Posts tagged: A Movie A Day
Killing Bono (2011)
Now that I’m back from sunny California I went ahead and jumped back into a movie a day with Killing Bono. Now after a miniscule amount of research I learned that this film is (loosely?) based on a memoir, which makes it all the more interesting to me.
First things first, I LOVED IT! It was funny and a sense of everything about to fall apart loomed throughout the whole thing, truly wonderful.
I think what I enjoyed the most, for once, was Ben Barnes’ acting. I think he tends to get roles that are meant for pretty boys, and hey, why not? But at the same time, they almost seem like the type of roles that don’t have much in the way of character development. This role of Neil McCormick, however, was extremely well written.
(SPOILER ALERT BELOW)
The story starts off with the McCormick brothers, Neil and the younger Ivan, in high school with their friends who are starting a band that Ivan tries out for. The band, who later become U2, want Ivan in the band, but Neil asks Paul (Bono) to keep him out because he’s going to be in Neil’s band.
When U2 begin to skyrocket, Neil is filled with jealousy, anger, and guilt because he knows that he held his brother back from being a part of the band’s success. His actions then are desperate and fueled by trying to one-up Bono and U2 and in his desperation he gets involved with a bad crowd.
(END OF SPOILER)
What I liked about the Neil character is his flaws. The poor guy can’t seem to catch a break, but by God, that’s not going to stop him from trying to outdo the biggest band in the world at that point. You see him making all the wrong choices and cringe, but on some level, if it were you, you’d probably make the exact same choices. Then, Bono becomes the embodiment of that person you hate without actually having a good reason to, you just do.
The film has great character development, relatable characters, and it’s just generally a fun story to see unfold. The cast in this film does a fantastic job too. This was the last film with the late Pete Postlethwaite, who is incredibly endearing in the role of Karl. As I said before, Ben Barnes does a great job as Neil. Then, you have Robert Sheehan, who I just love seeing in Irish roles.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this film and would highly recommend it.
I Saw the Devil (2010)
After much badgering, my very dear friend, Arty, finally got me to watch this movie. I am still trying to take it all in. It took me about 3 hours to watch a 2 hour movie. The film is about a secret agent whose fiancée is murdered by a psychopathic serial killer and vows to get revenge.
The base plot is not anything new, but on some level the film becomes very existential. There comes a point where the main character realizes that even if he does kill the murderer, he won’t feel any better about the turn his life took when his fiancée was killed.
Quite frankly, I thought the film to be a little too long for my liking and for the simplicity of the plot. At some point it just becomes torture porn because of its excessive graphic violence. The secret agent plants a tracking device on the serial killer after their first encounter and continues to follow him and foil his subsequent attempts to rape and murder young girls FOR TWO HOURS!
I have mixed feelings on this one. I think this is the type of story I would rather read than watch so I could at least get insight on our quiet antihero’s thinking. I mean, he kills with a lot of conviction, but he wasn’t always a killer himself.
I think what makes this film stand out from the rest of the typical revenge films is the existential crisis element of it. While subtle, the question of morality and why people do things is always looming and almost apparent in the characters’ eyes. It’s worth watching if you’re into thrillers; just make sure you have a strong enough stomach for it. Oh, also, it’s Korean so it’s that much more awesome!
The Fall (2006)
The Fall takes place in Los Angeles “once upon a time” when films were still silent and black and white, and in the imaginary world of the “epic story of love and revenge” that Roy tells 5 year-old Alexandria. Roy is an injured stuntman who is also suicidal because his girlfriend left him for an actor, and Alexandria is a Romanian orange picker that fell and broke her arm.
The movie is worth watching for the visuals alone. The epic story that Roy tells takes place across the whole world in beautiful exotic locations, and the 5 mythical bandits that are the heroes of the story are all quirky and dressed in gorgeous, colorful costumes. This is one of the most visually stunning films I have ever seen, and it was shot beautifully in both the fantasy world and in the temporal world of the film.
This movie had all the elements that I love in a film. It had a character with psychological issues and fantastical made up worlds to escape to. The kicker was also that it had a happy ending! I’m usually a sucker for tragic endings, but I was extremely satisfied with the way it was resolved.
At its core, the film is not a tale of love and revenge, but one of acceptance, moving on, and friendship. I was pleasantly surprised that this movie surpassed my expectations and I really really want one of those awesome masks!
Daddy Day Care (2003)
Just when I thought I had failed the challenge today because I came down with a cold and slept most of the day away, I realized that in the few hours that I was awake I turned on the TV and Daddy Day Care was on. Now, this wasn’t an unconscious decision because nothing else was on at 2 in the afternoon, I actually rather like Daddy Day Care!
The movie is no cinematic masterpiece by any stretch, but it has a certain charm to it and Jeff Garlin completely saves it with his awesome comedic timing. I think this movie suffers a little in other peoples’ eyes from having Eddie Murphy as the lead role (since his movies really took a swan dive in recent years) but he isn’t fighting to steal the spotlight in this one and he really lets the other actors have their moment.
My personal favorite thing about it is Steve Zahn’s character, Marvin. Marvin starts out as the mail guy in the advertising firm where Charlie (Eddie Murphy) and Phil (Jeff Garlin) got laid off. Marvin ends up as one of the daycare teachers by accident but turns out being great at bonding with the children. What I love about Marvin is that he is a nerd. One of the ways he bonds with the children is that one of the kids speaks Klingon and one of the kids refuses to speak anything else. That same passion that he has for Star Trek and comic books ends up being what saves the day both in the movie and for the movie.
Like I said, it’s not a cinematic masterpiece, but it is a charming little movie and the actors have a lot of comedic chemistry. To me it has become one of those movies that I can quote around with my sister, almost to the ranks of Mean Girls. It’s definitely worth a watch if you want something lighthearted.
Dark Shadows (2012)
I have been a Tim Burton fan since before I could realize that it was Tim Burton movies that I was watching. Needless to say, I was pretty excited about this movie the moment the trailer came out.
I was disappointed. Dark Shadows is one of those movies that gives itself away in the trailer.
The film starts out with Barnabus Collins’ back story, which to me seemed more as a way to account for Johnny Depp having a British accent throughout the movie. It got a little predictable from there on out.
Collins wakes up in the 70s after a group of construction men accidentally dig him out and he goes home to find the remaining Collins group who hold the initial family motto that family is everything.
The movie had its moments, but most of the film was relying on the out of place Barnabus who was overly confused as to how much had changed in the 200 years he was trapped. The film was also a bit more risqué than Burton’s usually sexless films. Johnny Depp’s character cannot resist the women that come onto him in this film and he is very up front with how weak he is to their sexual charms.
Towards the end of the film is where it lost me. Things that had not been referenced or foreshadowed the whole film started happening and were voiced quickly by the characters to explain that they had been there all along (but not really). Frankly, it got a little boring.
If the film makes any money it is because of Burton’s devout fans and the people who were planning to watch The Avengers and it was sold out when they got there (which is how I ended up watching it). Wait for it at the dollar movies.