Thursday, December 30, 2010
The worst movie of 2010 for me was Sex & The City 2. I hated this movie. Were there technically worse films out there? Sure. Maybe. But none got under my skin or insulted me more than this pretentious piece of crap. Everything about it bugged me. The acting. The dialogue. The plot. The condescending tone. The costumes. The freaking karaoke number! Just UGH!! What happened to the HBO show's edginess? This is just watered down, and dumbed down beyond measure.
A movie that should have been straight to DVD. The only good thing about it were the special effects. But the plot, dialogue, characters and acting were beyond bad. An embarrassment for all.
No reason for this film's existence. Phoned in. Boring. Ridiculous. A waste.
I was supposed to laugh, but I didn't. Not once. And Jessica Alba has proved once and for all that she's only good for underwear modeling and nothing more.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
One of the worst endings I've ever seen. Badly directed film. Not sure what Oliver Stone was thinking. The tacked on romantic comedy ending was out of place and doesn't fit with the rest of the movie's tone. What is this movie meant to be about? What is the theme? What is meant to explore? A mess.
I feel as though I haven't seen a lot of films this year, but I know logically I have. I just didn't get around to seeing a lot of independent films or foreign films like I usually do. Not saying I didn't, as they made my list. But my list certainly isn't the same as the list of "real" critics out there.
So here's my list, and in no particular order...
Toy Story 3
A delightful film and hopefully the last in the series as it ended on a perfect note. Andy goes off to the college and the toys get sent to a daycare where they meet the villainous Lotso, an old bitter bear, who runs the joint. The Toys must escape the toddlers who pummel them on a regular basis and also the fiery pits of the junkyard. The film has laughs and tears and is a perfectly put together screenplay.
A high school kid and comic book fan decides to become a super-hero, and he gets his ass kicked, but also kicks some ass too. It's full of violence and foul language and a stand out performance by Chloe Moretz as Hit Girl. I want to be Hit Girl!
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The best of the trilogy. It's well written and flows well. Lisbeth Salander is a force to be reckoned with as a fictional character you do not want to mess with. It's a smart film, and the plot has many layers involving rape and violence and unsolved crimes and disappearances.
It's cute and sweet. Not the best Disney film out there, but I enjoyed it. Rapunzel is a tough cookie and finds her way with some help along the way. She's not looking to get rescued, which I like.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
I liked it, but didn't love it, but it still is one of the better films of the year. It has set up a finale that is going to be spectacular. I can't wait for the showdown between good and evil!
Never let me go
Despite the book being much better than the film. I like the film more now as time has passed. It had a really nice tone and feel to it. It's haunting. The score by Rachel Portman is what makes this film.
My favourite big Hollywood film this year. It's got action, and eye candy and intelligence. The dreamworld is quite realistic in this mind bending adventure.
Nina is an obsessed ballerina who gets the role of the swan queen and we watch as she descends into madness. What's real? What's fantasy? A mind bending experience that is worth the ride.
A straight to dvd film that deserved the big screen treatment. A psychological thriller centered around a black-ops interrogator and an FBI agent who press a suspect terrorist into divulging the location of three nuclear weapons sets to detonate in the U.S. The Terrorist is Britsh actor, Michael Sheen and it also stars Samuel L. Jackson and Carrie-Anne Moss. It's a smart, small film that makes you question when is torture okay?
Danis Tanovic's latest film (he won the Oscar for best foreign film for No Man's Land) It's set in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the early 90's just before the outbreak of the civil war. A Man returns from Germany with money and a hot young wife, wanting to start again. But his ex wife and son aren't too keen on his plans. It's poignant, and sad and quite funny too. A real gem.
Why is there a sequel to the sequel of this film 6 years later? I guess with the box office gross over the holidays, it's obvious that people are desperate for the Fockers.
Throughout the film, I kept thinking, I should be laughing, right? This scene or that line of dialogue is supposed to be funny and make me laugh out loud, but I didn't. The film really doesn't explore anything new and relies on penis jokes a lot. Robert DeNiro's character hasn't changed and it's boring to watch him do the same thing here again. The film isn't as phoned in as The Tourist, but it's still a ridiculous waste of money.
The writing isn't fresh. Owen Wilson's character is a caricature now, far removed from any kind of reality. Where have all the smart comedies gone? Comedies for people of a certain age? Don't get me wrong, I love my slapstick and my fart jokes and pratfalls, but I prefer it partnered with wit.
I could mention the plot, but there isn't much of one. The Fockers are planning a birthday party for their twins. Parents come to visit. Jack thinks Focker is having an affair on his daughter with Jessica Alba's character and so on. Chaos ensues. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
I do have to say that the thing that stuck with me the most is how out of her element Jessica Alba is. It's obvious that she was only hired for her siren role because she looks good in underwear. Was Jessica Biel not available? (they are interchangeable Jessicas, afterall)
Save your cash. Rent Parenthood instead. But if you've watched the first two Focker films then I guess you might want to revisit these characters, but please wait for dvd or go on cheap Tuesday,
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
The Tourist is a mess. Silly waste of money and talent. And beyond predictable. Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp must have gotten a lot of money to do this film because it couldn't have been the roles they chose based on the script because the story is weak and cliché ridden and boring, which is kind of surprising considering the writers behind the film aren't newbies, they're award winning writers. Then again, writers can phone it in too. Or maybe Hollywood could stop remaking European films in such an inferior manner.
Jolie and Depp barely try with their roles. There is no reason why this film was made other than for two major celebrities to prance around Europe in hair and makeup and costumes. It brings nothing new to the cinematic landscape. If these are the films that they are choosing to do then it's better if Depp grows grapes in the South of France and Jolie adopts ten more kids. At least that way, they are bringing something better into the world.
Did I hate this film? No. It's just so completely ridiculous that it's barely even worth the words I write about. It's forgettable the moment it ends.
Black Swan tells the story of a ballerina's descent into madness and it's a riveting and engrossing fall into that madness. I couldn't look away from Natalie Portman's Nina who is obsessed with perfecting the role of the Swan Queen while trying to keep her limited grip on reality. Was she crazy before she got the role, or did the role make her mad? It's safe to say that Nina had major issues beforehand: She scratches herself leaving scars, she lives with her mother who smothers her (we question whether her mother is a good or bad influence and well, she's both), she questions her sexuality, she vomits up her food, she rehearses day and night until she bleeds. Portman does a great job in her role. She immersed herself. The supporting players are pitch perfect as well and create a ballet world that is fierce and lonely at its core. A world this spinster is glad she never participated in. Those dancers are much too thin, but their bodies are, at times, works of art and well crafted.
Winona Ryder has a small role as an aging ballerina, but if you blink you might miss her. It's weird seeing Winona on screen again. An actress who ruled the 90's on screen doesn't have the same sort of presence now. A shame. Mila Kunis is great as well. She is slowly shedding her persona as the spoiled loud mouthed Jackie from That 70's Show. Also, Barbara Hershey plays Nina's mother, and nails the stage mother role perfectly and shows the many layers this former ballerina has and at times, it's frightening. She deserves an Oscar nomination.
The film requires attention as we are taken on this reality bending ride and the payoff is well worth it. I loved the ending. Nina wanted to be "perfect" and I believe the ending was perfect because it makes you think and question, and ultimately, you are relieved that you survived this tale without having to give up your favourite junk food.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) has lost her bloom. Becky, in her 6th book, hasn't changed. She's still flighty, irrational, and a raging shopaholic. What made Becky so enduring and charming the first go around is the very thing that makes her annoying. Even though, deep down, she is sweet and has a good heart, she's absolutely ridiculous, and at times, completely moronic.
I loved her silliness in the first 3 books of the series. She was still likable, and not yet too crazy. The first book, we're introduced to her and she learns a financial lesson. In the second book, she's off to New York City where she has a few slip ups involving Barney's department store, which is acceptable. And in the third book, she's getting married. And every bride goes a little nutty preparing a wedding. But these last 3 books have gone too far because Becky is no longer innocent or naive or even cute in her actions. She's a grown woman, married, and now a mother of a 2 year old. And she needs medical attention asap. After all these years, a rich husband, motherhood, part-time employment, Becky is still in debt, still overspends, buying silly stuff like birthday napkins with a name on it that is not her husband's because it was in the pound shop. I could go on and on, but you get the idea.
But the biggest complaint with Mini Shopaholic is that it really doesn't involve a 2 year old shopping. The main plot is Becky wants to throw a surprise party for her husband. That's it. I mean, it's chick lit fair, but it's just so dumbed down. Despite, the silly plot, it's still well written. Sophie Kinsella is the queen of the Chick Lit genre, and I have enjoyed her other books that are separate from Becky's saga very much. It's also a very quick read. Mind you, this time it took me the full 3 weeks to read through it (the library lets you have it for 3 weeks) because I kept leaving it. I just didn't care how it ended. Will the party be a success? Will Luke be surprised? Will Becky go in debt for it? Who really cares. But because I have such a past fondness for Becky that I persevered. But I just really want Becky to learn a bit more. Then again, if she did there would be no shopaholic books. I understand that. So I guess I just have to accept Becky and all her faults. Because like real life, some people just don't change.
But the big question remains, if there is another book in the series, which there probably will be, will this reader return? Hmmmm. Who knows. As long as I don't spend my hard earned money on it then you never know!