Rewatched Lars and the Real Girl this week and I just had to do a write up on this fantastic movie.
The basic gist of the movie is that a delusional young man creates a relationship with a life sized doll he orders on the internet. That sounds like the start of a terrible comedy, but this movie doesn’t use that premise just to get a bunch of easy, cheap laughs. Amazingly, they find a way to create a dramedy that touches on our relationships with other people.
The cast is absolutely fantastic. Ryan Gosling is Ryan Gosling, no need to explain why he was great in this movie lol. I LOVE Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson, Paul Schneider, and Kelli Garner in this movie too though. Mortimer plays the more understanding side to Schneider’s (at first) more crass nature. Why are the only roles Patricia Clarkson seems to get are the “wacky mom” roles? She’s an AMAZING actress! And Kelli Garner, how adorable is this girl? Pretty funny seeing her be so sweet in this movie because she was 100% BITCH in the movie Thumbsucker hahaha. I love how subtly the film dealt with each of the characters. You find out little details that inform you of each character’s M.O. and how they view the situation.
I just really dig that this movie didn’t take the easy way out and say that Lars was fucking crazy and instead they delved into the psychology of the situation and what would push a man to do the things Lars did.
If you haven’t seen Lars and the Real Girl, I would highly recommend it. To really get into what I want to talk about I have to get into spoilers which I’ll leave after the “read more” break. If you haven’t seen it, go see it and hopefully you’ll come back and read what I have to say about the movie, cheers!Read more
Hugo is Martin Scorsese’s first foray into 3D and a children’s movie. I’m a huge fan of Scorsese (what cinephile isn’t?) and I was curious to see what a family friendly movie would look like coming from him. The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive: 94% with an 8.3/10 average rating from RottenTomatoes and 83/100 on Metacritic. The film is already garnering a ton of awards and has a lot of Oscar buzz around it. Could this movie possibly live up to the hype?
My concise answer is yes, and this is one of the most enjoyable films I’ve seen all year. I do have to stress that even though this is a family friendly film, I’m not so sure how kid friendly this movie is in the sense that I think kids would probably be bored during this movie. It’s over 2 hours long and the movie doesn’t cater to kids at all with the story or humor. I would recommend that everyone see this film, but if you have a particular fascination with film then you will get even more out of Hugo.
Hugo is a movie that is made for film lovers, period. If you have an appreciation for the history and craft of movies, this movie will definitely pull at the heart strings. Those of us who have fond memories of movies and what they can do for us will undoubtedly enjoy this film.
The 3D in this film is probably among the best films I’ve ever seen in 3D (up there with Avatar, How to Train Your Dragon, and The Adventures of Tintin). It’s Martin Scorsese so you expect greatness, but he still manages to unquestionably deliver. The way he uses 3D is something we haven’t seen before and is quite different from James Cameron’s use of it in Avatar or Steven Spielberg with Tintin.
I found the story to be quite powerful and emotionally resonant. The film ponders big questions like what our purpose in life is and accepting your past instead of hiding from it. I don’t really want to get too much into the story because it isn’t even hinted at in the trailer and I think that if you go in fresh without expectations, you will be even more pleasantly surprised.
I will say that there is this one bit where Chloe Moretz says “You don’t like books!?” And I just have to say that I can’t wait until someone makes a GIF of that line of dialogue because I just felt that that line represents me so much and my general thoughts on the lack of reading in our generation.
The one knock that I have against the film is that it feels like it takes a bit too long to set up the story and while I was never bored during this film it did seem to lack a “hook” at the start. Also, for a “family film,” I would say that this movie would definitely put most kids to sleep. That’s not a huge knock against the film because the end product is fantastic, but do not see this movie if you are looking for an enjoyable time at the theater where you can turn your brain off. This movie constantly engages you on a visual and narrative level.
Hugo is cinematic marvel that anyone with an appreciation for film should love. Martin Scorsese’s use of 3D is wonderful, the story is unique, and the themes are quite deep as well. Definitely make sure you see this over the holidays!
LOVE THIS MOVIE!!!!
Not that I don’t love Aaron Sorkin, but I kind of just merely glanced at this news story awhile ago. Then I found out Emily Mortimer is one of the two leads and got SO EXCITED! Emily Mortimer is one of my favorite actresses, combine that with the genius of Sorkin and also Jeff Daniels in the other lead role, how can this NOT be AWESOME?
Emily Mortimer, RAWR!
I’ve had a thing for her since… Paris Je T’aime, although she was only in a short film in that movie. Really started to fall for her after Transsiberian and Lars and the Real Girl. Just looked her up on Netflix and there’s a handful of movies on watch instantly with her so I think I know what I’m going to be doing very soon haha. There’s just something about her that just catches my eye. I love her eyes! They’re beautiful, and maybe the fact that they’re also slightly off center is a little idiosyncratic charm that I find irresistible. Definitely need to buy more of her movies haha.
So I finally got around to seeing Cars 2 in theater. I thought the first Cars film was a good movie, but in comparison to Pixar’s other works, it looks like complete shit haha. I wasn’t interested in a sequel to Cars, period. I felt like a movie such as The Incredibles deserved and warranted a…
I promised my kid cousins i’d take them to see it. Is it still enjoyable for the young audiences??
Yeah I’d say so. I read a couple reviews online from parents who said that it was too violent and the story had too many socio-political messages that confused their kids though. I will say that for a G-rated movie there was a TON of machine gun fire and explosions, but nothing that will scar kids or anything. Then again I was watching movies like Terminator 2 when I was growing up… haha. I think kids would still probably enjoy it overall though.
So I finally got around to seeing Cars 2 in theater. I thought the first Cars film was a good movie, but in comparison to Pixar’s other works, it looks like complete shit haha. I wasn’t interested in a sequel to Cars, period. I felt like a movie such as The Incredibles deserved and warranted a sequel before Cars did. I saw Cars 2 as a cash grab from Disney who wanted to capitalize on the insane amount of bank they make off of Cars merchandise. They make a lot of money off merchandise with their other films, but Cars is a different story. They have Cars toys at major retailers around the country all year round, not just when the movie comes out. The critical consensus came in and I was shocked to see a Pixar movie FINALLY receive a negative rating on RottenTomatoes. I didn’t expect to like the movie, but it was sad to see Pixar’s winning streak snapped. So considering I was extremely apprehensive and almost disgusted at the idea of a Cars 2 sequel, what did I think?
I have to say that Cars 2 wasn’t a bad movie. It wasn’t great or anything, it wasn’t even really GOOD, but it was a decent time at the theater and better than most family orientated films these days. That being said, this is from the company that gave us such classics as the Toy Story franchise, Finding Nemo, and Wall-E, so the standard is quite different. I still certainly enjoyed Cars 2, a lot more than I expected to actually.
Let’s start off with the positives. I dug the casting of Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer as the British spy cars. I have a weakness for Emily Mortimer, who I just LOVE, so anytime I can hear her voice is a thumbs up for me. Michael Caine as a spy isn’t exactly new territory for him, but it’s basically perfect casting. The biggest laughs I got were from John Turturro as Francesco Bernoulli. Just some of the recurring remarks where he was essentially saying “WTF IS GOING ON!!??” was hilarious to me. Pixar has always had a knack for casting the perfect voice actor for the role instead of just trying to get the biggest names in Hollywood and “stunt cast” their films *cough*Dreamworks*cough*.
The action scenes were phenomenal! After that opening scene at the oil rigs, I thought to myself “fuck the critics! This movie is going to kick ass!” and then I saw the rest of it haha. But the action is so good throughout! If the movie was just moving from action set piece to action set piece with the British spies, I think this movie would have been INFINITELY BETTER. Instead, they throw in this half-baked storyline with Lightning McQueen and Mater because they have to tie this movie in with the first Cars movie. It would’ve been great if they just jettisoned the old characters and did their own thing with this movie. The whole theme of spies alone is something that I know Pixar could bring to it’s logical conclusion in the Cars world.
Okay, whoever came up with the idea to make Mater the main character of Cars 2 needs to be shot in the head and buried in a ditch. ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS!? Mater was barely tolerable in the original Cars film and he’s almost completely unbearable in the sequel, getting the most screen time of any of the characters. If Mater was fucking scrapped, literally torn to pieces, halfway through this movie, I would’ve stood up and applauded and cheered raucously.
The environmental themes are also just done so fucking poorly in Cars. In Wall-E, the themes of environmentalism were just great subtle details to the world building, in Cars 2 they actually make it a plot point and in the foreground. “Oil is bad! Let’s switch to all natural!” Could they be any more blunt about it?
This movie was also just unforgivably long. I think it clocks in at 107 minutes, but it feels longer because the pacing is just so sketchy. If they streamlined this film and kept it to 90 minutes and found a way to trim the fat, this movie would have benefited greatly. Once again, I think I’m just lamenting the fact that this could have been a bad ass secret spy action movie set in the Cars universe, but instead it gets bogged down in a storyline that is so trite and tired, not to mention done much better in other superior Pixar films.
I actually dug Cars 2 a lot more than I thought I would, but I still can’t recommend it. I expect a lot more from Pixar, period. If this movie was just super cool spy action scenes, this movie would have been so much better. I know I sound like a straight up GOON saying “we need more action!” but I really wish this movie cut out the McQueen/Mater bits which were really hampering the entire experience. Cars 2 was better than it thought it’d be, but still not that good.
Cars 2 has officially as of this moment hit below 60% on RottenTomatoes! Could this be the end of the Pixar winning streak? They’ve made 11 films and they’re all certified fresh at RottenTomatoes. The first Cars was the lowest rated one at 74%, but other than that, every other film they’ve made has eclipsed the 90% mark.
Regardless of whether the movie picks up from a critical standpoint, Disney is set to do gangbusters with this film at the box office and from the toy merchandise. Cars 2 seemed like a cash grab considering most people didn’t like the original Cars, but everyone knows that Disney has made a colossal amount of money off the Cars brand name merchandising.
I am not excited at all for this new Cars film, but they did get one of my favorite actresses, Emily Mortimer, to do a voice for one of the new cars and it’s Pixar so I’ll probably end up seeing it anyway. 2011 was looking good but it’s starting to get a bit bleak after films like The Hangover Part II, Pirates 4, Green Lantern, and now Cars 2 and Bad Teacher coming out. Hopefully it’ll pick up after Transformers 3 comes out. Even if Michael Bay hasn’t had a “certified fresh” film from RottenTomatoes since The Rock in 1996, I hope it’ll deliver on the fun of the first Transformers film and not the atrocity of the second one.
Let’s see where things stand by this Friday and let’s see if Cars 2 turns out to be any good…