We watched Wonder Woman last night. I was very disappointed by the movie. On a technical level, the clearly CGI graphics/scenery in the beginning was too cartoonish, and the sappy music going on in the background the entire time was awful, like watching a DePalma or Spielberg movie where they don’t trust the audience to feel their own emotions. Then, on a story level, having Wonder Woman lead a platoon of soldiers where she was directly involved in killing scores of young soldiers (not mercenaries or evil Nazis) was disappointing and even disturbing. Then from a feminist perspective Wonder Woman was treated as an underling or comically naïve subservient woman for much of the film. It was an awful film and a waste of $5.
The Happening was free in the horrors section of HBO, so we watched. An older film with Mark Wahlberg and Zoey D where people suddenly start killing themselves in the Northeast. Walberg is a science teacher and determines it is the trees sending out neurotoxins when sensing packs of humans, so they break off into a small group and survive. A totally cheesey movie but not too awful and entertaining and well priced enough that we enjoyed it.
For the thrid time, I watched Quantam of Solace, the second of the James Bond refresh movies. It isn’t nearly as highly reviewed as Casino Royale and it is my least favorite of the new Bond films and the heavy-handed editing (quick cuts and shots) during the action scenes make them almost unwatchable, but it *is* James Bond and Daniel Craig as James Bond and good enough to watch. It is a forgettable film though – twice before I’ve forgotten the plot. With that in mind, here is my quick summary:
A few moments after Bond shoots Mr. White in Casino Royale, Bond takes White back to M for interrogation. We learn that White’s org is everywhere, including M’s assistant from the first Bond film who starts shooting (whoa!) and allows White to escape. Bond goes after White and ends up in Haiti, where he learns that a Mr. Green is leading another shadow organization within the larger organization that ostensibly is an environmental nonprofit but is actually taking ownership of all the water and utilizities under a corrupt Bolivian dictator. Bond kills Mr. Green and brings down this organization, and also tracks down Vesper (Casino Royale) faux-boyfriend who is actually a mole for Mr. White’s org. In the meantime, we see a couple of Bond girls (including one who dies in oil like the girl died in Goldfinger), a couple of chase scenes in a boat and a plane, two gatherings in tuxes, and a taste of the rugged Bolivian townslife. I love Bond/M’s sardonic humorous exchange when they find Green: “We found his body in the desert… He had a quart of motor oil in his stomach, do you know anything about that?”
For me, the the movie needed to be more patient. Casino Royale and later Skyfall have a lot of patience, letting scenes develop without a lot of cuts. THere are so many cuts, and so many quick scenes, it is hard to observe things unfolding naturally – it is like the director is constantly forcing us to look somewhere. Still, it is JaMes Bond and – again — Daniel Craig as James Bond (Craig is my favorite Bond, kind of a perfect combo of Connery and Moore).
Good Time is running at our local theater – I love seedy films and this has good reviews. I’d love to see it!
For some reason, Wife M and I like horror movies more in the summer than the winter, perhaps because the winter is so gloomy and gray it is hard to escape it with a gloomy movie… Switching gears a little bit, I had high hopes for Annabelle creation, having liked The Conjuring and Annabelle so much. We bought tickets for opening day And counted down the days. It was not a perfect movie (some cliches such as isolated farmhouses, scarecrows, etc.), but very enjoyable and entertaining, and certainly met my expectations and was a worthwhile investment of time and money. The fact that so much of the scares took place at night after everyone went to bed was on my mind that night when I got up to get a drink of water 🙂
Like most people who’ve seen it, I liked Dunkir, which I watched today while Wife M was occupied. For awhile now, I’ve been burned out on WW2 movies, but this had Christopher Nolan’s signature “voice” to it, and I found the characters compelling and likable, although we don’t get to knew them too deeply. The movie had meaning for me becuse so many people gave so much at that time to try to save Great Britain from grave (“is there another kind?”) danger, yet today we live in a world filled with billionaires who’ve never served their country in any shape or form.
Wife M and I went to the Annex for a drink then to The Big Sick. The Annex’s cocktail was awful – I am not sure how a drink can be too bitter and too sweet at the same time, but it was. Wife M’s drink was too sweet. Won’t be going back there… We loved The Big Sick, which turned out to be a true story based on the Pakistani actor from Silicon Valley’s courtship of his girlfriend, where they fall in love, break up then she gets sick. We loved it – it was a touching, funny and enduring story about lovable characters, and I loved it much in the same way I loved the lovable people in Bend It Like Beckham from 10 years ago. A fun summer evening that ended at a reasonable hour (9:40pm).
Note: her illness reminded me of my mom’s illness in 2009, when she had to be intubated and was in ICU for several weeks where we didn’t know if she’d live, and my dad, sister, wife and I spent a lot of wrenching time together where we all really bonded.