Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Four Reviews

Another week, another set of movie reviews I'm woefully behind on. In the spirit of catching the eff up then, here are some brief thoughts on things I have seen.

Compliance -What a frustrating thing, this movie. I spent so much of it forcibly reminding myself that "This really happened!" while fighting against the movie's own inability to convince me of that fact. I think the problem is this, and you'll probably tell me I'm wrong but I think I've got something - I think the movie likes it characters too much. It's at least too divided against itself - it shows them doing total and complete moronic things, but seems afraid to call 'em as we see 'em, ya know? Ann Dowd is great, I think everybody in the film is good, but it's too schizo an experience - it's impossible to buy that things happened the way they're presented as happening for more than ten seconds at a time. These people are too... well, nice. It's a weird thing to say about people shown doing such horrible things, but they just are. I never bought that these people as they are shown to us would go as far as they go. I know the film-makers were straining to make a point, but they strained for that point at the expense of an ounce of credibility.

Safety Not Guaranteed - Pleasantly peculiar, but not tremendously memorable - for a movie starring two people that I like as much as I like Mark Duplass and Aubrey Plaza, I should've been a little bit more enamored then I was, probably. But it's nice! It causes smiles. They should put that on the box - This Product May Lead To Smiles. I just wanted more from it, I guess. And Mark's hair was just grody. I could never fall in love with someone with that hair.

The Deep Blue Sea - If Safety Not Guaranteed causes smiles then The Deep Blue Sea causes frowns. Send Terence Davies the bill for your plastic surgery, because this movie is responsible for exacerbating deep-set frown lines! But it's some positively exquisite sadness on display, so he'd probably win in a court of law. It was the perfect movie to watch while laying in bed on a rainy weekend afternoon while feeling like crap and wanting something to tell you that yes, things are crap, but beautifully so. The colors are so lush - I kept being reminded of In the Mood For Love, and not just because of the death throes of romanticism on display in both cases. Rachel Weisz is as terrific as she ever is. I don't think it was a particularly challenging part for her though - it depends on how hard you think it is for someone as gorgeous and serene as she is to stand and smoke and get across beautiful depression and too-smart-for-her-own-good-ness for two hours. Oh she looked spectacular doing it! And I can't hold it against her for being great at doing what she does great all the time. But I was more impressed with Tom Hiddleston, who had a trickier wire to balance on - insufferable and desirable, cruel and kind, brutally realistic with his head in the clouds. He made the impossible positively wanton.

The Collector - Ugh, what a dump.


Jasper said...

One of my favorite things to do on your blog is to scroll down to the Watched sidebar and see if the letter grade you gave the movie matches the letter grade I had in my head while reading your review. This was especially easy with The Collector tbh.

Jason Adams said...

Christ I hated that movie. It was an endurance test to make it to the end.

Jasper said...

I felt really gross throughout the whole movie, but never more than when the daughter took her bra off, mostly because that's the five-year-old girl from The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.

Ronald said...

I couldn't get the word "lush" out head while I watched The Deep Blue Sea. So pretty.

Eve said...

I think Tom Hiddleston overacted in The Deep Blue Sea. Weisz is perfect though (as usual).

Lars said...

I think BECAUSE these people are so nice, it's even easier to manipulate them into doing the things the creep asks them to do. They listen, obey, and do without questioning the motives behind their actions. It did get a little ridiculous towards the end, but it's chilling because the nicest people could turn into the nastiest meanies when they choose to give up their humanity. In a sense, it's a kind of a relief because all they need to do is do whatever they are told.

Eve, agreed with you about Hiddleston. I think he really overacts the whole film even though he is better towards the end of the film. Rachel Weisz is deserving of the NY film award that she got (and other praise). But I'm most impressed with Simon Russell Beale as the husband who is still in love with Weisz even though he hates her guts. The Barber violin concerto is haunting and appropriate :)