I was looking forward to this movie. Not because of Wiki Leaks, though. I only vaguely remember it from when it was in the news years ago. It wasn’t really the friendship story, either. I mean, I enjoyed The Social Network, which had a similar dynamic, but that wasn’t enough to tempt me away from 12 Years a Slave. So: confession time. The reason I chose The Fifth Estate was to see Rush‘s Daniel Bruhl in action again.
A German computer programmer gets drawn into a friend’s plan to solicit and release confidential documents in the name of public transparency.
Luckily, The Fifth Estate is a story about people (Julian Assange and Daniel Berg) more than a story about a thing (Wiki Leaks). The script kind of winds the characters up and lets them go, and the result is almost as wrenching as Anakin and Obi-Wan fighting in a river of lava. I loved it.
Sorry, Fifth Estate movie, but that title doesn’t make me think of Wiki Leaks. It makes me think of CBC documentaries (for those of you who are not Canadian, our national broadcasting corporation runs an investigative documentary series called The Fifth Estate). Why didn’t they just call it Wiki Leaks, I wonder? Everyone knows what that is. Title issues aside, it looks exciting. Lies! Spies! Getting chased! Best friends fighting! Whee! It’s like The Social Network crossed with Mission Impossible (the first one). I didn’t follow the real Wiki Leaks story that closely so I don’t know how it ends (yay ignorance!) Plus, after Daniel-Bruhl-as-Niki-Lauda totally knocked me over, I’d watch (almost) anything with him in it (FYI – he’s the Wiki Leaker who’s not Benedict Cumberbatch).
12 Years a Slave
Oh no! This looks really good too! Not as exciting, of course, but more moving. Life sucked for slaves across the board, but I imagine it would be a lot worse if you knew what it was like to be free beforehand. There’s got to be legal rules/policing on that sort of thing, even back then.
And there’s GOTTA be a happy ending (if there isn’t, I will be mad). So I guess the question is: do I want to be moved or excited? I also have to choose between Chiwetel Ejiofor/Michael Fassbender and Daniel Bruhl. That’s a tough call. And between Benedict Cumberbatch and…. Benedict Cumberbatch (I guess his movies come in Cumberbatches – hur hur). Maybe I’ll save this one for next week.
Nope. This was a movie that did NOT need a remake. The book was very creepy. The original movie was very creepy. The only thing they can really improve on is the special effects, which tends to damage the story. Too many things flying around, not enough character. My money will go elsewhere.
I have a couple of questions for this movie. This is a huge prison with many inmates. Who built it? Who paid for it? Who works in it? How to they manage to kidnap and imprison high profile baddies without one anybody’s friends/family finding out about the prison and demanding their friend/family member’s release, a la Guantanamo Bay? If you’re going to break the law that obviously, wouldn’t it make more sense (and be a lot cheaper) to just kill all these guys? Especially when it comes to the PROFESSIONAL PRISON BREAKER. If I could get past that (I probably couldn’t) it looks like it could be an okay movie… except for that vegetarian line. That doesn’t even make any sense, but at least they didn’t say ‘girl.’
I know this is supposed to be a big movie, but I’m feeling pretty meh about it. If there’s no actor I like in a movie (I’m not a Tom Hanks fan, scream about it all you want but you’re not going to change my mind), then I need to at least be learning something. What it’s like in another country, how a person might react to a situation, or even just how the plot turns out. But I don’t really feel like this movie has any surprises for me. The plot is obvious. There’s a ship. It’s taken over by pirates. The captain tries to protect the crew. Navy SEALs descend on them. The end. I’ve already seen movies about how it sucks when you’re poor and sometimes you have to steal to survive even if you’re a good person. I already know how SEALs operate. And I’ve seen plenty of movies about heroic ordinary people. And I hate hostage situations. So I think I’m going to skip this one.
THE RIGHT KIND OF WRONG
I guess after four months, it’s okay to tell you that I’ve seen this movie already. I was in the test audience when they screened it in Toronto in June. As soon as they handed me the flyer, I knew I wanted to see it, and not just because of Ryan Kwanten. I loved the idea of a girlfriend spilling all her bile about him in a blog which became a book and a talk show phenomenon, because let’s face it – it could happen. There’s no privacy these days. People air all their dirty laundry online, and some of it has other people in it. Plus it just plain looked funny. I loved it, and I’ll (finally) be able to write a review for you this weekend.
ROMEO AND JULIET
Ugh, why? There are thousands of stories in the public domain. There are dozens of other Shakespeare plays (most of them happier than this one) and only a handful of them ever get made. Why can’t they make something else? I’m so sick of endless remakes in general and of Romeo and Juliet in particular. It’s just so soppy and depressing. I’d see Right Kind of Wrong Again (I’d PAY to watch Leap Year again) before I went to this movie.
Okay, so I saw the poster for this and I was all set to say I’d never see it, then I actually watched the trailer and saw how intentionally ridiculous it was. He can’t be electrocuted, has a knife in his iPhone, and fights ladies with machine-gun corsets. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of action movies are ALMOST as goofy, but when you play it up intentionally it can be really funny. I thought Shoot ‘Em Up was great. I probably wouldn’t pay ten bucks to see it in theater, but someday I’ll give it the old Netflix try for sure.
Being lost and alone is something that almost everyone is afraid of, which is why horror movies about being lost in forests, houses, desert islands, oceans, and space ships have all done so well. As we saw with Open Water, however, it can be a challenge to make sure there’s enough for the lost people to do without resorting to convenience. If Gravity was going to have a problem, I imagined that would be it.
Two space astronauts find themselves struggling for survival in space after their shuttle is destroyed by orbital debris.
And while its true that Gravity does occasionally rely on luck (both good and bad) and it does play fast and loose with science, it doesn’t matter, because you’ll be too busy gnawing off your own fingers in agonized tension to get picky over details. Seriously, I’ve never been so wound up by a movie in my life.
I’m really looking forward to this movie. I think it could be really scary. Which is weird, because I didn’t think Open Water was anything but boring, and this is essentially the same setup: two people. Lost. Featureless landscape. Running out of something (in this case air, in Open Water, it was the energy to keep swimming). So why is it more interesting? Well space, obviously, is much prettier and deadlier than the ocean. Also, with the things crashing into other things, it looks like there’s more action – like the characters have something to do besides float around and talk about how screwed they are. But I guess we’ll see if they managed two whole hours of interesting.
Okay, if this guy’s too poor to pay his tuition, where does he get the money to fly over and confront the online poker site owner? Also, if he’s so smart, why doesn’t he have a scholarship? And why doesn’t he realize online gambling is a dumb way to get tuition money? And why can’t he pull his head out of his ass for long enough to think that maybe confronting an international criminal could be dangerous? I don’t think this guy is very smart at all. I think he’s just smart enough to convince himself he’s an invincible genius, which of course leads to nothing but trouble. Also, they stole that crocodile scene from Romancing the Stone. A good showing, Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake, but I’m not interested.
Americans are obsessed with the Kennedy assassination. I can’t even count how many books and movies I’ve read/seen pushing some sort of insane conspiracy involving everything from the CIA to aliens. It’s refreshing to see a movie that’s NOT trying to push a conspiracy theory but just trying to illuminate the little-known people on the periphery of the event who would have been affected just as much as the big players. Like Zac Efron the baby-faced doctor trying to put a man’s blown-off head back together while the entire world looks over his shoulder. I’d watch it.
Serious dramas don’t make it through to my theater very often. We’re usually brimming over with dopey kids movies, meatheaded action franchises, and dumb comedies and there’s no room for anything intelligent. So when I heard that we were getting Prisoners on its opening weekend, I had to go. Me and about half of my town, because not only was it a serious drama, it looked like a GOOD serious drama.
A distraught father takes things into his own hands when he feels like the police aren’t doing enough to recover his missing daughter and her friend.
I watch a lot of Criminal Minds and CSI and other murder shows, so you can trust me when I tell you that this is a good one. It’s well-acted, well-written, and while I did figure out some of its secrets well in advance of the characters, there were a few crucial things that I missed which made it riveting all the way to the end.
BATTLE OF THE YEAR
At first I was watching this trailer thinking: didn’t they make this movie already? Wasn’t it the last Step Up sequel? And then it morphed into the cheer boot camp from Bring it On, but with acrobatic dancing, and I thought: okay, that’s something at least. And then the punchable kid from the Red Dawn remake came on screen and I thought: NOPE. Not even if you paid me.
Wow, this seems like such a deadly serious movie… until Jake Gyllenhaal shows up with his shirt buttoned dorkily all the way to his neck and announces his name is Detective Loki. ‘Hi guys! Detective Norse God of Mischief here to save the day!’ In all seriousness, though, it’s an excellent trailer. It sets up the drama well but it doesn’t give away the whole thing. I feel like I need to see the movie because I want to know – did Paul Dano take the girls? Where are they? Are they alive? How far is Hugh Jackman going to go?
This was me reading the blurb for this movie: “A pair of childhood friends and neighbors fall for each others’s sons….Oh gross! Say it isn’t so!” I was marginally comforted to watch the trailer and find that the sons are in their 20s, but still, I don’t think I’ll go. Apart from the ick factor, it looks kind of boring.
I like war movies and period dramas but this one looks kind of boring too. Not the subject matter. That’s interesting. People fighting with their friends and family over whether they should be fighting against their friends and family. But everyone in the movie seems to be moving around at half speed and talking like they don’t really care what they’re saying. That’s boring.