Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Movie Reviews!!

With all the big fall movies coming out, I've seen several articles on what's creating Oscar Buzz. My list of Oscar-worthy movies to see is made (as well as my non-oscar, but I want to see anyway list)and I'm slowly making my way to the theaters to space out the contenders for favorite movie of 2009 (let's be honest... it's going to go to New Moon, what with my ridiculous 14-year-old self re-emerging with a vengeance!) But here's the two movies I've seen in the last week and what I think...

So I actually had great expectations for this movie. I LOVED The Day After Tomorrow but who can really blame me... Jake Gyllenhaal was in it... but that's neither here nor there. I liked that disaster film. It had enough extra oomph in the plotline so that when the end of the world got to be too much, or a bit cheesy, I could refocus onto the relationship side of the movie. 2012 had none of that. It was seriously ridiculous, I'm sad to say. So if you don't know what it's about (then I don't know how we're friends and you're reading this because I'm CLEARLY a movie fanatic...) let me give you a brief synopsis. It's 12/21/2012 (my 29th birthday!! EEPS!!) and the end of the world predicted by the Mayans or Incas or someone back in the day is upon us. So when the tectonic plates start shifting there's earthquakes, fire, doom and gloom. Basically, the perfect plot for some amazing stunts and graphic stuff. And I'll admit that I thought the graphics were pretty cool. At this one point, Santa Monica is sliding into the ocean, and I thought it looked really realistic. But that's about all that was realistic and awesome about the movie. The acting was ok, but it was the writing that I just couldn't get over, in addition to some cheesy camera angles that I probably wouldn't have chosen. Instead of adding to the heart of the film, some of the lines were literally laughable (Emily and I were cracking up). Also there was a particular camera angle used when someone was falling off something and it just cracked me up! This guy is plummeting to his demise, and I'm cracking up because the camera is falling with him, a close-up on his face, while his mouth is just opened in a wide "O" of shock.

I guess there's really not much more to say, other than I wish I hadn't spent my $5 on the Saturday matinee. It was amusing, yes, but probably the biggest movie disappointment, and certainly not worth all the hype for the last few months.

Luckily, my faith in film was restored last night when I went to see the long-awaited Precious.

Precious is about a 16 year old girl in Harlem in 1987 who lives with an abusive mother and is pregnant for the 2nd time by her father. This is probably one of the most intensely heartbreaking films I've ever seen. I can't even think of a movie where I felt remotely the same after watching. I guess the closest thing I can think of is how I felt at the end of Atonement. That was another film that was just heartbreaking (I honestly can't think of another word to describe it). The cinematography was more raw in this film, much less of a sweeping epic look like Atonement, or other high budget films, but it was perfect for the story. The angles and movement of the cameras just added to the rawness of the film. Even the music was an amazing fit. I would have never thought to include the upbeat music that was scattered throughout the film, but it just helps to add a depth to the main character, Precious, that was almost hard to believe existed after seeing the desolate, abusive life she had.

This brings me to the actors. I mean, wow. There has been a lot of hype and Oscar buzz already, and with good reason. Every actor was phenomenal, but I absolutely cannot get over Mo'Nique. I've seen her on talk shows and she's bubbly and personable, but in this film she was an absolute monster. And she was believable, and unrecognizable. For her to deliver the verbal and physical abuse she inflicted upon her daughter was hard to watch, and I can't fathom having to actually live it while in character. This is the first time I have ever had a physical reaction to a film. I wanted to puke in disgust a couple of times, while there were several other scenes that of course had me tearing up. The climactic ending was almost too much to watch.

The film does have a hopeful ending, which is nice after such an emotionally draining couple of hours. So far, this is my favorite film of the year.

More movies to come (if I remember!) Let me know if you've seen either of these and if you agree or disagree with me.