Tag Archives: Charlize Theron

Moviefest

This past weekend the fall weather finally caught up with us here in the PNW. What do you do when it’s dreary outside and you want to entertain yourself? Watch movies. A LOT of movies. 🙂

I saw six movies this weekend. Two were second viewings and four were fresh viewings. There were good, bad, better than expected, and even more awesome than I remembered. Here’s my list (in the order I watched them)

Snow White and the Huntsman

I reviewed this one the weekend it came out. The verdict after a second viewing? Not much has changed about my opinion on this one. If you haven’t seen it yet, I don’t think you’ll be mad you spent money on the rental.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

This delightful dramedy takes place in Jaipur, India at a rundown hotel whose owner would like to make it a destination for retirees but hasn’t quite got the dream down yet. An all star cast of scenery chewing British thespians, including Jude Dench, Maggie Smith, Billy Nighy, and Tom Wilkinson struggle with settling themselves in India with varying degrees of success. Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) is the hotel’s manager and co-owner with problems of his own and a dream of a successful hotel and marrying the woman he loves.

I totally enjoyed every moment of this movie. It was pitch perfect. I totally recommend it!

The Raven

John Cusack plays Edgar Allen Poe in this earnest but ultimately unsatisfying attempt to mash Poe’s greatest hits into a horror thriller. While the performances of the leads (Luke Evans as the Inspector, Alice Eve as Poes’ beloved, Brendan Gleeson as Emily’s father) are solid, the story and the writing are horrid. I was bored the entire time I was watching it… So, I took it out and went to sleep. Which is a rarity for me. Final verdict: skip it.

It just doesn’t get better than this!

The Avengers

In the interest of not making this post fifty years long, I’ll just say this: Perfect. If you’ve seen and you don’t think so, you’re one of the ones who just doesn’t get this kind of thing and you won’t understand no matter what I say. If you have an ounce of fanboy/fangirl in you… well, YOU know! You can see my gushy opening week review here. 🙂

Dark Shadows

I have never watched the original show so I had absolutely no expecations going in other than what I’ve come to expect from a Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaboration. That said, whatever expectations I did have were desperately put to death by this clunker. While it had the typical dose of Tim Burton beauty/grotesquery and some genuinely funny moments, the whole thing seemed rather joyless. Even though I really wanted to be able to going in, I can’t really recommend it after seeing. Definitely not one of my faves. Check out Willy Wonka, Alice in Wonderland or, my personal favorite, Sleepy Hollow if you want a Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collab at it’s best.

Rock of Ages

I was a teenager in the late 80’s and while, at the time, my favorites were Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, and a smattering of somewhat mainstream leaning Industrial, I listened to radio like everyone else and secretly loved as much hair metal as I heard. So, when I first saw the commercials for this movie I got a little ecstatic.

Yes, it is cheesy. It’s a musical for goodness sake! But I sang along at the top of my lungs and I cared whether or not the boy meets girl story was going to have a happy ending. But my favorite part of this movie (and this will seriously shock anyone who knows me well) was…

Wait for it…

TOM CRUISE.

Yes, I said that in public. No, I’m not generally a fan but he was born to play a drunk, drug addled, arm and a half into a straight jacket crazy metal band rocker. He made the movie for me. I haven’t checked online yet to see if he did his own singing or not but if he did… well, I think Tom may have missed his calling in life. If you’re a child of the 80’s you will LOVE this one. Go rent it now!

So that was my movie fest. I’m looking forward to catching Cloud Atlas, Skyfall, and Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 in the coming weeks. What movies are you looking forward to seeing soon?

Snow White and the Huntsman

image

Friday, I went to see the fairy tale epic, Snow White and the Huntsman, with my cousin at Kent Station. I’d been anticipating this movie for months, so I was a little excited. I’m not understating my excitement level for effect either. I literally was only a little excited; after waiting that long for the movie to come out my initial desire to see it had waxed quite a bit. Still, I got my $6 ticket. (I love the opening day matinee!)

The movie opens with a voice over by the Huntsman (costar Chris Hemsworth) giving us the back story on how Snow White and Queen Ravenna become mortal enemies. We learn that Snow is a miracle baby to her parents, that her mother (who was already ill when she had Snow) dies a few winters later, that the king is inconsolable, and how Ravenna is able to scheme her way onto the throne through the king’s grief. We also meet Snow White’s childhood friend and fellow noble, William.

Soon the evil queen realizes that the only way to prolong her reign of terror is to consume the still beating heart of her step daughter, Snow White. Of course Snow White escapes and the Queen brings in The Huntsman to track down and bring her “prize” back.

The opening is brilliant and fairly well paced but when Ravenna makes her move to kill snow the pacing starts to falls apart. There are large sections of the movie that, while beautifully filmed, drag the story down. Instead there are lingering shots of (admittedly beautiful) scenery… and Kristen Stewart’s face that don’t add anything to the story. If any thing they take you out of the story and make you think about taking a quick trip to the concession stand.

Charlize Theron delivers a solid performance despite the odd direction of her character’s motivation. She convinces as a victim that is heedless of the fact that she has become exactly what she most hates in the world. Chris Hemsworth was also a treat as a widower whose lost faith with himself and the world. He actually brought me to tears with a moving speech he gives to Snow towards the end of the show. His action sequences are a bit shadowed somewhat by the badassness of the grownup William, played by Sam Claflin (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) who executes some moves with a bow that would make both Hawkeye and Legolas proud.

The weak link in the main cast is Kristen Stewart. She is wooden, uncharismatic, flubs her accent, and has zero chemistry with either male lead. Snow White is a character that should elicit some compassion because of her plight but Stewart barely manages to make her sympathetic. I kept wishing they would have cast someone who actually had the acting chops to pull off the character, taking her believably from an orphaned girl in fear for her life to an armed and ready warrior and focused less on looks.

Aside from the pace and the miscasting of Kristen Stewart, I enjoyed the production design and the soundtrack including the two songs with vocals used in the film, especially Florence and the Machines’ end credit burner.

All in all? Not horrible. If you’re seeing it on the big screen, I recommend a matinee or second run. Until next time!