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As Cool as I Am (2013)
Teens make poor choices and so do their parents, but that doesn't make a movie good
As Cool as I Am (2013)
Do I feel the need to ever watch this movie again? No Did the actors have good chemistry? Yes Was the plot decent? Not entirely Execution decent? okay
This movie offers up some good examples (as far as fiction goes) of why some people should not have children until they are ready and how not experiencing things or experiencing too much can harm you.
I couldn't cheer for or against any of the main characters in this film. The situations that come up are very predictable and the way they are solved or left unresolved is annoying.
The opening scene had me excited for this film:
Lucy is swinging around on bars in a playground with her best friend Kenny while her voice-over plays.
"Everybody has two families. The stable family we pretend to have. Then there's the real people we are related to. My best friend Kenny says, "Stable families make boring children." And by stable families, I think he means the kind were mom and dad and kids stay in the same house all the time. And by boring he means not as cool as we are."
They stop swinging and start playfully talking. Then Lucy runs home and a montage plays up the cool family aspect. The Diamond family is different for several reasons: neither parent has living parents, they became parents very young, the dad only visits a few times a year, and her mother has a job, Mr. Diamond doesn't know about. None of this is particularly interesting but serves to create conflict later on.
The only thing I found funny in this comedy was Claire Danes in one scene. Her outrage at the grocery store was unbelievable. The character and her acting was hilarious in that setting. It was beyond stupid and ironic. James Marsden did decent considering he was mostly allowed to allude to saints throughout the movie. His overreactions could almost have been endearing if they weren't so violent. Kenny's mom despite the way she handled things, was one of the few people who did something that made sense and wasn't just an action done to feel something.
Sometimes not liking any of the characters in a movie can work. As Cool as I Am doesn't make that cut. There are so many things wrong with the characters yet these flaws don't captivate me to feel anything beyond annoyance at the experience. Lucy is a victim of her own making. I'm not even talking about the rape. She didn't want it and chose not to pursue charges. That was her right. It was smart of her to get an exam and opt for the HIV prevention drug. Then for so irrational reason, she starts dating the ex best friend of the guy who raped her, just because he flipped the guy off and invited her fishing. Not all rape victims, want to be victims, and deal in different ways. This just seemed so unrealistic and contrived.
Well at least she was smart enough to get birth control, after the first time she had sex with Kenny, who loves her (according to him), and use a condom other times. Safe sex can be good. This movie was not good. It was okay.
City of Ember (2008)
Rushed movie, slow book
Read the book before the movie so I was pretty peeved. Letting that go now.
Everyone is living underground with lights that are powered by a hydro water generator. The city of Ember has been having more frequent power outages with greater recovery times. Most people just accept this. It has been drilled into the people of Ember that this is the only safe place, only darkness covers the rest of the world. In fact, it is illegal to even try and go into the darkness that surrounds the city. Most of the adults don't appear to be too interested in pursuing leaving the city. They are complacent or believe that the builders, who constructed Ember over 200 years ago and have never made an appearance since, will return to provide refuge for them once more. Doon Harrow and Lina Mayfleet are the only two that are being proactive about saving their people.
The different viewpoints of the two protagonists, Doon and Lina worked to cover most of what the audience needs. However the pacing of the movie seemed really rushed. It works at some points then completely fails at others. Some things that happen just seem forced and random. The over-sized creatures that no one but crooks, Doon and Lina seem to notice as a problem, is one thing that seems silly and useless. Still the does have a certain entertaining quality.
Acting: Good for the most part. Setting: Good. Costumes: decent.
Voyage of the Unicorn (2001)
Not bad for a religious (spiritual) film
I don't like films that are overly preachy. A lot of religious films tend to preach to the point of being redundant. Thankfully this is not one. Voyage of the Unicorn had me caught up in the adventure, so much, that I did not realize it was trying to convey a message about having faith. It was there from the beginning but not to the point of knocking my head with it.
The Aisling family has to escape trolls by traveling to another universe. The lose of the Aisling matriarch is still very upsetting to them. This adventure serves as an awakening to a new start. The family grows stronger through having faith.
This could be a completely misguided assessment. It just seems like this is what was done. This movie isn't perfect, with several odd moments, but it will suffice for a presumably low budget fantasy film. As a bonus the music score and selections are nice fit for this film.