If there is something that makes me more angry than really crappy flicks it’s movies with all the potential for greatness, who just missed the point. As it so happens the last five movies hubby and me presented ourselves with are fitting squarely into that loathsome category.
Okéeee, lets dive right into it …
When drug violence worsens on the USA Mexico border, the FBI sends an idealistic agent, Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) on a mission to eradicate a drug cartel responsible for a bomb that had killed members of her team.
I’ve gotta admit having a girlcrush on Emily Blunt. Ever since
Groundhog DayEdge of Tomorrow, where she played the great Tom Cruise against the wall, physically and actor-ish, I love that tough bitch side of her. But oh, what a great disappointment it was to see her in this totally unnecessary self-contradicting role. Brolin and DelToro abused her weakness to show some of their best performances, and don’t get me wrong, Blunt did great … but her role didn’t allow her to shine. Director wunderkind Denis Villeneuve’s cinematography is great and Sicario had all the ingredients for greatness if there wasn’t Blunt’s damned insufficient character.
Altogether Sicario wasn’t the “Brilliant Action Thriller” it should have been. We can blame this grave error in the script’s logic for it.
Two corrupt cops set out to blackmail and frame every criminal unfortunate enough to cross their path. Events, however, are complicated by the arrival of someone who appears to be even more dangerous than they are.
Let’s start and kinda end this with a piece of trivia:
And there you have it, that’s all one needs to know about War on Everyone. The trip across the Atlantic didn’t help McDonagh’s creativity or spirit. Dunno if it’s the lack of grood Irish whiskey in the states but this movie didn’t turn out even half as good as one would’ve expected. Pena and Skarsgard did very well and delivered their lines with some dry and cool humour but again, it was a laclustre script and directionless directing letting them down. Were McDonagh’s original Irish movies were full of wit and feelings, of intellect and cool calmness, War on Everyone was just crass and loud … and utterly pointless.
Good on Gleeson he gave this one a pass.
Moana Waialiki is a sea voyaging enthusiast and the only daughter of a chief in a long line of navigators. When her island’s fishermen can’t catch any fish and the crops fail, she learns that the demigod Maui caused the blight by stealing the heart of the goddess, Te Whiti. The only way to heal the island is to persuade Maui to return Te Whiti’s heart, so Moana sets off on an epic journey across the Pacific. The film is based on stories from Polynesian mythology.
Very nicely animated Disneyfied Polynesian romp with song and dance and … a total lack of everything else. 😦 I don’t want to use the phrase of painting by numbers in the case of an animated movie but let’s say Disney just ticked off all the boxes in their checklist. Just so, just barely. The whole movie appeared to us more like the loveless homework of an otherwise okay pupil. Like in Sicario the leading female heroine (not a princess!) was weakly characterized and completely incoherent. As was her village, as were her parents and gramma and antagonists. The whole dramaturgy was really undramatic and just floated along in the most unexciting and – dare I say it? – boring way.
The musical numbers by that Hamilton guy, were passable but not memorizable, the whole setting – two people on one tiny boat – was too restricted and repetitive, our two leads had nothing to say and Moana herself … oh my. Yes, we know she’s just a teenager but why did she have to go through her puberty just now, during the runtime of the film? What an utterly pointless teenage brat with minutely changing opinions and plans of action. Grrrrr. Drives me up the main mast.
This was again one of the many failure by committee flicks, as we see them so often coming out of Hollywood now. 7 or 8 screenwriter’s lifes were sacrificed for this … shit? Oh whoa!
Remains to by said the voice actors of our two main protagonists were great: Dwayne The Rock Johnson, wow, who’d have thought? Don’t get me wrong, never watched a flick with him in it, but I thought he was just one of those burned out ex-“sports” stars with only marginal talent, who earns his pension money with cheapo action spectacles, but oh boy did he pour his soul into the role of demigod Maui. A joy to
watch listen! He seems to be a really great guy.
And Auli’i Cravalho, who lends her enthusiastic voice to Moana? What a find! She even looks exactly like Moana. I guess the rugged prettyness is in the Polynesian genes or sumfink. Just adorable.
Rest of the movie was crap, sorry to say.
In the middle of World War II, in turbulent 1942, a plane flies over Morocco and drops a Royal Canadian Air Force paratrooper who comes in to land on a drop zone, somewhere in the desert dunes outside Casablanca. Just in time before anyone notices him, the fearless Wing Commander Max Vatan gets in a car and heads to the town with orders to meet Parisian Marianne Beauséjour, a skillful member of the French Resistance. On a mission to assassinate the German Ambassador in Casablanca, the two operatives must convince every one of their true feelings as a married couple, while in the background, they need to make the necessary preparations for the critical soirée. Without delay, after the success of this suicide mission, Max and Marianne flee together to England with plans on marrying and making a family, regardless of the war. Instead, heavy clouds of distrust and suspicion threaten their relationship, when Max receives a call from the Secret Service Division to inform him that his …
Zemeckis (yes, that Zemeckis!), Pitt, Cotillard. Greatness guaranteed, right? What could go wrong? Or, better asked, why could it go so wrong? Even an uninspired remake of Casablanca would’ve been better than Allied. What happened?
Main reason Allied turned out to be such a stinker were our two main – not main roles but – main actors, Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard. Rarely ever have I seen two supposedly starstruck lovers with so little chemistry between them. They were really the most unbelievable romantic couple I’ve seen in a damn long time. Heck I guess even the pairing of Moana and Maui would’ve been more believable than these two famous actors bumbling through their scenes.
As for the rest of the movie, well, it was forseeable and not at all suspenseful sunday afternoon boredom, sub-routinely presented by some big names on a mission to fulfill studio contracts/paying their rent.
Shame, really. Out of my list of movies, together with Sicario, Allied had the real chance to become something great. One of the great oldfashioned romantic war dramas with maybe some memorable lines (“Play it again, Sam”) but it ended up as a fukn borer.
Soldiers from both sides of the Korean divide live among villagers who know nothing of the war.
You see me kinda speechless. Really don’t know how to rate Welkkeom tu Dongmakgol. As you might know Orca and her hubby are great fans of the Korean cinema. At least some of it. Be assured, Hollywood, they produce as much crap as you and every other country. But when they shine, boy, do they shine! And with Dongmakgol the opinons in the Flotta household are divided. Not as divided as North and South Korea, we’re not throwing bombs at each other and are still in a talking relationship. 😉 But hubby, let’s say, thinks more highly of Dongmakgol than his much cleverer and lovelierer waifu.
Fortunately this is my blog, not his, so you’ve gotta read my superior opinion, not his stupid male one. =^.^= Don’t get me wrong, Dongmakgol has its heart in the right place and indeed brings in many of the Korean qualities by mixing a deadly dramatic and sad situation with comedy. It’s just the way debutatante director Kwang-Hyun Park mixes both that irks me, and turns the movie needlessly into a much too flat and meaningless comedy. There is fine, well-observed humour in the script but also just silly jokes and over the top unbelievable drama-whore-ish fight scenes.
The problem with humour and comedy is that it so badly translates from country to country, from nation to nation, from culture to culture. For us Europeans even the American sort of humour is often hard to grasp. We often find it too silly, too slapsticky, too badly timed, too gung-ho. Now let’s try to get into the even more exotic Asian mindset and … oh boy. 😮
So let’s say we usually prefer the more earnest Korean movies, the suspense thrillers and slasher flicks. Korean cinema truly shines when the main antagonist picks up his axe and goes to town with it. Unfortunately there are no axes involved in Dongmakgol.
I guess the enthusiatic IMDb rating of 7.8 was influenced by Dongmakgol’s “exotic bonus”, not necessarily by the film’s own merits. Same goes for the other movies in today’s roundhouse kick. Have the people who are responsible for IMDb ratings seen different movies than we have? Where is their objectivity?