Saturday, July 16, 2016

Thoughts on 5 Films

1. The Witch - Be prepared. I'm about to bitch about 5 terrible movies. The Witch is the most surprising of the bunch. I've heard tremendously positive things about it and I've seen it on several "Best of 2016 so far" lists. I knew I wouldn't find it scary, but that doesn't mean I thought it would be terrible. Horror movies are often allegorical tales and this one is no different - it tackles familial bonds, deceit, sexuality, etc. and none of it is very interesting or original. And definitely far from scary, unless you are scared of witches, I guess. I definitely think that some people, and mostly women, in particular, have a sixth sense about things that can't be explained (yet), but I don't think it's related to anything sinister or evil. I just think it's a part of the brain that hasn't been explored yet. The only positive thing I can say about this movie is that the main girl, Anya Talyor-Joy, is incredible. The rest of the cast over-acts, especially the mother. And I heard all about "Black Phillip" and the fact that it is a goat (yes, an actual goat) is so incredibly dumb and literal and not scary and did I say dumb? Ok, let's move on.

2. Special Correspondents - I wasn't really expecting much with this movie, but it has a great cast, so I thought maybe I would be pleasantly surprised? I wasn't. It's pretty dull. There is a great concept there - this radio newscaster (do those really exist still?) just makes up a story and all the other news outlets just go along with it and start reporting on a fake story. I could totally see that happening nowadays. It's obviously supposed to be satirical, but it just isn't dark or funny enough. I hate that Kelly Macdonald and Eric Bana have an American accent (and yet Ricky kept his accent). It's not necessary. It's NYC - all accents exist. I laughed a few times ("Julio Iglesias!"), but for a Gervais project, it wasn't enough. On another note: Can Kelly Macdonald be in more things please?!

3. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies - I've never read the Jane Austen novel (I know, I know, but her novels just really aren't my thing. Women finding husbands are not how I want to spend my time.). I think this whole series is interesting, though - to combine a classic novel with a horror theme. I love that all of these high society women are all dressed up in big dresses and then turn around and kick zombie ass. I like Lily James; I think she did a terrific job. Sam Riley, though, oooof....what a rough performance. His voice was so awkward; it was this weird unnatural raspy voice - I'm not sure if that is his real voice or if he was trying to be sexy(?), but it was hard to watch. I'm a huge fan of Jack Huston, but he was under-utilized here. There are some really fun zombie fight scenes that are choreographed really well, as well as some training scenes that were fun (mixed with the Austen dialogue - it's an interesting twist), but the love story is pathetic and horrible. Like, why would anyone root for the asshole to get the girl?

4. Daddy's Home - I know this movie looked terrible, and had pretty horrible reviews, but I thought I might find it funny just because I like the chemistry between Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg (The Other Guys is great). I like that it deals with the ever expanding notion of "family" and shows the struggle that step-fathers/mothers have to deal with in trying to be part of a family without intruding. It's like the frat-boy version of Stepmom (which is a GREAT movie that makes me cry - I can't listen to "Ain't no Mountain High Enough" without thinking of it). This movie is just not funny at all. I laughed at one scene - the dance-off at the Father/Daughter dance (and I've never heard of Father/Daughter dances in the real world, but they are used as plot-devices in movies ALL THE TIME. Isn't that weird?). I also really liked the end with Mark's character getting a taste of his own medicine, and the Alessandra Ambrosio cameo (I adore her. She is definitely one of the most beautiful women in the world).

5. Rock the Kasbah - Definitely the worst movie I've seen in a while. Not only is it mildly offensive and misogynistic, it's also terribly unfunny. I'm so tired of Bill Murray's curmudgeon shtick (that's always supposed to be disguised as "charming" the fuck), but even more tired of his bonding with gorgeous women half his age. In this case, it's Kate Hudson, a gorgeous woman who looks 15 years younger than she actually is playing a prostitute (another horrible cliche). I've never really been a fan of Hudson (as an actress), although her mother is one of my favorite actresses of all time (Goldie FOREVER), but here she is probably the least believable prostitute I've ever seen in a movie. Ever. I like Zooey Deschanel in small doses, and her role is the perfect size, but she's pretty horrible in this movie (I love her voice, though.). There are a lot of scenes that are pretty fucking serious (car bombs, etc.) that I don't think I can laugh at, at least not with our current world situation. The whole plot of the movie seems like a side-plot, which is about the discovery of this Afghan woman with an amazing voice. It's based on a true story; and it's probably fascinating, but this movie does not give it justice. And sorry, but this woman's voice isn't great.

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