Monday, August 25, 2014

Movie Review: Sin City 2

About twenty years ago a movie came out that was mostly all black and white with touches of colour.  A little over ten years later, another move tried the same thing.  The idea of showing a black and white movie in an era where loud, vibrant colours rule the day, it is a breath of fresh air.  The first movie I’m referencing is Schindler’s List, a movie not to be watched without a box of tissues close at hand.  The second movie I’m referencing is Sin City, the sequel of which I watched this weekend.  What made any of these movies that much more stark was the contrast of colour against the nothingness of black and white.  It might seem disrespectful to bring Sin City into the same sentence with Schindler’s List, but from a purely cinematic perspective, the two seem to share a link.  Needless to say, the sequel to the 2005 hit, Sin City: A Dame to Kill for, has no connexion to either of the aforementioned movies save the presentation.

The movie begins with Marv, a somewhat deformed man who’s sole purpose on this earth is to beat things up, out of sorts and uncertain how he got where he got.  Behind him is a torn up patrol car and blood.  This doesn’t seem to trouble him in the least and the lack of colour makes it seem normal.  The movie doesn’t get any more interesting or compelling from this opening salvo and what follows are a series of disjointed yet connected stories leading to the murder of the main villains of the movie.  The first is Eva, the dame that is worth killing for from the title, played by a not dressed enough Eva Green.  Incidentally, after seeing Penny Dreadful earlier this year, I think someone should buy the woman some clothes!  The other villain is the father of the main villain from the first movie, a senator who is above the law.

The story turns into an orgy of blood and violence with far too many women wearing next to nothing.  The garishness from the first movie is lost to an abundance of nothing.  It was as if the movie was void of anything of value, the actors moving, the story progressing and yet nothing of consequence seemed to occur.  I felt increasingly bored and uninterested as the movie progressed.  There was little that surprised me and less to keep me engaged.  I can’t recommend this movie and wish it had some staying power, as the first movie had.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Movie Review: Let’s Be Cops

Somehow I didn’t realise the main actor in this movie was Damon Wayans’ son.  In retrospect, that was amazingly dense of me.  He looks a lot like his father and was slightly funnier, or perhaps the story had a little more to it.  The premise of the movie isn’t all that plausible, but you expect that at most comedies, or at least I do.  Justin (Wayans) and his roommate Ryan, played by Jake Johnson, played well off of each other throughout the story.  The two are in their thirties and have amounted to next to nothing, having moved from Ohio to LA in hopes of making something of themselves.  Ryan mistakes an invitation to a masquerade as a costume party and the two show up in cop uniforms, the same ones Justin had used to pitch his game idea.  After they leave the party, they discover that people really do mistake them for cops and they get up to all kinds of trouble.  Ryan doesn’t have a daytime job and begins to train himself to be a cop, getting embroiled into a huge operation of smuggled goods.

The story is far from perfect.  There are all sorts of really silly things that happen that you have to suspend great amounts of disbelief for, and at the same time, I really enjoyed it.  There was a point where Justin is being called a wimp (I’m making that G for the audience), and he decides to go into work and really go for it instead of being meek and scared, and it works.  While the moral of the movie is absurd, it had some staying power and with enough laughs and some slight drama, it was worth the $7 for sure.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Since Joss Whedon has got involved with Marvel and Disney, there is a different sort of expectation to all of the movies.  The Avengers, which feature the likes of Iron Man, Captain America and other star-studded characters and actors is the franchise that mints money for Marvel and Disney.  The latter knows how to milk a profitable cow and so they’ve delved further into the comic giant’s archives and unearthed the lesser popular Guardians of the Galaxy.
The story is one I haven’t heard, a comic I’ve never read and characters I’m utterly unfamiliar with.  This is usually a good thing for comics, less so, it seems, for independent properties.  There is some hidden depth to comics that I can’t quite quantify, something that Hollywood has yet to replicate with their big-budget movies.

The Guardians of the Galaxy starts with our title character, Peter Quill, watches his mother pass away and is abducted from Earth in the span of a few short minutes.  The story then picks up with Quill all grown and a bit of a roguish character.  He steals something that is sought after from around the universe and the chase begins.

The trailers don’t do the movie, or characters, enough justice.  The mixing of characters, their introductions and weaving of the friendships of the characters is heartfelt and a few napkins might be helpful while watching.  There are some very predictable elements to the story and the execution of the scenes by the able cast makes the whole thing feel like a surprise throughout.  It is nice to feel surprised and see things that pull at you, either to laugh or cry.  Hollywood has lost that effect on me for the most part, but it was nice to enjoy it once again.  I saw this in 3D and it was good enough that I’d say you might enjoy it as such.

The movie was fun.  The actors were superb.  I didn’t know Chris Pratt at all and he made Quill a relatable character that you wanted to root for.  Bradly Cooper was utterly outstanding as the voice of Rocket, the raccoon, and his performance (once again for me, as he was the only redeeming quality to Silver Linings Playbook), is just sublime.  That man brought this pint-sized character to the forefront of the movie and the heart and soul of the story.  This is one you won’t want to miss on the big screen.