Saturday, April 7, 2012

Celluloid #146

In Theaters

John Carter (2012) Stanton - I know this film was a huge flop, but I really don't think it was too bad for what it is - a PG-13 sci-fi adventure. It conjures up Star Wars, Gladiator/Cleopatra. John Carter is a rogue civil war soldier who get accidentally transported to Mars through a gold cave. While on Mars, he is taken hostage, but he can jump incredible lengths and appears to be much stronger than the martians (I think this is supposed to be as a result of the difference in gravity). He takes interest in a princess and tries to help her save her people from a rival tribe. 3/5

the Hunger Games (2012) Ross - In the future, society will be dealing with a food shortage, but will still be very much into reality television. There are twelve districts that surround a capital who every year hosts "The Hunger Games", a televised fight to the death between 24 teenagers. Each district holds a drawing to see which male and female between the ages of 12 & 18 will represent their district. Katniss is our protagonist, and is the female "tribute" from District 12, the poorest district. She is accompanied by Peeta, a boy who has crushed on her for years. Because she is from the poorest district, she is already quite adept at hunting for survival. I know many people have criticized this film for being too close to Battle Royale, but I have to say that I enjoyed both films, even if I found them both to be a little slight. I have no desire to read the books, but I can safely say that I will see the sequel. 3.5/5

the Kid With a Bike (2011) Dardenne - The Dardenne brothers are always dealing with bleak subjects in a naturalistic way. This film is much less bleak than some of their others - a kid, Cyril, has been dropped off at a home/boarding school full of troubled youth. He finds out that his dad has moved and realizes that his dad has not only sold his beloved bike, but has essentially abandoned him. Fortunately, a hairdresser, Samantha, agrees to let Cyril stay with her on the weekends. Her character is quite amazing to watch. 4.5/5

In Home

Last Night (1998) McKellar - The movie opens with only 6 hours until the end of the world. One guy is trying to fulfill all of his sexual fantasies. Others are looting and overturning cars. Patrick spends part of the evening with his family in a re-enactment of Christmas, but wants to be at his own home when the end happens. He lets a woman looking for her husband use the phone and ends up spending his last hours helping her out. Not everything is explained, and that's perfectly fine by me. 3.5/5

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) Wright - Pretty silly and gimmicky film where Scott has to battle Ramona's seven ex-boyfriends Street Fighter-style in order to date her. This film is supposed to feel very hyper like a video game. There's enough fun and cleverness to sustain the first half to two-thirds of the film, but by the time we have to deal with Jason Schwartzmann as the villain, I had grown bored. 3/5

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