Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Mini Movie Reviews: Bulk Hit No 44
Jurassic World
I think you know before you go into movies like these if you have a chance of liking it or not -- it's a franchise, after all (a franchise I enjoyed.  And guys, weren't the Easter Eggs super?  ).  So I was hopeful I would enjoy the latest instalment.  And I did.  Why?  Well, because after robotic violence, my next preferred kind is dinosaur violence.  People hurting people?  So much harder to stomach.  Dinosaurs eating people because we proved to be arrogant and over-reaching?  There's something right about it.  Also like: Spielberg's preference for splatter over severed limbs, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard for leads.  Didn't like: the teenager.  Oh man.  I could talk for a while about that guy.
The Theory of Everything
I'm so glad I saw this.  What incredible performances.  Great date night movie if you enjoy history-inspired drama, we had a lot to talk about and read afterwards.
Maze Runner
I really enjoyed the book this movie is based on, despite its mixed reviews.  I devoured the tiered reveal of mysteries.  The movie was okay.  It wasn't bad (a better adaption than Divergent, I think), but it was probably a seven out of ten.  Haki, after it finished: "That wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be."  That about sums it up.  Pretty good action, pretty good script, pretty good pacing.  You won't be sorry you saw it, I suspect -- whether you've read the book or not.  I still love the concept.  I think this one's too scary for younger YA.  Oddly, it made me want to read the books that follow on in the series! (which I passed on after being told they weren't so flash)  Final questions: Did anyone else find this too dark, literally?  Actually not enough lighting?  Unclear what was actually in-frame?
The Giver
The source book for this adaptation is a touchstone for me.  The film presented a world very different from the one I pictured, but I enjoyed the new world in its own right (it was beautiful!).  I respect their ability to capture the essence of the narrative in a more modern setting.  Other minor tweaks made sense of screen (e.g. their ages, for example).  Sadly, the acting was hard to watch.  I understand the characters lacked emotion and therefore initial depth, and so this may have informed their choices, but it made it hard to connect with them, depsite the montage attempts.  I filled in the gaps because I wanted to feel. Another unfortunate casualty of translation was that some of what carried okay in the novel was absurd in the film (say, the ending!).  Overall, I think this works if you are up for very willingly suspending disbelief to enjoy a true dystopian classic.  Note: Some of the imagery in the film is crushing and disturbing, and will haunt me for a long time.
It is what it is.  It has so many things crying "Happy Madison" productions, throughout, yes (and therefore, I don't deem it a "family movie").  But it is also mildly funny and touching.  I did enjoy seeing this pair reunited, on screen (our impetus to rent it, revealed).  I'd be interested to hear what a RL blended family thought of the jokes.
What a fine science fiction specimen.  Super satisfying.
Alexander at the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Pretty average.  Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner's pared-back comedy were the best part of the movie.
The Best of Me
This is no Notebook.  Dud.  (A shame, because I like both leads.)  I still managed to feel emotional at least twice though /eye roll.
Pitch Perfect 2
Crude...and funny.  Another movie I don't need to recommend -- you already know if this is your flavour or not.  Mom, it's not yours.
Haki warned me that this had terrible reviews.  With low expectations, it didn't seem so bad!  Yes, yes, the original is already great (but not perfect, in my opinion!)...but guys, the songs in this one are fun too.  And the efforts to update the story are pretty good!  I still enjoyed this movie (would have enjoyed it more sans Diaz, but hey).

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