I was looking forward to this movie. I liked the previous Jack Ryan films and since the world’s biggest ‘fun’ spy franchise (James Bond) has become ultra-serious, realistic, and confusing, I thought that Jack Ryan (previously ultra-serious, realistic, and confusing) might switch places with it. I was led to believe this from the fact that they chose Chris Pine and stopped basing the plots on Tom Clancy novels.
A CIA analyst is reluctantly pressed into action after he uncovers a Russian plot to take down the American economy.
While Shadow Recruit was certainly a thrilling thriller, that was (relatively) easy to understand and (somewhat) realistic, it lacked the element of fun I was hoping for. It’s moved away from the usual tropes of the Jack Ryan franchise but hasn’t taken over the ones James Bond abandoned, so it comes off a little bland. I worry about its staying power as a franchise.
JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT
I’m looking forward to this movie. I like Chris Pine. I liked the other Jack Ryan movies (especially The Sum of All Fears) and I don’t mind that they’re departing from the Tom Clancy source material (I find his books too dense and technical anyway). He’s a little more James Bond-y than he used to be, but that could be a good thing. The James Bond movies have moved away from James Bond-y ness and into the realms of grittiness and shaky cam, so there may be niche there to be refilled. Actually, now that I watch the trailer again, I’m thinking it’s more complicated and mysterious (more Mission Impossible) than James Bond. If it plays its cards right, it could become my second favorite spy franchise.
THE NUT JOB
I do not like that purple squirrel’s voice. It’s too deep and harsh for a light family film about squirrels stealing nuts. Also, if I wanted to see a movie about animals planning an elaborate operation, I’d watch Chicken Run or The Fantastic Mr. Fox.I know it’s a kids’ movie, but this trailer didn’t even make me laugh once. Cliched movie dialogue doesn’t automatically become funny just because it’s being delivered by a squirrel.
So she’s possessed by her devil baby? That’s interesting I guess. But the trailer took all the life out of the idea for me. They showed everything except for the very end, which I’m assuming will be along the lines of The Exorcist. And can I just say: enough with the found footage. I’m tired of the contortions the characters have to go through just to explain why they’re filming every horrible thing that happens to them, just so the movie can look cheap.
Stop talking and show me the damn trailer! Also, WHY is that lovely woman dating that immature loser? That’s another thing I’m tired of! Beautiful, intelligent, well-to-do women in movies who are dating lazy, unattractive morons for no other reason than ‘the plot demands it.’ The trailer was three minutes long, yet I saw no hint of a redeeming quality that might make me believe those two were in a relationship. So no, even though I like buddy cop movies and even sometimes movies where the main character is an idiot, I will not see this movie.
I read this book. When I heard they were making a movie out of it, I thought I wanted to see it. Now I’m not so sure. For one thing, I know how it’s going to go, and it’s going to be really depressing. Everyone’s going to die. And no, that’s not a spoiler. They gave it away in the title. I’ve seen plenty of ‘everybody dies’ war movies and you really only need to see one to get the point. As for the casting… holy crap. That kid from The Seeker is old enough to play grown ups? Also, Mark Wahlberg as Marcus Luttrell? He’s not really what I would call a ‘serious’ actor. Plus the real guy is about 6’5” and looks like Greg Grunberg. On the other hand though: Eric Bana. I can never say no to that guy.
My brother really wants me to go see this movie with him. I don’t know if I want to. It’s an interesting concept. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie about a guy falling in love with Siri before, unless you count Raj from Big Bang Theory. But it’s also really really weird, and not just because of Joaquin Phoenix’s little mustache. I’m not sure I want to see how far a guy will take his love for a computer. It’s also likely to be depressing, as there’s no way I can see his love affair working out unless they want to get a lot more science fictioney than ‘talking computer voice.’ Tough call.
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY
I could have sworn I saw a trailer for this where it actually looked funny, but in this one all I see are a bunch of people who would rather not see each other thrown together for a family emergency and picking on each other to fill the time. I saw another movie like that once, Death at a Funeral (British version) and I can’t help thinking I’d end up comparing this film unfavorably to that one, seeing as how this one’s more drama than comedy.
2013 is over and it’s time to rank the movies I saw according to their bestiness and worstiness. As I paged through my review notebook listing films according to their secret star rating, I noticed three things. One: franchise films have done well with me this year. Two: I only saw 45 movies. And three: only one of them was bad enough to rate one star. My policy this year was not to waste money on bad movies, but it made me realize that bad movies have their uses. They force you to think about WHY the movie bad, and they make for hilarious reviews. I therefore resolve that 2014 shall be the year of using my Scene points to see crappy movies.
And now, the list. If you don’t agree with it, feel free to argue with me in the comments. That’s what they’re for. Just keep it clean, ok?
I didn’t think I’d be able to see a movie this week because of the holidays, but I’d forgotten how the combination of early rising and overeating always makes my family unfit for anything but comas and movie watching by Christmas evening. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was acceptable to all, even though it was a) a remake and b) possibly too focused on visuals and c) likely to be a dream in the end.
A photographic negatives manager at Life magazine travels the world looking for his photographer friend after he discovers the final issue cover image is missing.
Now that I’ve seen it I’m happy to say that Walter Mitty did everything right. It was not (spoiler alert) all dream in the end. The visuals complimented the story instead of trying to BE the story. And the remade version is different enough from both the original short story and the first movie to be considered a completely new entity. I recommend it!
I’m not a J.R.R. Tolkien fan, and after the epically too-long nothing-fest that was The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I wasn’t looking forward to Desolation of Smaug either. In fact, I was all geared up to see Saving Mr. Banks this week until I found out we weren’t going to get it here. So here I am, talking about the second of three movies that should have been one.
A raiding party of dwarves travel to a deserted mountain kingdom to steal a special gem from the dragon who displaced them many years ago.
The most I was really hoping for from Desolation of Smaug was that it be bearable. And it looked like it was going to be – in the beginning it was fun and lively and interesting. But then it went on and on and on and on and on and finally ended with no payoff for any of the plots they were developing, so in the end I wasn’t impressed.
THE HOBBIT: DESOLATION OF SMAUG
To be perfectly honest, after last year’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey failed to do more than get the massive, indistinguishable clump of dwarves within binocular viewing distance of their destination, I’m not eager to see this movie. As the middle chapter in a trilogy of movies made from a single not-even-very-long book, it will have more time to waste than the other two, which at least have beginnings and endings to deal with. Fans will no doubt lap up the time wasting and beg for more, but I can’t read more than a few chapters of J.R.R. Tolkien without wondering why I’m torturing myself. Unfortunately, it looks like I’ll have to see this movie. We’re not getting Saving Mr. Banks at my theater.
SAVING MR. BANKS
Now HERE’S a movie that interests me. As a writer who has experienced the attempted hijacking of my work by clueless people, I can understand why P.L. Travers was so reluctant to sell the rights to Mary Poppins despite Walt Disney’s 20 years of asking for them. Though obviously she did eventually and Dick Van Dyke was in it and there were lots of words in it that were made up, so I have to wonder – how’d he get her to change her mind? Plus, Emma Thompson is just great in everything.
TYLER PERRY’S A MADEA CHRISTMAS
Okay, I’m not normally a Tyler Perry fan, but this looks funny in an “I need something upbeat and uncomplicated for my family to watch on Christmas eve” way. I’m ALWAYS looking for more of those movies so I won’t have to watch Love Actually again. Favorite joke:
“Your daughter is grown. Leave her alone!”
“I’ll pay you.”
“When do we leave?”