Monday Morning Quarterback Part I
By BOP Staff
October 15, 2012
One for the Money is disposable yet I consider this a huge step up from Katherine Heigl's total filmography. Only The Ugly Truth and this movie border on watchable. I still think the movie would have been more entertaining with a better lead than her. This adaptation kills the franchise right off the bat but it's tolerable in terms of quality.
Katy Perry: Part of Me accomplished two feats at once. First of all, I found myself enjoying the music catalog of the artist quite a bit more than I had in the past. I recognize that the purpose of the movie is to reinforce the idea that Perry is a down to Earth celebrity that the world should love. I bought in. I guess I was incepted. Second of all, I really, really, really wanted to punch Russell Brand at multiple points in the movie. Here is a woman experiencing unprecedented success. All she wants is to share these moments with her significant other. His constant absence and the hurt it caused her was infuriating. Brand loves himself more than he will ever love anybody else. I'm now glad Arthur failed.
In preparing for Resident Evil: Retribution a couple of weeks ago, I watched a horror double feature of Piranha 3DD and Rec 3. I had mentioned previously that I enjoyed the first 40 minutes or so of Piranha 3D before the movie took a turn for the heinous. Piranha 3DD does a better job in navigating that fine line between camp and awkward self-parody. David Hasselhoff has a lot of fun demonstrating his (perceived) relevance to a small child.
Rec 3 is wild. Imagine a zombie film featuring The Bride. That's the concept here and it *works*. A wedding becomes ground zero for a viral outbreak. This semi-justifies a bridezilla's self-absorbed behavior as she attempts to reconcile the expectations for her special day with the reality of brain eating. Even at 85 minutes, the movie drags quite a bit but its best moments are spectacular.
Resident Evil: Retribution is this franchise's response to The Matrix. As long as you don't concern yourself with the laws of physics violated (like how does a simulation create real bullets that can kill human clones?), the movie is satisfying. Over the course of the first four movies, various characters have been killed in order to heighten tension/conflict. Via clones, all of them are allowed to return, which I welcome. Michelle Rodriguez's elimination in the first movie was a mistake Milla Jovovich and Paul W.S. Anderson have clearly regretted. This decision allows them to overwrite it. A movie based upon a videogame shouldn't fixate on niggling details anyway as seemingly dead enemies return all the time. I like that they finally celebrated this. Resident Evil: Retribution is solely for lovers of the franchise such as Kim, Shalimar and myself but it's very satisfying for those of us who are.
Upon first blush, I do not believe I like Argo as much as director Ben Affleck's previous film, The Town. Of course, that's one of my favorite movies of the past five years. So the fact that it is even in that conversation speaks volumes of its quality. My one quibble with Argo is that so much tension is eked out of the premise that I experienced a couple of "OH COME ON!" moments. These took me out of the movie at a time when the drama should have been intense. Other than this, the movie is a perfect example of the real life drama that occurs when nations have conflicts with global repercussions. What Canada did in this particular instance is the stuff of myth and legend. And Tony Mendez is one of those unknown spooks who demonstrated the American Dream by actions, not words. Argo is one of the most important movies of 2012. If you have not watched it yet, please do so at your earliest convenience.
Finally, I am not with the group on Looper. This is the rare example that too much creativity can be every bit as detrimental to a product as not enough creativity. This movie is a glorious mess of conflicting ideas, all of which create showy scenes and interesting characters, none of whom is worthy of rooting for. I remarked to my wife with about 15 minutes left that I had no idea exactly what the director wanted me to be rooting to have happen. The moral ambiguity of everyone involved creates a sterile atmosphere on top of the extreme violence of the film. It also features one of the most loathsome actions ever performed by a protagonist (anti-hero?). The movie irrevocably lost me at that moment. I think Looper is huge disappointment and I will add it to the list alongside Gattaca and Dark City as a heavily praised science fiction movie whose critical popularity flies in the face of its quality.