Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Life, movies, things that piss me off...

Dear Friends,

It's been a while since I've done regular posts. I'm using the excuse that life has disrupted everything but you know, it's just an excuse and it doesn't mean anything. I apologise. I'm having that classic existential crisis. The one I have every few years. I guess that's how I know I'm alive? Either that or it could be when I see films like Get Him to the Greek and my stomach hurts for 3 days afterwards.
Every day I have to give myself a little pep talk or 20 to get things done. It's a struggle, and I know so many have it so much worse. I'll pick myself up out of this rut, like we all have to, and do something interesting but for now I am in absolute limbo. If you follow me on twitter, you know I've been all over the place and more bitter than usual. I hate that. I like being positive and happy. I like being the one who tweets smiley faces instead of swears. But the former has been given over for the latter more than anyone probably likes lately.
A few cool things have happened though. Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs retweeted a couple of my comments on his really awesome and positive new blog and I got some new friends on twitter.  I've been on air again recently, on a national radio show, and I realised how much I miss doing the live radio thing. My health is mostly good, I have great friends and family and I am gainfully employed so I shouldn't complain too much. Plus, True Blood is back and that is just fine with me. Visiting Bon Temps gives me time to forget things, or just put off thinking about them.
I've seen some movies. The aforementioned Get Him to the Greek which was great for one or two scenes and Diddy's cameo, but for the most part had me asking "Why?". It had the ingredients of Forgetting Sarah Marshall but tried way too hard and missed the target by a mile. No real heart in the film, though the players did their best. I still like Jonah Hill and Russel Brand but the more I think about the film, the more I realise it was just a big waste of potential and talent. Thank Oden for Diddy. 2/5 stars (wait for DVD)
I also saw what will always be remembered as one of 2010's best films, Toy Story 3. How Pixar managed to wrestle it back from parent company Disney (it's a long story) and wrap up the series with just as much quality, beauty, playfulness and joy as the other two, I have no idea. But I'm so glad they did. Prepare to bring a huge box of tissues or a cinema-sized hankie (in 3D of course), because you're seriously going to need it. The feeling the film conveys is one of nostalgia and it reminded me of that really awful time between when we're still playing with toys and when we have to act like an adult. I like to think I still am half a child and will, at times, be caught in the toy section of a department store playing. Don't knock it until you try it! Toy Story 3 lulled in one or two bits but was, for the most part, masterful. 4/5 stars. 

Jen Vader, age late 20's

I saw, and thoroughly enjoyed, the A-Team. I loved the TV show as a kid and was happy with this re-boot. The plot was a little contrived and the CG could have been better but, this was shitloads of fun. More fun than I've had at the movies in a long while. It's one of those rare times I hope for sequels. A bunch of critics I converse with hated this movie, but, as much as a film can being a non-entity, it doesn't take itself too seriously. 3.5/5 stars.
I watched the Aussie film Animal Kingdom, and was blown away. It was your typical Australian drama, way too deep and dark and silent. Though you 're sometimes not entirely captivated by the slow pace, the statement of the film hits you with a huge bang and you leave the cinema feeling like you have a ragged hole in your chest. This movie haunted me for a while, and I felt honoured to have seen it. I'm proposing a new genre of film called 21st Century Shakespeare. I'd put this and films like The Departed there.  Animal Kingdom is 4/5 stars. 
Others (that I can remember right now):
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Overlong and used shocking imagery & plot lines to try and carry the film. 2/5
Hot Tub Time Machine. Not as hilarious as The Hangover, but funny enough for me. 3/5
How to Train Your Dragon. Holy heck, amazing. 4.5/5
Clash of the Titans. The only foot wrong Sam Worthington has, or hopefully ever will, put. 1/5
Iron Man 2. Just as good as #1, but not better. 3.5/5
Prince of Persia. Solid blockbuster, just very slightly a cut above. Relied too much on CG. 3/5
Sex and the City II. Maybe you'll like it if you are a 45+ y/old woman who's had a labotomy. 1/5
Oh and the things pissing me off? How about all the remakes and movies from video/board games? What's with cashing in on The Karate Kid when the movie has nothing to do with Karate? What's wrong with Kung Fu Kid? While some of these films are actually done well, most are not. Sheesh. Frustration. 
I know there are a million talented filmmakers out there. For a start, visit or to see some with fresh ideas because apparenly, Hollywood has none!
What do you think about all the money-making movies lately? Comment below and get ye to the cinema!


Nick Sonneveld said...

I didn't mind Get Him to the Greek but I guess I didn't think about it too much. It had some grossout comedy but I didn't feel it was too mean spirited.

Also liked Toy Story 3 a lot but didn't really appreciate the 3D at all.

Jen said...

Thanks for your comment Nick. I always get so excited when someone I know has taken the time to read my inane ramblings. :)

I guess it's either the kid in me or the technophile (maybe both) but where animated films are concerned, I'm a huge fan of 3D. In fact, I don't really want to watch another one in 2D ever again! I think it is a fad but it's one I'm happy to embrace right now. For live action, I don't really care for it either way though it worked in most of Avatar (mainly the animated parts though). I don't like the fact that every film suddenly has to be 3D. I think most of the last 2 Harry Potter films will suffer from this because of how the faster paced scenes go a bit blurry in 3D.

I can't believe you didn't love going on the (hopefully) last Toy Story adventure with that extra added dimension. *shrug* nothing is for everyone I guess!

Nick Sonneveld said...

(oh no, I lost my original comment)

Sorry to be a 3D hater, its just on reflection, I can recall plenty about the story or the toys that I had as a kid or another Pixar ending that brings about tinges of the emotions, but not much about specific 3D effects!

I wonder if 3D animation would be more effective if you had a stylised look such as like a popup book or Paper Mario?

Jen said...

Hrm that's a really cool idea! I'd like to see the 3D paper stop motion thing. That would be pretty incredible I think.

Anamnesis said...

I am not a fan of 3D either, but I did see Toy Story 3 in Imax 3D whilst in Sydney, and I must say I really enjoyed both the film and its third dimension. Having said that though, I also believe 3D is just a fad, and I am hoping it will die sooner rather than later...

Speaking of remakes Jen, have you seen the trailer for Let Me In (or have you seen Let the Right One in for starts? of which Let Me In is a remake.) Talk about needless remake.

Jen said...

Anamnesis - I have seen Let the Right One In and the trailer for Let Me In. I think it's a waste of time to remake films that are so well done in the first place. It's also an incredible insult to English speaking people. It's almost saying everyone is too dumb to enjoy the first one, so we need to remake it for the uneducated dummies who speak English. I really hate that.