Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What ruins Holmes?

I liked Sherlock Holmes, I really did. Downey Jr. was great as the detective and his chemistry with Jude Law, who plays Dr. Watson is beyond entertaining. But in the end I could only manage to give the film a C+ in my mind. And that got me thinking, why?

It definitely wasn't the acting, as I already mentioned Downey Jr. and Law are terrific together and every scene they share together are some of the best parts of the movie. It seems as if Downey is attempting to create a sort of Johnny Depp/ Jack Sparrow character with Holmes, and to my surprise he managed to do so very well. It isn't as great as Jack Sparrow but it sure is enjoyable.

So if it's not the acting that hurts Sherlock Holmes then could it be the writing? Well it's definitely a part of it. The dialogue between characters is great, but when Holmes is describing how he solved his mysteries he often gets way to scientific for the audience to keep interested.

Is it the plot? Maybe partly, as it turns out it's more interesting when Holmes and Watson have there bromance drama then when they're trying to solve a mystery. The demonic thing is kinda interesting and is a lot darker then you would expect from a christmas blockbuster, but the evil characters are not fully developed and some of the bad characters cause more laughter then fear. Most of the action scenes are pretty boring and nobody ever seems to have a gun when they need one, plus shouldn't sherlock have figured most of it out once they found the Ginger Midget?

I think the main thing that ruins this film is the direction by Guy Ritchie who for some reason thinks it's necessary to explain what's about to happen right before it does as well as go randomly into slow motion so you can watch run back and forwards into bombs (it looks even worse then it sounds). Ritchie nearly ruins this film by over directing it on several occasions. He creates a nice atmosphere but fails to bring anything else to the film, leaving Downey Jr. and Law to clean up his mess for him.

And on a parting note. I have to ask did anyone know who Moriarty was?

A mini rant on the Blind Side

This morning after waking up I decided to watch the film that was getting all this best actress buzz and was sure to cross $200 million. This also happened to be the film with the worst trailer I've seen a long time, one so typical, so schmaltzy that it made me angry just to think of it getting any oscar attention. After finally seeing it I'm glad to say it was better then the trailer... but thats not much to brag about.

The Blind Side is such a by the books kind of film, the characters are boring, the dialogue is terrible and there are never any consequences. The family barely ever doubt there actions, even after the main character gets in a car accident with their young son all they do is support him and then never bring it up again. The film tries to be overly sentimental but there is not one moment that makes you come close to tearing up. In an attempt to make you better understand Michael the director keeps taking us to flashbacks of his past but none of it is ever dealt with or fully explored, leaving me even more confused.

The football is boring and his rapid improvement makes no sense, like one conversation will make him into a better player. To top it all off Jae Head and Quinton Aaron both give Razzie worthy performances, just watch as Michael cries out I'm sorry and try to take him seriously. On the bright side (yes you heard me there actually is a bright side), Sandra Bullock gives one of the finest performances of her career which is often hard to find behind that terrible dialogue and unfunny humor. Saying the best of her career isn't saying that much for Sandra Bullock though, and though I won't be screaming with anger when she gets her oscar nomination, I will still be upset. I'm not going to give this movie an F because I've seen a lot worse and there were definitely parts where I wasn't hating every moment so I'll be generous and give it a D/D+

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What have I seen recently?

Since I've been away for a while I thought I would give you a short recap of what films I've seen recently.

In Theatres:
The Invention of Lying: Not a great a movie at all, though there are some laugh inducing parts and the relation with religion was clever. All in all the clever story line is wasted by badly written dialogue and several wasted cameo's. C
A Serious Man: A well acted, incredibly written and flat out hilarious film. The Coen brothers created one of their funniest films that should definitely show up at this years Oscar race. If your a jew or a fan of the Coen brothers you should really enjoy this film, If you're both like me there's a good chance you'll love it. A-/B+
An Education: This is a great f
ilm. The acting is amazing, both Carey Mulligan and Alfred Molina are oscar worthy and Rosamund Pike and Peter Sarsgaard deserve nominations. The second half of the film isn't nearly as good as the first but all in all it's still an amazing film. A-/B+
The Men who Stare at Goats: This film is okay, it has a great last third but the first two thirds are boring at times and just plain weird at others. The cast is great but modern day parts are annoying and the parts in the past are funny but just not enough to make up for the rest of this lacklustre effort. C+
Precious: I don't understand the backlash towards this film, It's one of the most powerful and hard to watch film's I've seen in a long time. The acting performances from Gabby Sidibe and Monique are some of the best performances of the year. I believe that the film goes over the top a lot and never gives you a break from the drama. A-
The Road: After Precious I saw this film, and trust me it was
one of the most depressing afternoons I've ever had. This film is bleaker then imaginable yet at the same time feels as if your witnessing a very possible unliveable near future. Viggo Mortensen is amazing in this film and Robert Duvall has a great cameo in this film. B+/B
Up in the Air: Well acted, funny at times, depressing at others, great
characters, beyond great film. Jason Reitman has crafted one of the finest scripts I've seen in a long time and put together one of the best films of the year. George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick all give amazing performances and should all get nominated this February. This film refuses to end as expected and provides both great comedy and drama. A-
Invictus: Morgan Freeman is incredible as Nelson Mandela and Matt Damon does what he can with the little he's given but besides some good one liners and some enjoyable rugby games the film is pretty boring and overly cheesy. Clint Eastwood overdoes the slow motion in the final rugby match and so much attention is put towards the security that when it leads you nowhere it seem's like he's wasted your time. One of Clint's weakest efforts. C
Broken Embraces: Not one of Almodovar's best efforts, but whenever Penelope Cruz is on the screen the film works wonderfully but whenever we're in the present with only her pictures to remind us of her the film crumbles. B-

Been a while

I haven't been using this site at all in the last few month's and as the year is about to end I feel like I want to start using it again. I'm going to set some goals and I'm going to meet them. The first post will be my most looking forward to in 2010 list which should come up a few days after new years, while my best and worst of the year will have to wait until I see Where the Wild Things Are on the 29th or 30th, Avatar and a Single Man this week, Nine and Sherlock Holmes near the end of the year and the Lovely Bones on the weekend on the 15th as well as several other films. This goes with best of the decade list as well. After that I will put out a list of what I think should be nominated for and win the main Oscar categories as well as some made up categories if they were up to me. Until then I bid you a due.