Sunday, July 29, 2012

Batman-The Dark Knight Rises

OH God. Please give me back the over 3 hours I sat through this movie. The villain mumbles, the hero lisps, Catwoman sleepwalks through her lines, ugh- so what if it has special effects and a lot of shooting and bombing and slicing. I'll be the brave critic-- it isn't that good. The script is confusing in spots, the storyline is weak and often nonsensical. There is a RULE I have for science fiction or fantasy- it doesn't have to be REAL, or even plausible, but it has to be true to its own reality. You can't suspend the plot logic just because you want to. (Harry Potter is a great example of being fantasy that is true to its own reality).  Ugh. What a shame that most reviewers won't tell you that this movie is really only for the die-hard batman fans. I've never like Christian Bale as Batman but compared to Michael Keaton- well, he does do a much better job.  I expected the darkness, and I expected the twists, but not the totally illogical actions. It was as if the editors realized the movie was getting damn long so they just snipped away without thinking of what it meant. Just as an example- if someone sticks a knife in your chest or belly and twists it for a few minutes and rips it around, even if you are Batman, you are going to be HURT badly. Sigh. I loved the Dark Knight- it was chilling and real. This is not. Why one star- well, with that budget and those special effects they owed us more.

Safety Not Guaranteed

From the same folks who brought you Little Miss Sunshine comes another quirky (and sometimes downright odd) indie type film.  It's about a bunch of bored reporters who have no real story but decide to follow up on an ad in their little paper- one asking for a companion to go along on a space time travel mission- and safety not guaranteed. Of course, the acting is spotty- especially the lead actress who should probably stay unknown. But the story is kind of touching - especially because the end is fun. I'll give it 2 1/2 stars because it is almost really good.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Katy Perry: Part of Me

Confession: I didn't really get Katy Perry- I thought she was just a concoction dreamed up by a record company to impress young girls and about 5 boys who might or might not grow up to be costume designers. She was too cutesy and too, well, nice.
Confession: I was SO wrong.

Look- she is really beloved by a lot of kids and teens. And this is a documentary made during her year long (and VERY exhausting) world tour. It is her first world tour- and she gives it her all. This is a smart, caring and decent woman. She isn't that young- she is 27 rapidly closing in on 28. But she is young in spirit and certainly in shape.  I was interested in her from the first frame to the last. She is a role model for anyone who has talent and a dream. And her personality made her influential friends along the way- especially the woman who got her to Capitol records.  When she marries Russell Brand, you feel the chill in your heart for her because you have the knowledge that hindsight gives. Near the end of her tour, when the exhaustion and the breakup have pulled her into a cave, if you are female, you cry with her. She is broken in the way that girls and women get when someone doesn't love them anymore.  She has tried so HARD to make it all perfect. I have a newfound and HUGE respect for her. Some critics have called this film manipulative and promotional- but it is a documentary after all. She isn't going to be the gross Ho that Madonna was (hey thanks Madonna for giving MY kid such a crap music role model).  Moms aren't going to wring their hands over I Kissed a Girl. They love her, too.
I wish everyone with a music ambition would watch this very carefully- particularly if you aren't as talented and driven as Perry. Because that is what it takes.


Okay- it is funny. The teddy bear a child gets for Christmas comes to life and grows older with his owner. He smokes dope, makes sexual gestures, and in general, is a rather dissolute sort of bear. His owner, Marky Mark, also does those things, but he has a long patient girlfriend waiting for her ring and time alone with him. Since Ted has no real moral compass, it isn't too long before he crosses the wrong boundary and gets thrown out. I'll stop there. This is NOT for kids. It is NOT for young teens. It is a full blown, somewhat hilarious, innuendoed and NOT so innuendoed, comedy.  I did not laugh as much as Alex did, but it's always a good sign when I pick a movie and he laughs more than I do.
It was destined to be funny anyway because, face it, what is funnier than a teddy bear with a bong?


Another Disney epic- this time about a Scottish princess who wants to do her own thing, which is basically not anything her mom wants her to do- like stand like a princess, eat like a princesss. Instead, Princess Merida is a crack archer, horseback rider, etc. It takes you through a celtic sort of romp involving an attack bear, some witches, and then some. It has a lot packed in it, and sometimes it seems a little lacking in direction. But the animation is gorgeous. Just beautiful. The story does have some scary parts for little kids- and so that might make it better seen on a small screen- but it has good music, good action, a female who is fearless- so just use your judgment. I liked it- but  I liked it visually way more than I liked the storyline.  Enjoy!