Holidays = movie time!
Flying on planes always gives me the opportunity to catch up on things a little, so some of the movies reviewed below are not super new, but anyway 😉
I recently watched:
Locke, Captain America – Winter Soldier and Frankenweenie on planes and
the Hobbit – Battle of the Five Armies and Interstellar at movie theaters in Singapore.
Is an interesting experiment of filming a man alone in his car driving into London whilst having dozens of phone calls. The only thing you see in the entire movie is the motorway and Tom Hardy driving his car and phoning around. There are three main story lines. He is a married man with two teenage kids and has once had a one night stand with another woman who just called him that she is getting his baby that very night. He decided to drive to the hospital to see her and has to tell his wife about it. At the same time he has a very critical job issue. The following day he is supposed to oversee the pouring of basement concrete for a 55 floor high skyscraper.
He is on the phone with his family, the woman who gets his baby in the hospital and guys from work. We witness the drama unfold only via voices and the images of Hardy in his car.
It’s interesting but straining at times and the reactions of the people on the phone did not always convince me, especially the female reactions. For some odd reason I felt that this screenplay was written by a man. The women came across as hysteric, while Tom Hardy stayed oh so cool the entire time. If you are in for serious drama, watch it, if you find the thought of 90 minutes of a one man show sitting in a car dreadful, skip it.
Captain America – Winter soldier
What can I say? Typical marvel flick? I must admit I didn’t see the first captain America movie. This second one didn’t knock my socks off. What sticks in my mind most of all is that Robert Redford looked so old, despite him not looking that old in the brilliant “All Is Lost” (now that’s a one man show worth watching! While Locke lives from talking, All Is Lost lives from action. Redford hardly says a word the entire movie and yet it is very intense. But anyway, we are talking captain America here, not All Is Lost.) The second thing sticking to my mind was that Scarlet Johansen looked so sunburnt all the time….
The plot? It was as clear as a sunny day that Fury wouldn’t be dead dead. An organization like SHIELD, or the bad guy elements in it, working against the people and not for the people? No news there either. Brining down three of the flying fortresses? Well, Loki and company brought down one in the Avengers, so what’s news there? An old friend of Captain America abused in experiments? Seen stuff like that all before too. So, I missed some new interesting, funky stuff. I liked Guardians of the Galaxy much better for example, plenty of funky characters there that lighten things up 😉 I suppose funky characters is difficult in a Captain America setting.
Lovely! I had missed that movie somehow. I generally like Tim Burton’s movies even if they have sometimes the tendency to be a bit too alike in their looks. Beetlejuice is still my favorite and Sleepy Hollow is so awesome thanks to Christopher Walken… As for the puppet movies of course A Nightmare Before Christmas stands out, but Frankenweenie is pretty cool as well.
The story is simple. Frankenstein with a dog. Little Victor looses his dog Sparky to a car accident and reanimates him. Other kids at school try to redo the trick and create a whole horde of more or less agreeable undead monsters. The homage to Japanese monster movies with the giant turtle was just hilarious and the cat/bat and her owner were putting many smiles on my face too. It’s a fun movie not just for children and black and white sometimes does have its appeal.
Much has been debated already about the science in this movie and I shall not focus on that here. Entering a singularity… Minced meat? Space ship fitting into a wormhole? Time traveling?
Anyway, the movie had lots of great aspects, too, one of the strongest moments for me was when they visit the first water planet, to find out that it’s close proximity to the black hole causes these incredible tidal waves, then finding out that the two, three hours they had spent there cost their crew mate left on the mother ship 23 years. That was an amazing scene. Also what followed, the messages from 23 years that Cooper and Brand receive were big emotional highlights. Just a few hours for them, years for others. That was powerful stuff.
The devastation on earth was also well portrayed with those dust storms and reduced crop variety. McCaughney and Hathaway were both cast a bit against the stuff they usually do and both did excellent jobs in my opinion.
And Matt Damon as the ice planet asshole, what a befitting role 😉
Interstellar is a complex movie as I expect one from the Nolan brothers, and that I will definitely watch again, but for the moment I still like Inception better 😉
The Hobbit – The battle of the five armies
Hmmmmm… It all came to a conclusion, yes, we have gone full circle, yes. There is closure now, yes, but there was also repetition. The grand battle in the end reminded at times so much of the battle for Gondor… Whilst I never had the impression in LOTR that there was too much battling going on, in the Hobbit 3 it felt like, hey it’s enough. The Eagles again… Why do they always come only at the last minute and not the first? Why are the orcs so suicidal (e.g. the giant Orc that makes a hole in one of Dale’s walls and falls dead) What are these Dune earthworms doing there suddenly for one bit? Olifants in LOTR – Orcfants(?) in the Hobbit? Why didn’t they use cave trolls? – “they’ve got a cave troll…” As Sean Bean used to say so wonderfully in LOTR.
But there were nice things too in the movie. I liked it very much that Thranduil got more screen time. Thorin’s gold sickness and the parallels to Smaug were nicely played. The final battle between Azog and Thorin on the ice was quite epic. So, a worthy conclusion? Maybe, but one thing is for sure, the Hobbit trilogy has not reached the drama and quality of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which also is of course due to the fact that LOTR is the grander literary work of the two.
One last thing that vexes me:
Have you ever noticed all those widowers in LOTR a and the Hobbit? Elrond’s wife, dead, Thranduil’s wife, dead, Bard’s wife, dead… What is it with this wife dying? Not to speak of that we never get personally introduced to a female dwarf… Since Jackson has changed one or the other significant thing as compared to the Hobbit book anyway (introducing Tauriel, brining Legolas back) I’d have liked him to dare to give us a female dwarf character! Was that the last of middle earth from Jackson? I actually kinda doubt it.