Tag Archives: opinion

Hunting witches, taking names

Okay. So. It’s been a while since I’ve been here. For some reason, I just can never manage to do all of the things. Like, when I’m exercising and reading all the time, I can’t find time for writing or the blog. And vice-versa. I need to work on that. Maybe that’s my New Year’s resolution. (I hate defining those.)

Let’s get right into it, shall we? I’m not here to talk about myself. I’m here to talk about HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS.


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First off – what is wrong with critics these days? Critics have been picking this movie apart left and right, with only an 18% approval rating. But audience members have been loving this movie. Not only has every single viewer that I know loved it, but Rotten Tomatoes’ meter has been suggesting 65-70% approval from the audience. That’s is a huge gap!

These dark-spinned supernatural/fairy tale movies have been such a let down in the past. I always look forward to them, and am rarely satisfied. Brothers Grimm. Snow White and the Huntsman. Van Helsing. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Too much hype, not enough meat.

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This wasn’t the perfect movie. There rarely is a perfect movie, and of course when there is, it’s generally defined by one’s biases. But I thought it was great. I am very much against revving up peoples’ expectations lately, so this is not much of a review (like I used to write). But I here are the reasons why I thought this film was great:

  1. It was funny. Some critics thought the one-liners were forced, some of the swearing unnecessary. I thought it was flippant and cute.
  2. It was gory. But not too much. Just enough to satiate myself without freaking out my friends. Well done.
  3. It was creepy. The makeup was a bit much, but it did the job. I loved that the main witches were very “traditional,” but that there were also very artistic, original ones as well.
  4. The main characters were genuine with each other. That moment where they found each other again? Ah! I truly believed Renner and Arterton were siblings with an arguably unhealthy dependence on each other*. Loved it.
  5. It didn’t take itself too seriously. The action scenes were rough, it had its moments of cheesiness and the writer/director had no problem displaying Hansel and Gretel as imperfect.
  6. It was fun!
  7. **

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Like I said, it wasn’t perfect. But I’m fairly confident that most audience members will enjoy it. Have you seen it? What do you think?

* I tend to have an addiction to fiction in which the main characters are unhealthily attached to each other, usually because of the experiences they go through. It will be a blog post some day.

** I may have an unhealthy attachment to Jeremy Renner. This post is undoubtedly biased.

 

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Lost in Translation: a few thoughts

I watched LOST IN TRANSLATION again the other day.

It’s hard to describe why I like that movie so much. Many people don’t get it. That’s what they keep telling me. “I just don’t get it.”

Without further ado, a really poor mish-mash of why I believe I enjoy the film, or at least, why I think it’s poignant:

The characters have been careened into a foreign country only to end up frozen there.

They are trapped in a sort of suspended animation, brought on by the unfamiliarity of the space and the seemingly udderlessness of their lives. They’re caught together in loneliness and loss of direction, and in Tokyo they forge a friendship that would have been unlikely, if not impossible, in a familiar world. The older man/younger woman relationship has underlying currents of inexplicable empathy that same-age relationships sometimes lack, and displacement from the everyday is the catalyst. At their parting, at the break of this sidetrack in their lives, they leave better for meeting each other and move on to be in transition, not in stasis any longer.

The movie instills me with a lot of scattered emotion. I find it inspiring, and that it puts me in a mood, and that I always want to just write after. (Too bad I watched it late at night.)

And that, my friends, is that.


A not-so Legacy?


So, I know you’ve been waiting to hear my thoughts on the Bourne Legacy.

I’ve been talking about it since I saw the preview back in February or March. What can go wrong with a fast-paced spy thriller?

The following is sort-of spoilerific.

I’m not going to go into too many details, except to say that I enjoyed it all the way until the end. (Except for the ending.) Though many reviewers (including my fiance) complained about the film being too slow for the first half, I was captured the whole way through. (Except for the ending!) There was even some wincing and unnecessary gripping of Chris’ arm during the final bike chase. Though I felt like Weisz’ character was meant to be a bit of a copy of Marie from the other films (right down to the edgy poor makeup) I actually loved the Renner/Weisz dynamic more than Damon/Potente.

But then the ending… seriously? I was completely thrown off-guard. I thought we had another half hour of movie to go. The bike chase was not climatic enough to be the “final boss” (as myself and my nerdy man call it) – it was more like a lead-up to something bigger. Plus, everything that was concluded in Ultimatum was reopened in Legacy… and left open. So when the final music started playing, my jaw dropped.

To be honest, I actually thought that this movie would have been better on its own. Many Bourne franchise fans are going to be disappointed by anything that had to do with the other films, and they introduced so many new elements to the series (like the chems, and the additional programs) that it honestly could have just been an entirely different movie.

Final thoughts? Worth the watch. Don’t expect much out of the ending. 6/10 for overall movie, but bonus points for an incredible leading man (so 7.5/10 on the Amanda Scale.)

This isn’t much of a review, but I used to pen movie editorials over at Matchflick.com. Check them out!


A Bourne revelation

So I’m the kind of person to jump all over the place. Seriously. One week I’m purposely and dreadfully busy, the next I have absolutely nothing to do. One moment I’m obsessing over fanfiction, the next I find it a waste of time. I’ll have tunnel-vision for one fandom/actor/character and then after a few weeks I’ve moved on and completely forgotten all about it. (Except for Supernatural. I always love Supernatural.)

So despite the fact that I ran out and purchased Veronica Roth’s “Insurgent” almost as soon as it came out (“Divergent” was absolutely amazing!), I had this sudden and absolute need late last week to read “The Bourne Identity.”

Yes, this is pretty random. Prompted by my excitement for THE BOURNE LEGACY, coming out in August, I just had to read it. It instills nostalgic memories of camping and lugging around a huge, first-edition hardcover from the library at the age of thirteen. (I believe I have recessive reading traits. I read intricate adult novels as a child, and now concentrate mostly on YA!) So I ran out and purchased it. And made it to about the 200-page mark, and realized that not only did I not want to finish, but that I don’t think I ever actually finished it as a child, either.

The story is interesting. Exciting. So why is it that I get so bored with it?

I think I know why. It’s the fact that everything is described in frustrating detail. That I’m 200 pages in and only a couple or so hours into the main story. That there’s way more telling than there is suggesting.

Sometimes I just want to remind some authors that it’s their job to incite the imaginations of their readers – not to describe their own imagination. But maybe that’s just my opinion of what an author should do. Who am I to question a best-selling, multi-franchise author?

Maybe I’ve just realized why I like YA and mid-grade books better. I think I’ll save the rest of “The Bourne Identity” for when I’m camping. Maybe that will help.


Sucker-punched? I wish…!

The movie Sucker Punch pisses me off.

I really, really enjoyed the film – the imagery is visually stunning and very inspiring. The premise holds a lot of promise and equal opportunity action and fantasy.

But… but… was that it?

Both times that I’ve watched this film I’ve felt unfulfilled. If Zach Snyder had some sort of philosophical moral or “uh-huh!” moment that he attempted to portray,  I just cannot grasp it. The narration at the beginning and the end attempts to provoke some sort of deeper meaning, but I really, really, just don’t get what that’s supposed to be.

The over-complicated dream within a dream scenario is something I can deal with if there’s some sort of meaning to it. Even if there’s not. But to have the film allude that there’s some sort of point to be taken away – and then turn out to be too vague to actually allow people to know what it is – is sooo frustrating…

Without giving anything away and hopefully without sounding too confusing, I’d like to say that I think Sucker Punch would be an all-around stronger film if the reality sequences were cut, leaving the top-level fantasy sequences the actual reality. What did a brothel have to do with being lobotomized in a mental institution, anyway? (Note – these are not spoilers, just stuff that’s instituted at the beginning of the film. It’ll make sense if you’ve seen it.)

If Baby Doll created her fantasy world to escape the real one, why would she create the need to escape the fantasy world as well?

Also, if the “sucker punch” of the film was merely who the actual survivors were, then that was pretty lame too. Don’t get me wrong, I love my twists – but that twist didn’t feel like a twist when everything else in the movie was twisted tighter than a Kansas tornado.

Was the entire film just an excuse to have hot girls compromised in vulnerable scenerios and running around in favourite gamer-geek action sequences? Was it all just a self-indulgent “man” movie, filled with sexism, guns and gung-ho action? Or is there an actual point?

Have you seen Sucker Punch? Please, please tell me what you thought of it! I’m searching for deeper meaning, because all of the effort and beauty of the film cannot be left behind without one!

P.S. I hate Jena Malone’s (Rocket’s) hair in this film. And also, if I’m being honest, Baby Doll’s bangs.