Saturday, November 28, 2009

Holiday Movie Reviews Part One, New Moon and A Serious Man

So, over the holidays I have gotten a chance to see a few films, and it is always fun to try in a spoiler free way to pass on what I think of them to you.

Might as well start with the biggie, blockbuster wise.  This film has already busted lots of records, and probably will continue to do so despite not quite being worthy of the hype it is receiving.


The second film in the series is no where near as good as the first one, in my opinion.  The strength of the first movie was the fantastic job Catherine Hardwicke did with capturing the scenery.  Let's face it, the story is pretty basic, and there has to be more than just the story for me to get much out of these films.  With Twilight, Hardwicke accomplished that.  With New Moon, (by far my least favorite of the books, and yes, I've read the books) not much happens, so Chris Weitz should have learned a lesson from his predecessor.  He did not.  New Moon looks a lot less Art Film like, and a lot more Teeny-bopper romance like.  The difference being that Summit put a lot more effort into the effects this time around.  My main problems with the first film were the effects and a lot of the casting.  This time, the effects are top notch.  Best Werewolves I have ever seen on screen, bar none, and worth it just for that.  The story doesn't really ever get going, however, I still disagree with a lot of the casting (and don't buy Rosalie at all), and as much as Robert Pattinson is getting a lot of notice these days, my impression of him is that he makes Hayden Christenson in the Prequels look Oscar worthy.  Seriously, there is no way to describe him except wooden, he was terrible in this (of course, this film doesn't give him much to do).  The ending is horribly rushed, taking all of the possible suspense out of what is really the only interesting part of the entire film action wise.  But, with all of that being said, you know if you will enjoy this movie or not.  It is what it is, and it isn't a terrible movie if you know what you're going in for.  I was just disappointed that it didn't keep to the quality of the first film, but when you trade an Oscar caliber and award winning director (Thirteen) for the guy who directed American Pie, I guess that can happen.


The new Coen brothers film is (as is usual for them) a departure from normal films.  I'm honestly not sure what I can say about this movie other than it will make you think and it will make you laugh (although you won't always feel good about that second part).  It is funny and it is terrifying all at the same time if only because of how real and how terrible it all is.  It has been said that the plot is loosely based on the book of Job in the Hebrew Bible (some Christians out there might know that better as the Old Testament) and you can definitely see the influence, but it is also a fairly autobiographical look at the childhood of Joel and Ethan Coen, growing up Jewish in the sixties and seventies in suburban Minneapolis.  It isn't an easy film, and I'm not sure that there are any characters that you can say that you really root for, but you will find yourself emotionally invested in the film, and I guarantee that its hard hitting theological questions and setup will make you think.  Overall it is a perfectly written, perfectly acted, and as always with the Coen's perfectly shot film that will make you laugh constantly while you watch it and will stay with you long after you see it, from the shocking and unexplained first scene to the ambiguous and jarring final one.  If it opens near you, take the opportunity to see it.

Until Next Time, I hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving and I will be back shortly with my thoughts on Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Road.

No comments:

Post a Comment