Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Let's All Go to the Lobby!

originally begun over two weeks ago...
After going to three movies over the holiday weekend (see Twitter's movies w/o reviews), you'd think I'd be ready for a break, especially after working the film festival. No, friend, no. I decided to go to the theatre four times in two days. That's right, in less than 48 hours I took in four movies. I started off the viewing-athon with a screening of "Punisher: War Zone." While not a great movie, it's a good movie by comic book standards. It doesn't reach the heights of "X2" or "Iron Man" but it also doesn't disappoint like "Ghost Rider" or the first "Fantastic Four." Similar to the Hulk franchise, the Punisher has undergone a reboot after having just released a film less than five years ago, and this is the third try for the Punisher! The action was decent and the kill count was high, so most dweebs will geek out on that. There were several kill sequences which were too absurd to describe here (fist through faceplate, head exploding from gunshot wound, the list goes on). 

I wisely countered the Punisher with Mike Leigh's new film, "Happy Go Lucky." The film is wired from start to finished, but not because of artificial enhancement.  Poppy, the main character, brings her wit and personality full force, whether you're ready or not.  Poppy is played flawlessly by Sally Hawkins, a British actress known for her comedy chops on the BBC.  The film takes a look at Poppy's life and how she unflinchingly takes on all that comes at her, complete with a smile and a wink.

The next day, Wednesday, I went to a screening of "The Reader," the new film starring a naked Kate Winslet.  The film's been primed for an Oscar season release and will draw a lot of attention because of its taboo content and Nazi fueled storyline.

That evening, Kara and I went to a screening of "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."  During the course of the film I was constantly reminded of "Forrest Gump."  The story centers on a character with a certain peculiarity and how that character deals with life because of that peculiarity.  Parts of the film drag and the running time is a bit bloated because of that, but overall it is an interesting film.  The make-up, costumes, and special effects are first rate.  Director David Fincher takes a less subtle approach with his direction.  His latest film is much more about the development of the Benjamin Button character and less about how Fincher allows the story to unfold and the methods he conveys that on screen.

Of the four films, I liked "Happy-Go-Lucky" the most, but had a lot of fun at the new Punisher film mostly because of its slapstick style and high body count.  I was surprised to see that "Happy-Go-Lucky" received a number of Golden Globe nominations, which probably left a lot of people scratching their heads ("What film is this?" "Who are these people?" "Tom Cruise was nominated for what?" and so on).

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