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Posts Tagged ‘Anne Hathaway’

Colossal”  (2017)  —  movie review
Today’s review is for the “comedy / romantic” movie “Colossal” (2017).  I “air quote” the comedy / romantic, because although advertised as a rom-com, this movie is a SciFi drama and has no comedy or romance in it.  (Okay, maybe some silliness, but no real comedy.)
The movie stars Anne Hathaway as Gloria (the main character and reptile like monster / “Kaiju”); Jason Sudeikis as Oscar (the second main character and robot like monster), who is the adult version of Gloria’s childhood “friend”; Dan Stevens as Tim, Gloria’s ex-boyfriend; Austin Stowell as Joel, adult Oscar’s handsome friend; and Tim Blake Nelson as Garth, adult Oscar’s other friend.
Basically, Gloria is a drunken millennial who is out of work and living off her boyfriend (Stevens / “Tim”).  She comes home after staying out all night and he breaks up with her and kicks her out of his place.  Gloria returns “home” to some small town where she lived for some time as a child and which is inexplicably empty, but still owned by her parents – so she can move back in, rent free.
Gloria meets an childhood friend (Sudeikis / “Oscar”) who owns a bar and he offers her a job as a waitress and then proceeds to bring her furniture so she can settle in to town.  Oscar also introduces Gloria to his two “best” friends (Joel and Garth), and Gloria eventually gets around to sleeping with Joel (which upsets Oscar).

Meanwhile, back in Seoul, South Korea a giant lizard like monster appears and crushes a lot of people.  Blah, blah, blah a second monster (a giant robot) appears and blah, blah, blah – big fight.

Blah, blah, blah, blah.  Another fight.  Blah, blah, blah, blah.  Childhood memories.  Oscar not really my friend – “just” a jealous brat (psychoanalysis part of movie).  Blah, blah, Gloria travels to Seoul.  Reptile monster (Kaiju) visits hometown (in America) and kills “real” Oscar, as “real” Gloria defeats the giant robot (in Seoul).   …Happily ever after.  Mostly.  The end.
Okay.  Two questions: does it work (make sense) and is it entertaining.  Two answers (with a preface): once you get over the fact this is NOT a rom-com (which is why I picked the movie to view) and adjust to it being a SciFi / drama, yeah, mostly it does work and yes, I found it pretty entertaining.  Surprisingly so!
First off, I like Hathaway and Stevens.  I like her a lot and have from her “Princess” roles, through her Batman / Catwoman roles.  I didn’t find her at all believable as a drunk in this role.  But all in all, at the end, I liked the movie and her performance (as a “good person / hero”) in it.  It wasn’t well explained (even with the psychoanalysis) why she was a hero, but it ended up making sense (mostly) by the end.
I liked Stevens in “Downton Abbey” and “The Guest” and his limited bit in “Beauty and the Beast“.  I didn’t “really” like him in this role, though.  Something about his character just didn’t ring true.  I don’t know if it was the writing or his portrayal.   While I still like him, this performance was disappointing and I’m not sure why.
Anyway, final recommendation: moderate to strong.  I was expecting a rom-com.  It took me a while to realize this wasn’t that at all.  After I adjusted my brain to drama-mode, I got into the story (and the acting) and found it surprisingly interesting.  The movie isn’t really “almost believable” SciFi, but it is entertainingly interesting.
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On This Day In:
2018 Keep Moving
2017 Fighting Good
2016 Size Matters
2015 Maybe The Best Thing
2014 Ready To Be Fried?
2013 A Real Lover
2012 Winning Wars
2011 A Different Lesson
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The Intern (2015)  —  movie review
Last night I watched a very entertaining little comedy from last year – The Intern.  The movie stars Robert DeNiro in the title role and Anne Hathaway as the young, entrepreneurial business founder who learns: “Experience never gets old”.  Yeah, that’s the movie’s tag line.  But, believe it or not, for what seems like a over-produced “Hallmark” movie, it works.
DeNiro plays a 70-something, retired widower who is just trying to stay active and feel like he is contributing something with his life.  He applies for and gets a senior (citizen) intern position at an internet company so he can find out what this technology stuff is all about.  Hathaway is youthfully offensive, but like everyone else in the company, warms to “the old guy” who just wants to help any way he can.  In the end, they (of course) become best friends.
The movie is very cleanly shot with a light comedic touch and there is actually a great deal of adult – if uncle / niece – ish  – chemistry between the two actors.  In a moment which almost breaks the fourth wall, Jules (Hathaway’s character) says to Ben (DeNiro’s character) that it was nice spending a few minutes with a male having an adult conversation which wasn’t about her business.  The movie could have very easily gone in a different direction, which would have been predictable (but creepy-ish), but instead adds Rene Russo as the age-appropriate romantic interest for DeNiro.  (One question:  When did Russo become an attractive older woman?)  I am obviously dating myself, but my mind’s eye still sees her in “Tin Cup” and “Lethal Weapon” —  and, ok, maybe “Thor“, too.  LOL.  Their “relationship” is the basis for the two best sight gags in the movie.  Hint – suggested sexuality.
Is the movie believable?  As a business movie, no, not really, but really, who cares?  It is what it is…  a light comedy about relationships which mildly pokes fun at the young and hip as well as at the elderly (without being mean-spirited to either).  I thoroughly enjoyed it and my final recommendation is:  highly recommended!
On a side note, back in 2000, I interviewed for a senior manager position at a dot-com and I showed up on-time, dressed in a dark blue, three-piece, pin-striped suit, white buttoned-down shirt with a striped tie and wearing black wing-tips.  I was interviewed by five or six different managers and executives over a two-day process / series of meetings.  Everyone was in jeans or shorts.  It was in July and warm.  I could soooo relate to this similar scene in the movie!  LOL.  Talk about producing flashbacks…  And, yes, I too got the job.  Unfortunately, the company was short-lived; and my job, even shorter.
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On This Day In:
2015 Reality == Perception / (Times Reported * 10)
2014 Tear Da Roof Off Da Sucka
2013 Exposed Spirits
2012 Ow-ow
2011 Focused Relatives

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I had a few days off last week, so I relaxed by watching a few films: Cash McCall, StarTrek Into Darkness, Fist of Legend, Interstellar, Annapolis and Atlas Shrugged 1, 2 and 3.  Because there are so many, I’ll apologize in advance for the length of this posting.  I hope some of you make it all the way through, though…
Cash McCall (1960)
Wealthy “youngish” industrialist Cash McCall (starring James Garner) makes his money by purchasing unsuccessful businesses, whipping them into shape and then selling them for a profit.  (Shades of Richard Gere in “Pretty Woman“.)  When Cash comes across a small corporation which manufactures plastics, he realizes it might be a gamble to buy the company, but the company’s owner, Grant Austin (played by Dean Jagger – better known as the General in the holiday favorite “White Christmas”), is the father of an old love interest, Lory Austin (played by a young Natalie Wood), he buys the business just to get a second chance at romance.
Well, that’s pretty much the “love story” aspects of the film.  Very predictable and, to be honest, not as funny / humorous as I thought it might be.  Be that as it may, there are a few interesting things about this movie.  First, Woods is absolutely gorgeous in this film.  She plays a “wealthy” daughter and nails the “acts very entitled” role.  The camera loves her.   Strangely, although Garner is only 10yrs older than Woods in this film – in real life that is – he “looks” much older.  Granted he’s still a sexy Hollywood male lead, but to me, the couple didn’t really gel because he “felt” so much older than her.
Perhaps the most interesting thing in the movie actually has very little to do with romantic comedy and everything to do with predicting economic reality.  Bear with me on this…  At the end of his second term as President of the U.S. Eisenhower warned of the dangers of the military / industrial complex.  There is a scene where Cash is explaining his view for the companies he’s consolidating (in the movie) – a plastics and an electronics firm.  The one he already owns is a financial conglomerate – which by the way owns a private security / detective agency and a credit / business checking business.  Anytime someone investigates him, Cash gets a report from both companies.  The second company is interesting because it’s a plastic firm.  If anyone knows anything about films from the mid to late 60’s, you almost certainly know the famous line “One word, son: Plastics”, from “The Graduate“.   Well, in this film, the star is saying (six years before “The Graduate”) you have patents on manufacturing plastics and the patents are worth more than your company because plastics are the future of manufacturing.  He then goes on to say, but that is only a bridge because the long term future is selling electronics (mounted on plastic) to the military and he doesn’t want the electronics company as much as he wants the retired general who is running the company, because he (Cash) wants an inside track with the officers in the Pentagon the retired general can provide access to (because he knows them all personally).  Who knew Hollywood could be so prescient about the future of industry in the U.S. (and the world).
Bottom line: a fairly typical rom-com with a very attractive couple.  If that’s all you’re looking for, this will be okay.  If you make the effort to look at the movie more deeply, there is a whole lot more going on…  Highly recommended!!  (By the way, I am a Jim Garner fan from his “Maverick” TV series days and I make no bones about my lack of objectivity.)
StarTrek Into Darkness (2013)
This is the sequel to the hit reboot of the movie franchise from 2009.  As with the second movie in the original StarTrek movies, this is about one of the series most popular villains: “Khan!!!” – or more accurately: Khan Noonien Singh.  Khan is a product of biological enhancement, essentially a superior man – physically stronger and a genius mentally.  The problem (well, one of them) is that Khan has little to no regard for “normal” humans.  Blah, blah, blah…  Long story, lots of special effects and a very good addition to the StarTrek legend.  This is a second review and you can read my original (and more detailed review) here.   This movie has “legs” and can definitely be re-watched again and again.  (Still) Highly recommended.
Fist of Legend (1994)
This movie is kind of a “classic” in the martial arts genre.  A Chinese martial arts student Chen Zhen (Jet Li) returns home to China to investigate the death of his Sifu.  Chen discovers his master was poisoned and goes about seeking revenge.  If you’ve spent any time watching movie fights on YouTube, you’ve probably seen at least one of the five (yes, count them 5!!) set piece fight scenes in this movie.  Hence my opinion that the film is a classic.  To be honest, although the movie is 20+ years old – and I’d never seen it before (!!!) – I felt as if I’d already seen the entire movie just based on the fights – which I have seen multiple times.  I would rate this movie right up with any of the early Bruce Lee movies (“The Big Boss”, “The Chinese Connection” or “Fist of Fury”) and definitely with any of the more recent Ip Man series.  Jet Li may not have the cinematic charisma of Bruce Lee, but he (Jet Li) certainly plays the part of acrobatic martial artist just as well.
Final recommendation:  Highly recommended!!  Come for the fights, stay for the interesting social commentary about national bigotry (from both the Chinese and the Japanese).
Interstellar (2014)
Now I never saw this movie at the theater, which is probably my loss, but I did not find the cinematic effects in this movie as awesome as everyone else seems to have found them.  Having said this, I feel the movie was a “real” attempt to bring some of modern science to the big screen.  So, kudos for that effort.
In Earth’s not to distant future, a global, unexplained, biological agent produces a crop blight and second Dust Bowl which together are slowly rendering the planet uninhabitable – nitrogen is being released and oxygen is not.  A brilliant NASA physicist – Professor Brand (played by Michael Caine), is working on plans to save mankind by transporting Earth’s population to a new home via a wormhole. First, Brand must send former NASA pilot Joseph Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and a team of researchers (one of which is his daughter Amelia Brand played by Anne Hathaway) through a recently discovered wormhole near Saturn and across the galaxy to find out which of three planets could be mankind’s new home.  One of the movie’s tag-lines is: “Humanity was born on Earth.  It was never meant to die here.”
Of course there is a “conspiracy” and bad guys.  Hey this is Science Fiction, you know…  No, actually this is less a science fiction movie than it is a cinematic battle of ethics and morality.  In the end, time is malleable and family is everything, so the hero saves the day…  The movie works in a lot of different ways: as science, science fiction, special effects, acting.  The movie was nominated for multiple Oscars and deservedly so.  Final recommendation: highly recommended, but see it on as big a screen as you can find.
Annapolis (2006)
A cross between “An Officer And A Gentleman” and “Rocky“, this movie is about a fish out of water who goes to the U.S. Naval Military Academy at Annapolis.  (And, yes, that’s a bad pun.) The three main characters are:  Jake Huard (the “fish” – I mean star –  played well by James Franco),  Ali (the love interest played well by Jordana Brewster) and Cole (the antagonist played well by Tyrese Gibson).  Basically, Jake is only marginally qualified to be at the Academy and Cole is trying to force him to leave by quitting.  Ali agrees to help coach Jake in boxing for the brigade tournament and life ends happily ever after.
Just a few comments: I am not a big James Franco fan.  I thought he almost personally ruined a couple of the Spiderman movies.  Well, close anyway.  I have never heard of Jordana Brewster, but the camera loved her in this movie.  I had to check the Wiki-background on this actress because I could hardly believe she has done nothing I’ve seen in the eleven years since this movie came out.  She reminds me of a (Latin and younger) Jennifer Connelly.  Anyway, Brewster has worked, but I’ve just not seen any of it (TV or movies).  Finally, I like Tyrese Gibson!  I liked him in the Transformers movie series and I liked him in this role.  He and Brewster have both been in the Fast And Furious movie series, but I haven’t seen any of them so I can’t really comment on them in those roles.  Tyrese is multi-talented, but I wish he was able to focus more on acting.  I think he could be another Denzel Washington – and that’s saying quite a bit.
Final recommendation: better than most movies in this genre – moderate to strong recommendation.
Atlas Shrugged (1, 2 and 3) – (2011, 2012, 2013)
Back in 2012 I reviewed the first movie in this trilogy (see review here).  If anything, each movie in the series got worse.  I picked up I and II on sale for $5 each.  #1 was probably worth it.  #2 was not.  I saw #3 on YouTube.  The quality of the film was not high, but it was still better than anything else about the movie.   Terrible acting, terrible actors, terrible writing and absolutely no explanation of the reasons behind Ayn Rand’s popularity (objectivism or libertarianism).  Use the six hours of your life to do something productive and don’t watch these films.
Final recommendation:  not recommended movie(s).  You’ll get more from reading the book, than you’ll EVER get from watching these three movies.
Again, apologies for the length of this post but that’s four highly recommended, one moderate to strong recommendation and three not recommended.
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On This Day In:
2014 Get Wisdom
2013 Enjoying The View?
2012 Adam’s Rib
2011 I’m Sure I Remember That…
Memorial Day, 2011

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Hello subscribers, casual readers and anyone else stumbling onto my blog today!
This is my 1,010th posting!  It’s a quirky number.  Very binary.  In the spirit of quirkiness, I thought I’d use it as the title…
Anyway…
Yesterday, I finally got around to seeing the latest Batman movie: “The Dark Knight Rises“.  Of course I AM a big comic / movie adaptation fan so I have a natural bias to enjoying these types of films.  And I did.
The current Batman series (for want of a better term – the Nolan series) is all about redemption generally, and despair, hope and struggle specifically.  As such, this latest version is a great tying up of loose ends between the three movies.  Why do we fall?  So that we can get back up – and be better for it…
The third movie has a lot of political undercurrents in it.  There has been a lot of criticism about this in (mostly conservative) movie reviews.  While I recognize the complaints, it’s difficult for me to agree there is a causal relationship between current events (Occupy Wall Street) and this movie as I understand the movie was written and filmed well before the events of the last year.  That’s not to say the events might not have had some impact on the final editing, but who’s to say as a casual movie goer.
What did I like about the movie?  Well, excepting for a few fight scenes, this is really a Bruce Wayne movie (harkening back to the first movie).  As Batman is really “just” a normal man with no super-powers, I like this more even treatment of both sides of the main character.  I also liked the more in-depth exposition of the origin of the Bane character.  This is in contrast to the second movie where there was almost nothing about the Joker.  It’s obvious to me that Heath Ledger was FAR better as a villain, but then my criticism of the second movie was that it was a Joker movie, not a Batman movie.  This third edition is, I believe more balanced.
I also really liked (and was surprised by) Anne Hathaway as the “un-named” Catwoman and ultimate romantic interest.  I didn’t really “see” her in the role as I understood it (a bad-guy), but the change of the character to a misunderstood quasi-Robin Hood wanna-be seemed to make it – the role – believable for her.  In any case, I thought she brought the right amount of glamour, humor and sexiness to the role.
Most everyone else just filled out their normal roles, with Alfred (Michael Caine) being a little bit too soppy for my tastes.
A lot of the movies action sequences are unrealistic and there is one medical miracle, but hey, this is a comic book as well as a Hollywood movie, so the criteria is fun and entertaining, not realism.
Major criticism?  The sound editing is VERY bad.  In some parts of the movie, the characters speaking are unintelligible – particularly Bane.  Fortunately, I don’t think dialogue was the movie’s strong suit anyway (remember – comic book, action movie).
As such, I highly recommend this movie and look forward to adding it to my DVD collection when it comes out on sale.
And on to my next quirky post number…
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