July 14, 2013

Well it has been some time that I needed to pass along thoughts:

Man of Steel – we saw this together (seems ages ago) and I have thought about this movie more.  I liked Superman.  I don’t like Lois Lane (Amy Adams).  She redeemed herself recently with me in The Fighter but we will get back to that.   And these fights scenes and action sequences that go on and on and on are tiresome.  Like sword fighting in battles (ie: Braveheart) once it has been done, there is little more that you can add to it.   So why repeat with these tights camera shots (Bourne)?  In the end, Superman to me is just a little too nice and too perfect.   It’s the story that does not capture me.  Not like Batman does or did.   There are so many questions.   So many times the level of disbelief has to rise.  And then there is that ever-present Lois Lane, for whom he has no chemistry.  None.   The woman he would give up his powers for and turn the world spinning the other way (in the Christopher Reeves versions anyway), and they couldn’t even light a flashlight with their collective electricity.
Before Midnight – the reviews of this were excellent.  You asked whether there really was any need to spend more time with these characters.  The answer is a resounding “Yes”.   Yes, you should.  They are more interesting and full of insight into the middle aged couple and their challenges.   They have real life issues like step-children, and jobs and the myriad of life happenings that impact romantic love, and continued romantic love.   Celine has plenty of insight and also some pent up aggression towards Jessie.   Jessie has some guilt issues about being away from his son during his formative years.   Questions that are posed are taken as directions to go.  Consequences ensue.   This is another film that you take away what you bring into it.  20-somethings won’t like it or get it (as much).  They haven’t crossed some of these hurdles.  It can be insightful to them.  But the 40-somethings in the crowd will get it if they have lived and experienced.   See it.  Rental perhaps but do see it.
The Fighter – this was one that I had not seen in 2011.  I managed to see it on Demand the other night.  This was another David O Russell film (Silver Linings Playbook) and this guy knows good movies and get great performances.   Christian Bale won the Best Supporting Actor here, and it is deserved.  It is a physical role (having him lose pounds and hair) but also a challenge to create sympathy for a guy who lives in the past glories.   And abuses himself.   Then there is Mom (Melissa Yeo) who also won a Best Supporting Oscar and it was a very good role.  This shows you real people again that you don’t want over for dinner, but are fun to watch.   The sisters were just priceless.   Amy Adams showed some spunk and acting chops too by butting heads with the Mom and family.   I liked all performances and the movie.   I had not realized that this fighter story was recent.   Wish I had seen the fights now.
Pacific Rim – This was Rock Em Sock Em Robots as feared.  It is deeper than that, somewhat, but the premise remains the same.   Big sound, 3D (ugh!!) plenty of things that blow up.  Add to this healthy borrowings from Independence Day with an alien invasion that seems unstoppable with the geek who is charged with figuring out the weakness.   The geek channels Bobcat Goldthwait so well that I had to think if it was a younger version (or his son!!).  Was it believable?!   Not for a second!!   Your man, Idris Elba is good here (apparently this was to be a Tom Cruise vehicle that he backed away from – too bad Tom chose Oblivion).   This is however, NOT a 4 Star movie.  it is brain candy.  Fun while it lasts but forgotten minutes after it is over.   Not memorable.  A Rah-Rah go get ’em flick with these ugly over sized monsters coming from the deep.   Better on a big screen yes.  Good for a cheap Tuesday visit!!!
Cheers!  Come to the city again sometime….
This past week I watched 42, as you likely know the Jackie Robinson story.   I felt as though the performances here were good.  There was more of a focus on the Harrison Ford character than I had expected.   The guy playing Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) was interesting and there was less baseball really than I would have thought.   This is a baseball story, but obviously much more than that.   I do think that more could have focused on the baseball.   There is AT LEAST another movies worth on that front.  He DID win a World Series.   He was a career over .300 hitter and stole many bases.   Anyway, it was worthy of the rental.
I did catch the first episode and second of Homeland Season 1.  I noted that it was again voted for an Emmy for top series.  That would be for Season 2.   I will continue to seek it out.
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