Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Great Names, Awful Movies: The Tourist and The Dilemma

I used to think that movies would be amazing because they had so many great names floating around them. I miss those days. Now it just seems like...well, there aren't any major components that could make you think a film is amazing even before seeing it.

Ah...so, I watched The Tourist and The Dilemma just recently and even though these films should be highly regarded due to their star power, the rest of the material doesn't possibly match up. In fact, the material is more disastrous than the average no-star straight-to-DVD flick.

The Tourist

The 'knowable' stars: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany.
The director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, who directed the Oscar winning The Lives of Others.


What people would think of the cast: Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie are probably the two most recognizable names in the world. Johnny's been sexy est. 1980-something and Angelina Jolie is the one with all the kids, yes? And, well, a lot of people stuck in the 90s think they're a pretty good looking duo. It probably helps that various set photos popped up in all the woman's magazines every week.
What it looks like: From the poster, one would think that The Tourist would be a suave, beautiful and elegant piece of expensive drama. Though, you could say, from a quick read of the synopsis, that this is a highly intelligent romance thriller harking back to the 60's.
What it actually is (in one sentence): A muddled thriller of sorts, with an awful twist...if this was supposed to be a comedy, it would succeed in the way it's unintentionally hilarious.
What's wrong with it: Mainly the chemistry between the stars. You'd think that the two would be professional enough to get a little bit of love between them, but they are like cousins from opposite ends of the family in this one. Speaking of those actors...their performances are absolutely terrible. Johnny Depp was as exciting as James Franco was at the Oscars. Angelina Jolie was half asleep and kept trying to do this sexy smoulder that looked like an evil squint. She just swanned around in gorgeous clothes like she owned the place...which unfortunately, she didn't own anything.


The script is a real clunker, too. A five year old could have written it better. Instead of being edge-of-your-seat stuff, it was more edge-of-your-sanity...the script was just atrocious to hear. The plot twist at the end was juvenile...absolutely juvenile. It was like something I thought of when I was 7 and playing an intense game of Saddle Club in the playground.
Did something go right? Yes. The cinematography was absolutely stunning and the music was very old fashioned, which was nice. It gave it a more stylish theme.
On a scale of 1-10, how ashamed should all involved be of this film? 8. But people still love Johnny Depp as long as he's being sexy and Angelina Jolie as long as she's with Brad Pitt.
Final words: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck...how could you?

What I got:








The Dilemma

The 'knowable' stars: Vince Vaughn, Kevin James, Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder, Channing Tatum, Queen Latifah.
The director: Ron Howard, the Oscar winning director of A Beautiful Mind.


What people would think of the cast: It's a cast of levels. Vince Vaughn has a lot of fans, apparently. He's always starred in funny movies and even though he looks very serious, he's been like the more mature version of Adam Sandler. Kevin James has a big following, too, because he's down with the LOL fans. There's your funny leads. For the lady power, there is Jennifer Connelly and Winona Ryder. Connelly will always be the chick from Labyrinth and Ryder will always be the chick from Edward Scissorhands, but they've both grown up to be respectable actresses. On the next level are the funny little people who are given small roles. Channing Tatum is busy creating a strange resume for himself and a comedy surely wouldn't hurt his fans. Queen Latifah...well, if you put Queen Latifah in a movie, there is some chance of it being funny.
What it looks like: It looks like a nice comedy of errors which probably has a lot of memorable quotes. And plus, it has a familiar situation which is sure to get a few laughs.
What it actually is (in one sentence): An inconsistent mess that can't decide whether it wants to be a comedy or a drama...and it's really hard to get in to.
What's wrong with it: It's a premise which tires quickly, and it has a lot of feeble attempts at keeping the viewer in the film. You'd think it would be pretty funny, but it's hard to know when it's okay to laugh in this movie. There's a joke that seems funny at first, but then it has such a negative context to it you can't actually find the strength to laugh at it. It just doesn't feel right to call this a comedy at all.


There's a strange subplot about Ronny (Vaughn) having a gambling addiction. It just doesn't work with the rest of the film, because it seems too serious and when they do mention it, it's thrown around like a ball in the park. That only further shows that the movie is messy and it really doesn't have much control. Which is why it is so hard for anyone to get involved.
Did something go right? Enough. The cast are still likeable. Channing Tatum was particularly entertaining. And it wasn't exactly painful to watch.
On a scale of 1-10, how ashamed should people involved be of this film? 6. I doubt that this would even be popular, as it seemed to pass by somewhat unnoticed and everyone has forgotten about it now. I'm sure everyone will keep their cool and move on.
Final words: Ron Howard, it's nice to see your back doing comedy, but can you at least get the script proof-read first?

What I got:

10 comments:

  1. The Tourist was such a pain. How could they do this?? I had so many expectations...I'm an unapologetic Depp-maniac and what the hell was wrong with him?? And I love Angelina Jolie in action flicks, but again why?? The twist was plain awful. I did think Jolie looked really pretty though. Sometimes it makes sense why Johnny Depp doesn't watch his own films.

    Oh the Dilemna looked baaad from the get-go. I haven't seen it and probably never will. I really wish Winona Ryder makes a proper comeback though.

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  2. Can't comment on the films since I haven't seen either one, and it looks like I made a wise choice, but I must say that I love those caption ratings you use.

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  3. I haven't seen The dilemma, but The Tourist with its horrible direction was one of the worst films I saw last year. Great post!

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  4. I love the post structure.
    You hit the mark with everything you wrote about The Tourist. I think the same about the chemistry and Jolie's posh gowns. And I love your comparison of Johnny with Franco at the Oscars, priceless!

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  5. I haven't seen those two films.
    Although to be honest The Tourist has kind of intrigued me by how bad it seems...

    Nice write up!

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  6. Nikhat - I do not know why The Tourist went so horribly wrong. It had everything in place to be a good film, but it just wasn't. Jolie did look really pretty. Her costumes were the best thing about this movie...but I got a bit confused as to what time period it was in since everything seemed so old fashioned.
    Winona Ryder does need to make a proper comeback. Her voice was weird in this movie...she literally sounded like Marg of The Simpsons for the majority of the film.

    Bonjour Tristesse - You made a wise choice, and I'm glad you liked them!

    Matt - The Tourist definitely was one of the worst films of last year!

    Lesya - Ha, I decided too do something different. In fact, everything I do on here now is a bit different than it used to be!
    I literally thought I was watching Franco at the Oscars when Johnny Depp was on-screen. So, so bland...

    Jack - The Tourist intrigued me because of how poorly received it was. I didn't think it could possibly be that bad...but it was. I don't know how it could have happened as badly as that.

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  7. But The Tourist got a Golden Globe... for Comedy!

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  8. ...which it wholeheartedly deserved. You don't get muuch funnier than The Tourist when the actors start to talk.

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  9. I adhere with everyone else that the structure of the post is great. The tourist was boring when it should have been interesting and dull when it should have been sexy. Award for comedy? It was funnier than dilemma.

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  10. I might try this structure if I watch any other really bad movies like these in te future! The Tourist should have been sexy and interesting, and I don't know how they got it so wrong. And yeah, The Tourist was definitely funnier than The Dilemma.

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You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.

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