Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Mini Movie Reviews: Bulk Hit No 38

Ender's Game
I've been looking forward to this adaptation for a long time.  It has been in "pre-production" for almost 2 decades and Haki and I have both read the novel multiple times (I also used it as a class text when I was teaching).  We're pretty fond of it.  I think they did a great compressing and capturing the essence of the story.  Yes, there are changes.  But I've said it before, and I'll say it again: page to screen demands change, and we have to give license for this to happen. Card was involved with the screenplay -- what more could we ask for?  Oh, I don't know, Harrison Ford?  /sigh  I was just so. darn. delighted to see Ford play 'reluctant mentor' in space for these young cadets.  Bonzo was excellent.  Ender was good.  Everyone was good.  Changing the alien race's name to "Formics" was smart.  Best: the battle room.  There was this moment in there (you'll know it, if you've seen it), where they transform in configuration and blitz it, and I was BEAMING.  I was also so pleased to see the colour coded pathways.  I can't pinpoint any particular thing they could have done a lot better (I won't go there with Mazer), but it wasn't as good as...
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
The director of the first Hunger Games movie also did Sea Biscuit.  The director of this movie?  I Am Legend.  This says a lot, for me.  The second film is more thrilling than the first.  And just...better.  I said out loud to Haki during it, "I freaking love this movie!"  Twice.  I don't throw f-euphemisms around willy nilly.  I don't think he even heard me.  He was riveted as well.  Some favourite things: Effie, Panem, and Finnick.  Suzanne Collins paved the way for this movie to be exceptional; all of the story elements that had me clench my fists and go, "Yes!" in the movie were hers.  What a great adaptation.  Tiny non-complaint, observation: It is so hard to ignore Jennifer Lawrence's physique!  I think it is great that she isn't a stick (we don't need any more too thin pin-ups, do we?) but unfortunately I just can't stop being distracted by her curves on Katniss.  Especially alongside Peeta.  Enough on that.  Movie? Thrilling.  (And uber-violent.  This must be acknowledged.)
I went to this with my sister without having seen a single trailer or article about it.  I only knew its title (no cast, no synopsis, no poster, nuddin').  As a result, it took me some time to settle in and internally confirm there would be no aliens...that lack of gravity was the unfeeling villain here.  I think it was a strong film.  I found it a little too self-conscious with its symbolism, but overall, strong.  I think you'll enjoy it even more if you haven't already thought (at length) about the potential nightmares space presents, should things go wrong (and this is sans aliens, peop's!). I have long-mulled over the Kessler Syndrome and indefinite movement.  I am a SF girl, at heart.  So the film realised things I had already played out in my mind...good to see, but no surprises. The film is an incredible technical accomplishment, and I am so glad that Sandra Bullock was cast over the (many) others considered.
Identity Thief
Now, onto an entirely different kettle of crap.  Haki and I looked at each other part-way into this and agreed the suck levels were too high to keep going.  Disappointing, because I liked Melissa McCarthy back in the day -- before everyone knew who she was (can I get a Gilmore Girls sigh?).  But in this, she and Bateman (whom I've never laughed at) are so unlikeable. And the action is so tasteless, offensive and un-fun.  I'd recommend skipping it.  Disagree?  Did it get way better? I will find it hard to believe you...
Star Trek Into Darkness
Good times.  What a villain.  I love me some Star Trek.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Funny.  Really funny. This and Tangled have a similar humour.  Enjoyed.  Best watched alongside small humans to discuss the issues of bullying, loss, self-belief and more.  Personally, I think we should always watch alongside...
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