Pitch Perfect is not thought provoking, nor harrowing, it makes little social comment and without doubt a movie made to engage a young audience. What Pitch Perfect does have is humour of all sorts and will make you laugh and is probably my favorite movie of 2012. Any movie that has both the brilliance of Rebel Wilson combined with a conversation like the following has my attention!
Aubrey: What’s your name?
Fat Amy: Fat Amy.
Aubrey: You call yourself Fat Amy?
Fat Amy: Yeah, so twig bitches like you don’t do it behind my back.
Flushed no doubt by the success of Glee, this story follows as an all girl a-cappella group trying to reach the finals of a singing contest. It has all the usual suspects and follows the successful route of Bring it On and Mean Girls with snappy dialogue and humour that skirts the edges of decency as most teen movies do. Nevertheless, I wanted something to take my mind off life and this had me laugh all the way through it with a hilarious performances including the talented Elizabeth Banks.
8.5/10 prepare to laugh!
Ryan Gosling in another understated, yet elegant performance is fast becoming the man to watch in cinema. Drive is a wry, thoughtful, slow burn thriller with an enigmatic hero caught between the consequence of poor choices. Known only as Driver, the first minutes of the film reveal a wonderful action sequence not because of special effects or explosions but because of the tense interplay between the Driver and his objective. This film is not for those who want cheap thrills, who want excessive cgi, who want muscle bound heroes doing improbable things. This movie is for people who enjoy complex characters, the inevitable brutality of those who live on the fringes.
This movie will bring the viewer between action, interaction and connection as Driver drifts into his decisions due to his involvement with the woman next door. This movie uses well what many forget and that is the strength of silence on screen. This is a character driven film of violence, action and atmosphere. It won’t be for everyone, many will fault it for not being the predictable action pap, those who enjoy it will discover a dark story of a man of calm intensity and the lengths he will go in order to protect what he values.
8.5/10 For the right person—superb
The Guard with Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle is the offering created by John McDonagh and it’s clear to see the family humour is genetic as his brother made the excellent In Bruges, another Irish dominated comedy.
The story in brief is about Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson), a grumpy police officer who patrols a small Irish town. Investigating a murder he discovers it is linked to a drug ring being chased by FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle).
The story is told in the usual Irish fashion of lots of cursing and lots of drink with hilarity so commonplace it appears to be more a component of life than oddity. This story, while not overly complex, has enough turns to keep the viewer interested and enough insanity to keep everyone smiling. While the action in this movie is not of the realistic variety it serves to propel the storyline along with an excellent dry humour that is a joy to behold. The Irishness of the movie adds to the charm and for the Australian ear the accents are not difficult to understand. Don Cheadle holds his own against the brilliance of Breedan Gleeson.
If you want a funny story that is well crafted, intelligent, wry and enjoyable you will find all of this and more in The Guard.
8.5/10 and worth every bit of your time!
In Knight and Day Tom Cruise, a somewhat good looking but frequent nutter, manages to redeem himself in this well paced almost amusing romp. It is the feminine lead Cameron Diaz, famed for playing the ditzy blonde, who pulls down the movie. Obviously employed for her legs and ability to still pull off a bikini she unfortunately is looking every inch her age. This is not a bad thing, but what might have appeared as loveable in her twenties now skirts the edge of charming and becomes creepy when portrayed by a woman heading into her forties. Tom, who bored us with several Mission Impossible movies and frightened us on Oprah, acquits himself with surprising grace. If you can ignore the haggard shots of an aging Cameron and the creepy naivety of a forty year old woman then the movie is fun. It is rare for Mr. Cruise to depict a likeable character with success but since he is a bit strange and the character is also a bit strange perhaps this is well known territory.
I realise there is a disturbing trend within Hollywood to put much younger female actors with older men without it being a feature of the plot. Mr. and Mrs. Smith is an example of a fresher faced Angelina managing to make even the gorgeous Mr. Pitt look weary. There is, however, a big difference between plonking a pretty girl into a role for her looks and a character not acting age appropriate. The character of June Havens might have been appreciated more if the viewer was not given the constant reminder of mutton dressed as lamb.
7/10 Oddly thanks to Tom
I started this as a distraction when I needed a rest from editing the epic fantasy. Well it is not so much an epic as an endless task. So far I have completed a third of part one and have to admit I love the premise of the romance. It was meant to be a straight romance but I can’t seem to get my teeth into that genre, I always want to tweak things here and there. Next thing I know, I have a romantic intrigue on my hands with the outline for a cosy mystery as a follow up.
I am in the middle of editing which means my mind keeps wandering back to the intriguing Mr. Smith. As usual I did everything wrong when approaching romance. I looked up several sites offering advice and discovered after three chapters that romance is supposed to be from the POV of the heroine. Well that was annoying! For while she was quirky–weird actually–he was the character I was invested in. I find writing male characters difficult so spend weeks bothering every man I know with questions. Every time my character does something I get on the phone asking if it was feasible. I like romance, it makes adventure more fun, intrigue more risk, comedy have a point, but I dislike men who talk and act like women. When I did some research I found books with all these huge conversations about feelings and intricate plans of courtship. I wanted to write a romance, one that satisfies the romantic urges of the reader but still keep it real enough not to be silly. So enter the POV of the heroine, hopefully she will keep that Mr. Smith in line, even if he doesn’t spend hours discussing the finer points of courtship.