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Friday, June 03, 2011

Movie Digest # 080

Moviecenter – Montevideo Shopping, Sala 3, April 9, 5:35pm

In a nutshell, this is difficult to describe. Let’s just say it’s about a group of young girls who are trapped in an asylum. On their attempt to escape, a big amount of strategy (and imagination) should be in place. It’s been a while since I last saw a high-concept movie. If this is categorically a popcorn film, this should be the one with extra dip on top of the usual artificial flavoring. I got alienated at first but once you get the hang of it, you’ll probably enjoy it (though a part of me is wishing to see the dance sequences). Visuals are in place just like the rest of Zack Snyder’s filmography and the redeeming value in the end surprises some punch but that’s about it.

Friends who might appreciate it: Suckers.

Casablanca, Sala Marilyn, April 30, 10:30pm

This is Charles Ferguson’s documentary narrated by Matt Damon that tackles the root of the 2008 recession in the US. It starts with an impacted case in Iceland then it discusses how it all began in the US and what could have been done to prevent it. The film is mostly capped with interviews of the filmmaker with economists, people who deal with stocks, industry observers and some from the academe. From somebody who hates economy as a topic, I appreciate this some sort of Recession 101. It even has a short glimpse of our headquarters in the US in the part that mentions about thriving IT companies (which can be taken perhaps as an allegory). The best segment for me, the most memorable one, is the last few minutes of the film that mock Ivy Leaguer Economics teachers who were part of the fall. It’s just saying that the blame should not be in the government alone but should also be assaulted to those holier than thou professors who moonlight as advisers.

Friends who might appreciate it: Those who still have 8-to-5 jobs.

Moviecenter – Montevideo Shopping, Sala 9, May 3, 10:15pm

Note to self before heading to the cinema: Kenneth Branagh directs this superhero movie. And for most of us who know Mr. Branagh, aside from his take at “Frankenstein” during late 90’s, he is very much associated to Shakespeare. Having said that, the scenes involving Greek mythology in Thor’s introduction to mankind shine the brightest. Its politics, as well as betrayal and deceit, is well executed on screen (thanks to the supporting cast like Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hiddleston and even the not-so-busy-these-days Rene Russo). It feels like a stage play at times. As for the scenes that should depict what a superhero movie should be, it’s surprisingly enjoyable (specifically the one involving the destroyer, so comics). The only drawback from me aside from Chris Hemsworth’s cold performance is the love angle between Thor and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). It seems forced and should be given more room to grow and kick.

Friends who might appreciate it: Those who expect MC Hammer to show up during the fight scenes.

Moviecenter – Montevideo Shopping, Sala 10, May 10, 7:55pm

Aside from the early buzz that this is the best of the series and for peer pressure, I could have skipped this franchise (same thing with what I did with the third and fourth installments). But what the heck, it’s a popcorn film trying to be a popcorn film and it’s definitely not trying to be critically acclaimed. Flawed but everybody knows Hollywood so no regrets here. Justin Lin did his best to inject adrenaline rush (and testosterone) and I think it’s a success in some parts. Rio de Janeiro provides a complimenting backdrop to this sweaty action film of car chases, robbery and guns. With that alone, the movie is worthy of an after-office extra time. This probably makes a good companion for caipirinha.

Friends who might appreciate it: The tourist in me who wants to see the favelas.

Moviecenter – Montevideo Shopping, Sala 8, May 12, 7:40pm

Set during the Great Depression, this love story tackles the struggles of undergraduate Jacob (Robert Pattinson) as he falls in love with the circus manager’s (Christoph Waltz) wife named Marlena (Reese Witherspoon). I don’t know exactly what’s wrong with the film in the same way that I am not sure why I don’t like it either. It’s got a cast who all can deliver and the production design to recreate a wandering circus is unexpectedly charming. I don’t mind seeing Robert Pattinson sharing scenes with the likes of Oscar-decorated Ms. Witherspoon and Mr. Waltz. It’s actually a welcoming treat to those who easily get irritated with “Twilight” and all its sequels. My guess is that the delivery maybe too elementary and too obvious (talking about nuances, direction and script-wise). It could have been atypical if it’s more subtle and, well, more “boring”.

Friends who might appreciate it: Those who believe that animals also deserve an acting recognition from the Oscars.

Grupocine – Punta Carretas Shopping, Sala 5, May 29, 4:00pm

If you’ve seen the first installment, it’s pretty much the same banana. Only this time, the gang is trapped in an Asian sin city. It’s predictable but definitely nuttier than the original. Todd Philips tried to inject some Farrelly Brothers humor and it’s successful in most parts (ironically, Farrelly Brothers’ last film “Hall Pass” has some shades of “The Hangover”). Good to see Paul Giamatti here; always, always a treat. I might spoil the fun if I mention about the other amusing surprise. Let’s just say you better finish the film regardless if you already know how the alcohol is going to fizzle.

Friends who might appreciate it: Safe bet: those who have been to Bangkok.

Moviecenter – Montevideo Shopping, Sala 3D, May 31, 10:00pm

Some of the installments of this movie are not that easy to write about especially the synopsis. This one is simpler and easier to digest. It’s about three ships trying to race its asses off to conquer the so-called fountain of youth. Rob Marshall’s take-over could be the culprit (but they probably replaced the writers as well). Even Johnny Depp’s Keith Richards impersonation is starting to wear off. There are two things that could salvage this latest franchise: the scene with the mermaids and the collaboration of Hans Zimmer with the guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela to provide the musical score.

Friends who might appreciate it: Those who wish to see the real and reel Keith Richards. Again.

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