Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

This is one of the worst movies ever done. I almost couldn't believe I sat through it. I wasn't alone- people filing out of the theater were babbling about what it meant. I read the book so long ago that the plot could and did elude me. Half the time you couldn't even guess which character was which when referred to by name. I'll tell you what I think- anyone (including some snobby critic) who tells you they thought the film was understandable is a pretentious fibber. Okay-they are lying. It is as obtuse as it can be without actually existing. Most people struggled to understand who the characters were, what they were doing, and what it meant. Some scenes were totally without purpose. The film has a heavy, moody atmosphere so that you can try to recall the Cold War and what it meant to be a spy in those heady days. I cannot recommend this film to anyone who hasn't read the original novel. It is stupid for a film to require the audience to sit in bewilderment. And if you haven't read the book, then that person in the audience could be you. Don't waste your money. Don't fall for the reviewers who gush over this mess. It isn't anything other than posing.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mission:Impossible Ghost Protocol

Here we go again- the MI franchise continues to roll along with plenty of action, plenty of simple plot lines and a little twist at the end. It is as predictable as Pelosi's politics and has the usual thrills. Of course, most of the stuff in it is impossible. But if you are in the theater to watch this, then you KNOW what to expect.  Tom Cruise looks old and tired. I promise you that I love Cruise as much as the next person (and I'm not saying "as much as the next guy" because that has implications).  At any moment I expected Cruise to step out of character, look at the audience, and say "You know I have to do this stuff because Scientology and Suri's shoes ain't cheap". If you want more sophistication with your imaginary science, then you should just stick to Bond films. But this movie was sort of fun though the genre felt sort of tired. As the flickerchick says, it is what it is. If you like preposterous movies with lots of action, this one was made just for you. If you feel that Tom Cruise is past his adventuresome prime and should limit himself to more romantic or realistic films, then it isn't for you. Take your pick.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

War Horse

 Take a seat- and bring your cushion- because from previews to credits this is an astounding 3 hours. Which is not to say that is the only thing it has in common with Gone With the Wind. Speilberg mercilessly rips off battle casualty scenes and orange shaded shots into the sunset- no kidding, I expected Scarlett to show up waving a yam at least twice. I digress. It's a "boy and his horse" movie. It's based on the children's book (war themes) series (1982) and then the play (London now Broadway) and now is this overwrought film. I enjoyed it  but the editor in me went crazy on occasion.  The background is WWI- a personal favorite of mine for the sheer stupidity and loss of it all. Of course, the horse was a very important part of war prior to humvees and drones. War horses were sometimes famous depending on whose rear sat atop them. The viewer does grow to love this horse (Joey). And we root for the kid who trained it. But it is almost as sappy in spots as Heidi. It's too bad the Dutch girl in the film couldn't be played by Shirley Temple about 70 years ago. Aw, I am being too harsh. It is really kind of brutal in spots- horses are shot, people are shot, Joey gets an up close and personal experience with barbed wire- and for that, I don't think a kid under 10 should see this. Go at your own peril. Speilberg has become a bit of a crap shoot, and I can't decide if this was worth the 3 hours. If you love horses, go on and see it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Muppets

Who better than Jason Segel and Amy Adams to be the humans in the wealth of nostalgia that is The Muppets? From the first moment to the credits, anyone over 30 will have very specific and lovely memories of The Muppets themselves. Alex and I agree that the only muppet we don't care for is Miss Piggy- but even  she has some nice moments here in her Anna Wintour silver wig. Kermit is his adorable and yet still insecure self. And the new star is Walter- the muppet who finds his niche in the world when he joins the group.  It has the typical Muppets save the day theme, with short and clever songs that are well sung. Everyone in the audience smiled the whole time. I can't think of a movie where the characters are more familiar and more beloved than the muppets are. The movie is great. The adults get the jokes and, as usual, there are double entendres that kids won't get. One of the best moments is the chickens clucking to CeeLo Green's F-you song. The audience members who know the real, original words were laughing out loud. I can't imagine missing this cute, warm hearted, familiar and well done movie. It is the best way to spend your entertainment money right now.


When Martin Scorsese does a film, critics tremble in their boots. Therefore, many critics, especially those of note, will give him wide berth and be very kind, if not obsequious. I'm not one of those people. What a damn tedious film this is. For the first half, any one who hasn't read the published synposis is going to be LOST as to where this film is going. Is it about an orphan? Is it about an automaton? Is it about street vignettes? Is it about a mean old man? Is it about young love? Guess what- it's not about ANY of that ( or maybe it is boringly about ALL of that).  I have no idea why the good reviews. This could have been a very good movie if it had been about the character played by Ben Kingsley. But it isn't about him until the last 20 minutes when we are all supposed to stand up and cheer the sheer brilliance of Scorsese. Forget it. It felt like the longest 3 hours of my life and the movie was only 2 hours long. Jeez louise- it is a mess and you are expected to eat it. Don't go. It gets 2 stars for the sheer beauty of the photography, 3D and the sets. That's it.