Posted by: tuulenhaiven | February 19, 2010

Movie Mayhem: Feb. 11th-Feb.17th

Since the Winter Olympics started last Friday my evenings have been filled with ice skating, luge, moguls, snowboarding, and all the other fun that I happen across during the prime time coverage. It you think that means I’ve watched any less movies, oddly enough you would be wrong. Lazy days with my boyfriend and the convenience of working at a movie theater help! However, watching the Olympics has definitely cut into my blogging time, so I’m rapidly falling behind with my mini movie reviews… I’ve been working on this post for three days now, and meanwhile I keep watching more – movie mayhem indeed!!

skinSkin – Anthony Fabian – South Africa – 2008
I was really excited about this film, especially after the annoyance of Invictus. Based on a true story, it’s about a girl with brown skin who, due to an odd genetic twist, is born to white Afrikaner parents in South Africa during the apartheid era. Her father spends much of her childhood fighting to maintain her status as legally white, only to have her fall in love with a black man and embrace the reality and the life that the color of her skin dictates in South Africa. Sandra’s story blew my mind, since the mentality behind the laws of her country during that time are so hard for me to even comprehend. However, the movie wasn’t as good as I had hoped. There’s no way that the story could avoid being blunt, and in-your-face with it’s racial issues, but in my eyes the film was full of scenes that seemed manufactured to hit you in the gut. I hate being tricked into feeling emotions, especially when I am already shocked and horrified. The film could have done with a little more subtlety. A fascinating story, but the handling of it was not to my taste.

Up in the Air – Jason Reitman – USA – 2009
I enjoyed this movie a lot, mostly due to the snappy dialogue and the ever pleasing George Clooney. The premise is a little odd – it’s about a man who is on the road (up in the air!) nearly 365 days a year, traveling around the country firing people. The movie has a lot to say about relationships and human connection and lifestyle choices and happiness, but it delivers this fairly heavy subject matter with smooth style. Just a spoonful of sugar, etc.

Gamer – Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor – USA – 2009
This movie had an interesting premise – live action video games where the person playing controls another real person in a real world setting via a chip that’s been planted in the brain. The game ‘Slayer’ works as a great way to get rid of inmates who were in jail for serious crimes – but when it looks like one player and the human he controls will actually win the game, things get way out of hand. I’m still disturbed/intrigued by the idea behind the movie, but it was poorly made and somewhat gruesome, and even Gerard Butler couldn’t really do much with it. Oh well.

me and orson wellesMe and Orson Welles – Richard Linklater – UK – 2008 (Movie of the Week!)

This movie was absolutely adorable. Zach Efron was surprisingly endearing as a kid who is cast in the Mercury Theater production of “Julius Caesar” directed by a young Orson Welles in 1937, New York City. The movie traces one whirlwind week full of experiences and encounters that will change Richard’s life. Christian McKay’s take on Welles was brilliant and totally believable. I was wowed. (I’m so eager to see what this newly discovered, astonishingly talented actor does next!!) The story is charming in the best sense, and Linklater handles both the joys and disappointments of the story with just the right touch of humor. I wouldn’t expect less from the director that brought Dazed and Confused into the world, among half a dozen other movies that I have thoroughly enjoyed. Watch this one – it’ll warm your heart. 🙂

St. Trinians – Oliver Parker and Barnaby Thompson – UK – 2007
This is a terrible movie, but I was in a great mood while watching it, and I can’t deny that I enjoyed it. Based on cartoons created by Ronald Searle, and the series of films they inspired that were made in the 50’s, this movie sends a vicious jumble of English schoolgirls gone rabid into your living room. The girls of St. Trinians are gamblers, delinquents, computer geniuses, and demolition experts, who can distill a mean vodka. Rupert Everett plays both their toothsome headmistress and the father of a quickly traumatized new pupil. The girls hate school, but when St. Trinians faces the duel threat of foreclosure and a Minister of Education who’s hit the warpath (played by the always welcome Colin Firth) they concoct an outrageous scheme to save the school. References to Firth’s roles in Pride and Prejudice, Girl With a Pearl Earring, and The Importance of Being Earnest provided an extra running joke (I love that he’s not above that!) and while the film was admittedly ridiculous, I had fun with it!

There! That’s done – back to the Olympics and ice dancing tonight. 🙂


Responses

  1. Glad you liked ‘Up in the Air’. I agree it handled a heavy subject smoothly and I especially liked the ending which tosses you between hope and despair at Clooney’s lack of connection and his new need for it. Really liked that they caught up with the people who had lost their jobs and gave them a voice after the anger.

    I will cautiously begin to embrace Effron’s genuine acting talent then if you say so. He could go a long way if he picks the right films (but so many of them need the money the rubbish provides).

    And had to giggle about St Trinians. Awful but great embracing of the formula and who doens’t like a good ‘getting ready for battle must include makeover’ montage? Firth has really been showing his true diversity recently what with comedy, drama and more Oscar Wilde adaptations. If only ‘A Single Man’ would hurry up and arrive here.

    • I desperately want to see A Single Man as well. I would love to see Firth in a really serious role, especially one that doesn’t hint of P&P! 🙂


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