i’m hoping the trailer means nothing. lol i still want to see it cause well, it’s Silent Hill! hopefully the creepy monsters will be awesome. and the MUSIC!!! hoping hoping hoping the trailer is nothing like what the movie will actually be.
Same here! If anything at least the film looks like it will deliver on the creepy/awesome monsters front. The rest is still a big question mark.
I’ll be the first to admit that I actually like and I mean a lot, a lot the first Silent Hill film. For me it worked on every level and is one of those scary films I could watch over and over again. When it was announced that they were making a sequel it seemed, and still seems, utterly redundant. The first film wasn’t very successful and it closed off the story pretty well. Anyway, when I heard that my boy Jon Snow, Kit Harrington, was in the film I got a bit excited. But now with this trailer I’m just…
What an awful trailer! The whole thing looks like total shit. I can’t even say that the special effects look cool because while nice, they are so obvious and gimmicky. The less said about the acting and “story” the better. That lead actress is dull, monotone and bored me after 5 seconds. And Jon Snow, I love you but this kind of sucks all around. The accent is pretty messy, but nevertheless I’ll watch it for you. At least the creatures look cool. But this sequel lost all the moody creepiness that the other hand and their attempt to expand the story feels useless and without any real merit.
In The Watch, Cosco manager and all-around community loving Evan (Ben Stiller) goes to work one fine day to discover his Cosco surrounded by cops. As it turns out, Evan’s night guard, Antonio, was brutally murdered the night before. Traumatized by this event and the fact that it occurred in this supposedly safe community, Evan announces the creation of The Neighbourhood Watch and asks for citizens to join and together will not only catch the killer but keep everyone safe. In their first meeting, only three people attend: Bob (Vince Vaughn), Franklin (Jonah Hill) and Jamarcus (Richard Ayode). During one of their routine stake-outs they discover a strange orb that when activated can blow shit up. They are then quickly attacked by an alien who proclaims to be among them. Now The Neighbourhood Watch must deal will aliens before it’s too late.
Out of all the upcoming comedies this year, The Watch was the one I was least excited for. The concept of the film itself sounds cool and with lots of potential, but the inclusion of two actors, Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller, that I honestly cannot stand made me easily dismiss it. In all honesty, the main reason why I even bothered watching this film was because I love Richard Ayode and was really curious to see him in sort of his first big american comedy. Not surprisingly, while Ayode is the highlight of the film I was very surprised by how much I ended both enjoying and liking The Watch. The film has its share of flaws that do become more obvious as it goes, but the fun it delivers is intoxicating.
The big problem with The Watch besides having some jokes that fall flat is the feeling for normalcy. For a film that is basically dealing with an alien invasion, there are no real big stakes felt at any point. There is no immediacy even when it is announced that a global attack is underway. While the humorous and light way the film handles the alien invasion works for the most part, it would’ve been more effective if the filmmakers infused the proceedings with a real sense of danger. At the end the alien invasion feels very trivial and more like a plot device than a fleshed-out idea. The aliens don’t look or act like they have any intelligence and when they are defeated you feel underwhelmed.
Besides that prevailing flaw, The Watch delivers the laughs and fun non-stop. What really make the film work is the chemistry of the four leads and their super awesome performances. Ben Stiller plays yet again a version of his Ben Stiller shtick that we’ve all grown to know, but while it may annoy us that he does the same in every film at the end of the day it works. He is still very funny and as the centre piece of the film succeeds in bringing everyone together and guiding them to victory. Jonah Hill is also very funny in the film playing the seemingly tough guy Franklin who may be sociopath. Hill has some hilarious lines and some of his facial expression are so precious you just have to laugh.
The biggest surprise thought for me was Vince Vaughn. Vaughn is also playing another version of himself that we’ve all grown familiar with. His shtick become tired after the first time I saw it and he has gradually turned into an actor I outright dislike. He non-stop babbling is so annoying and overbearing to me that it makes me want to punch puppies. But perhaps it is the fact that I haven’t seen him in a film for years or something else, but I found him to be extremely funny and effective in The Watch. Every time he is on-screen the energy goes up exponentially and you just can’t help yourself but be taken by it. He is so much fun to watch and is probably the second character in the film that feel like a real human being. Moreover, Vaughn makes his sub-plot work whereas another actor would’ve made it look like what it really is, an excuse to deviate from the plot.
But the absolute best as I said before is the one and only Richard Ayode. For those who haven’t seen The IT Crowd or Submarine, Ayode is fucking genius and you should better start getting familiar with him as soon as possible. His character, Jamarcus, is easily the most fun to watch and Ayode really milks the character for all his worth. As soon as he appears everything becomes even more funny and when he speaks the jokes hit even though some of them aren’t that good. He makes the material work and I love that in his last moments int he film he turns into this massive badass. Even though Ayode looks like the one man out in this group, he works so well with both the other actors and the material that the main reason why people would watch this film once again is because of him.
The Watch didn’t turned out to be the train wreck I was expecting and as a matter of fact it wasn’t even average. The film is actually pretty good and succeeds most of the time. It does have some big flaws that do drag it down and the more you think about the more you realized that the filmmakers missed a lot of opportunities. The Watch could’ve been a much better film. Having said that, the film delivers the laughs, the fun and so many quotable lines that hopefully you’ll be uttering them for days. While the script is funny, what really makes the film work are the performances by Stiller, Vaughn, Hill and Ayode. Their interactions with each other are priceless and effective so much so that I really want there to be a sequel to this. In a year that is turning out great R-rated comedies, The Watch is definitely part of the top 5.
So after months of hearing countless things about it, I have finally giving in and started watching Downton Abbey. I’m on the last two episodes of series 1 and so far I’ve enjoyed it much more than I thought I would. Overall it is a really solid show with great performances throughout and even though it does scream pretentious occasionally, I was hooked after the second episode. Plus I can’t get enough of the brilliant and rich score by the Chamber Orchestra of London.
I didn't think that anyone else appreciated "Regret" from Fiona Apple's new album, but you proved me wrong. It's my favorite from The Idler Wheel, so I thought I'd give the other songs you suggested a try. I'm listening to Laura by Bat For Lashes and now I'm a big fan. Thanks for your post because I love new music and good blogs. Keep it up and have a good day!
"Regret" is my second favourite song in The Idler Wheel. I don’t understand why people don’t like that song, maybe it’s the rough shift in her voice. I think it works.
I’m really glad you’re liking Bat for Lashes new song. It’s always difficult to turn people into fans of her. There’s something about her that just doesn’t appeal to most people for some reason.
And thanks! I’ll keep up the recommendations as much as I can.
Out of all the superheroes, Superman has and I think will always remain being one of my least favourite superheroes. For me he is right there with the lame ones like The Flash and Aquaman. I’ve never liked the guy, he lacks the kind of flaws and traumas that other human superheroes deal with constantly. The films have done nothing for me, especially Superman Returns who besides being a missed opportunity made me dislike Superman even more. I’m constantly hearing great things about the character but I honestly don’t see it and nothing about him has giving me the motivation to read the comics.
So as you may imagine the prospect of a new Superman film is one I do not care about. I’m as excited about that as I would be for a Flash film. However, this new Superman has been gradually turning things around for me. The involvement of Christopher Nolan and Zack Snyder are enough to get me started, but the casting has been so stellar that I would be stupid not to even be a bit excited about the film. In regards to Superman himself I really have no basis to judge Henry Cavill on even tough I did see The Immortals. Let’s face it, everyone kind of fucked up in that one.
Anyway, when I saw the teaser something strange happened. I found myself genuinely looking forward to the film. Yes, this seems to be the most grounded Zack Snyder and Superman film we’ve seen to date, but the overall somber and serious tone of it really did it for me. Maybe the reason why I never cared about Superman was because it all seemed to light and I honestly prefer the serious depressing stuff. People complained that the teaser didn’t show any action and that that was a bad move, but I beg to differ. I think the teaser works beautifully and definitely sets it apart from every other comic book film we’ve seen so far. Plus the voice-over narration by Russell Crowe works so well and really hits the spot. So yeah, I’m excited for Man of Steel more-so than I am for any other 2013 film and I think it will be extraordinary.
These past few days has seen the release of a bunch of singles from artists we all love or should start loving. With each new single comes the promise of a new album and with such excellent collection of diverse singles, the second half of 2012 looks like it will finally deliver the goods. With a few songs from soundtracks that deserve to be heard, let’s carry on to the 10 songs that you will hopefully be listening to for days to come.
10. Carried Away by Passion Pit.
If there is one thing you can always count with Passion Pit is that they’ll deliver energetic feel-good music. Carried Away delivers just that with kid-like playfulness that feels both refreshing and awesome. It’s not groundbreaking stuff, but you won’t regret feasting your ears and dancing to it.
9. Ný Batterí by Sigur Rós.
What I like most about Sigur Rós is how unique they are. You always know when your listening to one of their songs, as their sound is so singular. More importantly though, each of their songs is able to stop you in your tracks and transport you to another dream-like world. Ný Batterí is brilliantly evocative and addictive.
8. A Matter of Time by The Chromatics.
The Chromatics’ Kill For Love is still for me one of the best albums of 2012 and while people should listen o the whole thing to fully experience its brilliance, this is one of those songs that can water your appetite for it.
7. Another Day by Echo Lake.
The prime reason why I find unable to stop listening to Echo Lake’s Wild Peace is because of how much it reminds me of Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation. Another Day alongside the other songs in the album feel like unused tracks from that film and just like the film they bring you into this contemplative and atmospheric universe that you won’t want to escape.
6. Regret by Fiona Apple.
Much to my surprise, Fiona Apple’s new album did not enchant everyone as it did me. While there’s not much I can do about that, I can try to convince those who haven’t even heard her before. Regret, besides being lyrically great, showcases Fiona Apple’s greatest asset which is her magnificent voice. The things she does with it in this song alone never ceases to amaze me and that’s after hearing Regret more than 30 times.
5. Gone by Ioanna Gika.
I know the film Snow White & The Huntsman was a very polarizing film, but bear with me as I slowly make you like the film. The soundtrack by James Newton Howard is outstanding, but it is this vocal track by Ioanna Gika that really sells the hauntingly dark nature of the film. Ever note of Gika’s voice carries such a tenderly somber sentimentality that you’ll find yourself lost in the landscape that is her voice.
4. Gotham’s Reckoning by Hans Zimmer.
Hans Zimmer is one of those rare composers who is constantly outdoing himself and delivering iconic songs. With The Dark Knight he fully realized and created the signature sound for batman, but with The Dark Knight Rises he has expanded on it in such an unnaturally epic way that when listening to its soundtrack all you want to do is run outside and start chasing some bad guys. Gotham’s Reckoning has a long built-up that delivers and outstanding finale.
3. Angels by The xx.
The xx’s debut album became one of my favourite albums after the second listen and now a couple of years later it remains there. Their signature sound is as hypnotic as it is beautiful and as evocative as it sentimental. While this new single doesn’t deviate much from what made them great but instead is sort of a continuation, it is still quite powerful. Lyrically it is on-par with their best songs and while it isn’t instantly loveable, it will gradually grow on you.
2. Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It by Stars.
Stars appeared on most people’s radars with their excellent album The Five Ghosts but where that album contained somber and haunting songs, it looks like their next album will feature a cheerful vibe. Besides having one of the most lovely and addictive choruses that I’ve heard all year, their new single also carries a tenderly euphoric vibe that you’ll be happy listen over and over again.
1. Laura by Bat for Lashes.
It is no secret that I love Bat for Lashes. Her album Two Suns is tied with the YYY’s Show Your Bones for my favourite album of all-time. But no matter how much you love a musician, there is always that ambivalence when it comes to new music. On one hand you’re excited for it but on the other hand you fear it might not live up to your expectations. With Bat for Lashes that ambivalence remains, but after this new single all I feel is joy. Laura perfectly embodies what makes Bat for Lashes so great. It’s the haunting and emotional vocals, the hypnotic and tender piano, and then the ever so beautiful lyrics.
And that’s it! Here’s the LINK for the whole list. Hopefully you’ll enjoy them and as always thank you for reading.
The Downed Frigate Orpheon by Kenji Yamamoto & Kouichi Kyuma.
One of the elements that sets the new Metroid Prime games apart from everything else is their amazing soundtracks. Each track captures that universe splendidly and brings you into an atmospherically rich landscape that you’d love to be in.
Out of all the superheroes, Batman is easily the one that has had the most up and downs in cinema. Even though the first two films were successful, the character’s potential was never fully realized until Christopher Nolan came along. Assembling a new trilogy kicking off with Batman Begins, Nolan presented us with the most grounded, humanistic and interesting Batman the big screen has ever displayed. That film started the legend and it was magnified beyond everyone’s expectations with the stellar masterpiece known as The Dark Knight. The sequel not only proved to be better in almost every way, but it also allowed for a more intelligent and emotional story that set the standard for all comic books films. Now with the culminating entry firmly upon us, Nolan has delivered an end to the legend that is as fulfilling as it is mind-blowing.
Taking place 8 years after the events that led Batman (Christian Bale) to take the fall for Harvey Dent’s death, Gotham is in a state of peace as the various laws being passed have decreased the crime considerably. Since Dent’s death made him public enemy number one, Batman has not been seen for years and this has left a void on the people that believed in him like police officer Blake (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), but more importantly on Bruce Wayne. Wayne, who has been out of the spotlight for years, finds himself knew deep in melancholy and without any desire to continue on living without his alternate persona. During an event in the newly rebuilt Wayne Manner, Wayne catches a thief by the name of Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) stealing his fingerprints but upon losing her Wayne is propelled to investigate further. Becoming the Batman once again, he gradually discover that a storm is coming in the shape of a mercenary called Bane (Tom Hardy) who wastes no time in both recking havoc on Gotham and annihilating the Batman.
Even though I absolutely love The Dark Knight and hold it as the epitome of comic book films, it contained one flaw that has always bothered me. This flaw is the fact that Wayne/Batman is a supporting character posing as the protagonist. His storyline, while brilliantly presented, was overshadowed by both The Joker’s and Harvey Dent’s. Nolan rectifies that flaw in this latest entry by placing the focus exclusively on Wayne/Batman. The Dark Knight Rises is Wayne/Batman’s film through and through, as it both presents us with a broken and hopeless hero’s journey in finding his purpose once again and fully becoming the legend he set out to be in the first film. This journey is presented as distinctively and emotionally affecting as only Christopher Nolan can. He also places our hero in situations drenched in danger so much so that there are various moments where you genuinely believe that Wayne/Batman will falter. This iteration of Wayne/Batman has always been different, but the placed where Nolan takes him in this film are without a doubt the most compelling, fulfilling and frightening.
Right there making all those story and character points even more powerful is Christian Bale’s performance. This is the best he has ever been in the whole trilogy, as he delivers us a Wayne/Batman that is succumbing to his own failures, choices and self-loathing. Bale’s Wayne/Batman is as melancholic and shattered as we have ever seen him, and it is because of all those elements that his gradual rise becomes as exciting as it is inspiring and as majestic as it is sincere. Similarly to the first film but to greater effect, there is much more physicality in this performance ranging from Wayne’s limp to Batman’s fights with Bane. There is a scene where Batman fist fights Bane and it is arguably the most frightening moment in a film full of them. The way that Batman struggles to stand up to Bane is devastatingly real, and the way Bale conveys all that desperation and hopelessness through his body is both impressive and heart-breaking. This performance here is truly the Wayne/Batman performance to end all Wayne/Batman performances.
That previously mentioned scene also demonstrates why Bane was chosen as the prime villain of the film. Bane, who was criminally portrayed before in an abomination of a film, is reinterpreted here in such a way that fits the lore of these films and poses an even bigger challenge to Wayne/Batman. Tom Hardy who bulks up similarly to the way he did for Bronson, delivers a performance that is increasingly menacing, frightening and destructive. If The Joker was a psychotic agent of chaos then Bane is an increasingly calculative agent of chaos. Bane could’ve easily been portrayed as a brute, but Hardy instills such a life into the character that I honestly don’t see anyone else tackling him. I loved the way Ledger made the Joker’s voice so distinctive and I love even more the fact that that sonic differentiality is carried through to Bane. He sounds like a cross between Darth Vader and a British accented Joker, which depending on the person will either excite you or annoy you. I’m part of the former as I relish every moment Bane spoke even though sometimes it was difficult to understand him. Visually Hardy turns Bane into the most menacing physical presence we’ve ever seen in a Batman film and while a lot facial nuances are missing because of the mask, Hardy’s performance still shines through. Bane is a such a cool character and the way his backstory become so integral to Wayne/Batman’s journey adds even more layers to an already realized film. Whether Bane is better than Joker should not really enter the conversation, as he is different from the Joker but nevertheless possess a great challenge to Wayne/Batman which I think is what matters most.
In a supporting cast full of known and capable actors and actresses, there are three that shine brighter than the rest and they Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Michael Caine delivers his best performance in years and brings such an overwhelming humanity and emotion to Alfred that I dare you not to cry every time he opens his mouth. Out of all the character in this universe, Alfred is the once closest to Wayne/Batman and as such sees that Wayne/Batman journey can only end in death. Alfred is the voice of reason and the character who has in a way suffered the most. All the scenes between him and Bale are emotionally devastating and I will miss their interactions.
Hathaway also delivers a great performance that sets herself apart from every other iteration of Catwoman we’ve seen before. She has similar characteristics, but the level of charisma and likeability she gives Selina Kyle is palpable that you are constantly rooting for her even when she makes bad decisions. Just like Heath Ledger’s Joker topped Jack Nicholson’s Joker so does Hathaway’s Catwoman top Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman. Then we have Joseph Gordon-Levitt whose incredible talent is infinite. His performance here is easily the most identifiable and relatable, as he not only represents the batman fan in all of us but also embodies all the ideals that Batman aspired to give the people. His story is one of the best in the film and the promise his character provides are exciting and demand to be developed further.
As thoughtful and thematically rich as the Batman films are, they are still comic book blockbuster films that need action sequences. Batman Begins had some cool yet disorienting action scenes and The Dark Knight had some awesome set pieces but when the action involved fist fights it was a bit choppy. Nolan is not an action director, but with each film he has learned and improved himself reaching his pinnacle with 2010’s Inception. If you thought those action scenes were awesome wait until you see the ones in The Dark Knight Rises. In here Nolan becomes a full-flesh action director as each action set piece is as impressive and exciting as the one that came before. This being Christopher Nolan, the action contains a lot of purpose and the way it affects the story and the characters is not only distinctive, but also very powerful. Seeing Bane’s army fight against an army police officers is great in itself, but the way Nolan shots it in such a poetic and visceral way you are constantly hungry for more. But the best and most exciting action moments are the ones that involve Batman’s gadgets like The Bat whose flying sequences put to shame all of George Lucas’ new Star Wars films. The Batpod is still by far the coolest vehicle and every time it was one screen I wanted to scream of excitement. That’s one of the really genius things about Nolan’s Batman films. No matter how serious, emotional and dark things get there are still these moments of genuine wonder that make you feel like kid. The Batpod and The Bat are not only there for show, they are integral to the story and play a key role in the fate of various people.
The Dark Knight Rises has truly blown away all my expectations. This is for me the first perfect ending for a film trilogy that I have ever seen. This culminating film not only brings back all the themes from the first two films, but it also expands on them in such an interesting, euphoric, effective and emotional way that you’ll be in a constant state of awe even after the film ends. Christopher Nolan and co. have created a trilogy that will stand the test of time and become the epitome of comic book films. I’m sure there are some flaws in this film, but I honestly did not see them and the journey it took me was so majestic that for me right here and now The Dark Knight Rises is perfect. The performances by the cast especially Christian Bale are excellent, the story itself is unpredictable, engaging and powerfully frightening, and Hans Zimmer score deserves all the awards. The Dark Knight Rises is a film that demands to be seen countless times and it is for me the best film of 2012. I seriously doubt anything this year will top it.
Bat for Lashes is one of my favourite artists of thanks to the masterpiece that is her sophomore album Two Suns. I’ve been anxiously awaiting her follow-up album and she has finally released her new single titled Laura. For me the best Bat for Lashes songs are the intimate, slow, quiet, emotional and piano-driven ones. The fact that her new single has all those qualities is not only perfect, but also makes me even more excited for her third album The Haunted Man. If this is a teaser of what’s to come then my love for her will grow even more than I ever imagined.
Yesterday I made the mistake of writing my review immediately after I saw the film. I usually wait for a day until I write my reviews as it allows me to process things better and write a review that is worthy of people’s time. While my last review was okay, tonight’s one will be much better and discuss things that I missed, like Anne Hathaway. Anyway, just thought I let everyone know.
Started watching Twin Peaks recently and it made go back to the soundtrack of Mulholland Drive that I hadn’t heard in such a long time. I’d forgotten how hauntingly hypnotic, atmospheric and evocative this soundtrack is.
Exploration by Bruno Coulais, Mathilde Pellegrini, Helene Breschand, Hungrarian Symphony Orchestra Budapest & Laurent Petitgirard.
I think one of the elements that sets Coraline apart from other films, live-action and animated alike, is its very distinctive score. I really don’t know what else has Bruno Coulais done, but his score for Coraline is a brilliant achievement. This scene, which is pretty mundane, is made to feel mysterious, lovely and increasingly engaging thanks to the music.
In the realm of successful comedians, Seth MacFarlane has managed to achieve a rare and important thing which is to create a niche for himself. His brand of smart-ass, raunchy, random and weird humour is instantly recognizable and very much a part of the kind of humour most young people today gravitate towards. This niche of his also has somewhat of a downside, as it tends to cater to a specific group of people. In other words, how you feel about MacFarlane’s TV animated comedies will determine whether you’ll enjoy his first, and hopefully not last, venture into film.
When John Bennett was a young boy, he received a big teddy bear for christmas. This teddy bear became his only companion and one night John made the wish every young child makes at some point or another: for their favourite toy to be alive. Much to his and everyone else’s surprise, teddy breaths life the next day and in so magnifies a friendship that will redefine John’s life. Fast forward a bunch of years and now 35 years old John (Mark Wahlberg) spends his time trying to avoid his dead-end job, hanging out and getting high with Ted (Seth MarFarlane) and trying to make his 4-year relationship work with his girlfriend Lori (Mila Kunis). Life seems good for John until Lori tells him that he has to grow up in order for their relationship to mature, which means choosing between her and Ted.
Even though the trailer for Ted looked hilarious for me, in particular that first red-band trailer, I knew even from the production of the film was underway that I would like Ted. I’m a fan of MacFarlane. I think Family Guy is one of the funniest comedies ever created and while it has had its ups and downs, it has never failed at both surprising me and making me laugh. Moreover, that show retains a special place in my heart as it brought me together and constructed a strong bond between me and my best friends. So all in all, Ted had the recipe to became one of my favourite comedies and it has achieved that spectacularly.
Ted has MacFarlane’s humour written all over it. It’s centre of gravity is of course Ted himself voiced by MacFarlane and I have to applaud MacFarlane for not merely making him a running joke. Ted, as funny and hilarious as he is, does feel like a real character in the film. What at first seemed odd quickly becomes a familiar and you start seeing Ted as a real person. He is crazy as you’d expect, but I was surprised by the level of heart and care that MacFarlane injected into the character. That sincerity really makes you believe that he is real and help solidify his relationships with people, like John and Lori. Ted is a character that has it all and is a true joy to watch. But more importantly, he never stops surprising you.
Keeping with the level of heart the character has, I was not expecting the film as whole have so much heart. MacFarlane didn’t waste a second putting his humour into the film and doing some insanely hilarious things that range from short crazy flashbacks to references that make fun of himself and of other people. However, at the core of the film is this friendship between Ted and John and how John needs to get out of the cave that is youth and finally grow up. Seeing that character arc is satisfying and makes the proceedings that much more affecting and believable. But to also possess so much compassion, honesty and care for this man’s decision to improve his life for love was a welcome surprise. When Ted dials back the comedy for some serious moments it never falters.
But what makes all these factors work even better is Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis. Wahlberg is the real heart of the film and delivers his most funny and empathetic performance to date. His character is a genuinely nice every day guy who simply has trouble with letting go of his childhood and of all the conformities that come along with it. Mark sells that beautifully and shines brightly in every situation the story places him. His scenes with Ted are absolutely hilarious so much so that there are many instances in which he out-funnies MacFarlane himself. That whole cocaine scene has to be one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time. But Wahlberg is also great in the more serious scenes with Mila Kunis displaying a chemistry that is palpable. Their relationship, as odd as it is, feels very genuine and true and it is a real testament to the actors for accomplishing that.
Mila Kunis is also hilarious in the film. I expected her to simply be the girlfriend/plot-point character of the film and I was surprised that she was much more than that. Kunis character is used to bring the protagonist’s conflict to the forefront and make him deal with it, but she adds so much to the character that I can see why MacFarlane cast her. Besides being insanely attractive, Kunis can hold her own against the powerhouses that are Wahlberg and MacFarlane. Even though she doesn’t get as many funny moments, the few that occur are absolutely excellent (look for the prostitue’s shit scene). Kunis represents the sane and normal person in the film and in that respect she succeeds beautifully. She makes the relationship with John feel important and by being the voice of reason helps John and Ted grow up.
For me in particular, Goon was the funniest film of the year but Ted has managed to top it in almost every way. MacFarlane has created one of the most enjoyable and funny comedies to come in a long time. His brand of humour is everywhere in this film and its transition from TV animation to film live-action is both seamless and successful. The film hits all the right notes and presents us with a story drenched in crazy humour as well as sincerity, seriousness and heart. The CGI work on Ted is great and believable, and the voice work even more so. The performances by Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis are also great and help ground and sell the film. Wahlberg in particular is the standout of the film so much so that I am hoping he collaborates once more in MacFarlane’s second film venture. I loved Ted, it is a film that felt like it was made with someone like me in mind and honestly cannot wait to see it over and over again and learn its whole dialogue.
As some of you may or may not know, Oliver Stone is one of those directors I absolutely loathe. My primary reasons are because of his misguided friendship with Hugo Chavez, but added to that is also the fact that he hasn’t made a decent film in more than a decade. The director who impressed everyone when he first started has gradually turned into joke of some sort and while it was believed that Savages would be Stone’s return to form, I’m here to report that the film amounts for nothing.
Narrated by the beautiful O (Blake Lively), Savages focuses on two drug entrepreneurs named Ben (Aaron Johnson) and Chon (Taylor Kitsch). Ben is takes care of the money and plant growing side of the business, while Chon takes care of enforcing the rules and O fucks them both. But with the Mexican cartel headlined by Elena (Salma Hayek) moving in to California, Ben and Chon’s business is jeopardize especially when they refuse to partner up with Elena. In order to steer them her way, Elena kidnaps O but all this does is blow things out of proportion.
I’ll admit that when I first saw the trailer for Savages I was instantly hooked. This film, which by the way was moved to be released in the summer because the studio saw a lot of potential, looked badass and violent in all the best ways. With such a stellar cast you’d expect it to be awesome through and through, and in the case of Blake Lively there was promise of her really digging deep by third act of the film. Suffice to say that Savages is all that but to a much lower and underwhelming degree.
The story had potential for some really great things, but for a director who was known for taking risks Savages is very mild. The film does display some intense scene of violence but they feel so out of place in the proceedings that you think they were placed there for pure gratuitous blood. I’m sure the violence could’ve been integrated in a better way, but like everything else in the film it feels people are just reaching for straws trying too hard to be edgy. The story is also highly predictable and elongated to excruciating measures. Things drag so much in this film that for at least 40 minutes I kept screaming in my head: “just move the fuck along!”
In terms of acting, everyone is effective in the film but they do nothing to elevate it from shit. Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch are really cool and their friendship is believable. They have great chemistry and they do successfully sell their consensual love triangle. Kitsch fares a bit better as the at first crazy violent man and it’s cool to see how his character develops somewhat through the film. Benicio Del Toro is also pretty good in the film and deliver most of the funny moments. When he is in psycho mode he always steals the show.
Blake Lively is okay in Savages. Lively is one of those actress who gives one great performance only to be followed by a lacklustre one and Savages unfortunately has the lacklustre one. Her voice over narration gets boring and annoying really quick and her performance itself is devoid of real sentiment. For a character that we are suppose to identify with, Lively does a horrible job at it. Her character is a spoil rich chick with mommy issues that scream cliche all the way. She gets so dull that you won’t even feel bad for her anymore. In contrast we have Salma Hayek who delivers her best performance since Frida much to everyone’s surprise. Hayek looked cool in the trailer but in here she turns into a believably menacing, calculated, cut-throat drug kingpin that will make you shit your pants. Watching her here is a complete joy, as you can see she was having such a blast making the film. Too bad the rest sucks so much.
I can see the potential the studios saw in Savages, but I feel like they didn’t see the actual film. This isn’t a summer film nor is it a memorable either. The film lacks direction and it is trying way too hard at being campy, violent and edgy. It is none of those things. There are some cool moment spread throughout and the soundtrack for the most part is good. The acting is effective but nothing extraordinary except for Salma Hayek. Overall Savages is simply too dull and generic, and to be honest its only reason to exist is for eye-candy purposes.