Monday, March 26, 2012

Quick Reviews: Other Films I've Seen

I've been neglecting writing about some of the new films I have seen this year. Let me catch up with three of the film I haven't written about here.

One of the many fantastic Ghost Rider freakouts
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance - A fun movie, but not for everyone. Since I am a fan of Nic Cage, I enjoyed all of freak outs and facial ticks. The Ghost Rider being is more menacing and insane, it lives up to the craziness of a living skull on fire. CiarĂ¡n Hinds is not outdone in facial ticks, his performance is really cool. Story is also not too terrible.
*** stars

Denzel is cool, but forgettable
Safehouse - Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds deliver forgettable performances in a rather pedestrian action movie. The action scenes are not too exciting. The Macguffin and the eventual are rather generic and uninteresting. I won't remember this movie in 2 months.

*1/2 stars

Not much here to see
Jeff Who Lives at Home - A decent film. The setup event to the movie where Jeff receives a phone call is rather random and quirky. This movie is very "indie", it has things that are at times incredible impossible to believe would happen. Ed Helms and Jason Segel work well with each other, but they aren't given anything interesting to do. Suan Sarandon has a small role in the film with her own interesting storyline. In fact, I understand her growth as a character more than Segel and Helms. Not much here to see.
** stars

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Hunger Games

My first reaction to seeing The Hunger Games, was "How is it possible for a movie to be so long, yet feel rushed?".

The Hunger Games begins with a title card summmary of the world that flashes by incredibly fast, barely explaining the incredibly deep and dystopian future of the world of Panem. The events surrounding the Games, a fight to the death between male and female pairs from each of the twelve districts surrounding the Capitol city are barely explained, the filmmakers seem to expect viewers to have read of the popular series of books from which the film is based.

Jennifer Lawrence's performance as the defiant Katniss Everdeen is good. She worked well with the material she was given, however she is limited by script. Simply, Katniss Everdeen is not a well developed character. She is surly and lacks charm. We are not given many chances to like or root for her.

The film looked great, the sets and costumes looked fantastic. The world was fun and interesting to see. The same can't be said of the action scenes; the editing on many of those scenes were jarring. Many times I was unable to follow what was happening on screen because of how the action was cut.

My main problem with the movie is the script. Events happen incredibly quickly, and without reason. The significance of certain actions and concepts are not fully explained.

I had an okay time watching the Hunger Games, however if I was not familiar with the books, I don't think I would like it as much.

** 1/2 stars.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Wanderlust: Wander Away

Wanderlust is director David Wain's new film. I enjoyed Role Models, a 2008 comedy from Wain, which I thought was funny and touching. However, unlike Role Models, the laughs are missing from Wanderlust. I chuckled a bit, however there aren't too many laugh out loud moments. The few laughs in this movie come from primarily from the supporting cast and not the main story. Ken Marino, Michaela Watkins, Michael Ian Black, and Michael Showalter have really funny supporting parts in the movie.

The story of yuppies leaving NYC to live on a commune is so-so, and is forced to ramp up because it is a movie, and an unneccessary plot about losing the land is shoehorned into the movie. It is almost the plot of a bad 80s movie.

** Stars