I’m back from the UK. This means I’m unfortunately in Houston again. The less said in regards to how I feel about that situation, the better. (It’s been nice to see my friends at work, though! And do some geology! So that’s positive.)
Anyway, quick comments on the four movies I saw on the flights to and from the UK.
I’d been wanting to see this one for a while, because it involves Nick Frost, and I love him to pieces. It was cute, and funny, and there was a lot of very enthusiastic salsa dancing in it, which just made me look forward to when I can start dancing again. It had some pretty formulaic rom-com boy gets the girl at the end tropes that I really could have lived without, including Julia (Rashida Jones) being incredibly dense about both a mix tape and the fact that Drew (Chris O’Dowd) was intensely gross and creepy. I think the only thing that really bothered me about the movie was Chris O’Dowd playing a note perfect gross, creepy, sexist dude and everyone just sort of… turning a blind eye to everything he did and taking it. Probably because it was so uncomfortably reminiscent of real life.
This movie wants to be The Hunger Games so desperately that it gets kind of embarrassing to watch, really. It runs into the same dystopia problem as The Maze Runner, in that there’s a kind of fun concept that completely falls apart when you have to even superficially explore why in the hell anyone would have thought it was a good idea to run a society like that in the first place. At least The Hunger Games manages to get past that superficial level of thought on the politics and sociology, which is necessary because the story is all about political machinations. Unfortunately for Divergent, the fun concept runs aground on Kate Winslet trying desperately to deliver a believable villain speech that boils down to “we have to kill you because reasons, okay?” When it’s not trying to clumsily justify why the super special “divergents” are dangerous to the poorly constructed society, it’s a fun enough movie.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Starring Chris Pine’s intense blue eyes and Kenneth Branagh’s embarrassing attempt at a Russian accent. There’s a kind of exciting scene wherein Chris Pine kills someone in a bathroom. But it probably says a lot about where this movie fell on my personal spy-fy foodchain that I lost interest completely after the bathroom murder and decided I’d rather just write porn on my airbook instead.
A Long Way Down
I decided to watch this movie just because I recalled it being mentioned in Empire. Glad that I did. For a movie that’s ultimately about suicide, it’s incredibly funny, and with the awkward sort of humor that I tend to love. Brosnan’s character gets a little hammy at times, I thought, but the others were complex and interesting and incredibly well played. I cried twice as well, and not for the reasons the summary would make you expect. I think the biggest winner of the cast was Toni Collette, who played Maureen. She’s the least outwardly neurotic of all of the characters, but I think her story had the most emotional meat to it, which was well-served by the quiet way she played the character. Boy, when Maureen smiles, you can really feel it, because of that quiet reserve she has most of the time. I definitely recommend this movie.