Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Step Brothers, Riddick, Cloverfield.


Yes, YES, and YES! In the interest of time, these are going to be short. And mostly about my personal feelings, not filmmaking, so deal.

1. Step Brothers, 2008, directed by Adam McKay. Written by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay.
starring: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly.

"Two aimless middle-aged losers still living at home are forced against their will to become roommates when their parents get married." (IMDB).

Clearly this kind of humor is not going to appeal to everyone. If you have a husband who acts similarly to the characters, you might appreciate it a bit more. This whole film was like watching the experiences of Matt Adams (and that isn't an insult, my husband is extremely entertaining); anatomy jokes, watching quality on the couch, making up sick songs, etc. I found it hilarious. I honestly didn't stop laughing, like, at all. Just ridiculous. So, so inappropriate and ridiculous. Will Ferrell can be my wingman anytime.

Diesel channels your inner kick-ass!

2. The Chronicles of Riddick, 2004, directed by David Twohy. Written by Jim Wheat.
starring: Vin Diesel, Judi Dench, Colm Feore.

"5 years after Pitch Black, the wanted criminal Riddick arrives on a planet called Helion Prime, and finds himself up against an invading empire called the Necromongers, an army that plans to convert or kill all humans in the universe." (IMDB).

I think you have to dig either fantasy or Vin Diesel in order to enjoy this. Lucky me, I dig both. Not to generalize, but I can see where partners having to sit through this (or any other Vin Diesel film) might get a little restless while their male mates are probably oozing testosterone, roaring rebel yells loudly ("#$*& YEAH! VIN DIESEL ROCKS!") but if you give him a chance, ladies, you might be pleasantly surprised.

 That said, this film probably would have been a good one without him. I thought the women (Judi Dench, Thandie Newton) were well-cast and very interesting. And visually, the film was amazing. Great sound. Amazing landscapes and effects. My favorite? The tentacle-y sun, reaching out to burn everyone with its beautiful, slithering rays. Gives quite a new meaning to "Fire on the Mountain, run boys, run!" doesn't it? And speaking of kick-ass, how about that ending, yeah?

What a great poster!
3. Cloverfield, 2008, directed by Matt Reeves. Written by Drew Goddard.
starring: Mike Vogel, Jessica Lucas, and Lizzy Caplan.

"Revolves around a monster attack in New York as told from the point of view of a small group of people."(IMDB). 

I had big plans to hate this film; I. CANNOT. TOLERATE. HAND-HELD. Like, at all. I spent the entire day after seeing The Blair Witch Project with a severe case of the bed-spins; I avoided seeing Avatar in the theater for fear of the same (obviously Cameron is a bit above using hand-held style but the motion? Heave). I get vertigo really easily. I can barely even turn my head around in the car for Christ's sake!

However. Even with an enormous chip on my shoulder coming in, I liked this. It was skillful, credible, funny in parts (kid holding the camera, and constant sarcastic explanations, "it's something, it's very terrible" or "we don't know what they are, also terrible.") ! And it scared me. Scene in the empty subway tunnel, flashing lights? I was ready for it to be something funny, or gross, like a scurrying rat, and I kept asking Matt, WHAT IS IT? WHAT IS THAT THING? JUST TELL ME! He giggled and said nothing; when they find the night-vision setting on the camera and then discover what it is? I literally jumped about a foot in the air. The bites on that girl? Very gruesome. The repeated bashing of one of the "creatures" with what, a pipe? And the noises it made? Right on.

Nicely done, all. But tread lightly if you have any sensitivity in your inner ears, really.

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