is in Oblivion. I will definitely watch it soon!

      I plan my life around movies!! Haha! : )