Robin Hood (2010)
Getting through Great Scott!
A: And so we come to the only film on our list that neither of us has seen. This promises to be interesting. I have an abiding fascination with Robin Hood: both visually (I will quote the animated version at you; I don’t care if you disapprove of my adolescent love of the Costner version) and academically (Stephen Knight’s history is awesome). So… I’m a bit scared.
J: In ye olde times …
A: Yikes look at that font.
So, 12th century eh. Blanchett already being forceful, with a bow? I’m pleased. A flaming arrow!
J: More ye olde times …
A: Robin Longstride, eh? That’s different. But it’s still Richard not-so-lion-heart’s time. AND we’re actually on crusade with Rusty! (wait, not crusade – this is France, surely, with Richard more interested in running French bits than his English territory)
J: So basically it’s Gladiator … gosh I hope it’s not as slow. I wonder if they will show the archer’s paradox… slow motions arrows n all. Continue reading →
I watched Noah last week with some friends from church. We weren’t expecting A Beautiful Mind, but I would have been happy with Gladiator.
I did not get Gladiator.
I wasn’t expecting it to be completely true to the biblical account.
Which is good, because there were some remarkably true-to-Bible bits (Noah does indeed get drunk and found by his sons in the nud)… but then there were weird magical type bits, too. Like Methuselah making a barren girl fecund, and a snake skin having maybe magical powers? Also, no God. Rusty sometimes implored the clouds, and they talk about the Creator, but God never interacts.
I did not expect quite as much angsty Rusty, but I definitely got it; and I really didn’t expect such weird and dramatic hair, and hair changes, as I got. I also didn’t expect the film to be having an identity crisis about whether it was a BC Fantasy film, or a post-apocalyptic SF film. It had occasional moment of both.
The creators (heh) kept the basic story… which you’d kinda expect if you want to have even credence as a Noah story. So people have got bad and Noah has a dream (change) wherein he realises humanity will be wiped off the earth via a flood, and he builds an ark to save the animals and a few people – his family – coincidentally. The animals come in two by two (ish), there’s a dove brings notice of land being back, and oh yes, Noah gets drunk afterwards.
For the changes, though… the biggest one is the change to Noah’s family. Japheth is a child when they board the ark, and Ham does not have a wife or girlfriend or any prospect of one. Shem has Ila (Emma Watson), but she’s barren (or so Noah believes), so there is no chance for continuing humanity – and that’s a good thing because Noah comes to be convinced the humans need to be wiped off the planet, which is very convenient since he hasn’t managed to get ladeez for his lads anyways. When he discovers Ila’s pregnancy, he proclaims his intention to kill the child if it’s a daughter, because that would allow the race to continue. OH THE DRAHMAH. Then Ila gives birth to twin girls, and Noah finds – after oh such a high tension moment – that he can’t kill them. So now humanity is going to continue because CLEARLY Japheth and Ham will procreate with their much younger nieces EW EW. (Oh, did I forget to mention there are spoilers here?)
I guess I understand wanting to add family tension in to the story, but surely there are better ways than this. Even the tired old ‘sisters-in-law not getting along’ would have been better than this – and that’s saying something.
Let’s stop and think about the women for a moment. Jennifer Connelly is a great with a rubbish script… although I don’t think her name is ever actually used (apparently she’s Naameh). There is at least one point at which it looks like she’s wearing a very finely woven garment, though, while everyone else is getting around in very natty leathers (Noah appears in what is almost a leather/rags suit towards the end), which is a bit weird and one of those which time period is this? moments. Her character is mostly the supportive-wife type – and since that’s biblically accurate, I suppose (she doesn’t get much airplay there), I guess it’s nice they gave her anything to do. She’s fierce in defence of Ila. And Ila – again, I think Watson does well with a rubbish script. She has quite a lot of agency, for a movie of this sort – she speaks without first being spoken to, she’s noble, she’s fiercely protective of her children and defiant as well. But this is all within the rubbishness of the script. There’s one other named woman, who appears for about five minutes – Na’el, I believe – whom Ham meets when he goes off to find himself a bride. They chat, she seems ok, they head back to the ark… and then she gets trampled to death when her leg is caught in a bear trap (this was another what the hell time period is this set in? moment), and Noah refuses to help. Which is about as bad as it gets for all the unnamed women in the camp of the Evil Mens who are planning to storm the ark when it’s time. Their fate is not explicitly shown, but there’s lots of screaming.
There’s a lot else to be said about this film but I’m not sure I have the energy required to take down the ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY MINUTES in their entirety. The CGI/green screening was… actually some of it was really good – some of the animals were exceptionally lifelike. But overall it just felt so incredibly fake it was difficult to care. Also, they made the ark basically brick shaped. Also also, Anthony Hopkins are you so hard up for cash this was a necessary career choice? Fella, go on Patreon – I’m sure you’ll get lots of supporters and you’ll never need to think about this again.
And then there are the Watchers. Who are kind of rock Ents, and kind of Transformers I guess, and kind of that turtle-mountain thing from Neverending Story, and kind of just really really weird. Because they’re fallen angels, see: they fell to earth to help Adam and Eve when they were kicked out of the Garden, and then their fiery essence was encased in rock? Or something? They end up helping Noah because he’s in the direct line of descent from Seth, and because he’s on a mission from God (it HAD to be said). They are, hands down, the WEIRDEST part of the entire film.
I will never get back those minutes. I am more glad than I can say that I spent them with friends, and not alone with the film; and it did involve tea and the last of last year’s mince pies, so I guess it wasn’t a complete loss. I guess.
Battleship… the movie
Look, I know. I know, OK?
I knew before we rented it that this was going to be totally unmitigated crap. And it was, so there were no surprises. Right?
Actually, I was a bit surprised at just how absolutely atrociously awful it is. I can watch and enjoy the odd bit of unmitigated crap, as long as the explosions and chases are entertaining enough. But here… well. The characters are laughable, you could drive a semi-trailer sideways through the plot holes… the plot for Battleship almost makes Transformers 3 look like it HAS a plot (although I did not want to scrub my brain after watching this, which I did after watching Transformers 3. Maybe because I watched B in two sittings, and not in a theatre having paid quite a lot of money). And the science… zomg the science. Or rather, lack thereof. Friends, this movie shows people trying to communicate with another planet by using a radio telescope to fire a coherent laser beam at it.
I just. I can’t. There are no words.
This review is, actually, superfluous. Everything you need to know about the movie can be found in this hilarious review. It contains multiple spoilers but, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, and at some stage you are forced to, use this as a drinking game: every time you get to one of the points mentioned, drink! That review does, however, miss THE most awesome bit of the whole film: using an anchor to make a battleship do a handbrake turn. Seriously.
The plot: aliens are coming in response to the message we sent and they want to TAKE OVER THE WORLD. Or something. Since there’s no actual communication, how do we know that? Oh yeh, because they’re ALIENS. Then plucky sailors fight them off. Where plucky sailors include Rhianna trying to look badass, some punk kid who turns out to be a genius, and a bunch of old dudes who just happen to be hanging around.
The characters: there are none. They’re all just cardboard cut-outs.
The one good thing this movie proves: Liam Neeson really, really doesn’t care what you think anymore.
We saw it today. It was a lot better than I expected, to be honest.
Shia is pretty crap. The chick was ok. Billy Bob Thornton is great.
I love the plane-in-the-tunnel trick.
I really wasn’t expecting what this turned out to be, but it made sense (you know, in context, where “making sense” is associated with “utter suspension of belief”).
Lots of explosions! And car chases! And scenes where I couldn’t really follow who was where!
I enjoyed it a lot.
Barely redeemed by the presence of Wesley Snipes. Rather disappointing. Some okay action sequences, an interesting enough if not exactly original story, and a silly final scene. In fact, it gets sillier in retrospect.
*sigh* I seem not to be doing very well in my adventures to try movies I’ve not heard of, recently. Perhaps there’s a reason I haven’t heard of them.
In my defence, I didn’t actually realise it was a zombie movie.
What unmitigated crap!
OK, so Milla Jovovitch is pretty cool; and the dude – when I finally realised he was the delightful Black Prince in A Knight’s Tale – is pretty spunky… so not actually ‘unmitigated’.
Largely unmitigated crap!
I saw a preview today that makes me shudder and call for a boycott.
Now, with a title like that, it’s hard not to desperately want to see it, yeh? And the lead ‘actress’ looks like a wannabe Goldie Hawn. What could possibly be bad about that?
Old Playboy Bunny goes to be a sorority Mom. Turns nerdy girls into glamour queens.
Because what all of us nerdy girls desperately want is to be liked for our boobs, not our brains. Yup.
Anyway, I say: argh! and Boycott!
/grumble away into my little nerdy hidey-hole…
ETA: someone pointed out to me that I don’t actually want a boycott, as I was never going to see it in first place. I more want a “violently object loudly to the movie at every opportunity” movement.
Next: A Public Service Announcement
That is, it’s next up; and it’s about Next.
Sometimes I’m so clever I amaze myself.
At any rate: Next. Nic Cage, Jessica Biel, Julianne Moore. Las Vegas magician can see 2 minutes into the future but only about himself. How could it possibly not be an awesome B-grade flick??
I spent most of the movie wondering just how much clout you have to have before you get away with having really, really bad hair in a movie. Because in this one, Cage’s hair is distractingly bad. Worse than his acting.
Oh, and the movie? Avoid at all costs. Rarely have I seen worse.
Two utterly different movies
1. Aeon Flux. I love this movie. I love the look, I love Theron, I love Csokas… it’s just wonderful. I’ve never seen the animated series and from the stills I don’t want to. For me, this movie exists in glorious isolation. Yes, there are vague resonances with cloning issues today (and it could be interesting to draw parallels between it and Children of Men), but they’re not important for my enjoyment of the film. It’s just cool, and it remains so – this must be the third time I’ve seen it, and I could probably rewatch it every year or so.
2. Dukes of Hazzard. One that, frankly, I thought I would never bother to watch, but it was just sitting there, and J convinced me we should give it a go. So, OK, it’s hilarious in spots. And there’s not quite as much of Jessica Simpson’s boobs as I had expected. The car chases are fun to watch; Luke and Bo are an enjoyable duo, and it’s played well by Scott and Knoxville. Boss Hogg could have been a bit more evil, I thought – he wasn’t quite as hateful as I anticipated. And heck, who doesn’t like a spot of Willie Nelson being a moonshine-swilling, Korean War vet? So it was entirely appropriate fun for a Saturday night.
And I didn’t even know there was something missing
From my life, that is. Until now.
Now that I am 15 minutes into Barbarella, I realise that there had previously been a gaping hole in my life. No longer! Filled with Jane Fonda, hairy wallpaper, Jane Fonda’s boobs, a lot of plastic and the knowledge that Duran Duran is the name of a character in the movie. Which makes them even more screwy than I previously thought.
Oh, and now there are nasty biting dolls after Our Heroine. Hmm, an excuse to remove more of Jane’s clothing, clearly.
I’m not sure I’ll be able to watch the whole thing, to be honest.