Friday, February 17, 2017

Thoughts on 5 Films

1. Sully - The Hudson River has always been a part of my life - I grew up in Upstate New York, in a town along the Hudson, and up until 2 months ago I lived a block away from the famous river (and only a few miles away from where the plane landed). It's well know for its views of the Hudson Valley (especially during the Fall season) and of course, for its view of the Manhattan skyline, but once you've been around it your whole life, the views get lost and you think of all the ugly things (DEAD BODIES). I was always scared of walking the path along the river for fear of discovering something traumatizing. Now, it's famous for one thing: Sully. I remember the crash well ( was only 8 years ago; isn't it too soon to make a movie out of already?), but I never really paid attention to the media circus that occurred afterwards. While I still feel this movie is a little unnecessary, I did enjoy it. It felt a little like they were trying to convince the audience that Sully is indeed a hero, but apparently people questioned this fact, so I guess the convincing is justified. The whole investigation seems excessive, to me, considering that no one died, but I guess they need to do these types of investigations in order to keep other people from trying such heroic acts unless absolutely necessary. Sully absolutely did the right thing - when his choices are possibly crashing into Manhattan buildings (something I don't think NYC could live through again), possibly crashing into New Jersey (a heavily populated state - especially near Teterboro), or "crashing" into the Hudson River, I think the answer is pretty clear. The film very clearly tells the story of a hero, and of many heroes who came to the aid of the passengers stranded in the river - it's amazing to learn that it only took 24 minutes to rescue everyone! Truly the best of NY/NJ was shown that day. The only thing that disturbed me was the woman holding the newborn baby....WAITING IN LINE to be rescued. Did that actually happen? Did people not let a woman with a newborn baby get rescued first?? That's disturbing (and not the best of NY/NJ!).

2. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back - The first film was decent, but hardly memorable. I actually had to refer to my post on here to see my thoughts, and boy, was that a mistake! I got stuck in a void of reading old posts, and wincing at the grammatical errors, run-on sentences, and sidetracked thoughts (much like this exact sentence! How ironic!). As you can probably tell, I don't edit. I just write. It's much more fun and cathartic that way. Anyway, this sequel isn't all that exciting. I'm sure I will forget it even quicker than the first one. However, I might remember the girl who plays Reacher's "maybe" daughter because she is a terrible young actress. I'm talking really, really awful. She's young, and it could easily be blamed on the cheesy dialogue, but I think a stronger actress would have had more fun with the dialogue instead of stiff and awkward. It did seem like this film was *trying* to do something empowering for women by having Colbie Smolders as the female lead - and maintaining her character strong-willed, smart, and not traditionally "feminine", even having her as a possible romantic interest for Reacher is refreshing. I'm not really a fan of Smolders (I know, I know, Marvel fans seem to love her but she's bland to me), but she played the role well. The story was pretty predictable, and there are no memorable action scenes, which is pretty disappointing because that's all I really look forward to with movies like this.

3. Finding Dory - Again, I have no recollection of the first one. It's one of those animated movies that I just don't understand why it's so praised (others I don't understand - the Toy Story trilogy, Frozen, Ratatouille). Unfortunately, it came out before I started this blog so I can't even read my thoughts to remind myself. However, as soon as I started watching Finding Dory, I started to put the pieces together - first, I remember liking Dory, but I realized that a story that revolved around her would probably be super repetitive (and I was right). Second,....wait...I have nothing else to say. I would love to say that I enjoyed this, at the very least, for what it was - an entertaining kids movie, but when something as wonderful as Zootopia is released in the same year, I just couldn't help but be disappointed. It's just not very fun, special, or memorable at all.

4. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi - I'll be honest, I don't know much about the history of Benghazi. It was turned into an online meme, and an excuse for people to not vote for Hillary Clinton. The only thing I really knew was that it was a raid (battle? attack? not really sure of the proper term) that put our troops into unexpected danger, and there were a lot of questionable calls from our government. It's all pretty vague. The film does a little bit to clear up the story behind Benghazi, and also, obviously, humanizing it, but I still don't really understand why it happened. Or how it could have been avoided. Or how it was Hillary Clinton's fault (ahem). I was looking forward to this movie because I love Michael Bay (always and forever), and I love John Krasinski even more. I'm waiting for him to get an A-list role, and I was hoping this was it (it's not). Bay is often accused of "ruining" blockbusters but, I think he's a great director. He takes a more serious, and restrained tone for this film that feels appropriate, but also keeps the intensity at just he right level. I thought Krasinski would be more charismatic, but he's kind of dull - as are the rest of the actors, which consisted of a ton of familiar faces (James Badge Dale, the guy from my cat's favorite show Grimm, Edie Falco's husband from Nurse Jackie, David Costabile, and "Pornstache"), all of whom are interchangeable.

5. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot - The trailer for this was really painfully awkward, and unfunny, so my expectations were leveled, but I still thought it would be funny. It's Tina Fey! And produced by Lorne Michaels! While it had some funny moments, overall it's not very good and waaaaaaaay too long. There are so many little side-plots that seem really unnecessary to the point where I stopped paying attention (only to realize that it does all come together in a cohesive way - so I suggest you pay attention if you can bare it). I think the part that I'm most disappointed by is *spoilers ahead* that Margot Robbie's character falls into the bitchy backstabbing friend cliche. I actually really liked her character - and the friendly competitive relationship between her and Fey's character. It's rare to see female friendship among professional women so I was excited (and not surprised because Tina Fey is always very supportive of other women) but then they went and ruined it all. Such a shame because it was totally unnecessary. I actually did like the main plot, too - with her shaking up her life by taking a job in Afghanistan. Talk about getting out your comfort zone! It could be inspiring and motivating if it wasn't so Goddamn boring! Maybe I will read the book?

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