evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Raven is shocked)
Watchmen is sometimes great*, sometimes good**, sometimes meh***, and sometimes pretty awful****.

But they left out my favorite scene, and for that I may never forgive them )

*The opening credits sequence
**Jackie Earle Haley
***Any scene between Dan and Laurie where Malin Akerman and Patrick Wilson refuse to act
****Ozymandias, and I really have no idea where to place the blame for this
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Odyssey BBE icon by makani)
I was having a tough time writing the review I wanted for this movie, so I decided to cut out the long blocks of text that just weren’t working and went with what I know.



That pretty much sums up my feelings, perhaps a little more negatively than I’d like, so I’d just like to add a few more points.

1. If you haven’t seen Casino Royale since it came out, you might want to watch it again, since Quantum of Solace follows immediately after.

2. The opera scene is a great set-piece, and I’m not just saying that because Daniel Craig is in a tuxedo.

3. The action is amazing, even if it is of the bone crushing, wince-in-your-seat kind. It is, however, cut so each shot is about two seconds long, so if you’re prone to vertigo, you might not want to watch this on a big screen.
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Mucha Icon)
So, if you are looking for this movie to tie up loose ends from the series, explore the ramifications of the last season, or even deal with them in some sort of coherent way, you’re probably going to want to skip this movie. If you’re still a big fan of The X-Files, I would recommend waiting for this to come out on DVD, renting it, and pretending that it’s just a really long episode of the television show. Because that’s pretty much what it is.

Cut for spoilers, and I’m not even joking here )
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Random pirates by songstressicons)
I really liked the first half of this movie, so let’s talk about that first (that’s right; you have to read the boring nice stuff before getting to the funny mean stuff).

Will Smith plays his standard 4th-of-July-Character (named Hancock this year), with the added bonus traits of superpowers and a drinking problem. Will Smith has trouble dealing with the fact that he is the only superpowered being on the planet, and tries to assuage his existential angst with vast amounts of liquor and massive property damage. Perhaps not the best way to deal with it, but at least it’s not crappy poetry, right?

Into his life comes Jason Bateman, playing Michael Bluth if the rest of the Bluth family were occasionally altruistic drunks with the ability to fly, who believes strongly in Will Smith’s ability to put aside the alcohol and angst, and become a true force for good in the world. He uses his PR training to improve Will Smith’s public image and his boundless optimism to convince Will Smith that world wants to love him.

I just want to point out for a second that, though I was being mocking, I don’t really mind that both Will Smith and Jason Bateman are playing the same characters they always do. They’re both good at their type, and I would be honestly disappointed if I went to see a Will Smith movie in July, and he was playing a soft-spoken accountant who loves puppies and thinks that wise-cracks are a conversational refuge for those with nothing substantial to add. Jason Bateman is the quintessential nice guy on-screen, and I like that. If Smith and Bateman are disappointed with typecasting, it’s their problem, not mine.

Charlize Theron plays Jason Bateman’s wife, the last important character in the movie, though, unfortunately, in the good half of the movie she exists only to cast foreshadowy aspersions on Will Smith and tote around the “Hi! I’m so adorable!” child. This is a pity, because what goes wrong with her character in the second half isn’t her fault; it’s the screenwriters. But I’m skipping ahead.

So, to wrap up the nice half of this review, Hancock starts out with a really good premise and a pretty good execution. After all the comic book movies we’ve be getting recently, and will be getting in the future, it’s a good anti-superhero (not anti-hero, mind you) antidote. Will Smith and Jason Bateman are funny and engaging, and you can really see Will Smith’s character dealing with his bitterness and antipathy. Of course you know that Will Smith is eventually going to improve as a superhero and, um, human being, but his first attempts are hilariously stilted. He’s uncomfortable in his new role as a “real” hero, but not so much that it becomes an embarrassment squick (and I have a really refined squickometer). It’s a good progression, and I only wish it could have continued, because it’s right at this point that movie starts to go downhill.

Cut for spoilers )
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Mucha Icon)
Okay, this movie has been called “Disney making fun of Disney,” but I want to dispel that notion right off the bat. It’s not really “Disney making fun of Disney,” unless “Disney making fun of Disney” has been redefined to mean “Disney being exactly like Disney always is.” Which I’m pretty sure it hasn’t. And if I say “Disney” one more time in this paragraph (starting now), I will summon the unholy specter of the cryogenically frozen head of The Great Mouse Maker Himself (I know, I know; please don’t link me to Snopes in the comments).

This not necessarily a criticism, however. The movie’s cute, funny and I loved it a lot. It’s just not a parody, exactly. I mean, it gives it the old college try, but falls a little short in the execution. Allow me to explain:

Cut for length and my excessive use of parentheses )
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Malfoyowski BBE icon by poetrusic)
I think this may be my favorite of the movies because Order of the Phoenix is my least favorite book, and the movie does a good job minimizing some of the problems I had with it.

Cut for length )
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (PotC2 BBE icon by lm_jillybean)
Yeah, there’s no way I can talk about this movie without spoilers. This entire review is going to be cut. And just so you know, you’re probably going to see some of these jokes again. So, if you only want to do this once, you might want to wait.

Read more... )
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Fortinbras by songstressicons)
Note: This is less of a review, and more of a Public Service Announcement. There are spoilers below, but I really feel that you need to know in order to understand.

Friends, I think it is clear that Sam Raimi does not want to make Spider-Man movies anymore. I think we should respect his wishes and not fork over any more money to see this in the theater.

How do I know this? Because Spider-Man 3 is not a Spider-Man movie, but a parody of a Spider-Man movie. Because nothing else but a parody would have not only two musical numbers BUT ALSO a dance number. Only a parody would have dialogue like that which spewed from the mouth of Bernard “I Wish I Was Alfred Pennyworth, But I’m Composed Entirely of Plywood” the Butler. Only a parody would have a transformation to The Dark Side accompanied by emo-hair, eyeliner and enough sashaying down the street to make John Travolta green with envy. Only a parody would let Stan Lee talk on screen for as long as Spider-Man 3 did.

Now there is nothing inherently wrong with a parody. Sam Raimi makes damn good parodies, and I fully admit that I will probably buy Spider-Man 3 to watch while knocking back a number of hard ciders and laughing myself sick. However, it is a question of tone. One does not usually start one’s series with something as meant, if a bit saccharine as Spider-Man, continue it with the cheesier, but still as serious, Spider-Man 2, and then end it with a guy made of sand shedding a single tear (despite the fact that he is MADE OF SAND and would probably lack tear ducts) before melting away into the sunrise.

So, I am asking you, no, pleading with you, to help Sam Raimi. Because if this movie continues to make money hand over fist, he will be forced to make Spider-Man 4. Who knows how far he will go if he is forced to make a movie about someone like Electro, the guy with the starfish-shaped, neon-yellow mask, or Mysterio, who’s wearing a fishbowl on his head for God’s sake. There is only so much he (and I) can take.
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (John Singer Sargent)
I’m really behind in my reviews, my writing and my life in general, but I did finally get it together enough to do a write-up about the movie I saw last weekend. Hollywoodland, to me, was good, but not necessarily as great as some people have been proclaiming. Though, I still think it should have been the #1 movie last weekend, ahead of The Covenant, of all things.

Hollywoodland is based on the real-life death/suicide/possible murder of George Reeves (Ben Affleck), who played Superman on the television show your parents probably watched (…guessing at the average age of my readership). Louis Simo (Adrien Brody) is hired by Reeves’s mother to investigate the death, and Louis finds out about Reeves’s affair with Toni Mannix (Diane Lane), wife of MGM general manager Eddie Mannix (Bob Hoskins). Now he has to determine if Reeves’s relationship to Toni might have been cause for murder, and hope that MGM execs trying to prevent bad press won’t kill him in the process.

So, first up: way to go Ben Affleck. You have finally proven that you can do some quality acting outside of your roles as AFFLON (AFFLON: When danger strikes, when the people are calling for a hero, when a director needs a solid dramatic or comedic team, mild-mannered actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon come together to form the Mighty AFFLON! With their combined talents, they can prop up Kevin Smith movies, make Robin Williams a serious actor, and exponentially increase their singular acting potentials. AFFLON: Kills off smarm and wooden acting! Fly for freedom, Mighty AFFLON!). According to [livejournal.com profile] priscillapuck, who is the expert in these things, Affleck did a wonderful George Reeves impression, and, while I can’t back that up with personal experience, I did find much of his performance to be a thoughtful look at someone driven to do more, even if his career as Superman would have been enough for others. He recently won the Award for Best Actor at Venice for this movie, and I do believe that he deserved it. Now, this doesn’t automatically mean I believe he is experiencing a renaissance of talent, but he deserves due for what he has done.

I like Adrien Brody; I really do. He’s a great actor, even when he’s in not-so-great films. I even think he’s attractive. But I also think he got a little too much screen time in this movie. As the private detective investigating George Reeves’s death, I know he should be an important character; I’m certainly not going to begrudge him a subplot or two. But when one of his subplots is nothing more than unnecessary padding with nothing to do with Reeves’s suicide, I’m going to feel that maybe there should have been some editing going on.

Diane Lane and Bob Hoskins are strong actors. With each other, with Affleck, with Brody. They both did an excellent job fleshing out their characters, and giving them purpose beyond their actions. Especially Hoskins, as his character could so easily have become the villain of the piece.

The mood of the movie was much lighter than I thought it would be, at certain times. Ben Affleck’s pathetic charm brought levity to some scenes, even when things should have been depressing. There were also quite a few obvious jokes, and lots of sarcasm. Of course, my opinion on this matter may have also been heavily influenced by the nearly continuous commentary between [livejournal.com profile] priscillapuck and myself. (STDs.)

My main problem with the movie is, as it always seems to be, a spoiler. Therefore it is under this cut. )

I have been wavering between a vague dislike and warm generosity toward this movie since I saw it, but I’m going to have to go for the warm generosity in the end. Mostly because of Ben Affleck, who does deserve to be lauded for his portrayal of George Reeves. Maybe he’s pulling himself out of a slump. Maybe he just got luck because Reeves wasn’t that great an actor to begin with. Doesn’t matter. He gave the movie its life, which made up for some of the excess material that was onscreen later.
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Jules Cheret)
This is the best movie I’ve seen this year.

Frank (Steve Carell), the number one Proust scholar in America, has come to live with his sister’s family following a failed suicide attempt. He will be convalescing with his sister (who chain-smokes to keep herself together), his sister’s husband (a failing motivational speaker), her husband’s father (a heroin user and swearword abuser), his nephew (who doesn’t speak by choice) and his niece (who is probably the only close to normal person in the family). When the niece, Olive, gets a chance to participate in the Little Miss Sunshine beauty pageant, everyone piles into an aged VW bus and goes to California. Various trials and tribulations come their way, and of course they learn to love each other as a family.

All the characters should feel forced and fake, but that’s what I think the brilliance of this movie is. None of these people are exactly true-to-life, but they’re close enough. They and the situations they’re put in probably couldn’t happen to you, but they might. Everyone has his or her eccentricities, if you know him or her long enough, but in a movie you don’t have that kind of time. Exaggerations are made so personality traits are clearer. It’s reality taken just one step closer to the absurd. Not so far that everything feels ludicrous to the audience, but just enough to make every pitfall the family runs into humorous. And it’s not painful humor either, like Meet the Parents, where Ben Stiller’s pain is the audience’s source of laughter.

Steve Carell is excellent, playing his character alternately subdued and then veering off into something resembling mania. He’s recovering from what seems like an endless string of failures: professionally, of the heart, of even killing himself. Every time he turns around, something is there to remind him. He mostly withdraws, but comes back to the family in insane bursts when in a fight with Richard, or when the family has to work together to get the car going.

Greg Kinear (Richard, the husband), my favorite thing ever to come out of the E! Network, does a fantastic job with the tightly wound motivational speaker who will do anything to avoid being a loser. I think he might have done the best job, if just because he had the most obvious character arc. At the start, he’s an asshole, and you want to smack him. But his insecurities come out and he, well, grows up a bit.

Toni Collette (Sheryl, the sister) is great too, as is Alan Arkin as the grandfather. Everyone does an excellent job, not only with dialogue, but with body acting and facial expressions as well. Everyone is giving his or her entire package in the film.

I want to recognize the child actors especially. Paul Dano, who played Dwayne (the son), did an amazing job, considering he did have a single line of dialogue until the movie was 3/4th over. He reacted to everything hilariously, and had the perfect facial expression for whatever he wrote on the notebook he used to communicate. Abigail Breslin, whom I loved in Signs, was also excellent. She was excellent at being more than a wound up little girl competing in a pageant she was clearly outmatched in. She was very sensitive, and really made you feel for Olive and her dreams.

In conclusion, what really made this movie for me was that it was ostensibly about a dysfunctional family, but ended up being about a family, that despite all the quirks and arguments, really did function. It wasn’t about the individual weirdness each character displayed, but about the way they all came together and loved each other. It’s also absolutely hilarious. The audience I was with laughed almost continually, and clapped at the end.
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Bizenghast by M. Alice Legrow)
“A Scanner Darkly” is dark, much darker than the last Philip K. Dick movie, “Minority Report.” The world presented is very pessimistic, with 20% of the population addicted to drugs, especially a life-destroying drug called “Substance Death,” sales of which benefit The Terrorists (Communists, in the book). An undercover agent, Fred (Keanu Reeves), is living his life as Bob Arctor, rooming with two other druggies, and trying to find the source of SD through his sort-of girlfriend Donna (Winona Ryder). All of this is complicated by his abuse of SD, which has caused the two hemispheres of his brain to politely decline to communicate further and go off their separate ways. Bob is unaware most of the time that he is Fred, and vice versa. He goes to work to watch himself take drugs, and has no idea that he is watching himself.

There is a lot to appreciate in the movie. I thought the rotoscoped animation was appropriate for a movie about drug abuse, and very cool looking as well. Colors shift as the character moves around, backgrounds slide about; it is appropriately trippy and unusual. It is especially useful for things like the shifting suit Fred wears to work. Various features and clothing slide across the full-body suit, completely hiding the identity of the person beneath. When we get a look at Fred/Bob inside the suit, he appears as if in a void. Fred is more disguised than Bob in that suit, calling into question in which life is he really pretending?

I think Keanu Reeves has found his acting niche. He just needs to play characters that require no expression of emotion. He’s at his best playing superhumans alienated from mankind (“The Matrix”), or addicts so addled there is no Self left in the character to convey (this movie). Good job, Reeves. Exploit the hell out of your inability to use your facial features, body language or vocal tones to convey emotions.

Winona Ryder shows up on the big screen after years of absence, though I really have nothing to report on her performance. It certainly looks good next to Reeves, and she does personal space paranoia very well.

Robert Downey, Jr. turns in the best performance as James Barris. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Robert Downey, Jr. plays a good drug addict? GO ON!” However, I think he did a good job playing not just an addict, but an addict with a personality. Barris is scum, and Downey does an excellent job playing up his wild conspiracy theories and apparent disregard for other living things. He also looks good without the Fluffy Hair of Doom.

Woody Harrelson is funny as another drug addict (surprise!), but he’s mostly there for laughs and as another character for Barris to manipulate. He’s got some good lines though, and is amusingly shaggy and wild. Rory Cochrane is also amusing as another of the addicted crew, but in a darker way. His character, Charles Freck, has progressed far more into addiction than the other characters, and his scenes tend to be creepy even while they make you laugh. Cochrane is twitchy and wild-eyed, and the rotoscope animation makes his expressions larger than they would be in live-action.

Despite the depressing revelation of what’s been going on at the end of the movie, there is also the barest glimmer of hope. The end dedication to all of Philip K. Dick’s friends who suffered from drug abuse is very moving, especially against the backdrop of the score. Over all, it was a fascinating looking movie, darkly funny and somewhat well acted.
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Ep III BBE icon by maealoeki)
Despite being disappointed in “The Village,” I really wanted to see “Lady in the Water.” The only reason I didn’t like “The Village” was the forced twist I’d figured out 10 minutes into the movie, so I figured that if “Lady” had all its cards on the table from the start I would like it much more. And, for the most part, I did, except for when I thought my eyes were going to roll straight out of my head.

Cut for SPOILERS, but most of them are public already )
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Odyssey BBE icon by makani)
I was concerned that I wouldn’t like this movie, as I either received reviews of immense squeeage or extreme disappointment. Since I am not given to the former, I was afraid I was going to experience the later. But as always, I seem to fall somewhere in the middle. I definitely enjoyed the second offering from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series, but I still prefer the first one. I am going to see the second one again, though, but probably not five or six times (only movies I have ever actually done that for is the LotR ones anyway, so this not actually a marker).

Of course, the first thing to talk about would be Johnny Depp. Though, despite being necessarily the first thing, I actually have very little to say. Captain Jack Sparrow is awesome, Johnny Depp does a brilliant job playing him, and I can’t think of anyone who would disagree. The role was either built for Johnny or owned entirely by him, so there’s really no point in going on about it.

Orlando Bloom is a bouquet of fake flowers. Kinda pretty, but you’re not quite sure why it’s there. Will Turner is not even as interesting as he was in the first movie; he’s even more two-dimensional, dumbly noble, and if he doesn’t get some fire or passion in him in the final movie, I swear, boy-o will deserve a good smack. Part of me thinks this downplay is intentional, given some plot points, but part of me also thinks I’m giving Orlando waaaay too much credit.

Keira Knightley, on the other hand, has gotten far more interesting as Elizabeth Swann. Most my discussion of this is below the cut, but, suffice to say, I was far more impressed with her than in the previous movie. In fact, of the three main characters, I’d have to say that she has the most well formed motivations, and the most driving force. Huh. I think she’s the protagonist now.

“Pirates” always seems to have the best villains, too. Geoffrey Rush was endlessly amusing in the first movie, and Bill Nighy steps up admirably (and even more sympathetically) in the second. Even if he is covered in CGI tentacles.

Sadly, all my interesting thoughts are SPOILERS, and thus under this cut )

Plot-wise, I wasn’t blown away, but this movie seemed to be all about the action-comedy sequences anyway. I was a bit disoriented by how much was going on, and the scriptwriter seemed to expect that, as there was a lot of repetition and explanation. Though, I have to say, if Idiot Pirate #2 has to run up and re-explain the situation moments after the characters involved just explained it, you might want to look at your set-up again. Another thing I can’t figure out is why Evil East India Trading Company Guy wants the chest. I know that he who has the chest controls the seas, but why? I couldn’t figure out what one had to do with the other. When I see the movie again, that’s the main point I’ll be watching for.

The action in this one was less explody than the last movie, but a lot funnier. Admittedly, this removed a lot of tension from some scenes, but director Gore Verbinski seemed to know when something could be funny and when it shouldn’t be. I’m a large fan of action-comedy anyway, so this didn’t really bother me, though straight-action lovers may dislike it.

Overall, I enjoyed the movie, but its real purpose seemed to be getting people excited for the third movie. It was more of an arc into the final chapter than a solid movie in itself. This is a frequent second movie problem, and it did accomplish its goal very well. I am way more interested in a third movie than I was in a second movie. So, job well done, “Pirates.”
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Ep III BBE icon by maealoeki)
First the Spidey trailer: OMGYAY! Black costume! Venom! Crazy Harry! Gwen Stacey! I have to wait a year? NOOOO!

Okay, now for the movie I actually saw.

I read somewhere that this movie is supposed to take place after Superman II, meaning we are supposed to pretend Superman III and IV never happened, which is what all sensible people were doing anyway. Superman has just come back from a five-year search for his dead planet after astronomers told them they found it, but neglected to mention how long it takes light from other solar systems to reach Earth. (I know, I know; no real science in superhero movies.) The world appears to have moved on, much like Lois Lane who now has a kid and a long-term boyfriend. Poor Superman, it seems he is no longer necessary to his favorite plucky reporter or on his adopted home world. Yeah, right.

Lex Luthor, meanwhile, is out of jail because Superman didn’t show up to testify against him. He’s been keeping busy seducing old ladies and planning to take over the world. With one of those “laser beam on the moon” type plans, no less (note: not actual movie plan). It’s an old fashioned Superman story, with a clear-cut villain, standard world saving and none-too-subtle Christ imagery (which, come to think of it, is kinda weird for a character created by two Jewish guys).

Brandon Routh, I think, got the role of Superman/Clark Kent because he is easy on the eyes and bears a passing resemblance to Christopher Reeve. This isn’t to say he didn’t do a fine job as Superman. His performance didn’t catch my eye, and didn’t leave the biggest impression on me, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t very Truth, Justice and the American Way. Indeed, I think he blended enough humor into the role to keep Superman from being less bland than I usually find him. And I certainly don’t think Tom Welling would have done a better job. I’m rather glad they didn’t cast the Smallville star, as that would have caused all sorts of continuity weirdness. I really like that the Superman movies have their own canon, separate from Smallville and the comics.

Movie!Lex Luthor is one of the differences I really like. Sure he’s erudite, but he’s also funny, has weird plans I don’t think he quite thinks through, and is batshit insane. And, he’s played by Kevin Spacey, which is truly the best casting ever. Gene Hackman must be so proud, because it’s a great continuation of Movie I and II Lex. The Lex scenes were my favorite because Spacey is a great actor, and he and Parker Posey (as his floozy follower with great hats and occasionally horrible hair) played off each other so well.

I would like to introduce Kate Bosworth to Katie Holmes and have the former educate the later on being the female in a superhero movie. Admittedly, Lois Lane has a lot more history and pizzazz than Ms. Pulled-Out-of-a-Screenwriter’s-Ass-Rachel, but I think it still applies. I found Bosworth’s Lois to be the best of the female-love-interests-in-the-superhero-genre so far. Though considering her competition has been Katie Holmes, Jessica Alba and Kirsten Dunst (I don’t think anyone in X-Men counts, and Jennifer Connelly is disqualified on account of the sheer badness of The Hulk in general), that’s probably not too high praise. Still, she was plucky when she needed to be, had some good scenes involving her son, and was generally palatable.

Oh, James Marsden, I take back every bad thing I’ve ever said about your acting. You’re not a plank of wood. It is totally the fault of the visor that you come off empty and vaguely embarrassing in the X-Men movies. You were so cool; I almost wished your character could stay with Lois. I think you also had more screen time in Superman than you did in all three X-Movies combined. So, good on you, man.

Okay, nitpick time. Cut for spoilers )

What I really liked about the movie was that it was genuinely funny. There were some really good humorous dialogue and visual jokes. There’s a levity you can add to Superman that you just can’t get in Batman. The humor is subtler than in, say, Fantastic Four. X-Men was genuinely funny too (Bryan Singer did both, of course), but I think it was of a slightly darker cast than Superman. There’s really only one dark joke in Superman, and it didn’t go over very well with the audience I was with. In a way, it didn’t seem to belong.

The special effects were very good, but nothing I would call awesome. It was what the original movies wanted to accomplish, but didn’t have the technology to do. There was some CGI facial weirdness, but that’s forgivable when everything is moving to fast to really tell (I barely noticed, but I have a friend who looks for it purposely; I don’t know why). I can’t really say there’s anything that stick out in my mind, but there’s a bit with an airplane that really cool. It would probably be better remember by me if it wasn’t such a standard Superman rescue I’ve seen in comics and the cartoons. Though, it really is one of the best illustrations of Superman’s power.

So, yeah. Superman Returns. Really good; maybe not my favorite comic book movie, but definitely worth seeing. Good cast; appropriate, though maybe not scintillating, plot; actually funny. Makes me wish they’d do that Batman vs. Superman movie because [shallow girl] that’d be a whole lot of hot on one screen [/shallow girl].
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Ep III BBE icon by maealoeki)
I did see X3 on Friday (and on Saturday), but since everything I could say about it is already on your friends list or in professional reviews, I decided to do something different.

On our way to see the movie, [livejournal.com profile] sadalice and I saw people protesting The Da Vinci Code. We wondered if it would help if we told them we were seeing the X-Men movie, but decided not, as Mutants were probably also an abomination unto the Lord.

And then we started discussing, what if Mutants were in the Bible:

Do not enter if thou art easily offended (and I do mean easily). Also, contains movie and comic spoilers, and bad Renaissance English. )
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Ep III BBE icon by maealoeki)
On the whole, I enjoyed this movie. I didn’t find it to be an exceptional movie, or a life changing experience, but it was enjoyable. It doesn’t deserve the hype it’s getting, but the book didn’t either, and, in general, people need to sit down, have a Long Island Iced Tea or ten, and look up the word “fiction” in the dictionary. Though probably not after all those Long Island Iced Teas, as they will probably end up with the definition of “friction.”

And that’s all I’m going to say about anything external to what was on the screen. )
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Jules Cheret)
You know, sometimes it’s okay to be emotionally manipulated by a movie.

Cut for spoilers, though you probably already guessed them )


May. 3rd, 2006 12:23 pm
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (StGH icon by alory_shannon)
It's been a long time since I've done one of these, mostly because a) I haven't had time to see movies, and b) movies have been mostly made of suck recently. If there are any movies not here that you think are going to be good, let me know. If you think any are goint to be real stinkers, seriously, let me know. I don't want to see bad movies.

Summer Movies! )

evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Jules Cheret)
Several of my friends and I tried to go see Brokeback Mountain last night, but, perhaps due to the recent Golden Globe, it was completely sold out. Since the other movie we were interested in seeing (Capote, for future reference) was about two hours away, and we had just eaten dinner, we opted for this movie instead. And I am quite glad we did. I wanted to see this movie simply based on the fact that it starred Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins. And it turns out my instincts were quite profitable.

The basic plot of this movie is that, following her husband's death, Mrs. Henderson (Judi Dench) buys a theater and hires Vivian Van Damm (Bob Hoskins) to run it and bicker amusingly with her. Its business faulters, Dench and Hoskins trade more witty repartee, they introduce naked women to the stage, some minor characters get mostly ignored, the theater stays open during World War II despite attempts to close it.

Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins carried this movie. Their exchanges were the best parts because they were always trying to assert control over the theater, and played all sorts of little games to one-up each other (one involving a polar bear costume, that is definately worth seeing). Christopher Guest also appears in this movie to lend a comedic hand as Lord Cromer, who wants the theater closed down for the crowd it attracts, and is very nervous about discussing female anatomy. The bits between him and Judi Dench are also quite hilarious. The dialogue in general is fast paced and clever, and very well handed by all the actors, not just our stars.

The movie is also unintentionally funny as it is rated "R" for nudity (in the US). Not even sexuality, because no one has sex on screen in this movie. Given that we are laughing at the 1930s-40s British reaction to nudity, the 21st century American reaction to the presence of a penis on screen is weirdly ironic.

One problem with this movie is that there are a lot of unexplored subplots cluttering the main action of Dench and Hoskins being scathing. Now, I like minor characters, but really only when they get some depth and development. But all the minor characters get ignored. There's a pretty blonde who is discovered when Bob Hoskins nearly runs her over. You see her naked the next scene she's in. Well, that wasted no time. Later, she gets something of a personality because she's afraid of falling in love. Cut for some spoilers ) There's also a cute lead singer who can't serve his country because of medical problems and hangs around the main characters a lot, but other than his use during the shows, there's no real reason for him. Throw in some interchangeable naked chicks (don't worry, ladies, there's male full frontal nudity in this too, including cute lead singer [but also including Bob Hoskins, which I needed to see NEVER]), and you have a supporting cast.

The ending is also a little flat. Whenever Bob Hoskins starts on a big morale raising speech to the actors, the cast makes fun of him for thinking he's Churchill. But the movie needs to justify its existence, so at the end of the movie, Judi Dench gives the big, patriotic, "support your troops through naked ladies", morale boosting speech. And it sounds pretty much the same as the speeches they were making fun of earlier.

But for the most part, the movie is thoroughly entertaining. I have a weakness for comedic banter, and this movie has that in abundance. The song and dance numbers that pepper the show are also quite good. It's filled with catchy, repetitive little tunes. I was humming and bopping all the way home on the Metro, along with one the people with whom I saw the film. The scenery (on the stage) was utterly beautiful and eye catching. It was definately a throwback to the vaudeville musicals of the time, only with nude women in the background. And Judi Dench snarking away at everyone makes any movie better.
evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Jules Cheret)
I saw this movie about three weeks ago, but I’d like to hear what everyone else thought of it. Personally, I liked it a great deal; my mother called it “LotR-Lite” (literally called it that, with abbreviations and implied misspellings included) and I’m still not sure if this is a good or bad thing; my friend Marty raged at White Witch’s costumes; and my dad was all, “I really need to read these books. Can I borrow yours?” which is what he says every time we see a movie based a book.

Cut for length and probably SPOILERS )


evadne_noel: A man and the cresent moon in a rowboat (Default)

March 2009

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