Friday, November 09, 2012

Movies on an Airplane

Does it say something about the quality of films when the most believable characters are in a superhero movie? Alas, that was the case on a recent United flight.

The condition of the video system also had its issues. The "guide" in the seeat was from November, but the movies didn't match those. (Perhas they were last months?) One channel had only audio, while one movie was shown on two channels. (Same language, same subtitles.) And when it played, the screen would sometimes dim and even disappear. IT could usually be fixed by wiggling the screen, but it was annoying.

As for the movies, Amazing Spiderman had the most believable characters. I liked this version of Spiderman better than the previous version. The movie reminded me of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" - though I'm not sure why.

Moonrise Kingdom was a quirky movie. IT reminded me of Bill Murray movies, but that may be because he was in it. Two 12 year olds fall in love, and escape on an island camping trip. They are both outcasts, and plenty of other weird things happen. (A lightening strike, marriage and scissor stabbing). The movie is more about "style" than plot.
The acting is very "quirky". You could call it "intentionally bad". I enjoyed the style, but the film itself didn't quite work.

Rock of Ages was a good concept poorly executed. It is a musical made up of 80's hair-metal songs. Creating the musical must have been a little of fun. They also did a great job merging the songs together. (A duet of "We Built this City" and "We're not going to take it".) I can see some people sitting back say "how can we fashion a plot where all these songs make sense together.)

In the movie, the two main characters have come to LA to search out a singing career. For now they are working in a popular bar. These two characters are well done, and provide a nice love story arc. Alas, everyone else is so caricatured that its hard to believe they inhabit the same universe. I could see them making all the other characters (and settings) animated to further set them apart. At the least that would add a critical separation.

The Tom Cruise character was especially annoying. He was a "Wine and Women" rock star gone way over the top. His screen presence was annoying. Catherine Zeta Jones character was also an extreme hypocritical reformer. If she was portrayed straight, at least there would be some conflict. But, it became obvious from the start that she was a "closest rocker". The "reformer" dance scenes also had some great potential, but were blown by the desire to play things in a "half-drunk rocker" style.

Brave is a Pixar film that tries to be something "different". It just doesn't do a good job of it. It has a girl protagonist and relies more on gross-out humor than the typical pixar film. It also has a confusing message. (Its brave to reconcile your relationship with your family after turning your mom in to a bear?)

And finally, "Beasts of the Southern Wild" was simply tedious. I had trouble seeing the point of the movie. What is this little girl doing? Why should I care about it? In the end, I didn't. One thing I did get out of it was the harmfulness of excess intervention. The people came together as they occupied a flooded bayou. However, when they were forced off to a shelter, there humanity was taken from them, even though it was supposedly for their better.

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