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This Means War (2012)
Escapist wish fullfilment - just what I wanted!
From reviews here I see that the humor in this movie might be a hit and miss, but I enjoyed the movie very much. It's quick paced, filled with gorgeous people, has nice flavourful background moments and is, first and foremost designed to give you a happy ending.
Suspend logic for a moment, it's very much a wish fullfillment rom-com and a spy-themed buddy comedy. An interesting combination, and pretty much what you need sometimes.
Of course it's superficial, of course it's silly, of course the humor sometimes falls flat, but there are good moments in it too and if you do watch it for the escapist fluff factor, you're well served.
Anna Karenina (2012)
Style over substance, superficial melodrama
Finally the 2 hours were over and I could leave! This is one of the worst movies of the year - save yourself the money and buy the book, if you insist.
What a pretentious, over-the-top melodrama... I felt seriously embarrassed to sit through it. Overall bad performances, possibly created by the director's insistence to try some new style.
Newsflash: It didn't work.
The theater-style setup, constant moving of set pieces, semi-choreography of background characters, constant musical accompaniment and mixing it all with some realistic sets does all but incapacitate whatever seriousness was left in the source material.
If feels like a puppet theater with airs. Razzie please.
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
Kristen doesn't ruin this
the director's assumption that she can pull off the characters premise, does!
Snow White and the Huntsman is NOTHING more than a bad action flick, which toys with being something more on the edges. There were potentially interesting questions to be explored:
- What "curse"/"spell" parents inflict on their children and how the children can overcome this and become their own person. - The typical Snow White conflict between the ages and beauty - Using beauty as a weapon in a misogynistic world
But then the flick decided to go "nah, lets have LOTR style battles and have Kristen look constipated all the time" and did none of the exploring.
The atmosphere shifts mid-movie from fairytale-creepy to cheesy-trite adventure and the writers couldn't decide if Snow White was a pure innocent girl, a plank or some kind of empowered Jeanne D'Arc. I'm not sure there was supposed to be any character development, as it feels like Snow White's character jumps between supposed personalities (not that Kristen pulls it off). Feels almost like they had a different writer for every 10 minutes.
Consequently, the characters are flat as a board, the plot is criminally unsurprising, putting Kristen vs Theron is laughable!, the death of a dwarf (yeah, spoiler), leaves you cold, your hopes are being raised by some interesting points only to smack you in the face and the action is ... not even thrilling, just choreography.
The good? Theron is amazing, the scenery is beautiful. But you know that from the trailer.
The Secret Circle (2011)
Minor entertainment value
I haven't read the books and was searching deliberately for some light teenie supernatural series.
Even with my low expectations, this series falls short. It's boring and clichéd. Cliché can be done well, but this isn't it.
Rarely do the cookie cutter Hollywood-pretty characters stand out or feel real.
The plot is your standard "orphaned teenie moves into town, discovers superpowers, needs to unravel mysteries with a group of other supernatural teenies" variety. The group is flavourless (except for Faye, the only one with a more 3D personality), the love triangle makes me yawn and the mysteries deliver only half of the time.
The adults are more interesting than the kids.
Well... stick to Gossip Girl or Vampire Diaries if you really need some teenie fluff series, or look up some lists on IMDb if you want something better fleshed out.
Game of Thrones (2011)
Ideal show vs can-improve-show
The show is good, so much better than many shows on TV, but there's room for improvement.
What this show was meant to be, is
---> 1. a Sopranos type drama
---> 2. with many great characters,
---> 3. plenty of amazing twists, evil and tragedy
---> 4. and many Lord-of-the-Rings-mixed-with-Horror type battles.
The books set up nice and then deliver. A TV show unfortunately can't deliver all. Some things are cut due to budget. Some things are added for titillation (although there's plenty of sex in the original story already).
So what you get is
---> 1. a Sopranos type drama
---> 2. with many good characters (whose introduction can become a drag, because this is not a book)
---> 3. plenty of amazing twists (latter half of the series), evil and tragedy
---> 4. and BOOBIES
---> 5. And some fight scenes and implied battles.
Still good, stick with it.
The story is great and makes up for the lacking Lord-of-the-Rings type battles.
My biggest pet peeve? Pacing.
The acting is really good (Sean Bean! The kids! Awesome!), but the pacing sometimes feels unbalanced.
And I don't mean the snail's pace of the first episodes. That is needed, unfortunately.
I mean there's an awkward pacing between the scenes. This series has yet to grow comfortable with itself, find a balance between it's ideal version and the TV/constrained version.
I'm rooting for season two anyway.