Summer Movies

Being as though I am minoring in film and flan to become a screenwriter, I figure I should start reviewing the films I see, beyond what the amazing Rottentomatoes.com can give me.

Only worthy films get 5 stars on my watch.

So here’s my take on the summer blockbusters I have seen so far, which do NOT include Rise of the Planet of the Apes, because every single showing was sold out last night.

Damn dirty apes.

So, here we go:

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

I like Harry Potter.

I do not love Harry Potter, like most people my age do.

Most of this has to do with the fact that I view J. K. Rowling as a great storyteller but a piss-poor writer. Not that I have much room to talk: I, unlike Rowling, have not made over one billion Great Britain Pounds from a book, or any piece of my writing.

Wipe that smug grin off your face, Jo.

But i do like Harry Potter, enough so to go to the midnight showing of the final film, revel in the gathering of nerds and feel a tinge of remorse at the end of an era.

I was also paid to do it. You can read about that here: http://burke.patch.com/articles/harry-potter-film-finale-signals-end-of-an-era

I also liked the final film enough that I paid to see it again so my boyfriend could see it. Being a herpetologist, most of his complaints were about the species of Nagini, Voldemort’s pet snake and final horcrux.

Overall, I don’t have much to say about the final installment of the series. It is what it is, and it does what it sets out to do well. Apart from the awkward as balls last 20 minutes of the film, it was fairly superb. The art direction was fantastic, the acting was better than usual (except for Ginny; do not get me started on Ginny), the pacing was perfect, and Neville got hott.

Hello Mr. Longbottom.

Cowboys and Aliens

I like westerns. I like sci-fi. I like Harrison Ford.

I saw Cowboys and Aliens as sort of an accident. I somehow cajoled my boyfriend into taking me to see the new Winnie the Pooh movie. However, I did not take into account the fact that Winnie the Pooh’s audience is not awake past 6:00 PM.

"Oh bother, it's past my bedtime. "

So we got to the movie theater around 6:30, and the ticket attendant angrily bit back “We don’t have any showings of that movie past 5:30. Pick another!”

And here I was, heartbroken that I wouldn’t get to spend 90 minutes in the A Hundred Acre Woods. So quickly we look up at the marquis, which is less of a standard movie marquis and more of an electronic scoreboard they use to tell you how many RBI’s the batter has had this season, and scramble to find a replacement film. We hurriedly pick Cowboys because it has Harrison Ford for me, and plenty of action, explosions, cool aliens, and shoot-outs for my boyfriend.

I will tell you this of Cowboys and Aliens: I was not disappointed.

The plot is a bit thin, but it is intentionally so. I think the reason why critics failed to enjoy Cowboys was because they were expecting it to be an A movie. It is not. It is a well-made, expensive, flashy, well-cast B movie, and that’s what it set out to be. Yes, it is ridiculous. But that’s what makes movies fun. For the same reason that critics hated the latest installment in the Indiana Jones saga, this film met the same critical fate.

The aliens at the end were supposed to be ridiculous. It's a film style. I can't support the casting of Shia LeBeouf, though. You're on your own there, Speilberg.

For those who are curious as how cowboys and aliens exist on the same plane, here’s a brief plot summary:

Daniel Craig, playing a rough and tough, mysterious wanderer witha stylish bracelet that shoots laser beams, finds himself alone in the desert. He no longer remembers who he was and where he came from. After killing a few baddies he finds himself in town, where most people seem to know who he is, including Harrison Ford, who plays a war-hardened cattle proprietor.

This is what we call good casting.

Right as the two are about to duke it out over some gold that Craig apparently stole but has no recollection of, aliens come and bomb the living daylights out of their pathetic cowboy ghost town. After Ford’s whiny son (played by Paul Dano) is abducted, it’s war: the two set out, along with other townspeople (which include that kid from M. Night. Shamylan’s The Last Airbender in a role that doesn’t make him look like he is being directed by a brain-damaged lemur), to find their lost loved ones. Meanwhile, a mysterious hot chick starts to follow around Craig.

 

Olivia Wilde makes prairie dresses sexy.

That’s really all there is to say. It was a fun summer flick, and i’m glad I saw it.

Bridesmaids

This is one for the feminists. A Judd Apatow film that is for women, by women? Somehow, this collaboration between Apatow and SNL’s Kristen Wiig combines potty humor, wit, drama, romance, and sex with ease. Written by Wiig and Annie Mumolo, the film was expertly crafted, and it shows. It combines elements from films like The 40 Year Old Virgin, Superbad, Talladega Nights, and Walk hard: The Dewey Cox Story and gears them towards women, in a way that almost always works. For instance, I brand a scene in which Wiig, Maya Rudolph, that girl who plays Erin on the Office, and the rest of the cable of bridesmaids go to a French bridal boutique and suddenly develop a case of food poisoning so strong that they begin to defecate and vomit everywhere, including in the middle of the street, decidedly Apatow-ian.

Hoo boy.

Yet, there’s still Wiig everywhere: it is obvious that this movie is her love child.

It feels like spending a few hours with your best friend: there may be a few slow moments and some drama that you don’t want to deal with, but you’re there to have fun.

I would be elated if Kirsten Wiig was my best friend. I, however, would not invite her to be on my bridal party after this film.

 

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