Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mini Movie Reviews: Bulk Hit No 13

My Sister's Keeper
Worth seeing. I know most of the men I know wouldn't enjoy it...but I'd say many of the women I know would. Cameron Diaz surprised me. And Jodi Picoult's subject matter, upon which the film is based, impressed me (and you may remember, I wasn't impressed by my sampling of Picoult). Isn't Abigail Breslin turning out some nice, sincere performances? The questions raised are compelling...and the characters are excellent. I thought about this for days afterwards.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop
I worried this was one of those movies where you've seen all of the funny bits in the trailer. I was right, pretty much. It is still pretty funny (even with the bulk of the jokes being re-runs). Full credit to Sandler for having his finger in the producing pie and the pie coming out clean - there are scenes with plenty of potential for innuendo and crass jokes, but they were left out. Thanks.

Defiance
More action and graphic violence than I anticipated with its 'M' rating...and less empathy invoked than I'd hope for. It did promote my thoughts about different reactions to the Holocaust (as did Valkyrie). "Not baaaad" by me, "pretty good" by Haki. It's probably an indicator that I found myself thinking, "Sabretooth makes an okay Jew, I guess" - probably not the best sign you're being swept away by the narrative (Is it just me, or has that role really pigeon-holed him now? I mean, clearly not like Elijah FRODO Wood, but still...now Schreiber IS Sabretooth).

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Poignant and terrifying. I'm not sure if I recommend it or not. This film is exquisite, beautiful, exceptional, and thought-provoking. The attention to detail is incredible. Yet...your spirit slumps over when it's done. If I may compare it to Defiance (since they are both set within the same time period) - I'd rather have only seen this film of the two. Life is Beautiful is still the only Holocaust film I've seen that has left me feeling uplifted. Okay, having just trawled for the poster and seeing the incredible stills online from the film, my verdict is in - if you are foremost an aesthetics-person - see this film - it's something to behold, and feels real, to me - if you could care less, and just want a good story and some entertainment, you may want to steer clear of the anguish.

Night at the Museum 2 a.k.a. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
Fun. In keeping with the first film. Nice. Clean. Good. Also, Amy Adams is such a sweetheart.

The Twilight Saga: New Moon
If you don't like the Twilight Saga, that's fine and fair enough and whatnot...but I do. I don't put up posters or follow any of the actors on Twitter...but I enjoy the books and films. The second film wasn't an exception.

I enjoyed:
  • The little things that made this film richer and truer to the novel; seeing - the Cullen Coven's eyes were a shiner, golden hue...Victoria's hair undeniably, striking red...and Jacob buff enough (as promised by the film-makers during wind-up);
  • Dakota Fanning's brief appearance - lovely;
  • Realising three quarters of the way through the film that I was very much absorbed in this little, cheesy world;
  • The portrayal of Alice;
  • The tight narrative - I felt the Twilight team did a great job of condensing the material for a screenplay;
  • Laurent. Awesome;
  • Hearing Paula's reactions and cuddling her afterwards! It was so nice to have her amongst our group-date number - as she's never been one for reading chunky fiction novels (just lots of nursing texts, right Paula?), but she read New Moon, and so seeing its adaptation with her made me feel like a teacher watching someone's love for reading a cinema ignite (my two majors - aw!);
  • It's very "teenagery" in a good way (it reminds me of those years - oh, the intensity of our feelings that no one else could understand!? Woe was us.); and
  • The clear intertextuality with and allusions to Romeo and Juliet.
I was less fond of:
  • a) Kristen Stewart (although she seemed prettier in this one, do you think?);
  • b) Robert Pattinson (I agree with Janssen - the directors must be Team Jacob - because on-screen Pattinson just doesn't put up much of a fight as Edward);
  • The lack of chemistry between (a) and (b);
  • The wolf CGI close-ups;
  • The lack of subtley with symbolism (e.g. the clumsy pan to the wolf on Bella Swan's bedroom wall); and
  • The make-up.
P.S. I wore my slippers to this movie. On accident.

I also hope that Ana forgives me for forbidding talk of yarn, wool, crochet, knitting...whatever...because I simply could not pretend to be amped about such things after reading about my sister's hilarious and spectacular viewing conditions of the very movie we were about to see...I wanted to be surrounded by other people that were enthused. You see, Ana actually uttered the words, "I plan to sleep in this movie". What? WHAT? Okay, if you don't enjoy them, fine, I get it...but please, let me be excited! Haki re-read the book before we went. And went and got the first movie for us to re-view last night. And counted sleeps. It worked on me. I was looking forward to it; muchly. Wool must not be mentioned!
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