Freitag, 7. September 2012

A month of movies: August.

August might have been the averagest average that ever averaged. I'd advise everyone to steer clear of the last installment of Nolan's Batman, "The Dark Knight Rises" (trailer), but then everyone has either already watched it or will still go to see the mess anyway. And a mess it is, compared with its predecessors and even compared with everything else on offer this month. If you want to see a good action movie, walk past "The Bourne Legacy" (trailer) - an essentially superfluous sequel - and pay heed to the Indonesian "Serbuan Maut" (trailer), which may not be a brain of a film, but technically excellent and unlike the other two, exciting. Other than that, "Tao Jie" (trailer) doubtless is the best movie of this month from an entirely objective point of view (and its festival may count as proof of that), but personally, I took offense at the manipulative quality of its reoccurring emotional appeal. Finally, Woody Allen is insulting his critics in the average "To Rome With Love" (trailer) and Keira Knightley everyone with "Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World" (trailer).

The short -
Go and see: /
Well worth watching: /
Deserving a chance: Serbuan Maut (The Raid).
Average: Tao Jie (A Simple Life), The Bourne Legacy, To Rome With Love.
If you need closure: The Dark Knight Rises.
If you need real closure: Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World.

The long -
The rules: Only movies seen at cinemas during the month referred to in the post title and recent DVD releases (which will be noted as such) are eligible. This excludes films seen on video or television. Also excluded are movies from festivals, which may or may not get treated in separate posts. Premieres and previews, however, are fine. The reviews are listed in alphabetical order. Finally, ratings are given on IMDB's 1-10 scale. These rules, likely to be broken at the discretion of yours truly, solely exist because no rules are fun, and we cannot have that here, now can we?

Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World. An at first incredibly funny comedy starring Steve Carrell as a man bored with and depressed by the world, and equally bored with and depressed by the fact that it's going to end within a month, quickly dissolves into a sentimental slush-fest that sees Carrell lose his bleak outlook on account of Keira Knightley entering his life. Keira Knightley, who, as I might add, before I have not found as many faults with as everyone else, is not an amazing actor, and in this movie, she is considerably less than that. Admittedly, the annoyingly chirpy character she portrays is not helping her or matters, and so the dry humour surrounding Carrell's well-played acceptance of the end of days succumbs to road movie clichés, quirkiness and ultimately, romance. Further insults include the by now obligatory dog whose sole raison d'être is to look cute and Martin Sheen whose role as soft old man might as well have been cut completely from the film. Everything combines so badly that it seems as if both scriptwriter and director had no real vision of what kind of movie they wanted to make in the first place. 5/10

Serbuan Maut (The Raid). Setting new standards in martial arts choreography and action scene editing, this film is certainly worth seeing despite huge flaws in setup, plot and (laughable) acting performances. It's best to take it as what it is, a martial arts showcase gallery, incredibly violent and fast-paced, yet still letting the viewer actually register what's happening. This nicely sets it apart from most modern action movies which, lazy in their editing, manage to show speed only while sacrificing cohesion and clarity. 7/10

Tao Jie (A Simple Life). A film easy to like as it almost exclusively concentrates on two characters, excellently played by Andy Lau and Deannie Yip, that you can't help but feel sympathetic to. Roger is from a well-off Hongkong family, of which Ah Tao has been the maid for decades. When she suffers a stroke and decides to move to an old people's home, their roles reverse and Roger finds himself providing for her. Episodic scenes tell of Ah Tao's adjustment to her new environment, Roger's visits and her gradual decline. This is where I find fault, as it's too obviously directed to appeal to or force an emotional reaction. A beautiful story, well-shot and especially well-acted, that I felt ultimately gets weighed down by calculated sentiment. 6/10

The Bourne Legacy. A flashy tour around the globe once again, only this time it's without Matt Damon. While that loss may not be particularly hard to compensate, Jeremy Renner is only partly suited for the task. Why he received best actor nominations in the Oscars twice I fail to understand. The movie's main problem though is that it's not adding substantially to the existing trilogy story-wise and instead of some kind of resolution we only see another agent in peril. Cue chases along the streets and back alleys of Jakarta, numerous exchanges of bullets, evil secret operatives slowly (but in time for the finale) getting a clue and the most far out way of getting rid of a GPS chip seen on a cinema screen yet. 6/10

The Dark Knight Rises. See full review here. 5/10

To Rome With Love. People say Woody Allen repeats himself, but it's a ridiculous idea to take that critique and laugh at it by repeating yourself all over an entire movie. Allen will make jokes that kept their distance from originality to begin with and then keep them going on. And on. At what point does it become clever and why did I miss it? It's not all bad though: Alex Baldwin, Ellen Page and Jesse Eisenberg making fun of their typecast roles and especially Baldwin's sleazy face is worth the entrance fee, and I can't help grinning when Allen gets in front of a camera himself. Finally, "She probably won't stab a woman!" is probably the best line of this year's comedic cinema. 6/10

Previous months of movies: January, February (no post), March, April, May, June (no post), July (no post).

Keine Kommentare:

Kommentar veröffentlichen