In Time (2011)

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In Time is a prime example of a movie concept which had so much potential, but just didn’t quite deliver.  Before I watched it, I believed it had the potential of to make an Inception or Matrix like impact on the world.  However, it seemed as though the director of In Time didn’t know if he really wanted an action-packed movie or not, and so the film just fizzled into the finish line.

It’s not surprising that I like the concept so much since I am a big fan of Andrew Niccol, and Gattaca is one of my all-time favorite movies.  The problem with In Time was its attempt to be an heart-pounding action-centered film, when it really should have been a heart-pounding dramatic tale with action supporting it between scenes.  Instead, it couldn’t compete with other action movies of the year, and didn’t delve deep enough into the social issues which the drama was based around.

Some of the shockingly anti-climactic events of the movie didn’t really help its cause either, such as what happens when the time keeper finally catches Will Salas and the time keeper’s history is revealed.  Also, the duo breaks into banks to “give time away.”  But the banks were so shabby and unguarded, it only brings up the question of why wouldn’t people have broken in if all a person needed to do was drive a truck through the glass windows and through the paper thin walls.

The Robin Hood-esque storyline and the issues of gentrification combined with the futuristic concept of “time” being a currency were great ideas.  But they just didn’t come together in this film.  In Time is something that most people will watch and leave thinking, “That could’ve been a great movie, if only…”

50/50 (2011)

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I put 50/50 on thinking it would be a good story-driven comedy; however, by the I found the movie barely comedic, but very moving.  It seems I am an advocate of the theory that the best dramatic movie scripts originate from real-life stories.  The ads I saw in addition to Seth Rogen as the supporting actor led me to believe 50/50 would be much funnier than it truly was.

Despite not getting what I expected, 50/50 was a very worthwhile watch.  I find myself liking Joseph Gordon-Levitt more and more in his recent roles, namely this and Inception.  Unfortunately I cannot say the same for Seth Rogen.  I’m not sure I’ve like any of his movies.  And it was nice to see Anna Kendrick get out of her Twilight roles, except this role wasn’t a great display of her talent either.  At least, I think she’s much much easier on the eyes than Kristen Stewart.

Watch this when you have the time, but expect a true, emotional story that helps you understand the pain of knowing your days are numbered because of a terminal illness.

Chasing Amy (1997)

Rating:

I feel conflicted about this movie.  This conflict is reflected by the “drama” genre classification, as opposed to “comedy.”  The first 75 minutes were fantastically fun, comedic, and entertaining; the remainder was dramatic and full of crying, screeching, high-pitched arguing.  The latter did not please me.  It was not what I expected from a movie usually listed under the comedy genre.

The beginning was exactly the type of movie I was expecting and looking forward to.  The end was filled with so many stupid decisions and so much annoying yelling.  Although I do like the story, I didn’t like the execution.

My conclusion is that this movie should be watched when you’re in the mood for a serious movie, and not when you’re looking for a happier, more light-hearted romantic comedy.  I was looking for a romantic comedy, not this, when I watched it.

Super 8 (2011)

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This film was thoroughly advertised last summer with captive commercials that gave no inkling as to what the movie was about at all.  I decided it was high time that I finally watch it even though I had heard many mixed things about it.

A word that many critics have already used with it is “nostalgic,” and it’s definitely true.  Not only is it nostalgic because of the setting of the film, but also the entire theme.  My friend was quite correct when she said at the end that it seemed like a grown-up version of E.T. the Extra Terrestrial.  I guess it isn’t that surprising since Spielberg was also a producer of Super 8.

For me, many parts of the movie felt like the previously J.J. Abrams produced film, Cloverfield.  It was probably the whole thing with not seeing “the creature” except for brief glimpses.  But at least in this movie, we had some music to listen to; a lot of interesting music…

I still don’t really understand why so many people were so excited about this movie, and why it was considered one of “the best movies this summer.”  It was good, but not a film I would go crazy over, or even rank in the top ten for 2011.  No matter what genre I consider it from–action, science-fiction, drama, nostalgic–there were better competitors on the big screen this year.

Drive (2011)

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One of those movies that seemed to fly under the radar last fall, it was highly rated by many a critic, but faltered in viewer ratings, at least on Rotten Tomatoes.  I was also interested to see the 2nd sexiest man alive in a role that didn’t center around his “photoshoped body.”

I must say, he did very well in this role, but that may have been because he didn’t have to do or say too much.  He only needed to express two emotions:  awkward guy smile, and silent angry guy on a mission.  But he showed those two emotions well.  The entire movie moves at a very slow pace, but always makes you feel like something exciting is about to happen.  I think its a result of the perfectly-matched electronica music that’s playing.  The music is so ambient but with chords of uneasiness mixed in.

Finally, things do get exciting, but it can’t be compared to other vengeance seeking movies like Man on Fire or Taken.  It is a strange amalgamation of calm, cool, and collected with anger, action, and anxiety.  Unlike the aforementioned, it is not a pure action movie.

Overall, enjoyable, but you have to be in the mood to sit through a patient movie.  Somehow it manages to keep you on the edge of your seat with suspense and without ever having too much happen.

Shanghai Kiss (2007)

Rating:

Glancing over the name and description of this movie, I thought it would be a quirky romantic comedy between an Asian guy and a white girl.  Then I discovered that I was very wrong…  Instead, it is a movie about a pathetic Chinese-American guy trying to figure out “who he is” while cheating on his high school girlfriend because he doesn’t want to be a pedophile.

Throughout the whole movie, I find no love or attachment to the main character Liam, not even at the end.  Although, by the end he’s figured out that he needs to get a life, and that Ade is a great girlfriend.  And, Liam probably does have “potential to be an actor” in the movie.  I also believed that he really had genital herpes from his commercial audition.

There are only three reasons I paid attention during this movie:

  1. I’m a fan of Hayden Panettiere from her roles in Heroes and even Remember the Titans.
  2. I foresee myself becoming a variation of this pathetic guy in the near future, and not having a real life.  Thus, I wanted to learn what not to do so I could avoid becoming such a total waste of life.
  3. China is cool.