Nov 21, 2012

Movie Reviews @ The Temple

Looper – Pretty good movie, but not mind blowing like I was hoping. Everyone seemed to think it was the coolest shit in town. It’s cool and I liked it, but it’s not revolutionary. I’ve heard people refer to Primer talking to this, and it’s nothing like that. Primer blew your mind, this doesn’t blow my mind. It’s a fine world that they create, but it’s nothing new, time travel and one additional “power” that I won’t mention because they chose not to in the trailers. But it’s not like it’s a new version of time travel, and it’s not like they handle it all that well. To their credit, they stick to their on rules, which is the most important thing, and those rules have a direct impact on the outcome of the movie. But the rule obviously doesn’t make any sense, and that’s bothersome. People can’t help but think of time travel so linearly, which is just silly. But it’s really hard to make a non-linear movie, which is why time travel will always be kind of dumb. If it hadn’t been built up as the jesus movie, it would be a great movie. Worthy of ignoring the lameness inherent in time travel. JGL’s 2 hour impression of bruce willis is good. Bruce willis is good. Most people are good. They kid is a little shakey, it’s not his fault, but people in the theater were laughing a bit when it wasn’t supposed to be funny. But still a good movie.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi – This was actually hard to watch, so much fish. I know I shouldn’t be surprised by that, and I’m not, but it’s still gross. Unfortunately it’s subtitled, so it’s not like I can just look away and listen. Sushi as sushi is kind of abstract and not so bad. But watching them hack up whole fish. Watching an octopus struggle against being stuffed in a plastic bag, was pretty upsetting. The story of Jiro is a good one, it’s crazy to see someone devote so much of himself, to the exclusion of himself and his family, to be the best. But the fish, man, yuck.

Men In Black 3 – Surprisingly fun. You’d be forgiven in assuming it’s a crappy rehash way past it’s time. But it’s actually pretty fun. Will Smith is charming and likeable, even though it’s the same act as always. And Josh Brolin doing a 2 hour Tommy Lee Jones impression is worth those 2 hours in and of itself.

Lockdown – Meh, kind of a letdown, no pun. It’s not bad, it’s a fine actioney movie, but there’s nothing interesting about it that I might hope for from Luc Besson. It’s barely even a scifi, if they didn’t take a space ship to get there, it’s really just a prison, rogue cop, save the pretty girl kind of movie.

Unknown – This movie actually holds together really well. Can’t talk about it much without giving things away, but there are lots of things you think are wrong with the story as it goes. Unrealistic or forced, but it really manages to clean itself up. Interesting, actioney, very well done.

Snow White and the Huntsman – Nope. I know everyone hates Kristen Stewart, so they assumed this was bad. But it looked pretty cool with the slashey slashey and the visuals. I’ve never seen Twilight, so I didn’t have proof, but yeah, Kristen Stewart is a horrible actress. The flow of the movie is kind of awkward for some reason, not sure why. Neon Flux and Thor do good enough jobs, I guess. Just didn’t come together, and there wasn’t enough action or cool visuals to justify the rest.

Battlefield – Wow. I’m trying to figure out what the most ridiculous part of this movie is. Where they reboot an 70 year old warship? The part where that warship is armed? Maybe the part where radio signals can combine at one point in space and glow like laser beams. Nevermind, it’s obviously the part where a radio signal “5 time as powerful as any before it!" somehow travels however much faster than it would need to travel to get to this other planet, and then for the aliens to get here, in all of 8 years (there’s all of 4 known stars less than 8 ly from here). All that being said, it’s kind of an awesome popcorn movie. The CG is all great, the ‘splosions are all great. I mean, I’m not exactly mr. blind patriotism, but when they reboot the battleship, it’s a pretty effective america, fuck yeah moment.

Hunger Games – I never read these books, don’t feel a burning need to now, but the movie is decent. You can tell they had to skip a lot. There’s a lot of relationships that are referred to as deep, but are given just 2 minutes of screen time. I assume there’s a lot more in the book. The set up is nice, dystopias are common enough, but combining with the gladiator/reality tv stuff is cool. Mostly it makes me want to see the next movie, where I assume they must rise up against the oppressors. Seems like that will be more fun. But this was good.

God Bless America – Wow did that suck. It’s a very puerile rebellion of what’s “acceptable” in society and filmmaking. It’s just a fantasy of: oh boy I want to kill everyone who pisses me off, wouldn’t that be awesome. But there’s no subtlety, no real meaning, no sense of self. It’s just being an asshole for a couple hours and going out in a blaze of glory, every troubled 13 year old’s fondest fantasy. Except Bobcat Goldthwait (he made the movie) is 50.

Cabin in the Woods – This movie is pretty cool. The concept is just neat. Everyone knows that it’s set up like a typical horror movie, but something else is going on. I didn’t know that they were going to be extremely upfront with what that something else is, right away. I mean, they tried to be a little vague, but it was fairly clear. The details in between the ideas are all pretty mundane, nothing special as far as effects or acting. It’s pretty damn bloody. Some of the dialogue is clever, but not the best Whedon stuff ever. Still a fun movie though.

Iron Sky – Meh. This movie sounds like a great idea: the nazis fled to the dark side of the moon after WW II, and sometime in the near future (from now), they come back to conquer. That sounds kind of awesome. But like many ideas that sound awesome when you say it on the internet, it’s not really awesome when stretched to a 2 hour movie. Acting is horrible, the set up is pretty bad. The sarah palin president is not funny, it’s just annoying. The effects are pretty good for an indie movie. But besides that, yikes. The last shot is pretty awesome though.

The Artist – So, this is best movie, huh? I don’t get it. The concept of seeing a silent movie star as the world moves past him is interesting. And a few scenes (the dream, the end) are very cool. But how can you make a movie about how silent movies are boring and not be boring? Either you are lying, or you are boring, those are the only options. It’s cool that you could pull it off, I guess. But it’s also cool when someone hacks a TI-85 to play Doom, that doesn’t make it the best video game of the year.

The Lorax – Pretty cute movie. I guess I can see why all the anti-earth people go bugs up their asses, it sure does lay it on pretty thick with the taking care of the planet. But that doesn’t bother me, so it’s just a cute movie.

Three Musketeers – Well, this movie isn’t very good. It’s trying to be very slick. It may be set hundreds of years back, but it is very much a modern movie. Change the swords for machine guns, and it’s a modern day heist/gangster movie. It’s got lots of sword fighting, that is pretty good. Lots of explosions that aren’t. Lots of CGI that’s very CGI-ey and not that good looking. But more than anything it seems to be a cynical exploitation of what someone thinks is cool. It’s just so unnecessarily slick that it has a fake sheen. Like a woman in Maxim with no knees, it feels artificial.

Ghost Rider 2 – Yikes.

The Iron Lady – This movie isn’t exactly about what I thought. Yes it’s about Margaret Thatcher, and yes it’s half about the famous part of her life. But it’s also about the last years of her life, and that’s the really good part. The stuff about her time in government is interesting, to be sure. Despite the fact that she seems like a horrible person, it’s pretty cool becoming so powerful in a society that wouldn’t give a woman such opportunity. But if it was just that, it’d be a kind of boring biopic. Instead it focuses even more on the end of her life, and Meryl Streep gets all amazing with her acting skills and such. It’s not an exciting movie, and I was kind of bored for lots of it, but as expected as it is, you can’t ignore what a good actor she is.

Safety Not Guaranteed – Meh. I thought this one sounded good. And then when the director started being floated as a potential star wars director, I jumped it up the list. It’s a quirky type movie, kind of purposefully dry and a little bland. I was enjoying it for the most part. But the primary relationship is really freaking creepy. Not in an interesting way, just in a icky way. And the ending is amazingly bad. Why the hell they’d make that choice, when there’s no reason to, completely changing the movie, is beyond me. I was still okay with the movie up until that, but now I don’t like it.