Sunday, January 12, 2014

My detergent makes better film than this

I've been catching up on 2013's movies and I've been in rut of bad choices lately:
  • Elysium
  • World War Z
  • Pacific Rim
  • Lone Ranger
  • Flight (2012)
Overall each of these movies was painful to push through to the end.  Most were downright boring, all had serious writing issues.  

Elysium was rehash of District 9 with some serious casting issues (I'm looking at you Jodie Foster & Sharlto Coply)  Sadly, Coply, who was brilliant as Wickus (District 9), was painful as Kruger (Elysium.)  Jodie foster captured all the charisma of carboard box with an equally bad accent.  In Elysiums favor were some of the best robots I've ever seen in movies.  Not only did they look great, but the concepts of how they may be used in our world were subtly brilliant.

I didn't like the hoarding zombies of World War Z, I felt the tension building scenes were too intense and served to push me out of the fantasy (and put the movie on the shelf for few days before I thought I could try again.)  Brad Pitt did not bring any real panache to the film either.  I really didn't find any redeeming qualities in WWZ

Pacific Rim had some awesome looking robots and incredible fight scenes.  That however could not overcome every other bad scene in the movie.  The fight scenes themselves carried some inexplicable choices that ruined what little investment you had made in that universe.  Even as a fantasy popcorn thriller, it was too contrived, implausible and corny to be stomached.

High hopes for the Lone Ranger were dashed mightily under the weight of Depp, who simply could not bring any charisma to his character, and built no chemistry with Arnie Hammer.  Hammer was as misfit in the Lone Ranger as Ryan Reynolds was in the Green Lantern.  His goofy appearance and manner had no place winning over fans of the calm and certain rogue lawman.  After wading through all the muck of the film, the big pay-off scene - The poetic justice of using the famed "Silver Bullet" - was absolutely botched and to top it all off, Promontory, Utah was again featured in a lousy western (see Wild Wild West.)

Flight was a plodding trek though debauchery and lies with no real redemption (the conclusion of this film was not redeeming.)  The soundtrack to flight was absolutely spot-on though, and I recommend every song used in the film.

On the bright side though, I did find a jewel or two on my list:
  • The Wolverine
  • Oblivion
  • Jack Reacher (2012)
The Wolverine was surprisingly fun to watch.  It wasn't the best X-Men film, but was far from the worst.  It was in some cases a bit too fantastical and the villains were not engaging but this paled in comparison to a bang up job by Hugh Jackman (who may be phoning in the Wolverine character but still makes it compelling) and a surprisingly entertaining sidekick character.  This film is a great example of a fun, fantasy/action film.  Unsophisticated, but entertaining with a touch of Kung Fu campyness.

Oblivion didn't have an outstanding story.  It lacked depth and didn't have a great ending.  What it did have, however, was an eye candy production with outstanding post apocalyptic landscapes and great futuristic robots, weapons and infrastructure.  I absolutely loved watching the world this film built.

Jack Reacher was a solid action/mystery film in the tradition of Along Came A Spider, Ronin, Heat and others.  I loved the concept of the minimalist protagonist digging though an ever deeper rabbit hole.  In some ways, Jack Reacher would be an excellent Super Hero.

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