I'm extremely confused. I've watched Premium Rush and while looking for subs for Chinese stumbled upon a post comparing Premium Rush and Quicksilver. Naturally, I had to watch it and now I feel very strange.

Quicksilver is a very eighties movie: clothes, cars, people, motivations - everything is dated. To the point where I cannot figure out if the plot even makes sense (I'm leaning towards "no", tbh). It was interesting to watch San Francisco 30 years ago, people driving beat-up cars (even drug dealers!) and destroying them on a whim, people struggling to make ends meet... but at the same time there were exactly three women, one of whom didn't say a word, another wasn't introduced by name until third appearance and third behaved as a 15 years old despite obviously being on her own for quite some time.

Besides that, main character is basically a drama queen who will do whatever he wants regardless of how much sense it doesn't make in context. Like, drop the job - don't report a person being ran over - get back to the job - go all vigilante. What! What!

At the same time this is where it parallels Premium Rush: drastic downshift, disregard for authority and resulting refusal to cooperate, solving the problems with much racing and not law.

On the other hand, Premium Rush is clearly a modern movie. Even without CGI it's still much faster, more action-oriented, more reckless too. While both characters have reasons to be unwilling to continue with the chosen path (emotional and very understandable reasons), Willy is in there mostly for the adrenalin and freedom, whereas Jack is simply trying to make money.

Both movies are interesting but I'm more likely to re-watch Premium Rush than Quicksilver, if only for the faster pace.
As usual, first two seasons - very good and interesting. Then, slowly getting more and more implausible, more focused on personal relationships and semi-historical people - moving away from reality. On top of that, they'd started losing characterization points: like Murdoch suddenly acquiring a temper or Dr. Ogden hiding things that don't even make sense hidden, or Darcy making an U-turn.

The way the Emily Grace's relationship was handled is also quite annoying. And Gillies! As much as I liked the character, this was painfully dragged out and unnecessary. Also, Leslie seemed pastede on, like the character wasn't supposed to go the way he did.

But truth to be told, Yannick Bisson is so pretty, and he and Helene Joy work so well together will probably continue watching. If I remember to.


On the other hand, the original three movies are harsher, grittier, truer to the period. I was glad to see a completely different Murdoch, without all the shiny gadgets and holier-than-thou attitude. I wonder how he is in the books, now.
Had this one bumped up the list due to Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey. The description is not all that engaging, so it would've probably stayed unwatched otherwise.

Well, it's not super-engaging in reality too, but JLo and Judy Greer! And random Bree Turner and Justin Chambers!

I'm not sure which age Mary was supposed to be, but JLo acted as if she's barely twenty at times. Okay, a lot of times. And it actually was so very adorable, to see her switching between professional and vulnerable. And in the end, when she's both vulnerable and adult - that was very nice to watch.

And the wedding scene between Fran and Steve - they are so best friends, and I'm glad they will be able to stay that way instead of being stuck in a marriage no one wants to back out of.
A movie about American Suffrage movement at a specific period right before women were give a right to vote.

It's shiny, pretty, has a completely unnecessary extra male character thrown in but it gives at least some idea what it meant to fight for women's rights at that time. Actresses are very good and it's fascinating to see old photographs coming to life and old quotes repeated by actual moving people. Makes it all much more real.

I'm pretty sure I've re-watched it twice back to back or at least went through most important scenes, it's that good.
Held myself from watching this movie before I read the book, and didn't regret it a bit. I like comparing books and movie adaptation and usually movies fail at recreating the world I've already imagined while reading the book.

In this case, while it didn't quite manage to capture the same feelings that come with the book, it still follows the tone and cadence of the book.

It's strange, really. Considering that they've cut most of the time Charlie spends without his friends and falls apart and the fact that most of the characters are very different from how they're described in the book, it's still somehow the same.

And tunnel scenes gave me chills, just like when I was reading the book.
This movie is super-confusing and follows no guidelines. It's worse than Once Upon A Time, I swear!

They tried to keep it in the flow of a fairy-tale and that kind of screwed everything, what with clear difference in characters' inclinations. For example, strong Cinderella doesn't really work with conventionally jealous and hot-headed prince. But despite several failures it's actually a very good movie: funny, sweet and wonderfully unconventional.

The cast is very good, even if I only knew Anjelica Houston and Drew Barrimor.
Wow, what a colossal waste of time. This is the most boring and annoying movie I've seen in a long time.

It constantly makes fun of women (Jenny for constantly thinking of propriety and her kids, Helen for being inappropriate and not thinking of kids), shows lies as acceptable (Helen lies constantly and it's never shown as wrong, only funny at couple of points), shows male interest to be primary even when women object to it (the pastor continues insisting on relationship with Helen even after she refused his advances TWICE and she has to ask him to leave two times every time).

The situation itself is unrealistic, characters' behavior is ridiculous, dialogue is fake and stilted, ugh.
Well, it seems that Miyuki-chan in Wonderland is not the only x-rated version of Alice! I've watched this one completely randomly and wow. Wow. I wish all porn was like this.

There's singing, dancing, funny jokes... There are some not very funny jokes but the point is, there are jokes! There's a story that goes throughout the movie and isn't lost 10 minutes in. There are natural bodies (well, mostly shaven, but at least no plastic surgery).

Kristine DeBell (Alice) is very pretty and soft and looks at everything with such wonder - she's a delight to watch.
Fucking amazing movie.

Almost two hours spent establishing a character and 5 minutes to blow it up to pieces.

Wow.

It's been often said that people who had seen the war never go back to what they were. CSR, PTSD - whatever abbreviation is in play, it turns people's perception of reality into something convoluted, misaligned.

So here is this guy who is, while unpredictable, a dependable professional. Who is able to make the right call (press on or disengage), who sees people and is able to communicate with them, who gets emotionally attached. And the last five minutes the movie turns him into something fucking scary.

Because it shows him for what he is, it shows that all his emotional attachment is shallow, it's not enough to give him actual empathy. He needs his adrenaline, he can't live without it and if he stops getting into situations that give him his fix, he WILL create it.

Imagine THAT MAN in a place where there is no war. Imagine him walking around, getting jittery without his fix. Looking for ways to get it.

Push

May. 21st, 2012 01:45 am
I've decided to watch it on a whim, seeing how I'm on superhero roll after the Avengers. Turned out surprisingly good.

I liked a cyberpunk-y feel of it. I liked how music set up the mood. How it's a background and an essential part of any scene (where there IS music, I mean). I liked the visuals. The way images are distorted, the way scenes are constructed - it's constantly surreal and painfully realistic all at once.

Liked Dakota Fanning's too-grown-up character, Cassie, who ruthlessly does things that need to be done, patiently waits somehow without going crazy with all the waiting. I liked Kira and basically all female characters' ability to kick ass.

I liked secondary characters, who all are as reluctant and as ready to do all of this as you would expect.

I loved that Nick, while being framed as a main character of the movie, still relayed heavily on everyone who trusted him.


Overall effect is Scanners made in style of Hackers and I was not surprised to learn that the director Paul McGuigan has also directed Lucky Number Slevin (although his participation in Sherlock came as a surprise - at least now I know why I like it so much).

Sunny

Apr. 10th, 2012 02:26 am
Wow. It's almost as if it wasn't Korean at all. There were maybe 2 overdone moments in whole 2 hours of the Director's cut. And of course, I knew that I'm going to bawl as soon as I heard Time After Time in the beginning.

Well, yeah, I cried on and off throughout the movie but it was... actually soothing, not horribly painful as it gets sometimes. The movie itself is a mix of magic, inspiration and nostalgia. I didn't grow up in Korea nor, of course, did I attend a middle school in Seoul (I even missed all the action in my own school, as it turned out years later). But the feeling of nostalgia, of hesitant wonder upon seeing places you only remember as parts of your childhood is very familiar to me.

Another thing this movie does well is portrayal of death of close people. There is no realism in portraying the sick, but the uncertainty of the healthy when dealing with sick people, attempts to avoid the contact or pretend that everything is fine... Times when you momentarily able to forget, to pretend that everything IS fine and times when you're cruelly reminded that it is not.

Some would say that this portrayal is too light-hearted. I say that it's shown how we all wish it will go: not grieving endlessly about the loss but celebrating the fact that we were lucky to have this person as a part of our lives. I would even say that I wish my death would bring such a positive change into the lives of people I'm leaving behind.

There are several specific things I really liked about this movie. First is lack of background for many characters. It all goes the way it goes for Na Mi. She doesn't have time to learn all the life stories around her, she doesn't need to know them to care about people - so we don't learn them unless it's crucial to the story. And this goes beyond the end of the movie (although pictures during the credits tell us some things).

Second is lack of some... profound change in the heroine's life. She doesn't drop everything and turn her life upside down. She doesn't leave her husband - her feelings for him don't even change. She rediscovers herself, she ties up some loose ends and she ends up even more comfortable in her old life.

And third and most important are the gifts. This movie wouldn't be the same if those gifts were different. They fit so well with Chiun-Hwa's character as it's shown in the movie. She's a true leader and actually reminded me a lot of leaders from my favorite teen books, like President of the Stony Island and such.

Gah, there are so many things I want to say about this movie (the political situation in Korea at the time creeping into random scenes! the music! the pretty boy! the designer bags! Sophie Marceau!) but I can't figure out the way to say it all.
How come THIS one didn't flop? The jokes are stupid, most of the time we're supposed to laugh at people falling down - literally. Stereotypes are in abundance, and most of them aren't even done well.

I had to fastforward most of the movie. Real waste of rather good actors - Kirsten Bell and Josh Duhamel were very good together, and he wasn't as annoying as he was in the Win The Date With Ted Hamilton. Best part of it was the ending where everyone danced. I almost got up to dance too!
Oh, this one is great! Worth watching if only for Lisa (Reese Witherspoon), who is strong and speaks her mind even when it contradicts her sweet cheerful image. Oh how she snaps at people! But how she explains her reasoning afterwards! How Matty changes because of her!

Matty (Owen Wilson) is actually another good point of the movie. He's actually making an effort. He might be failing miserably about 8 times out of 10, but he still is different in the end of the movie than in the beginning. That was so nice to see. Both because he wasn't completely reformed and because he DID change and maybe he won't stop changing.

George (Paul Rudd) and Charles (Jack Nicholson) are both... forgettable. But I was still sad to learn that the movie had failed in the box office.

Bride Wars

Feb. 12th, 2012 08:44 pm
Hideous. Boring, predictable and UGLY AS HELL. I don't mean the visuals, I mean the setting. It's like a romantic comedy for guys who think all girls are dumb and vapid. Meh.

Didn't even finish it.

Okuribito

Feb. 12th, 2012 02:03 am
Nice, warm, slightly teary movie with no pull whatsoever.

Good cast, good topic, weird setting but works well enough. Hirosue Ryoko's role is such that she has to overplay all the time which gets a bit annoying.
So yeah, as I thought, the boy was a total miscast. I kept getting surprised by him. But maybe it's just his looks.

The others were absolutely perfect, from Akane to Toufu to Genma to Nabiki.

The only thing that kept bothering me is that, just like in original manga and anime series, for all the times they've said that it doesn't matter if you're man or a woman as long as you're strong, every time a girl gets into trouble, she has to be saved by a man. Even if it's Ranma-chan, it still has to be a man.

Oh, and using the bastardized version of a cross-dresser as a bad guy was completely baffling and even unpleasant.
What's Up Doc and Win a Date With Ted Hamilton.

First has a girl bringing chaos and mayhem to people around her for no reason at all, with innocent people getting hurt right and left and many of them not getting anything out of it. It's the kind of comedy when people are losing limbs and you're supposed to laugh about it.

Second has a boy who is... wow, I seriously can't even find words to describe this. Against a girl who is perfectly reasonable and sensible and selecting best course of action with the information available to her he looks like a complete asshole who I would hate seeing with her! It's okay if you can't tell someone you love them outright but that doesn't mean it's okay to start demanding things from them with no explanation or try and make them act the way you'd prefer them to.

If with the first movie I thought it was just too old to make sense to me (1972, wow!), but the second one is more recent and still is more annoying than funny *sigh*
Somehow I've watched, like, 20 romantic comedies in the last couple of weeks. Some of them were quite good, some of them weren't.

I've realised that I don't see Ashton Kutcher as a strictly romantic hero - not like Patrick Dempsey, for instance, who I'm happy to see as ANY kind of lover. But for Ashton Kutcher I need something different. Something... more, I guess. For example, I loved The Butterfly Effect, but A Lot Like Love and No Strings Attached both made me more confused than happy. I just couldn't figure out why I was supposed to like the characters he played.

I also realised that I don't see the difference between Ryan Gosling, Josh Lucas and Chris Evans. They look like twins to me, that's so weird.

Anyway.

10 Things I Hate About You (1999), JGL, v.nice.
It's a light and sweet high school romance movie. Not shallow kind that leaves me unsatisfied, but the one like Saved!, where you can laugh at characters and scream at them and be sad with them and be happy for them in the end.

A Lot Like Love (2005), Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet. Confusing.
They meet by chance several times (haha), having sex every time. He has a plan, she has a plan and they have no reasons to include each other in them. Both plans fail and she gets more successful than he is because of something he did. She is acting as if she was 15 throughout the movie, he's acting as if he has no clue how his actions are supposed to influence his life. And the ending. I don't get it. Why did that picture meant that he cared for her more than she thought? Or what did it even mean that it made her make a U-turn and come running to him? And what makes him accept her after all that happened?

Crazy. Stupid. Love. (2011), Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone. Stupid and boring.
It's so boring and spineless that even the cliches get incredibly annoying. His wife cheated on him (while apparently still loving him?), they've decided to divorce, but he gets a make-over, gets more attractive to ladies and attracts her attention back to him. I'm not sure if it was a make-over that got her to look at him again or it was a mistake in the first place and she realised it from the get-go. If yes - why did she ask for divorce?
Gosling and Stone are much cuter together, but oh god, a playboy that falls for a girl who doesn't act like all other girls he's been picking up? Good thing they're so cute - that makes it more entertaining.
Whole movie is either too short or  too drawn-out. Separate couples don't enough screen time (what was up with Hannah and her boyfriend the asshole?), but the separate scenes are too boring (come on, did they have to spend THAT much time on how to teach Cal to shop for expensive clothes?).

Easy A (2010), Emma Stone, Penn Badgley. Nice.
Starts with the usual happening in teen circles: you say that you've lost your virginity and suddenly everyone knows that. Take it to a new level: start capitalizing on that by saying that you've slept with others. Get into trouble because of it. Tell the truth. Get a boy. Penn Badgley in what's getting to be his traditional role: booky kid who's getting popular anyway (because he's hot). Emma Stone is rocking hot (even before she sheds her good girl persona). On the level of Saved! almost.

Friends with Benefits (2011), Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake. Nice. Great OST.
Two people who's been hurt before decide to have sex. As friends. But only one of them is actually okay with it (nothing could convince me that Jamie has been ok with it even in the beginning). Blah-blah-blah, they fight and separate, then the person who WAS okay with their arrangement listens to his father and decides to proclaim his love in a way she'd always wanted.
It's more funny than sexy and whole second part could be cut off and forgotten entirely. I've spent most of it ignoring the proceedings and staring at Mila Kunis instead. Pretty!

He's Just Not That into You (2009), lots of people. Okay.
Several stories of different angst level. Gigi and Alex (a deluded romantic and an asshole playboy) and Beth and Nail (she wants to marry, he doesn't but acts better than her sisters' husbands) are the best of the lot. The one with Jennifer Connely and Scarlett Johanson is a bust because of how much of an asshole their Ben is and how they try to justify his actions constantly. The one with Drew Barrimore makes no sense.
Overall it felt like a sad attempt to imitate Love Actually with too much cheating and women-bashing.

Hitch (2005), Will Smith, Eva Mendes. Nice.
Horribly cute, that movie is. A dating professional that constantly fails to impress the one girl he actually likes. Kinda similar to what Crazy. Stupid. Love. tried to do. I got angry about what Sara did when she discovered Hitch's profession, but it was more understandable than some other cases I've seen.

How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days (2003), Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey. V.nice.
Basic "two people who don't believe in long-term relationship fall in love" premise. She is writing an article about what women do that turns guys off them, he's betting his carrier on his ability to date someone seriously.
Very. Funny. Andie really knows how to be a crazy blonde hurricane and things she does... although exagerrated, look like classic things women do. Funniest part is when she's walking away from Ben mouthing "WHAT?!" after a particularly outrageous performance. Ben's only redeeming quality is his family but it's okay. His ability to withstand Andie's assaults is commendable.

Just Like Heaven (2005),  Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo. V.nice.
It's supernatural enough to concern itself with real life issues, so it goes very well. Reese Witherspoon does small, blond and angry very well, so it's very funny and entertaining. Especially when Elizabeth disappears and David keeps doing things so not to anger her. Cried a little bit in the end.

No Strings Attached (2011), Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher. Confusing.
They decide to have sex without the relationship part and fail. Went rather good until about midway, when the girl started being completely unreasonable. Like, I completely lost her and couldn't figure out why is she doing the stuff she's doing. I don't mean the confusion about loving someone you're not supposed to and didn't intend to. I'm talking about "Oh, I'm allowed to have emotions now? AWESOME I'M GONNA HAVE ALL OF THEM AT ONCE AT THE PROMPTING OF MY LITTLE SISTER". Magic. Or rather, totally wtf.

Sweet Home Alabama (2002), Reese Witherspoon, Josh Lucas. Confusing.
Could've been nice, but... characters seems to be effected by others' actions, not by their own emotions. Especially Melanie. She comes into the situation with firm beliefs that turn out fake the minute someone does something she didn't expect. And that breakdown in the bar was absolutely ugly and unnecessary.

The Holiday (2004), Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Jack Black. V.nice.
Just what I was promised: two women exchange houses for Christmas/NY holidays and find love. I laughed a little about Iris befriending the elderly man first and Amanda sleeping with Graham first. And Jude Law is VERY nice there.

Wild Child (2008), Emma Roberts, Alex Pettyfer. Nice.
Technically it's not a romantic comedy, it's a high-school comedy with a dash of token romance. Rich American girl comes to UK boarding school. She wants to leave but then befriends her roommates and decides to stay.

Okay, so that was less than I thought, but I've watched other stuff like Bourne Thrilogy (nice! first is the best (wow, fighting scenes), second is good (wow, passable Russian!) but third is a good ending), Stormbreaker (too kiddy even for kids - which is too bad, because, again, fighting scenes! not to mention the cast), I Am Number Four (forgettable) and some TV series as well. Wow. I need to get a real job or something, haha.

(stupid visual editor, escaping EVERYTHING, ugh)


I just watched two of FFs back-to-back and the second one SUCKED big time. Funny enough, I'm not even talking about actors. Sure, Lindsay Lohan is not Jodie Foster, but she's good enough, and both Barbara Harris and Jamie Lee Curtis are awesome. It's the difference in styles between the movies, differences in characters' personalities and initial settings, and differences between the endings what makes first movie funny, sweet and honest and second - overproduced and moralising.

First Freaky Friday is a silly thing, with switch happening by itself, with characters getting into tricky situations which get completely ridiculous by the end of the movie, stressing that this is a fairy tale, fiction, and that only true point is what happens in characters' heads during that crazy day.

Latest one is very realistic, disturbingly so. Situations are dangerous - and not even to main characters, but to completely innocent bystanders. People surrounding them (well, not the closest ones, but many) are mean, everything seems meaningless... Weird.

There are also other differences, of mildly annoying kind. For instance, the girl is 2 years older - but she looks and acts good 5 years older. Her brother is no longer nice guy, he's a mean rude kid who's admiration for his sister sure finds weird ways to show.  Oh, and yeah, they need to get 1,5 hours earlier to... idk why. Just because they feel like it? I don't think so.

And some differences between mother-daughter couples. In both movies both of heroines are incredibly stressed, but while in the first movie they're honestly unaware about difficulties they both face, in the second not only those differences are of... well, mean kind (bully kids at school, annoying patients,  etc, etc), but they also easier to spot if any effort would be put into it. If in the first movie daughter goes to school and sport clubs afterwards and just doesn't know what goes on in her mother's life while she's gone, in the second she actually witnesses some of the stressful times she faces and blatantly dismisses them as unsignificant.

I guess the main difference is that in the later movie they don't really care about each other. I mean, they do care in vague mother-daughter love way, but they do not care enough to be interested in each other's lives, to measure each others' lives not by what's important to them, but also by what's important for their other half.

It's hard to watch. The stressful life that doesn't have any meaning, petty problems, selfishness, lack of respect... It's very telling for me that in the original movie they didn't tell anyone because it just didn't occur to them because change happened so suddenly. In the new one they were afraid people would think they're crazy. They're afraid for their image! They didn't tell anyone - even future husband! Even supposed best friends! how lonely their lives are!
Crazy place where nobody's smiling, everything is grey and washed out and dusty. Where gas pump doesn't pump any gas. Nothing really happens. No way to leave.

Clothes appearing out of nowhere, but always frayed and with holes.

I was so upset when Mikal told Zia to stop being obsessed with those silly little miracles. It was said so disparagingly, so snidely. It was so jarring right after the moment of sharing secrets.

I liked how he always almost-smiled, almost, so close, but not really.


I've only randomly decided to watch it because of weird coincidence of Fugit and Azura Skye in one movie but it turned out stupid, crazy, pretty meaningless but very profound movie. I guess it's up there with Dogma, Donnie Darko and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

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