Category Archives: Films

Super (2010) Dir.: James Gunn – REVIEW

My expectations weren’t exactly high as I have seen another film directed by James Gunn. “Slither” was just one of those forgettable, less than mediocre horror films which you pick out from Blockbuster when you get desperate after perusing the aisles for over 40 mins.

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Image by: imdb.com

This is a film that pretty much destroys any preconception you may have of superhero movies.

First of all, this really isn’t a superhero film, despite what the cover reveals, or the fact that Ellen Page is in this one, who, taking Hard Candy and Inception aside, typically plays the quirky, tomboy-ish type girl. Examples are Whip it or Juno.

The other main cast and central figure is Rainn Wilson, who after his wife runs away with a drug dealing scumbag Kevin Bacon, decides to “rescue” her from her very certain drug-filled doom. To deal with the pain of losing her and feeling incredibly inferior in his day to day life, he goes a bit off the rails and dreams that God himself tells him to fight evil. He is inspired by a pretty lame superhero called The Holy Avenger who preaches post marital sex and a good diet.

Still sounds ok, yeah? Yeah.

To do his research on superheroes, and to sculpture his alter ego “The Crimson Bolt” he visits a comic book store where he meets the shop assistant and comic enthusiast Ellen Page.

His first attempts are as expected, funny, clumsy and seem to indicate that he just isn’t cut out to be a superhero.

Until he gets the advice to carry a weapon.

The chosen weapon is a wrench and believe me, he gets very wrench-happy. And this is when things take a darker turn. Suddenly the slightly pitiful but likeable character shows his dark side and demonstrates what can happen when mere mortals believe they are chosen to fight crime.

To be fair, any sane person probably wouldn’t put on a mask and go crime hunting, so we have to question how sane any superhero really is. Not surprising that many of the most famous superheroes all suffered from traumas in one way or another and then became masked fighters (recently found out that Spiderman was molested as a child, Jesus!). So it might not actually be that far fetched that this loser turns a bit psychotic when taking on a second identity.

The surprising thing is, though the film gets darker by the minute, it also gets oddly sad and while you may not endorse Rainn’s brutality, you still kind of want him to “win”.

Ellen Page does a great job looking like a bit of a twat who likes comics too much to really understand the consequences of Rainn’s actions, however, yet again, we see another side of her when it turns out that she is just as disturbed maybe even more so than Rainn himself.

Not to spoil the ending, this is a brilliantly refreshing watch which will have you raise your eyebrow several times and put you through some internal confusion about what you are actually watching.

I really enjoyed it due to that ever changing nature. Genre? Well who needs to stick to boundaries anyway these days, eh?

7/10

-Lia

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Moonrise Kingdom – THE REVIEW

It has been a few weeks since I saw Moonrise Kingdom and over time I mulled over what i really thought of it.

And here it goes:

I will save you from all the background info on Anderson, because quite frankly, if you read reviews on this, you probably would have seen at least The Royal Tenenbaums.

I really loved it. At the time I was entertained and loved the much quoted “quirkiness” of it. However, if you are a seasoned Anderson fan, you might be pleasantly entertained but definitely not surprised or mind blown.

It is a typical Anderson film and that is not to say it was bad, but it didn’t deliver anything new.

So here is what I liked:

I loved the cast. Murray is obviously at the top of my favourite actors, though his screentime was limited which I did not appreciate.

Edward Norton was a surprisingly good choice for scout master Ward. He was pitiful and subtle, exactly what Anderson was looking for, but then again, Norton is a good actor so it is no surprise that he delivered this role brilliantly.

The kids were cool. I liked their acting ability and I am usually pretty sceptical about kids in movies. Suzy was pretty convincing and seemed to be the child of an Anderson generation, that is to say, she reminded me a lot of Margot Tenenbaum, quite an achievement for a kid who isn’t the most seasoned actress.

Bruce Willis acted as the slightly dim witted, sad cop Bishop who does his job dutifully on the island where NOTHING HAPPENS, yet he feels alone, isolated and finds comfort in the arms of a married woman (Bill Murray’s wife and mother of Suzy). While his performance did not have me go for the full standing ovation, he did do better than I expected. Afterall, Willis is not a likely Anderson character.

Photo courtesy of imdb.com

image courtesy of imdb.com

There we have it, the good part: the cast, now to the bad:

The plot:

I loved the beginning, I loved how the story was unravelled to the audience. The fast pace and the flashbacks were a nice touch. It moved the story along nicely.

But once the whole plan of little Sam and Suzy was discovered and they were separated, the whole film slumped a little bit. It went from bad to worse in the last third of the film where I was turning around thinking “Have I accidently  stumbled into a re-run of Fantastic Mr Fox?!”

The story became so bizarre, that you were pulled out of the atmosphere that Anderson carefully created at the beginning. Suddenly the whole film became a laughable fugitive film where no one took anything seriously,

While I never watch any of Anderson’s films with the delusion that this is real life, I however like things plausible. And I am tired of arguing this point. YES, I don’t believe in zombies, or ghosts or whatever and still enjoy a good horror, but that is because the plot in itself is plausible and that is the most important thing about any film, no matter if it’s kitchen sink or exploitation.

So when the last third had my eyebrows going wild with scepticism, I knew that wasn’t a good sign.

It ended too cliche, too good and not enough Anderson.

The score of course, was as usual, excellent, I did not expect any less from him though.

So my verdict is: It was an enjoyable, typically Anderson film but please, don’t expect a new Tenenbaum as this shines with its casts but disappoints with the plot.

I give it a 6/10.

Lia

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