Sunday, June 12, 2011

This week in DVD - June 12th

Just Go With It

I had my expectations really lowered here, so it helped me get through it. It's still a pretty bad movie, but I at least got a few laughs out of it.

The entire premise of the films is based on a lie so ridiculous that it's hard to believe he even attempted to keep it up so long. Adam Sandler is a bachelor that wears a fake wedding ring as he's found it helps him meet women. He hooks up with a girl, played by Brooklyn Decker, that he actually likes, but she ends up finding his ring and naturally assumes he's married. This obviously is a problem for her. In a panic, Sandler tells her he's going through a divorce and then elists this aid of his friend, played by Jennifer Aniston and her two annoying kids, to help sell the lie.

It's needlessly elaborate. There are much simpler excuses he could have given that would have gotten him out of this mess on the first day. I would get exhausted after a day or two and said, "Okay, I'm sorry, but I'm full of shit. This is what's really going on. I'm a doctor and I wear a fake ring to keep the gold diggers away", or, "I get hit on a lot, so I wear a ring so I don't have to deal with it." I've actually seen girls do this, so I'm not sure why this wouldn't work for guys, too.

Anyway, this is still yet another romantic comedy that uses the typical convention where the movie would resolve itself if in ten minutes if the characters would just communicate and say what they are thinking. It's so irritating.

The soundtrack was gratingly awful. I don't mind The Police, but every other song was by them and then they were doing these awful mash-ups of lyrics to modern songs mixed with 80's songs.

Lastly, another annoyed was yet another romantic comedy trope I can't stand they used here is the trying on clothes music montage. Can this be retired from all romantic comedies?

I thought the kids in the movie were annoying. They seemed a little too young to be so manipulative. Another bad thing about this movie is that it's nearly two hours long. This is like an episode of Three's Company stretched out over two hours. At certain points I just wanted this to end. For a movie that's as long as it is, it's just not that funny. I got a few chuckles, but nothing that made me laugh out loud.

I think the banter between Jennifer Aniston and Sandler is the only thing that worked for me.. I felt that those two actually clicked in their scenes together. In fact, Jennifer Aniston is probably the only good thing about this film. Well, that and slo-motion shots of Brooklyn Decker.

This is the perfect definition of something you rent when you have nothing else to do or watch on HBO or something.


The Company Men

This is a movie featuring a theme that I always find hard to watch. It's a movie about downsizing and people losing their jobs. This is never fun to watch. Who doesn't fear that themselves or know someone that's dealt with it...recently?

The movie starts with Ben Affleck, who appears to be just a typical corporate upper management-type going in to work. His company decides to downsize and he's one of the first casualties. However, you start out really not liking Ben Affleck's character as he's a bit on the arrogant side after losing his job. He just assumes he's going to get a new job in a week or two and continues to spend money on frivolous things to keep up appearances His priorities are out of whack and it's hard to like or sympathize with him at first. Eventually, he comes back down to Earth though. His performance is fine, it's just the character you might not like. I guess that's the point though.

The performances from Tommy Lee Jones, Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper and Kevin Costner are all great here.

I actually enjoyed this film until the end, which I felt like the end of kind of a cop out. The whole movie is about people losing their jobs, desperation, with a little bit of corporate greed thrown in, but then they still try to give a happy ending which just felt like a sudden change in tone and out of place.

I'd still say this is worth a rental.


Biutiful

Okay, this is a weird one. If you have a hard time watching foreign, subtitled films, then you can probably stop reading now.

The main character, played by Javier Bardem, I guess is some kind of criminal. It's not really clear what exactly he is and I didn't think they every really explained it. He's some kind of drug or human trafficker. He's also some kind of sweat shop boss, yet he seems to care about the people he's exploiting. You see him a few times very concerned about their well being. I guess he's the criminal with the heart of gold.

Well, we find out very early on in the movie that he appears to be dying of prostate cancer and he only has a few months to live. He basically spends the movie trying to tie up the loose ends in his life, trying to reconcile with his ex wife (who you see sleeping with his brother at the beginning of his film), and making sure his two young kids are taken care of. As he gets sicker, he totally falls apart in the movie. He pees blood, etc. It's not pretty.

Don't get me wrong, Bardem is great. He really can say a lot with just a look. There's a lot going on in his eyes, and I don't mean that in a, "I got lost in his eyes" way. There's just a lot going on there.

However, the movie is excruciatingly long. It's two and half hours and paced very slowly. With all the random stuff in the movie that didn't seem to relate to the main story, it seems they could have trimmed a good 40 minutes out of the movie and told the same story. Here are some examples:

- There's a weird-ass scene where they go to strip club, but all the strippers asses have nipples on them and at first look like giant boobs. Then, they show you a full body shot and she has a giant tit-head. It's like they were suddenly in the Star Wars Cantina. Sure, it's interesting thing to watch, but what did it have to do with the movie?

- There's a thread about two Asian, gay lovers, that I'm not sure what it had to do with the plot. Their inital role is that they are Bardem's underlings running the sweat shop with him, but the plot about them being lovers didn't have anything to do with the rest of the film.

- Also, it appears that Bardem's character is also psychic. There are several scenes of him being paid by people to communicate with the dead, kind of like in Hereafter. Along with that, there are several times where he actually sees the dead people, like just hanging from the ceiling. You almost don't notice it at first. It seems like this would have made for a good horror film if they had explored it, but again, I'm not really sure what that point had to do with the main story.

I caught myself taking several micro-naps during the last forty minutes.

Anyway, maybe I completely missed the point of this film or something was lost in translation, but I'm not going to sit here and tell you this movie is great or brilliant in an attempt to sound smarter, like I get it and you don't.

The director of this film, Alejando Inaritu, also directed Babel, which was another movie that I thought had needless plot threads, so maybe this is just his style.

If any of the above sounds interesting to you, then you might enjoy the rental, but otherwise, I can't really recommend this to anyone.


Sanctum

Boy, was this awful! Don't be fooled by James Cameron's name on this. He's only the executive producer. He didn't write or direct this. I can only assume he was involved because he saw it as an opportunity to show off his 3D technology in an underwater movie. Cameron has always had some weird water fetish, so maybe that's why he got involved.

The initial premise of the movie itself isn't going to be all that appealing to most people. It's about a bunch of dorks exploring a cave that is largely underwater in order to map it out. If you have issues with enclosed spaces or being underwater, this is really going to be a picnic for you. Anyway, the 'expert' cave explorers are financed by some American billionare, and why he has to be American, I have no idea. He's played by Ioan Gruffudd, who's Welsh, but speaking with an American accent for some, but all of the explorers appear to be Australian. I really don't understand the reason he needed to be made American, other than to say the douchey rich guy is an American. I was distracted by this, but granted if you don't know who Ioan Gruffudd is (he was in the Fantastic Four movies), then you probably won't notice this.

So the explorers are warned that a storm is coming and instead of getting out in time, like normal people, they decide to push their departure to the point where it becomes too late and now they are stuck there with the cave slowly flooding and now they have to swim their way out, only they haven't finished mapping the cave, so they don't even know if they can get out or not.

At this point, people start dropping like flies. The problem is that you don't like any of the characters at all, so when they start dying, you just don't care. If they had made the deaths a little more entertaining, then I would have enjoyed this as a campy horror film, but this is trying to be a serious film. The father is kind of a dick, his son is a whiny bitch, the american billionaire is a douche, and his girlfriend is just some dumb chick. At one point she outright refuses the suggestion of the 'expert' cave explorer and she pays for it. You're like, "That's what you get for not listening to someone that knows what he's talking about and you clearly don't." You almost want these people to die. It's that bad.

The dialog and acting are just awful. Like SyFy channel bad. The female leads seemed totally out of place, like all of her dialog was dubbed in after.

I kept waiting for some kind of alien or monster to be in the water. This movie desperately needed that.

Skip this movie hard!!

1 comment:

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