Whoa! It’s been ages since I did my movie reviews. Needless to say I have continued seeing movies since my last post, but I just have neglected to blog about any them. Oops! OK well back to it then, eh?
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
I technically saw this in Boxing Day but it’s close enough to January to count, right? I absolutely loved the second instalment of the Hobbit, there’s a whole lot of action, some of which is absolutely hilarious (the scene with the dwarves in the barrels hurtling down the river were brilliant). I feel like this film was slightly better than the first, it seemed to flow a bit better and I loved the introduction of new characters such as the feisty she-elf Tauriel and Smaug himself (while I’m not normally a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch, his voice was absolutely perfect for this role). I honestly didn’t think they were going to need three films for The Hobbit but so far they’re doing an excellent job of filling in the time without dragging things out too much. It’s definitely recommended you see the first instalment of the Hobbit trilogy before this film, while it’s lots of fun and adventure on it’s own you’re not going to get the full effect without following the story all the way through.
The Wolf of Wall Street
I don’t even know what to say about this film. OK so I will admit it was enjoyable in many ways, very witty and clever with impeccable dialogue and superb acting from all involved. But I just couldn’t quite get into it, I found everything about Jordan Belfort absolutely grotesque and the way he seemed to get away with everything virtually scot free infuriated me. Personally I felt like the film glamorised his hedonistic, criminal lifestyle though those I saw it with felt the opposite was true. Maybe I ruined it for myself for reading up on the actual Jordan Belfort and saw what a creep he is and couldn’t just enjoy the film without thinking about how many millions he still owes and all the royalties he’s getting from the film and the inevitable increased books sales. Grrr. If you’re into Martin Scorsese films and are better at disengaging from the nasty truths than I am (and also love excess amounts of female nudity and drug use), you’ll probably love this. Otherwise maybe just wait til it’s out on DVD.
Saving Mr Banks
I actually had no idea about this movie until I saw the ad on the side of a bus and found myself intrigued by the simple poster which included the shadow of Mickey Mouse and Mary Poppins. I immediately looked it up and felt a bit dumb for not getting it right away: Walt Disney spent 20 years trying to get the film rights to Mary Poppins from the author PL Travers. As it happens, Pamela Travers is an absolute bitch who is only considering selling the rights because she’s broke. She eventually relents enough to agree to spending two weeks in LA to review the script where she clashes with everyone, determined not to let Disney mutilate her beloved Mary to whom she clings so dearly. Throughout the film there are flashbacks to her past, growing up in rural Australia where we see how her alcoholic but imaginative and fun loving father helped shape her writing and why she was so damn attached to her character. I can’t rave about this movie enough, in fact the more I think about, the more I love it. Tom Hanks is an amazing Disney and as expected, Emma Thompson is brilliants as Travers. I can’t lie, I cried quite a bit in the film, but there were also a lot of laughs too, especially at the socially awkward and comically rude things Travers would say and do.
I just watched this film this week and was blown away by how beautiful it was. Imagine a not too distant future where we actually interact with our smart phones and computers. That’s what happens when Theodore, a lonely writer who’s going through a divorce with a woman he still believes he loves, buys the OS1, an operating system with artificial intelligence that actually interacts with you. His OS is called Samantha and they quickly become very close, eventually falling madly in love with each other. This film could have easily just been a warning tale to those who depend on technology too much and become isolated from actual human contact, but instead it felt to me a story about how love can transcend physical relationships and the beauty of pure, emotional love. It’s one of the sweetest love stories I’ve seen in a very long time and it mattered not that one half of the couple wasn’t a tangible, living being. Joaquin is one of my favourite actors and he was incredible in this role, which I can only imagine would have been tough given he was talking to himself for most of the movie!