Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Thoughts on 5 Films

1. The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him - After watching the "Them" version, I had really high expectations for the "Him" and "Her" versions. I've read that the separate versions are stronger entries to the story, and that the "Her" version is the strongest (I still haven't watched it. I think I need some time to pass before I give it a go). Honestly, I didn't really like the "Him" version. It was boring, and I think if I didn't watch the "Them" version, I would be confused by the story. It's jarring to only see one side of a story that is about the disintegration of a relationship. I still really like the concept, though. Plus, the story is beautiful. I like that it provided more insight; specifically, how she encouraged him to have an affair. I mean, that changes EVERYTHING! If you push someone away so many times that they actually go away, then you deserve the heartache (sorry, a bit harsh, but that's honestly how I feel). The biggest plus of all, is that there is more James McAvoy in this version (in glasses and a white t-shirt, no less. I think my heart actually stopped beating for a second).

2. They Came Together - Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd together in a movie, pretty much guarantees that I will enjoy it. I feel like they've already starred as a couple before, but I can't think of what movie. They definitely feel like a natural couple, though. This is a really smart satire of a romantic comedy. It follows the exact same plot of any movie in the genre, but consistently points out all of the ridiculous cliches. Some of my favorite moments include:
- "How do you sleep at night?" "I usually jerk off then I can sleep pretty soundly"
- "Fiction books" as the common interest that brings them together
- Picking up the lamp in the middle of their passionate encounter
- The dead body in the leaves
It's all very funny. It's also completely cynical about love and relationships, but it still remains cute. It becomes a bit silly and overdone sometimes, but it still fits in with the satire.

3. Wild - I found this movie really boring. There is some good stuff in it, but it was just such a chore to pay attention to. I don't really like Reese Witherspoon. I don't see her as the talent that she is praised for being. So, that was one of my problems, but mostly, I just don't think a movie about someone walking is all that interesting. Her backstory is even worse - just a cliche of a "hot mess". I also don't really see how hiking is a form of redemption. It's just not something I can relate to on any level. The only thing I found really interesting (and I don't even know if it is done on purpose), is the juxtaposition of the scene featuring the threat of rape and the scene where she is seen as having female privilege. It's so striking; the way she faces such a threat for simply being a woman hiking alone - it's also a very real threat. I would never hike somewhere by myself. Not because nature is unpredictable, or wild animals are dangerous, but because men rape (NOT ALL MEN). Then, just a few scenes later, she is being chastised for receiving special treatment for being a woman. I'm pretty sure any woman would forego receiving special treatment if it eradicated the threat of rape. Anyway, I also liked some of the mother/daughter stuff, and the use of that Portishead song. OH AND THE GUY FROM EVERCLEAR APPEARS OUT OF NOWHERE. So random.

4. The Imitation Game - Another movie that really bored the shit out of me. I really struggled to make it through the whole thing. It's a fascinating story, so there really is no excuse. Plus, I love the show The Bletchley Circle, which is about women who worked as code-breakers (and use their knowledge and instincts to solve crime. It's awesome.), so it's not like the story doesn't interest me. It's just so straight-forward and repetitive. I'm not a huge Cumberbatch fan. He's good in every project that he's in, but my problem is that he plays the same type of character in everything (cold, stoic, anti-social, bordering on personality disorder). Also, question: Did Alan Turing have Asperger's? I guess we'll never really know, but that's what this movie implies - although it comes and goes, because the writing is shitty. And a bigger question: Why is he wearing makeup that is two times too dark for his complexion? Totally distracting. That's all I really have to say about a movie that was nominated for 8 Oscars. At least it didn't win any. Wait, what? For Best Adapted Screenplay? HAHAHAHAHA! Fucking absurd.

5. Selma - After being disappointed by both highly rated movies, Wild and The Imitation Game, I was really nervous to watch this movie. It's 100 times better than both of those movies, but I still wouldn't call it great. It's slightly better than average. I think my biggest problem is David Oyelowo, which I wasn't expecting. I just don't think he embodies Martin Luther King Jr., at all. First, he sounds like Kevin Spacey in House of Cards (this is not a good thing), second, aside from the very last speech, I felt like he lacked presence. MLK is ALL presence, charisma, a figurative "force of nature". If he was playing a fictional character, I probably would have enjoyed the performance, but he wasn't and in my eyes, he failed. I admit that biopics are not really a genre that I enjoy, because most of them bore me to tears, I appreciate that this movie starts after he is already a known and powerful figure. There are also some very powerful scenes, such as the Bloody Sunday scene, which is absolutely beautifully shot, but just so awful to watch (especially after the horrific events happening in America - a full 50 years later). The best part of the movie is definitely the song "Glory", which won the Oscar. It's so good that I watched the full credits just to hear the whole thing, although the live version during the Academy Awards was even more potent. It brought me to tears. I get chills just thinking about it.

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