Monday, March 26, 2012

Mini Movie Reviews: Bulk Hit No 25

The Hunger Games
I was as disappointed as a child who's tasted plain cocoa powder for the first time when a handful of other movie-goers joined me and Haki, in a theatre in which we were formerly the only occupants (Yup, nigh on deserted.  How?  Wait a few days, go in the morning, and oh, live in NZ).  I soon forgot the pesky others were there -- by the second trailer, I believe.  And then the movie was supeRrrrrr.  Oh, huzzah, for film dystopia.  Zathura-boy made a better Peeta than I had anticipated, and I suspect he has also been catapulted from swimming in Disneyesque paddling pools to the depths of throbbing teen hearts.  I must ask me a teen. Cinna was all I knew he would be -- what a perfect casting that was.  I was smiling and squeezing Haki's hand through the sweeping shots of the Capitol and its people (apparently too tight, because he gave me a verbal warning, after reclaiming his hand for a while, and returned it with a look of warning) -- I am impressed with how well the trailers teased out the narrative without spoiling the superb visuals of the film.  The violence is communicated rather than painted; the story pounds out at fair speed -- without too much clumsy exposition to wade through (Yes, Avatar, I'm looking at you!).  Yes, I read the books.  (Loved 'em.)  My question for others who've both read and viewed; Is it just me, or did the lilting, whistled melody not sound familiar?  I mean -- did you hear something just like that when you read it?  It sounded eerily how I hoped when I first saw a trailer...
In Time
More movie dystopia.  With Justin Timberlake, no less (I scratched my head too...Really?).  But this is worth seeing if only for the novelty of the idea.  For me, it was more than that, it was a nice little piece of shiny and rough sci fi -- my favourite.  The concept cars are pretty fantastic too. 
Love Birds
Aw, good job -- a New Zealand film that doesn't ride on the wake of its shock value.  I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this little romantic, light drama (not so much a comedy).  It has some cussing, but doesn't rely on vulgarity to engage the audience (Yeah, I said "cussing," what of it?).  It's quite sweet, really.

Jane Eyre
Oh, Brontë, Brontë, Broooontë!  The latest take on the ol' dark tale is haunting, intense, beautiful and...well, dark. The casting and mise-en-scène are marvellous, and so all credit is far from due to the original tale's poignancy alone.  This version made me feel a lot of the feelings I felt as fresh and deeply as I did when I first read the book.
The King's Speech 
This won oscars for a reason.  I was more interested than I thought I would be.  P.S.  You can get one cut of the film without the bevy of bombs of the f- variety.  17, is how many...not a scene for everyone...although the context of speech therapy is duly noted.
Something Borrowed
Uh...I'm more than a little embarrassed to disclose how much I enjoyed this.  Ahem.  Whilst I could spin a mighty whine about my gripes with character choices in this movie, I'd rather not, because I really liked the characters, and the players.
Breaking Dawn
Going in with centre-of-the-earth-low expectations for this movie, I was surprised to find I enjoyed much of it.  I waited for DVD, because I knew I wanted the option to be able to skip over some of it.  You can call me a prude, but I'm just into keepin' the bedroom stuff in the bedroom.  Anyhow, with the exception of "the voiceover scene" (you know the one, if you've seen it -- subtitles would have been ace, team), Condon (director) has done a nice job on this one.  I'm not crazy about the book's characters, nor the actors cast (except Charlie, of course), and I'm not mad for the books (but I enjoyed them)...and I enjoyed this, and I'm looking forward to the final installment.  The wedding set was stunning, the skeletal Bella was more-than-sufficiently skeletal (that's what you get when you strip flesh from someone scrawny), and the tension between the sides was solid.

Consider skipping:
Conviction -- I know, I know, but it's Hilary Swank and law and whatnot.  But the thing is, it's really a cusspot with a side of depressing...even if the pot gets washed, it was still not a nice dinner, yeah?  Great acting, to be sure, buu-uut ultimately, you can watch Flash of Genius to experience much of the same overall feelings...with less cussing (and no bloody crimescenes).
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