Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I Came I Saw I Reviewed

Hey look I found a new picture of Sharlto shirtless, hooray! Anyway I know, I know, I keep putting off writing proper full-length reviews and forcing my hand with these all-in-one shortish review round-ups... it ain't right. But... it's okay. (Aww Whitney would've turned 50 the other day, sadness.) At least I'm getting this much done. You should just be happy with what you get, dagnabit! And that's how I learned that spell-check would like to make "dagnabit" into "gigabit" - my life is forever divided into pre-that-knowledge and post.Carry on, let us carry on. Here's some reviews, and junk. Dagnabit!

Grabbers -- I actually had good reason for putting off reviewing this sucker (hardy har) - I was going to use it for tomorrow's Way Not To Die post and figured I'd hold off til then. But then I changed my mind and I'm doing something else for tomorrow, so instead of not reviewing it for another full week, here we are. I'm sure you're glad you just read all that. I enrich your lives. So, Grabbers! It's freaking fantastic, you guys. I had no expectations, zip zilch zero, and I had a whole heap o' fun with it. Honestly I'd place it right beside Tremors in the pantheon of Giant Monster B-Movie Horror-Comedies (high praise indeed) - the characters, while types and thinly sketched, are terrific fun to hang out with (I especially loved Ruth Bradley as the Good Girl Gone Wild, and it's always a pleasure to stare at Russell Tovey's adorable jug-ears), and the movie's never takes itself too seriously. There's a smidge of dodgy CG here and there but it's actually far far better than you expect it to be, and the monster design is a delight. Two tentacles up!

Elysium -- I wish I had more to say about Elysium, there's been some real interesting commentary this week about it, but man I just... don't. It's neither here nor there; it doesn't really have the brains that it wants to - it's no Man of Steel or The Dark Knight Rises as far as unforgivable logic leaps are concerned, but it still falls an awful lot apart even under consideration - and it doesn't really have the brawn either - Sharlto, while largely indecipherable, supplies a hefty jolt of deliciously despicable testosterone to the proceedings, but I don't really feel as if it ever showed me anything that interesting to look at, or involving to involve myself in. I had the entire script written the moment I saw that sick little girl. And good god alive what's happened to Jodie Foster? I mean I know she spread crazy all over the Golden Globes stage but her performances on-screen have become entirely tone-deaf too. She seems incapable of dialing it back at all now - hysteria on top of hysteria. She exhausts me with all her self-conscious tics and twitches. At least we had William Fichtner there, who nailed the detached but slithery tone that she jumped way overboard with (he should have had her part honestly, even though I'd normally err on the side of a Grand Bitch character), and the sleek blingy design of his Richie Rich ship was my favorite bit of future design in the whole film. Totally plausible, and fun, in a way the rest of the movie seemed afraid of.

The Lifeguard -- Ahh there's the Kristen Bell I came to love on Veronica Mars, peeking out. (Just in time for Veronica to come back, too!) There've been so many shrill missteps in her film career that I almost forgot how fine a time watching her can be. It's an excessively low-key film about a small pre-mid-life crises - where you're still close enough to home to dip yourself back in - but I found myself pretty well sucked into it thanks to Bell and Mamie Gummer and Martin Starr's genuine seeming chemistry, and the story's occasional side-stepping of the more obvious paths it could've gone down. (Also, it must be added for future gratuities notice, that David Lambert has a nice bum.)

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