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I'm sorry Jack, but I just didn't cared for you this time. Savvy?
The main story strangely revolves around the duel between Captain Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush) and Blackbeard (Ian McShane) building anticipation for the final stage of their on-going battle. Captain Barbossa, now a one legged man, is sent in the name of King George of England to find the two silver cups which are to be found on Ponce De Leon's ship. On the other hand, Blackbeard wants to reach the Fountain of Youth where he dreams to gain the years of another person or simply put: more life. Surprise or not, there is a ritual and for that ritual he needs the two silver cups and a tear from a mermaid. Yes, there are mermaids in the movie. They also deadly and frustrated I guess. However, Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) gets thrown in this by meeting the one who impersonated him and told the people that he was the real Jack Sparrow, a tricky double. That double is a "she" played by the wonderful and gracious Penelope Cruz. Let's not go that far though. She plays Angelica, daughter of Blackbeard. We all get the point after this reveal. Jack Sparrow is condemned to help Blackbeard reach his destination. We also find that Blackbeard's main reason to gain more life is an actual prophecy that fortells his death brought in two weeks by the "one legged man". The "one legged man" is actually the man he cut his legs off few months before and stole his ship. From this point over the story runs not only predictable (not that it didn't ran before) but also monotone. Along their journey to the Fountain of Youth we get a glimpse of Jack's old friend Gibbs (Kevin McNally), Phillip (Sam Claflin) a young Christian believer, Syrena (Astrid Berges-Frisbey) which is a lovely mermaid and Scrum (Stephen Graham), one of Blackbeard's "servants". We get through many fuzzy moments and pretty much boring. There is a big loss of excitement since there's nothing really new that can be said or shown in this franchise and definitely we really lost interest in the story since it's the beginning of a new one and it isn't even half the level of "The Curse of the Black Pearl's". We get an washed-up piece of entertainment filled with religious tomato-sauce and atheist pastry. You get the point of that. We get a couple of angry mermaids, we get a love story, we get few clicheic moments and more than anything we get a "shocking" ending to this new beginning. Nothing impressive, just the expected. The final act, the final confrontation it's exciting in terms of action but lacks in terms of storytelling and delivery. We also get the Spaniards (another group chasing the two silver cups) being actually smarter than all but ruined it at the end of the movie by doing one of the most stupid things I ever saw on screen. If you ever get what was that stupid thing I'd probably consider sending you 10 bucks. With all that we get that this movie has barely anything to do with Jack Sparrow. He's like a pawn or let's not exaggerate and say that he's more of a Mad-Man on a chess table played by Kings. He didn't really achieved anything in this movie and we didn't get any conclusion about his character's past, present or future...
Overall a boring fiasco well-executed that proves that this movie isn't necessarily a bad one but more an irrelevant, unnecessary, predictable, monotone, obvious and lifeless piece of filmmaking. But was it well executed? As far as I remember, I witnessed the most choreographed battle scenes I ever saw in cinema. Seriously, I understand they all need choreography but at least make them feel spontaneous and natural not forced and looking like they were practiced over and over again and the only thing Depp had in mind was to not mess it up. Not to mention because of this choreography, some battle scenes are actually hilarious and unfunny. I heard some "mehs" in the theater... Besides that, the 3D was far from being great. A lot of inconsistency and bad contrast, bad depth of field, bad blurred images and so on... It could have been much better.
The positive thing about On Stranger Tides is mainly Johnny Depp. Even though he isn't as funny or ridiculous as he was, even though this movie was not centered around him he still did the best he could do with the material he had. Johnny Depp is still Jack Sparrow and he'll forever be Jack Sparrow. I must say something that might enrage some fans out there: with all it's charismatic behavior, Jack Sparrow did not stole the show. No he didn't! Ian McShane as Blackbeard stole the show. His delivery cranked everybody up and he was a fascinating character to watch. He had potential to become a real nemesis of Sparrow's but who knows? Maybe he'll return the way the writers could always find a new curse or a new magical land that does the impossible. All the other roles were played accurately, even Penelope Cruz was enjoyable even if her moments on the screen were short and most of them lacked in sense and good development of her character. I think at times I found the acting too good for this boring story, I found the beautiful shots too much for this pointless flick and definitely found the music too epic for this epicless movie.
As a fan of this franchise I declare myself disappointed, not in Jack, not in Blackbeard or Barbossa and not in a new beginning but in execution, bad writing, bad structure and especially in the people responsible for the production of this movie for making a big U-Turn from the first trilogy to this second one. I'm sorry Jack, but I just didn't cared for you this time. Savvy?
The Hangover Part II (2011)
I can dig remakes, I can dig retakes, I can dig sequels, I can dig prequels but I can't dig easy copies... ARGH!
I'm not really getting Todd Phillips's intention besides getting more money. I can also dig a whole different ways to make money. I can dig remakes, I can dig retakes, I can dig sequels, I can dig prequels but I can't dig easy copies of movies you made before. Todd just did that. The ingredients to this comedy are the same.
Instead of Las Vegas you get Bangkok, instead of a bachelor party we get a... bachelor party, instead of missing Stu you get missing Teddy, instead of a lion you get a monkey, instead of a missing teeth we get a face Mike Tyson tattoo, instead of Mr. Chow confusion we get another Teddy and so on. A recycled story based on the same content as the first movie. It's the same structure and that bothers me a lot. A movie about a hangover has various options of approaching. There isn't really much to say about where the story goes and how's the journey since it's the same. Besides these problems I have another big one with Ed Helms. he just overreacted the whole movie and felt really unnatural at times. Bradley Cooper as Phil feels like he's going through straight hell acting bored like realizing he's doing the same things he did in the first movie. The real stealer of the show however is again, Zach Galifianakis. His delivery is hilarious. His jokes are straight, funny and he is involved in all the comedic situations. Short reminder: Paul Giamatti's short cameo is amazing. Simply amazing.
Overall the movie is funny, it's entertaining and it delivers a lot of laughs. Problem is you get all these jokes with a little bit of bitterness. I wish I could stop my rant and simply state things that I liked in the movie. I loved some of the landscape shots, I loved some of the locations, the decors used, the overall atmosphere... The songs used were did not have a constant good usage. It didn't matched some scenes like they did in the first movie. It is a very good directed comedy but pity that it's not at least half original. The worst part or the good part is that Todd already thought about a third movie. It's a good idea if he'll change the story and introduce new elements to it but it is an atrocious idea if it will be the same as the first two but in Paris this time...
With that said, The Hangover Part II is not really Part II but The Hangover in Bangkok. It lacks big time in originality but Zach and the funny and ridiculous moments keep you entertained and at times forget the issues the movie has.
Fast Five (2011)
Fast Five deals with troubles of identity and becomes pointless but highly entertaining...
When I first saw the first movie of this series, I said to myself "Yes, Julian, good entertainment like never before". After all these years, Fast Five is promoted as being the last one, the grand finale, the ultimate conclusion to the story of our horse-power rider heroes. Fast Five detach itself from the racing plague and transforms into another heist movie which bring nothing new except a few really entertaining chase scenes. So where to begin? The story starts with the planned break-out of Dominic (Vin Diesel) who was convicted for 25 years in jail. It starts with a ridiculous stunt but I got over it fastly. The group then ends up in Brasil and gets into trouble while trying to steal 3 cars from a moving train. The chase itself, the whole operation is entertaining but impossible, deadly and the last but not the least, hilarious in real life. You get the feeling you're watching scenes from 2012. However, Dom, Brian (Paul Walker), Mia (Jordana Brewster) and Vince (Matt Schulze) deal with real issues after they find out they stole an important cip which was hidden in one of the cars owned by an even more important person in Rio. The most feared and powerful drug dealer, Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida). Nothing impressive wait? Oh wait. The "FBI dudes" from the States sent one of the best teams in Rio to catch them. This elite task is ran by Luke Hobbs (Dwyane Johnson) which is pretty much the old-school, hand-by-hand tough guy. The movie moves pretty fast. We get to find out that Mia is pregnant so of course, Dom and Briand head out for the most clicheic "last job" ever. They get to reunite with all their friends from the previous movies, Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), Tej Parker (Ludacris) and Han Lue (Sung Kang). They give green lights for a plan to steal Reyes's drug money. We get the usual guy who wants to get out but once he finds out the kind of money involved he gets back in, we get to see few actual races, some nice beautiful women, big men acting all like a bunch of wrestlers and showing their muscles and we'll even get the bad guy joining the good guys. We're also given, I think, the biggest death toll in this series.
As far as their plans, there's no real in-depth look. We're just given small pieces and the rest we must figure for ourselves even some matches don't fit this whole pretentious job. With all the cons we still are entertained and the last part of the movie, the final confrontation actually pays it off even if it gets a little bit cheesy with the sentimental nonsense. As for the acting part, I had one big problem with Dwyane Johnson's delivery. His lines always felt forced like he was reading the script or something. I love The Rock but I still think as an actor... he's still at the beginning.
The technical part of the movie is quite impressive. Tough chase scenes, crazy stunts and good fight sequences. I had a problem with some effects like the train wagon explosion. Far from being realistic enough. I also had problems with the lightning and with the continuous and repeating use of wide-city shots between certain scenes. It's the easiest way to make a transition between scenes. It's a cinematographer weakness, especially in a movie like this which has the possibility of looking much much better. The music was pretty good, intense and fitted the atmosphere.
Overall, Fast Five was a disappointment as far as a Fast & Furious movie. Fast Five was a disappointment as far as an overall heist movie because of the overused clicheic pieces of story. Fast Five was a disappointment as far as the ridiculous action scenes in it. Despite all that, despite the negative view I have on it I must admit I was entertained. It was a good time. Now, Fast Five deals with troubles of identity. It feels like the last one but it leaves room for another one. And since we already know they'll make another one I have some questions? Why the misleading marketing? Why the misleading point of the movie? Why did they had to make it pointless?
The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)
Matthew McConaughey single-handedly carries with decency one of the best B movies of the last years
Directed by Brad Furman, The Lincoln Lawyer is a surprisingly good courthouse drama supported by a strong cast and a decent story. It depicts the process of a charismatic lawyer Mickey Haller (Matthew McConaughey) who gets inside a case which doesn't revolve only around his defender. He's an iconic lawyer in Los Angeles dealing with various criminals and who holds connection within the city's underworld. He finds himself in a big trouble once he takes charge in defending Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), a Beverly-Hills hot-shot who's accused of rape and attempted murder. The story becomes predictable in time but at the same time it departs itself from other identical formulas by not using clichés and stereotypes. Therefore the movie's quality is raised to good entertainment thanks to the diversity of the plot structure. The characters feel real, we support our main protagonist and we get more than just an idea of who Haller really is thanks to the shown flashbacks, the mistakes he did, the people he helped, the marriage he had with his ex-wife who was a prosecutor Maggie McPherson (Marisa Tomei) and even his own driver. All these details add up a lot to the building of his persona. This film avoids with decency the crap surrounding the film industry and it honestly is one of the best B movies I have seen in the last couple of years. I'm saying B movie because it still has it's little flaws in direction, the story even though it was good it could have been approached in a different way and the ending could have been a lot more satisfying.
However, I will add that the cast did a great job. Marisa Tomei was beautiful to watch like always even though she had little time on screen, Michael Pena, William H. Macy and Josh Lucas all did a decent job and even Ryan Phillippe who I personally dislike as an actor I found him to be not annoying at all. The most impressive thing to me was by far Matthew's work. He really showed that he has the talent to do a lot more on the screen and he should really focus on doing more movies at least like this one if not better simply because him walking around and goofing and approaching ladies on screen in a foolish way it's really old news to pretty much everyone. Thumbs up, as the bloggers or youtubers say to Matthew McConaughey because he made me care about his next movie.
As far as the direction, like I said, there are few flaws and things that I didn't liked. The contrast, the editing at times was a little bit messed up but I really enjoyed some of the songs used because they matched the specific scenes but other than that everything could have been much better. In the end, I think everyone should have a good time watching this movie, it will not give you any headaches, you will not see Matther taking his shirt off (well, he takes it half-off in one shot but it's dark in the room so that doesn't count ladies) and overall you won't feel you're watching a movie you have seen before even if you actually did.
Just Go with It (2011)
A good formula of comedy and romance, enjoyable with decent amount of salt and pepper that will leave you smile at the end of the show
I might be a bit biased about this because I have a personal sympathy for Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler but I found this movie entertaining, simple and relaxing. These are all characteristics that most romcoms these days lack in. They all try too much to be either funny, either too romantic, either too complex and suffer from the storytelling point of view but this film, while it's a typical romcom it still delivers more than expected. But let's go into slicing this bread entirely and as objectively as I can.
Danny (Adam Sandler) is a successful plastic surgeon which after a disappointing start within his first marriage, he starts using his ex-wedding ring to get regular chicks in his bed. His methods work till he meets this gorgeous young blond named Palmer (Brooklyn Decker). In order to convince her he has real interest in their future he needs to play the ex-husband/present-dad card by asking his personal assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) to pretend to be his ex-wife. Things go really crazy and messed up when kids are involved and the "little" trip to Hawaii is the cherry on top of the cake. It turns out clicheic and Danny falls for Katherine but I never lost my patience. I really enjoyed the delivery. The dialogue wasn't bad, the acting was pretty much what this movie needed, a pleasant appearance from the lovely Nicole Kidman, it has funny moments and not funny in a retarded way, no nonsense and no stupid development of both characters and story and last but not least, it has a solid "feel-good" atmosphere. This film is getting too much heat in my opinion and so many feel they need to bash this because "oh, another clicheic romcom"... Well, I was entertained and I think this was the purpose of the makers. Great time at the cinema and definitely not a waste of money or time.
The production design, the technical execution was more than OK. It kind of reminded me of Forgetting Sarah Marshall as far as captions, contrast and chosen music. This is one of the best movies made by Aniston in the last years, probably since "Marley & Me" which a really good weekend movie. Adam Sandler is back in doing more of his good stuff and God, could I ask one thing? How does these women look so damn well at their age?...
Overall, the film's title pretty much suggest what the audience should do with the movie: "Just Go with It". It's a good formula of comedy and romance, enjoyable with decent amount of salt and pepper that will leave you smile at the end of the show.
Battle Los Angeles (2011)
It's like playing Call of Duty on Low Details...
As soon as I saw the trailer for this film I became so excited. I thought this could be a really good mash-up between District 9 and Black Hawk Down. Well, my anticipation grew and my deception is simply huge. I don't even know what to think about this mess. What was the purpose of this movie? What did I just saw? Why the hell almost every time a movie like this comes out the trailer makes me loose my patience and become crazy about the project and after I see it I immediately start to loose my nerves. It's annoying and disturbing to see such a degraded projection of a war movie. At least that's what people say this movie is... I personally consider it to be part of the "big-boom-bullsh*t" genre.
The story sets off more than clicheic. Soldiers at the end of their careers meeting rookies, marine buddies drinking bear, sudden events get to be a threat for the world, soldiers are sent to evacuate civilians, they find out more, get scared, write some words for their wives, think about their families, get scared again, meet the war ground, get scared more, see the aliens, do the "oh my god" and run forward, they get panicked but find strength to fight the aliens and so on till eventually they will fulfill their duties and the mankind would win the war... An ongoing course of "what would be like IF"... Well, the movie definitely assured the audience with it's boredom and constant stupid explosions (I'll get right back to that) to forget about the characters, to forget what the task really is, you just sit and wonder yourself when it will end... The movie doesn't deliver ANY of the feelings that should be delivered. It's flat and ridiculous. The acting is not even questionable and I really expected some tension from Eckhart and I did received it somehow but I guess he already did the best since the script sucked so bad. The dialogue is awful. Few, few, few worthy lines and phrases... I'm simply amazed (in the wrong way of course)...
Speaking of stupid explosions... A lot of people said... "Well, what did you expect? It's a war movie!"... Now I will delicately give my answer to all the "pro war activists": "No! It's not just a war movie. And if it's just a war movie then why they show me aliens shooting at nothing? They filled this movie with action sequences which make no sense (aleatory shooting, ridiculous escapes from impossible situations and further). They show a bunch of aliens shooting at something though nothing is really there because the streets are god damn empty. They show marines attacking chaotic like they're a bunch of Call of Duty players... Damn even those guys got more tactics than we witnessed in this movie. So... It's not just a war. A war movie is Black Hawk Down, Saving Private Ryan or Apocalypse Now... not Battle: Los Angeles." And what is with the design of those aliens anyway?... It looks average at best considering they look like a bunch of tin-head shrimps.
The look of this film also is unacceptable. Terrible shot. Can't see a clear thing. The hand-cam usage is poor and really irritating. No cinematography, no clean cuts, no good mixing between different shots and even the sound lacks in effects. The visual effects are also a big disappointment. It all looks like it was made back in 2003. The whole production department made this movie worthless. It's definitely one of the biggest disappointments in the last years.
With all this hate I must appreciate the few good things about it that made me not leave the theater. Mostly some of the action in the film. Yes, there were plenty of stupid explosions and situations but in some parts the movie really delivered some good action. I also enjoyed the concept but I was obviously stunned by the poorness of the execution. It lacks in innovation and gains a lot of attributes in "superficialism". Hopefully they won't make a sequel to this. It will add more awfulness to this awful material.
In the end I want to say that I do love mindless action movies but this is definitely not the case and don't even consider wasting your money in the theater. A rental? Maybe... Better yet, just download it if you can to satisfy your 2 minutes madness then delete it. (Yeah, I said it)
London Boulevard (2010)
Wow, what a letdown...
I don't know what's with Colin and why he picks all these terrible movies but I'm getting frustrated as hell... He does one decent film and after that he completely chooses the most boring and crappy script ever.
London Boulevard starts boring as hell. In the first five minutes I said "this is another bad movie with great cast" and yes it is. Besides Farrell you have the lovely Keira Knightley and the young Ophelia Lovibond (a name probably unknown for many but a face pretty recognizable) and the two British actors Ray Winstone, David Thewlis and Stephen Graham. With all that, the movie departs itself completely from reality and enters into a world of boredom and mindless savageness. I would have been more interested in a film where Colin bangs all these hot actresses attached to this messy project than to see a "whatever" type of movie.
The story mainly is about this guy Mitchell (Colin Farrell) who just out of prison gets hired by this beautiful actress Charlotte (Keira Knightley) to protect her from the paparazzi and other interferences in her life. Now, the director got it all wrong with these journalism thing. Since when 5-6 publications put the same picture of the same actress on their magazines? You could have thought about other methods to show how popular this Charlotte was but don't do such amateurish mistakes like this because it really takes away the realism. There's no such thing as 2 big tabloids having the same picture on the front page because that would be BAD BUSINESS you dumbass. Back to the topic, this guy Mitchell, even with a proper job, he still gets in parallel problems. Why? Honestly, there is no logical reason. I mean god damn... you got a nice job man, get over it. But no, he has this friend who died in ugly circ*mstances, being killed by two bastards. He goes on a personal vendetta, a pointless revenge to say the truth. With all that he goes on a criminal journey for a "big shot" jumping out in a clicheic form out of a black Rolls Royce Phantom. Laughing my ass off. ON TOP OF THAT, Mitchell and Charlotte, of course, end up together. So you got a "love story", a "revenge story", a "crime story" and a "family story" considering Mitchell's relationship with his sister (forgot to talk about that). But the film doesn't offer nothing satisfying for neither these issues. All hail the paparazzi though, at least they know what they were after because obviously the director didn't. I was surprised at times that had some funny moments which are specific for any British film. You need to have that English humor impregnated in the story otherwise the film will loose it's brit approval stamp. I enjoyed those moments but other than that there's nothing interesting left.
The acting was barely mediocre. Keira was not in her good days, Farrel did his old bored to hell character and the rest were simply "usual". Nothing to talk about so I'll go directly to the execution. First of all, the music is terrible in the movie. It has nothing to do with what's on the screen and I think it was chosen just because it sounded cool. Well, it didn't. It's one of the worst choices for a film I heard. The music was too quick for the film's slow pacing. It's like a wrong contrast between brown and purple. The camera work was average. The editing was average. Everything was under my expectations.
I honestly don't know why this movie was made. It's pointless, it has tons of bad lines, awful dialogue, mediocre acting, average execution, messy storyline... Wow, what a letdown...
It seems like studios found again a great chance of covering the defunct storytelling with mesmerizing visuals and impressive editing.
Every film product must satisfy it's audience. Since we're talking about an animated film, the goals are harder to obtain simply because you must project a rich and attractive story filled with funny moments and a detailed animated world. We've seen animated movies made for a smaller audience like, for example, The Illusionist from last year, which addresses adults and not underaged idealists. Rango is a movie for all ages because probably everyone will have a good time watching it. But having a good time watching a movie describes how good the movie really is?... Is Rango that good? The western adventures of the simple and clumsy lizard Rango (Johnny Depp) borrows elements from Leone's classic westerns, refurnishes the set-ups, creates a comfortable world for the viewer and starts to convert the old-fashioned western story. While it may be remarkably smart written, the story is dragged around the biggest clichés in animated films. We all understand Rango is a perfect reason to pay homage to one of the greatest eras in film history, however, was it necessary to offer a predictable and pointless story? The lonely guy (or lizard in this case) with no friends and no actual talents whatsoever, integrates in a community (Dirt Town) threatened by an oppressive ruler (The Mayor) and becomes the local hero by luck and chance while defeating a local villain. After a short period of popularity he loses all the credibility and affection by getting engaged in a duel with the big villain (in our case, the town's mayor) which unveils his true face and forces him leave his people with his tail behind his legs. But somehow, in the middle of nowhere he finds hope and courage with the help of some unusual force and decides to go back to his people and free them from the oppressor because that's (obviously) the right thing to do. Wait... I'm hearing some of you interrupting me "Will he get the girl Julian?"... Of course he'll get the girl mate... We all know the story, and we're already bored by it thanks to the tens and tens of movies using the same narrative ingredients. The story structure in Rango is not only common but is also deceivable, clichéd and pointless since it adds no gram of originality.
Despite the beautiful look of the film and impressive execution nothing makes me care about our hero. Where's the emotion?... Where's the emotional core? Rango has emotional moments but not because we care about our main character but because we somehow pledge to the loneliness and hopeless described at some point in the movie. Was that really necessary for Rango?... I will say that it wasn't. The funny moments in the film are barely even there, few laughs in the theater but mostly there were just smiles and voices around me debating something but not the actual movie. Most of these funny moments don't even come from our main protagonist but from our secondary characters. We also have that classic group of characters that create a bridge from one point of the story to the other. The four singing owls represent the narrator's voice but they are useless since they are neither funny nor entertaining. They just come, sing and leave without making a strong point. You will forget about them as soon as their scenes end.
As if the gasps in the storytelling's design were not enough, Rango confronts with... politics. An animated film satirizing the world's current issues like our main economical problems and our hunger for resources. Rango depicts the selfishness and creates a pretty dark and actually marxist character in the town's mayor. I was thinking that, okay, it's a understandable thing for adults but is it good for a kid to watch this and being told that if the people don't obey the rules they must be eliminated?... I don't know, maybe I'm a little bit off-topic but I think such delicate issues like that should not be addressed directly to kids.
Going to the voice casting, there were good choices but I can summarize Johnny Depp's vocal impersonation as being close to an animated Jack Sparrow: same tonality, same laugh, same mumbling... It looks like he really has a hard time getting over that character. I felt the entire movie I witnessed an animated green and skinny Jack Sparrow. But enough is enough.
Let's take a moment and applaud the incredible technical execution of this movie. The picture looked so clean and perfectly drawn, the colors were alive and powerful, the contrasts and the sound mixing and editing was really really impressive. The fight scenes looked like the epic grand-scale battle scenes from movies like Avatar or Star Wars... The cinematography was gorgeous and I must say I was impressed with some of the techniques used in the film. There is a shot of Rango dreaming and that crossover from reality to dreams and back to reality was simply amazing. It's a jaw-dropping visual world. Even the score was good. Good choice of music and not a single waste of wrong tones or anything like that. Everything fitted the movie wonderfully. Rango really blew out the water other animations and is a real step forward into animated drawings and design. It's like a concept car or a new burger. It's fresh.
The Sunset Limited (2011)
Like Kubrick's 2001, this is a movie about content and... containers.
What a powerful and emerging film that depicts the two opposing sides of this universe. I was really surprised by the quality of this "little" film. This isn't a movie about two people talking in a room about random stuff. This isn't a film about two life-travelers that engage in an ongoing argument about the human condition. This is a film about the quality of life. Not the meaning of it but the quality. The details in it's design. The true valor's clockwork.
The duality of belief, as a general term, is analyzed completely in this great approach of the Cormac McCarthy novel in which the two main protagonists, "named" simply Black (Samuel L. Jackson) and White (Tommy Lee Jones) are debating over a serious and dangerous issue. "White tried to jump in front of a train and Black came and saved his ass. He carries him in his apartment and tries to put some sense into this White dude." Right? Not really. "The movie also promotes religion and is an ongoing boredom that I completely despise." RIght? Not really again. This has a greater meaning than just that. We live in a world filled with pathetic lies, corny truths, raised flags over white buildings and big letters over or on the dark ones. We live in a world where prostitution is legalized even in the cultural state of the society. We live in a world where rejection, where pain, where slavery and failure are common attraction to the atrocious tourists. We are hoping to free the world from the hands of the manipulators and selfish dictators, we organize revolutions, we fight for freedom but in the end we all get trapped in the same positions as we were before. This is what this movie is about. It's about the ongoing fight carried to win our faith back. Faith, science, culture, logic, mathematics, metaphors, feelings, achievements... They are all the same. They are contents, ingredients and thoughts that the humankind must have in order to survive the greatest threat of them all. The threat which is not the monetary system, the threat which is not the harsh reality, the threat which is not the solely figurative place of the man in the world, but the threat that is represented in the lack of faith in ourselves. We are our own guides because we rule this world. This is why this movie has captured my attention completely. It's not a masterpiece, it's not a grand scale picture, it's not a studio banking option, it's not even part of the best films in the last years but... at the same time... it's simply great. I loved it because it really balances amazingly well the truth revealed along the film with the denouement. They are identical as both form and content.
I also liked the little details like the black coffee, the text erased at the bottom of the Bible, the absence of TV and radio, the lockers on the door and not to mention the biggest detail of them all... the room. Just think about the room vs. everything else. Order vs. Chaos. Even in a messy world we could find order...
Going further to the execution, the story is well structured, the dialogues are haunting, the clichés are gone because even if you find them they tend to leap by the end of the film, the acting is impeccable and the technical aspect of the movie was a comfortable surprise. It's exactly what the film needed. I can't talk too much about this film because I don't want to enter into the details... I just hope people could see what a good movie this really is. I'm pretty sure few movies captured my attention as this one did. Like Kubrick's 2001, this is a movie about content and... containers.
No Strings Attached (2011)
"Love and Other Drugs", all "Spread" around.
Ivan Reitman, the director known for his long collaboration with Bill Murray, gave me enough reasons to worry about this flick only by the look of the trailer. No Strings Attached looked just like another cheap and average romantic comedy full of glam scenes and clichés. Is it the case here? Yes, it probably is. But something changed my judgment on this movie right after I left the theater. I said to myself: "wait a minute, this movie ain't that bad so I need to write about it as soon as I could". Well, here I am.
The film starts horrifying and amateurish. Nothing connects me with the characters, nothing impresses me, the jokes are so lame that even a true "blond" won't laugh at them, the pacing is incredibly boring and the clichés are falling like the "bieber-tears". I was obviously panicked. However, there was a point were things started to get better. The movie started to awake itself from the coma. Everything started to make sense again. I was breathing because the air was fresh. The film actually started to get entertaining. Well, thank god because that's what I was expecting from this. I expected a simple combo between "Love and Other Drugs" and Kutcher's other "playboy" film "Spread". This mixture is the perfect description this movie could have: "Love and Other Drugs, All Spread Around".
Basically the film is more than simple. Two friends, Emma (Natalie Portman) and Adam (Ashton Kutcher) become sex-buddies. Of course you know the twist here... C'mon guys... they fall in love. But that doesn't ruin anything because this is a great dating movie. There are a lot of goofy situations because you have Kutcher's same character, there are a lot of romantic moments which may seem to be similar or even identical to any other one thousand romantic moments which you all seen in other movies but that won't bother you because the execution is not wrong this time. So, you have the formula, you got the execution, what's next? The acting... While Kutcher does what he knows to do best, goofing around and run after girls, talk to the phone or eat a stake, Natalie Portman is too good for a movie like this. She gives a great performance even though it was not necessarily required. The emotions, the different emotional states, the delivery is better than I expected. That made me feel good and acknowledge that at least I could find interest in a character.
The technical execution is not something to be worry about so I won't talk about it since it's nothing special but I will admit though that the chosen songs were pretty good and they fitted the movie's identity. Excepting the first 20 minutes were everything was a complete chaos, a utterly mess, No Strings Attached starts horrifying but ends up more than satisfying. It's definitely a date film that I recommend. It's funny, cheesy, sweet to look at and strangely enough, innocent. Just don't hate on it.