Posts Tagged ‘Angelina Jolie’

Changeling: Can’t Decide How to Approach Itself

November 20, 2008
Rosemary's Maybe

Rosemary's Maybe

If you were to go to a concert, full symphony orchestra, and you sit down ready if nothing else to be carried away for the next hour or two into the beauty of another world: crescendos, melodies and variations then you realize about 30 minutes in that all you’re going to hear for the next hour and a half is a single trumpet player bleeting the same note over and over again, I imagine you’d be a bit underwhelmed and frustrated. Great music, like a great movie has to have ups and downs. Even if they’re minor and subtle.

In Clint Eastwood’s new drama The Changeling everything plays at pretty much the same note from beginning to end. The movie is so detached from itself that there are no emotional ups and downs. Angelina Jolie, while suitable, hits that same reoccurring note as well, and the music lingers never adjusting to suit the events of the film. I don’t need to have my head beaten by a hammer, but it could be that Eastwood’s hands off style of directing is finally starting to show that perhaps he needs to be a little more hands on when considering the plotting of the story.

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“Wanted”: What have you done this week?

July 17, 2008
Fates trail of destruction.

Fates trail of destruction.

In any comic book super hero movie, and Wanted is a type of comic book super hero movie, there has to be that one moment in which your understanding of the main character, here Wesley Gibson played by James McAvoy, suddenly becomes a deeper understanding of yourself. This movie or comic book isn’t just about Peter Parker, or Bruce Wayne, or Bruce Banner, or Neo – it’s about me…it’s about the audience member sitting next to me.

There comes a point in Wanted where I had that moment. When Wesley has met the fist end of Angelina Jolie’s, here the beautiful Fox’s, arm a few too many times, and his face is dripping blood and he can hardly breath much less speak, he finally has the courage to utter the honest words to her question “Why did you come here?”. A moment that sent chills up my spine. A moment that for Wesley, who has been beaten down by every aspect of his life and can’t fight anymore, decides to open up and be vulnerable. It is also the answer any cult waits for so they can pounce.

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Kung-Fu Panda

June 11, 2008

Kung-Fu Panda

In recent years I’ve largely been disappointed by animated movies. Even Pixar’s Cars couldn’t draw me to the theatre. Finally Wall-E opens this summer, but before that, a surprise. And a surprise worth everyone’s 14 dollars. Kung-Fu Panda does what other animated films now forget to do. It tells it’s story without choosing a different aspect of pop culture to reference every 5 lines (even the puns that litter other movie posters were thankfully lacking during the marketing campaign, as were the annoying references to all the starts that lent their voices…who cares???), but the film also takes full advantage of the fact that…it’s…animated.

Drawing loads of inspiration from the Chinese Fantasy Martial Arts films in which Kung-Fu masters fight on mountain tops and forests; these animals balance, jump, dive, fly, roll and hurtle through the air like pieces of paper in a tornado. It’s beautiful and on occasions visually overwhelming in scope – almost scary. But never once is it not fun or thrilling. The first five minutes alone exceeds the level of visual/visceral film making and personality/humor than any other Dreamworks animated film I’ve ever seen (including Shrek — I enjoyed the second one a little…)

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