Saturday, July 2, 2011

Reviews Round Up: Fair Game, Gnomeo & Juliet and The Last Exorcism

Fair Game


I could just about watch any film, but one genre which doesn't stick with me is the political thriller. I try to like them, I really do, but I have so much trouble understanding them (yes, you could call me a stupid, misguided youth who should really just stick to watching brainless blockbusters). So when it came to watching Fair Game, I got everything I expected. I did understand the movie as much as I possibly could, but the one thing I was most interested in was the marriage of Valerie (Naomi Watts) and Joe (Sean Penn). One reason that contributed to this was probably the beautiful chemistry between Watts and Penn, who turn in two excellent performances. However, I've always liked movies that explore the dynamics of marriage and family, and this one is particularly interesting. Just imagine living like Valerie - secretly being a CIA agent and then having her status revealed to the world, which results in people sending her family death threats. The way that works around her marriage and family life is nothing short of interesting. However, I can't really say that this film excited me that much. There's nothing wrong with the story (a true one, even though I'd like not to believe that), the script, the direction, the tension...anything else technical. It is a very well-structured film. But at times, the only reason why I was still watching the film was for Watts and Penn, who are at the top of their game here (see what I did there?). I could definitely recommend the film, but it probably helps if you like political thrillers a little more than I do.

What I hoped for:







What I got:







Gnomeo & Juliet


Shakespeare, as told by garden gnomes? Are we really that desperate already? I do have to admit, I thought this sounded like a fun idea. But then, once I actually remembered what happens in the play, I realised that maybe gnomes weren't made to act it out. Nor was the play ever supposed to be sugar-coated into something appropriate for young kids. Instead of the Montague's and Capulet's just straight out hating each other, they have to be sorted into groups of red and blue. They have rifts over lawnmowers! Okay, for the most part, there is some creativity in the way they have made it for young children. Then again, there are quite a few jokes in the movie which aren't really suitable for it's target audience...if it has one. I imagine it will completely fail in trying to introduce Shakespeare's beautiful play to a younger generation, and it's better if they just learn about the real deal in high school. However, between the problem with having gnomes acting it out and a tiresome Elton John heavy soundtrack, this movie really doesn't give. It isn't the kind of movie I'd go to first to keep the kids happy. It was just...there. Nothing special, nothing awful...just a movie. Now, if only we could get it's voice cast into a live action movie: James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Michael Caine, Ashley Jensen, Maggie Smith, Jason Statham, Stephen Merchant, Patrick Stewart, Julie Walters...Hulk Hogan? Now that would make an interesting movie.

What I hoped for:







What I got:








The Last Exorcism


The Last Exorcism is the latest movie in the long line of docu-horrors and exorcism flicks (seriously, there's this movie at the shop called Exorcismus - it has pretty much the exact same cover as this one, and it has basically the same premise). Like Paranormal Activity, it isn't terribly exciting, but there are some genuine scares that don't last a very long time, nor to they actually induce nightmares, but they are good for the experience. To be honest, the family that this 'documentary' visits are the scariest thing ever. First we meet the son, Caleb (played by Caleb Landry Jones, better known as Banshee in X-Men: First Class), who gives the creepiest directions ever to the camera crew. Then we meet the father, who is a little brash. And of course, we meet Nell (Ashley Bell, who does all of the body contortions herself, since she has hypermobility), who is a sweet and pure young girl that's just really scary to watch. However, not everyone gets scared by people as I do, so this film will probably be very disappointing for horror fans. It isn't anything new and it takes forever to get going, but I did quite enjoy watching it. The end was quite a strange and twisted one, and was something that I didn't really expect after watching the movie for so long. Now I'm thinking about it, though, the end was blindingly obvious from the beginning.

What I hoped for:








What I got:

7 comments:

  1. Not surprised with any of these, really. I never expected much from them, and although I've only seen Fair Game, I'm sure they were all disappointing.

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  2. Yeah, they were all pretty disappointing, I guess.

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  3. I don't think anything but: Gnomeo and Juliet needs to be said, really.

    There hasn't been an excellent Shakespeare adaptation in years and years, man.

    There is so much great source material to work with, but particularly with Romeo and Juliet, it never seems to be done right (film wise, except that 60s version - I think it was a 60s version - was alright). You can say West Side Story is R&J, but it turns out to stand on its own two feet, away from Shakespeare comparisons.

    I am vary wary of this new adaptation with Hailee Steinfield in it, too.

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  4. There's something about Shakespeare which doesn't translate well into film for me somehow. I just like to enjoy the stories as they are (even though films do help me understand the things without all that fancy language).

    I'm very wary about the Hailee adaption. Sure, she's a great actress, but isn't she a bit too young?

    Mind you, I played Romeo in an English assessment and got excellence for it when I was 13...so it's possible.

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  5. I think he has language that is really filmable, though! And it's frustrating that it is never done right! (Though I haven't seen Orson Welles' Shakespeare adaptations, or any of Laurence Oliviers' stuff.)

    Funnily enough, in the play, Juliet is about 14 years old, but playing against a 19 year old in real life just makes it a little bit creepy for my liking. If she was 16 or so, I think it would be alright. It's odd that though there is only five years difference between the dude that is playing Romeo, and her, it can make all the difference at that age. There is just something about maturity levels (both mentality and physically) that just doesn't sit right with me. (Glad to know that you agree with the wary side of things, too.)

    If I could actually act, I would so want to play Romeo, too! He get's all the best lines imo.

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  6. I guess Laurence Olivier's version of Hamlet was pretty good, but I would have rather seen his work on the stage!

    I always imagined Juliet as a 16 year old, with a lot more maturity than her age. That age difference is just creepy, though. I don't know how it is in Hollywood, but a 14 year old girl going out with a 19 year old is pretty gross.

    Romeo does have the best lines! I freaking rocked as Romeo. It was funny because this was when I just started high school, and everyone thought I was really quiet and shy. And BOOM! I get up on that stage and I put everyone to shame. What a proud moment...:P

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

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