Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Thoughts on 5 Films

1. Wish I Was Here - I have always been a fan of Zach Braff (huge Scrubs fan), but the whole Kickstarter thing did annoy me a bit. I don't think successful people (with big pockets) should be able to utilize the site to solicit money from their fans. If you have enough money to fund your passion, then YOU should fund it. However, I do understand why fans would fork over their hard earned cash to get something made. If someone wanted to make an ALIAS movie, I would donate faster than you can say "Milo Rambaldi" (and I would hate myself for it). I was a fan of Garden State, but I didn't think it was life-changing or anything. This movie, from the trailer, did not look anything like Garden State. It seemed overly sentimental, cheesy and lacking any kind of depth whatsoever. Needless to say, I was not excited to see it. It turned out better than I thought, in some ways, and worse than I thought, in other ways. First, I thought his daughter was the sick one (and it's even referenced in the scene with Turk). I knew the father was, too - so that seemed like a lot of depressing stuff for one movie. I am glad that I was wrong; the daughter is fine. The movie is more about just enjoying life and following your dreams (still cheese central), but it wasn't as depressing as I was prepared for it to be. Second, I really, really like that the movie is about a Jewish family - and addresses the Jewish faith from a modern point of view. As someone who was partially raised by a very typical Jewish grandmother, it was refreshing to see a realistic portrayal of characters that didn't feel pummeled with stereotypes. I also think it has some strong father/son moments, while addressing the pressure that is placed on some men to provide for their family. As his father says, in so many words, the pursuit of happiness is not from God, that's the American dream; God wants you to provide for your family. It's sad that someone would discourage their child from following their dream, but sometimes, it makes sense, as to why they do. These two things made the movie quite interesting, but the acting and some of the dialogue really lets the story down. Zach Braff was the biggest let down, his acting was awkward (and not in the usual good awkward way), it felt like he was trying too hard. I've never been a fan of Kate Hudson (even thought she is super adorable, and I am a HUGE Goldie Hawn fan), and I had to endure TWO movies with her, in the same week (see below).

2. Good People - My mom picked this movie (out of EVERYTHING that Netflix has to offer), and I really was not happy. Kate Hudson and James Franco in a movie together; one that was released just last year, yet, I've never heard of it. There is no way it could be good. And it isn't. It's terrible. The plot is ridiculously stupid. Like, scream at the television kind of stupid. The stupidest part of all is the Home Alone ending. It was completely predictable and just so, so ridiculous. The odd part, though, is that they include several shots of this huge chandelier hanging from the ceiling for absolutely no reason at all. My mom even noticed it and questioned it. I assumed it was some sort of foreshadowing, but nope - just random shots of an old chandelier. James Franco can be a good actor when he sets his mind to it, but I just can't take him seriously after his stint on General Hospital. I just can't. This movie will definitely make my list of worst movies of 2014 (I already made my list, but I always do an updated list in July, after I've actually seen everything that I want to see).

3. I, Frankenstein - Everyone trashed this movie. I mean, it has a 3% on Rotten Tomatoes. I don't always go by RT ratings, but a 3% is pretty telling. It's really bad. Not in the "so bad, it's good" category, either. I love Yvonne Strahovski, so I thought that, at least, I could watch a hot girl kick some supernatural ass, but no....she's a scientist. A really bland scientist. Don't even ask me what the plot is, because the most I could put together is "It's about Frankenstein's monster in the middle of a war between gargoyles and demons. And a scientist does some sciency stuff.". The worst part is the special effects; especially the gargoyles. Just everything about it is poorly executed. Another film that will be added to my worst of 2014 list.

4. If I Stay - This is an ok movie; nothing special or truly memorable about it, really. The whole movie is in the trailer, which I actually did watch (it played before something in the movie theater) and it is extremely predictable right to the very end (*spoiler* the letter is obviously going to be the deciding factor). The movie is basically about deciding to live, and I don't know, if my mother, father and brother all died in a car accident, I don't think I would be too keen on staying alive (I don't have a brother, and it would actually be a blessing if my father died, but you get my point). The movie reminded me a lot of the movie The Invisible (with the ever adorable Justin Chatwin. Where has he been?), but I liked that movie a bit more. I usually like Chloe Grace Moretz, but her acting is very up and down in this movie. There are two very painfully acted scenes - the one where she talks to her brother in the hospital and the one where she is crying on the hospital floor - both of which are supposed to be emotional. She can act, so I'm not quite sure what went wrong here. There are two things I really like about this movie, though. One: the slow, haunting version of "Halo" is so good it gave me chills. Two: the quote "You're supposed to break up with someone because you're not in love with them, not because you're completely in love with them." Hear, fucking, hear.

5. In Your Eyes - As you might know already, I do not like Zoe Kazan. I do, however, LOVE Joss Whedon, and he wrote this script so I thought I would like the story. I didn't. It's not bad, at all, I just didn't like it. The story is definitely the best part of it, but I feel like the really cool concept isn't fully explored. The idea that these two people are intrinsically linked is pretty awesome - like an overt soul-mate situation, but the way they communicate is a little too weird. They've "felt" each other's existence for 20 years, but now they can suddenly talk to each other? It's not really explained as to why they can communicate this way (it doesn't necessarily have to be explained, but I guess some sort of reason would have been nice - it didn't even have to be realistic, just....something.). I hate the way her husband is represented as a controlling asshole with absolutely no redeeming qualities. I also hate the way everyone around her is deemed a villain, because they are just trying to help someone who seems to have some psychological problems. Honestly, if that was happening to me, I would walk myself into a hospital and say "check me in, please". The movie is cutesy and sweet, but it's just not my thing. It felt like a low budget Nicholas Sparks movie.

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