23 June 2009

Movies - Last Seen

Star Trek, USA (2009)

Most amazing thing about this film is its really bad screenplay. I mean, plausibility was never a strong side of Star Trek franchise, but this movie seems to break all the limits. Loud, almost deafening gospel music is playing for dramatic effect, shallow characters with the depth of a cartoon personality are running around, saying stupid lines and doing stupid things. Later they find themselves in the cliché situations with predictable results, conveniently unfolding through so very obvious plot. And it is not a JJ Abrams film without some pregnant woman and a birth scene, preferably with new born baby in frame and sweaty mother crying and holding him at her bosom.
But somehow, and this is no less amazing, the movie is absolutely enjoyable and extremely entertaining. The space diving scene with the drill is 15 minutes of pure cinematic ecstasy, the action is so intense you sometimes afraid to breathe or blink, only not to miss a single second out of it.

Space travel was never so easy and attractive, young and pretty people in extreme life or death situations never looked so comfortable and determined. It's a brave new world. In the end, this series of incredibly fortunate events, defying realistic probability of coincidence, is really impressive watching experience, and even memorable and uplifting. Very paradoxical, considering the poor quality of the scenario.

One last thing to mention is the fantastic and incredibly detailed set designs, the proportions of things in space finally got proper treatment and it simply looks mind-blowing. It's a summer movie done right, despite some obvious flaws, and more than anything it's a proof that mindless fun is not easy to make after all, and it can only be as the result of scrupulous and hard work by people that know how to entertain.


Terminator Salvation, USA (2009)

Bitter disappointment. I really wanted to like this film, I really did. I knew it’s going to be poor story and that McG as director is never a good thing, that the film will look like it was made for TV, with most of its 150 million budget going to promotion and advertising rather than into high production values. But as Star Trek unexpectedly proved to me, the screenplay doesn’t have to be very good to make great watching experience. It’s a matter of understanding the medium, understanding what to do and how to do it. It’s also a matter of a true passion, a matter of excitement from the creative process, some kind of artistic enthusiasm. But if Star Trek was a perfect game of Tetris with all the pieces falling exactly in the suitable empty spaces, Terminator Salvation is one of the worst Tetris games ever, with pieces just piling one on the other with no direction, no thinking or planning, no order and absolutely no logic.
Most of the time Terminator Salvation doesn’t make any sense, the plot is forced to move forward to its conclusion, leaving hundreds of questions with every event it shows. Why and how - better not to ask, trying to summarize the whole story once it’s over is a painful process, such stupid and pointless tale can actually hurt you brain. Beyond Bale’s insane screams, random explosions and CGI effects, lies boring and heavy movie that cannot inspire or excite, only to repulse.
The main impression left from that movie is various unshaved male faces in extreme close ups, peeking in between all the rust and wreckage on the screen. Pathetic attempts to give this film some sophistication, in form of long shots and continuous action, or even attempt of realistic treatment of the post apocalyptic world, are failing miserably because there is no soul behind this cold technical efficiency. McG is the biggest robot out there, shooting scenes and directing actors only by the storyboard pictures he prepared ahead of time, not being able to express a little of spontaneity or to use a bit of imagination. He resembles a happy child that finally got to play with an expensive toy he always wanted, only to break it a moment later, because he has no idea what to do with it.


The Brothers Bloom, USA (2008)

Great trailer marked this film for me as very promising, various reviews were positive and praising, the anticipation was high. And as it happens most of times, the level of expectations can be only compared to the level of disappointment.

This movie is rough and unpolished, having really bad pace, ranging from occasional fast and energetic scenes, filled with humor and action, to slow and incredibly boring minutes of pointless talking and emotional confessions. After the first mixed half, the movie really takes a dive in the second part, displaying bad writing and absolutely pointless and hollow story.
As a con film it is not very sophisticated or smart at all, on the contrary, it is too simple and mostly confusing with its plot holes. As a drama it is too childish, lacking depth and intelligence in the relationships between the characters, and overcomplicated in all the wrong places. As a comedy it has the same effect as telling funny jokes to the prisoner just before taking him out to the firing squad.
Average acting by all, especially bad acting from Brody, deeper analyzing of the story and the characters can only lead to more disappointments.

In Brick it was teenagers that behave like grownups, in Brothers Bloom it is adults who behave like children. And it is not a compliment.


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