I woke up this morning ready to blog my ass off. As a joyful consumer of cinema I occasionally feel the need to share my experiences with others, particularly when they are positive. Allow me to give a few thoughts on some of the fare I have seen recently.
I attend the cinema once a week usually for work and I am fully aware of how ridiculous that sounds. In my role as a support worker, myself and another staff member assist two friends in going out to the movies. The men get a deal through the Easter Seals so the price is reasonable and due to mobility issues, its one of the activities that we can partake without much difficulty. As a reward for our hard work, the staff also get to enjoy the movie playing that week, and I won't be caught complaining.
American Reunion: We went to this one just last Friday, and I will say I was pleasantly surprised. Knowing that the movie was being panned by most, I still felt compelled to see it after enjoying the original movie and to a lesser degree the first few sequels. They jokes all involved sex in staying true to the formula. I think the win came with the balance struck between referencing the first 3 movies, and keeping things fresh to a degree. I described the movie to someone as being "the best they (the director) could have done with the material handed to them." As it turns out, it was directed by the team of Hayden Schlossberg and Jon Hurwitz who also teamed up on the 3 Harold and Kumar movies that I thoroughly enjoyed. Considering the cast they had to work with here, almost entirely devoid of acting talent save for Sean William Scott, Eugene Levy and perhaps Alyson Hannigan, the effort put forth was comendable.
The Three Stooges: On a slow week at the theatre, we found ourselves watching this one, along with about 15 other people, who were all in small groups with at least one kid to each group. I had pretty low expectations, but was intrigued by the possibilities of what the Farrelly brothers would do with the material. I'm too young to have enjoyed the stooges as a kid, but knew the premise going in. Cheesy slap stick, ridiculous physical gags and mild g rated punchlines were all on the card, and the Farrelly boys didn't disappoint. I thought their use of Larry David as a crabby old nun was great. Sending the guys off to the big city to encounter Sofia Vergara's character was well done. I could have done without the children at the orphanage, all the acting was awful and the scenes were awkward. All in all, I did find myself laughing a few times though I couldn't shake this feeling of uneasiness while I watched. Not the vibe you want to give viewers as a movie maker.
The Hunger Games: The hype for this one was off the charts, and being that I haven't read any of the teen book series, I was initially unmoved by the hysteria. After the movie had been out for a few weeks, we felt it was safe to check it out, without the chance of being trampled by overly excited teens. As it turns out, the movie is worthy of the hype. I thought Jennifer Lawrence's performance in "Winter's Bone" a couple years ago was top notch, and she was great again here. I also have a soft spot for Woody Harrelson and he played a memorable supporting character in this one as a former winner of the Hunger Games. I really enjoyed the spectacular scenes involving the opening ceremonies for the games, and the extravagant costumes that went along with it. This is one you should check out, regardless of whether or not you fit the teen target group.
21 Jump Street: Anyone who knows me has heard me proclaim my hatred for Channing Tatum's "acting" on a number of occasions. The guy is just absolutely painful to watch, and he is always starring in the romantic drama genre which I usually strain to get through at the best of times. When one of your best acting traits is your abs, you likely are devoid of real acting talents. On the other hand, I really like Jonah Hill's work and with him on the writing team I figured this one had to be a winner. A string of solid reviews flowed in the first weeks after release, so I had to drop my Tatum hate and check it out. In the end, I was left eating my proverbial hat as the movie was the funniest comedy I have seen in 2012. Channing Tatum proved he does have some acting chops, and if I were to give him some career advice I would say the comedy genre will be a good fit for him. Some really funny hijinx when the guys get their fake names mixed up and Hill ends up playing the jock while Tatum's character is in the band and ends up making friends with the chemistry club. A fun time at the movies was had by all for this one.
That's my time, moving on to other things for the day.