Pending film reviews of 2012 (II)
Films that I watched at the cinema
(april - december 2012)
Our Idiot Brother
I forgot to explain this in the first entry: one Thursday every two weeks, in one of the cinemas in Salzburg we get sneak previews, that is, we get to watch a film that is not yet in cinemas but soon will. It's always a surprise, and so far it's been irregular. The first one I saw was The Iron Lady and, in spite of the disappointment, I went again. Our Idiot Brother was the second sneak preview I went to.
Ned lives a hippie life in an organic farm with his girlfriend but is arrested after selling marihuana to an undercover police officer. When he gets out, he is sent to live with his three sisters and ends up "screwing up" their lives, although he doesn't consider it so. A nice, sweet comedy, but that's pretty much it.
Pixar's first princess is a Scottish teenager who loves to shoot with her bow and arrows and is not willing to undergo an arranged marriage only because she is the princess and the tradition, even if that gets her mother on her nerves. A beautifully designed film with only one problem: I think the story could have been developed differently, with some more content and character development. Still, I obviously cried at the end and liked it a lot.
The Dark Knight Rises
I thought I wouldn't be able to get most of what's going on in this film because I still haven't seen The Dark Knight. (*goes hide from angry mobs*). But I could understand pretty much everything because the main story does not have that much in common with the second part. While it's a good action film and we get to see a more human side of Batman/Bruce Wayne, there are some aspects of the film that arise questions that lead us to a plot hole. Overall, I liked the movie and found it enjoyable, but I guess I expected more.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Another film that I only wanted to watch because of the lead actor but I didn't have great expectations after Beginners. I was surprised, though, and I ended up liking the story. The romance is totally forced and I think it's either because it the book the movie is base on develops that a lot more or because the author felt a need for the characters to fall in love. I'm sorry but in a real-world context that would rarely work. Then again, the film deals with things that would normally not work in a real-world context, so...
We risked to go to another sneak preview in Salzburg and this is what we got. A thriller (?) about two guys who grow and sell weed in California and are offered to form a business alliance with a Mexican cartel. When they decline the offer, the cartel kidnaps their shared girlfriend Ophelia, also known as O, and thus begins a "war" to get her back and keep the business going. What could have been a really good action thriller is actually a gore-ish thing that doesn't really know what it wants to be. Disappointing, disgusting in certain scenes and with leads that lack the ability to show emotions (especially Blake Lively: once Serena van der Woodsen, always Serena van der Woodsen; and I can't believe Aaron Taylor-Johnson was cast as Vronsky in Anna Karenina).
Towards the end of the 21st century, time travel will have been invented and forbidden by governments. However, in 2070 a mafia organisation uses it illegally to send people 30 years back, so that loopers can kill them and the bodies and the crime can be hidden. In 2040, the loopers are starting to receive pieces of gold instead of silver as payment, which is the mafia's code for saying they need to retire. Joe discovers that he has to kill himself from the future, but his older self escapes, and thus begins a chase where both Joes want to kill their other selves. This action film was not bad, though for the most part it was confusing and the second part feels like a different movie because all of the sudden the action pretty much stops until the last minutes.
The last sneak preview to date because we were tired of paying for watching films that we didn't like when we could have picked the film ourselves (our bad). Pitch Perfect is like a long episode of Glee or something like that: there is an all-girl a cappella singers group that desperately needs new members after an unfortunate accident in a contest and a girl who needs to make friends at college and manage to pass the first year so that her father will allow her to go to Los Angeles to become a DJ. And you can guess how it ends. Maybe teenagers will enjoy this jukebox musical because they sing very recent songs, but it's so predictable...
After Brave, Pixar took us on a journey to the world of videogames. Wreck-it Ralph is the bad guy of his videogame but he is tired of being the bad guy and feeling underappreciated by the other characters, so he leaves to win a medal with the hope that the other characters will allow him to join them and stop considering him the bad guy.
Before going to see the movie, I read a lot of reviews where people said they were disappointed that they didn't get to see more videogame characters such as Bowser, the ghosts from Pacman, etc., but... what did you expect? That's what cameos are about. I loved how the story develops and I felt bad for Ralph when the other characters in the videogame treat him like an outcast only because he got the job of the bad guy and automatically think he has no feelings. I really liked this film.