Moments of escape can be moments of clarity!

"Oh, had I but followed the Arts"-William Shakespeare

Sunday, May 20, 2012

More like Basket Case!!

My Reel of the week is 1999's "The Basket" The story takes place in 1918 during WW1. Two young German siblings Brigitta (Amber Willenborg) and Helmut (Eric Dane) Brink, whose parents were killed during the War are sent to America and placed in an internment camp. Later they are taken in by the pastor of a small Pacific Northwest town. The town is less than thrilled to have the "enemy" in their midst.
Peter Coyote plays Martin Conlon, also new to the town. He is from Boston and is hired on as the towns new teacher. He is a bit of a mystery man, his past vague and veiled. Martin attempts to introduce the towns children to new things, including Opera and a new game called Basketball.
This movie is touted as being a "Family Film" and "Award winning" also "Heartwarming" etc, etc. It touched on prejudice during that time. It really tried to....Oh, hell who am I kidding, it was just bad. It was simplistic, tedious and disjointed. It relied on every cliche in the book. The bully, the outsider, the town meanie, the strong but silent wife of the meanie, the innocent child who brings the town together, I could go on. It used them all, believe me ALL of them.
Peter Coyote's character was from Boston, but his accent was a so "trying too hard" Boston accent that it was just annoying and distracting.
I think it was trying so hard to be a "Family" film that it lost all credibility. The plot was so dumbed-down it came across as being just Hokey. Instead of feeling enlightened I just felt cheated out of an hour and a half.
I shall shake it off and move forward, albeit snarkily!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Rip-roaring action with a side of Snarky!

Okay first things first, I broke one of my cardinal rules for movie viewing. I went on a Saturday afternoon. Big, big mistake. The experience was fraught with seat-kicking,loud talking, scared of "THE HULK", snivelling children. My bad, but we must move on.
"The Avengers" takes up shortly after THOR ended. LOKI is thirsty for the power he felt denied him by Thor. He has a plan of action which includes Earth becoming his new "Kingdom". NICK FURY (Samuel Jackson) of S.H.E.I.L.D. has other ideas, he has a plan of his own in place: The Avenger Initiative. Bring together the Earths super humans to stop Loki and save humankind, but will it work? 
The Avengers include: Iron Man (Robert Downy Jr.) witty, rich and opinionated. THOR (Chris Hemsworth) handsome, brawny,and noble. THE HULK (Mark Ruffalo), tortured, smart,reclusive. HAWKEYE (Jeremy Renner) exacting, secretive and loyal. CAPTAIN AMERICA (Chris Evans), Patriotic, shy and self-deprecating. BLACK WIDOW (Scarlett Johanasson), Mysterious, calm and determined. Together they seem unstoppable, but all those personalities and opinions are bound to cause clashes of epic proportions. That's where they resort to snarky humor, which abounds. I loved those moments. The humor was smart and decidedly un-superhuman. 
Tom Hiddleston who plays LOKI was exceptionally good. He has such a way of letting you see the evil of the character but also the pain from whence it sprung. It's all about the eyes and he plays it well.
Jeremy Renner was also committed to his character, HAWKEYE. When he walked about menacingly, I believed! It helped that he looked quite handsome doing it.
Robert Downey Jr was once again a charming and a very snarky IRON MAN, a hoot.
Chris Hemsworth, well what can you say he was THOR, through and through.
Scarlett Johansson seemed less committed, I don't know if it was because her character was less fleshed out or she wasn't sure who she was supposed to be.
Mark Ruffalo as THE HULK, played tortured to the hilt, I felt his pain and even knowing the green menace beneath, you wanted to take care of him.
In The AVENGERS the action was epic and exciting. The CGI was incredible. I was entertained and as we expected it was left wide open to sequel-dom. Here, here!!!!!