Here at Casta La Vista we see a lot of movies, and every now and then there are ones which we can’t squeeze into an episode. When that happens, it’s often the case that one of us will write a wondrous written review – sometimes though we don’t (i.e. I don’t) seem to quite get round to it and these movies slip through the net.
Well no more! Here are five movies I meant to write about a little closer to the time but couldn’t be bothered never found the opportunity. To ensure that these reviews are actually written and don’t get lost in the Ether forever, I’ve set myself a 200 word limit on each one.
Starring: Ben Stiller
I’m going to jump in outright here and say I didn’t like Greenberg at all. It’s one of those annoying indie “comedies” with annoying indie people in it which decides to not bother really telling you an actual story and tries to push this off as being something artistic or creative. Fuck off.
Ben Stiller plays Greenberg, a guy who is basically a socially inept dick. That’s about it. You get ninety plus minutes of awkward conversations and “off beat” social situations. Awesome.
The thought struck me halfway through watching this movie that I actually didn’t care for any of the characters at all – with the possible exception of Greenberg’s friend played by Rhys Ifans – and this only served to make proceedings even more tedious. I found this movie to be entirely tiresome and would recommend avoiding it.
Starring: Adrien Brody & Sarah Polley
Splice is certainly a film to split audiences; part horror, part thriller, part science gone wrong – it focuses on two scientists who splice together DNA from various animals and, in a forbidden step, add human DNA into the mix. The film then follows them and their attempts at hiding and dealing with their “creation.”
I’ve heard both very good and very bad things about this film, which at its most basic level is essentially an allegory for the trials of parenthood – for my part I wasn’t its hugest fan; the situation gets out of hand quite quickly in many ways quite aside from the expected, and it never really seemed like a natural progression of events to me; choosing instead to focus on the more sensational possible outcomes of the situation rather than on the perhaps more prevalent ethical questions surrounding the use of human DNA (although these questions are touched on).
Having said that though there were scenes which elicited a very vocal and physical reaction from me in a way that no other film has this year (I was literally hiding in my t-shirt shouting “NOOO” at the time) so if you’re up for something a bit off kilter and different to your regular “monster creation gone wrong” horror movies, then this might be up your street.
3. The Karate Kid
Starring: Jaden Smith & Jackie Chan
Much has been said about this film already, in particular regarding its (perhaps overlong) run length at two hours and twenty minutes, but not enough has been said about the quality of those hundred and forty minutes. The Karate Kid is immensely enjoyable and manages to distinguish itself from the 1984 quite satisfyingly.
Jackie Chan is on his usual form, although in a much more toned down role – you’ll see very little of his usual slapstick shtick here and one of my biggest disappointments in the film is that he only has one fight – then again it is against a bunch of kids. It’s Jaden Smith then who carries the majority of the film and if he chooses the right films going forward, he could easily be one of Hollywood’s biggest stars in five to ten years time; he’s just that watchable.
The run time does however present a sticking point – as Chris rightly said in his If I had Kids feature earlier this week, two hours twenty is somewhat of an ask for a family film; then again that isn’t much different to any film within the Star Wars or Pirates of the Caribbean franchises – I’d happily categorise this film with those aforementioned as an extremely enjoyable family film that benefits immensely from the DVD advantage of being able to pause it halfway through.
So much for the 200 word limit, but if the Karate Kid doesn’t need to stick to its recommended 90 minute length, I don’t need to stick to mine either…
4. The Rebound
Starring: Catherine Zeta Jones
The Rebound is a perfectly charming rom com starring Catherine Zeta Jones as a mother of two trying to re-establish herself both personally and professionally following a messy divorce. She meets a guy who’s a bit too young for her and then some stuff happens.
For the most part this is your standard quite enjoyable rom com fare, although the movie does baulk at tradition in the last fifteen minutes and it’s here where I found it to be the most brave (despite the characters motivations for their actions being somewhat questionable) however, all this hard work is undone in the last thirty or so seconds with an ending written to please the masses rather than in trying to stay true to the established characters.
For those who are in to their rom coms, this is certainly worth a watch when it comes out to rent – potentially even more so with a bottle of wine and a big comfy couch to watch it on.
Starring: Angelina Jolie
I treated myself a couple of weeks ago to a release day double bill seeing both this and The Expendables (review next episode) and you know what? I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would. It’s a very competent chase thriller that manages to keep the audience guessing throughout its run length. Interestingly, although Angelina (as the titular Evelyn Salt) is the protagonist we’re never really given a full account of her thoughts or actions until the final five minutes – an interesting stylistic change from the constant expositional hand holding we’re used to experiencing nowadays.
Certainly this isn’t for everyone and potentially my enjoyment was bolstered by my extremely low expectations – I’d say this is certainly worth a rent or perhaps a 241 Wednesday visit if it’s still showing near you.
And there you go, I should have done that ages ago really shouldn’t I? As always if you have any thoughts or opinions on the above and would care to agree or disagree then jump in on the comments below.