Spotlight On…Recent Viewings 2

Posted by David On April 9, 2012 ADD COMMENTS

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Released: 2011

Directed by: Sean Durkin

Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, John Hawkes, Sarah Paulson, Hugh Dancy

Plot: A young woman suffers from delusions and paranoia after returning to her family from a cult.

For: Magnificent performance by Olsen / Quite unsettling at times

Against: I don’t want to give too much away, but the ending is incredibly annoying. I have no problem with an open ending, the future unclear. But Martha stops in the middle of a scene, and that grates. I understand the reasoning – Martha is so paranoid that she sees an enemy at every turn – but frankly that’s not good enough.

Favourite Scene: Martha reacts to Ted touching her / Martha reacts to the bartender

Rating: 3 Lukes

We Need to talk about Kevin

Released: 2011

Directed by: Lynne Ramsay

Starring: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly, Ezra Miller

Plot: Adolescent Kevin is in prison after committing a massacre at his high school, as well as the murders of his father and sister. His mother, Eva, a once-successful travel writer, lives alone in a run-down house and works in a mall travel agency in a town near the prison where she visits Kevin. She looks back at her memories of him growing up as she tries to cope with the anger and hostility of her neighbours, who know her to be Kevin’s mother and lost loved ones in his massacre. Her memories are shown in flashbacks.

For: Tilda Swinton always gives a great performance, and this is one of her best / The sense of hopelessness and alienation is very well done / What happens when a mother doesn’t feel anything maternal for her own son?

Against: I’m not fond of the resolution. Eva has feared and disliked Kevin most of his life. He scares and mystifies her. Yet when he commits his unspeakable acts she suddenly becomes maternal. Is it out of guilt? Self inflicted punishment and a quest for atonement for not having him analyzed and treated earlier and therefore allowing these crimes to be committed?

Favourite Scene: Eva wakes up to find her house covered in blood red paint / The co-worker that has been flirting with her reveals his true feelings / the dinner conversation with Kevin

Rating: 3 Lukes

Wonder Woman

Released: 2009

Directed by: Lauren Montgomery

Starring: Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Alfred Molina, Rosario Dawson

Plot: Princess Diana of Themyscira, hidden island of the Amazons, is chosen to travel to ‘man’s world’ to find Ares God of War and stop him before he brings destruction on the whole planet.

For: Cool animation / Diana is powerful, but inexperienced / Quite violent, but not gratuitous / one of the better DC Animation films

Against: Ok, this is nitpicking to the nth degree but I have to get it off my chest. If Wonder Woman is part of the DC Universe and a nuclear missile is launched, where the hell is Superman (or any of the other DC heroes)? I know this complaint doesn’t make sense but dammit it irks me! ­čÖé

Favourite Scene: Steve reveals his innermost thoughts and then realises his foot is touching the lasso / the bar and confrontation outside / Diana vs Ares / every scene with Artemis

Rating: 3.5 Lukes

Mission Impossible 4 – Ghost Protocol

Released: 2011

Directed by: Brad Bird

Starring: Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton

Plot: The IMF are implicated in the bombing of the Kremlin and are declared disbanded and disavowed by the US President using the Ghost Protocol sanction. Working without backup, Ethan Hunt and his group attempt to stop the insane villain Cobalt from destroying a US city with a nuclear missile, and starting WWIII.

For: Ridiculous over the top set pieces / New team work well together / Renner is great

Against: Sometimes a bit too ridiculous / Why the hell does Cobalt leap to his death? The case has proven resilient enough so far, so the fall wouldn’t damage it. Why not just throw the case out of the friggin’ building? / Yet another Cruise climbing something scene – I acknowledge that he is very good at it, but seriously give it a rest.

Favourite Scene: Hunt is extracted from the Russian prison / Jane vs Sabine / Ethan and William talk at the waterfront and the truth about Julia is revealed

Rating: 3 Lukes

Dream House

Released: 2011

Directed by: Jim Sheridan

Starring: Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, Naomi Watts, Marton Csokas, Elias Koteas

Plot: Devoted family man Will does all he can to protect his family from the weirdness that seems to surround their new house.

For: Cast do what they can / having what would normally be the climatic plot twist in the middle of the film was refreshing, and since I hadn’t seen the trailer (which gives it all away), I was pleasantly surprised.

Against: A thriller/horror from the director of My Left Foot & In the Name of the Father – intriguing. Too bad the end result is a boring mess with absolutely no scares. Sheridan, Craig & Weisz were so annoyed with Morgan Creek’s interference with the production (and final edit) that wanted their names removed from the film and refused to do any promo work for it.

Favourite Scene: Can’t think of one.

Rating: 1 Luke

A Fish called Wanda

Released: 1988

Directed by: Charles Crichton & John Cleese (Uncredited)

Starring: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin, Tom Georgeson

Plot: A tale of double crossing shenanigans after a jewel heist.

For: Charmingly old school comedy / Kline won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Otto, and it was well deserved / Ken accidentally killing the dogs, and his reactions is comedy gold

Against: Curtis isn’t all that funny / Wendy may be very annoying, but isn’t an excuse to cheat on her (marital infidelity bad mm’kay!)

Favourite Scene: Ken accidentally killing the dogs / Ken gets revenge on Otto / and basically any Otto scene

Rating: 3 Lukes

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