Monday 13 March 2017
Finishing up movies watched in February:
25. (1084.) Epic (2013)
I've seen a bunch of big studio animated releases this month, and they've all been great. Until now. Something about this one from 20th Century Fox feels under baked, and it's a little hard to place a finger on exactly why. Great but unengaged cast, quality but unimaginative art, solid if thin plot. Yet, the whole is far worse than any of its parts. The film is exceedingly boring, an almost paint-by-numbers movie. I'm probably just far too outside the target kiddie audience, though Pixar and Dreamworks don't seem to have a problem creating films that entertain all ages, so it certainly can be done. I say avoid this one.
26. (1085.) Doctor Zhivago (1965)
I wanted to give up on this love story at the end of the first hour, I really did. Like Reds, it tries to bury the mush under a layer of history. Unlike Reds, Julie Christie didn't repulse me. Frankly though, I stuck it out for Alex Guinness' frame story. Glad I did. I understand why some people love it, but I don't imagine I'll ever watch it again.
27. (1086.) American Ultra (2015)
This movie might as well have been called "let's turn Jesse Eisenberg into Matt Damon," but it's really Topher Grace's movie. He steals every scene he's in. I'd rewatch the movie just for him. (Kristen Stewart is completely believable here, by the way. No surprise there. I never thought I'd be saying this when I watched Twilight, but she's become a damn good actress, far too good to be playing second fiddle in action schlock like this.)
28. (1087.) The Getaway (1972)
Steve McQueen plays Steve McQueen in "root for the best of the worst bad guys!" Something about McQueen's stoically ambivalent screen persona kept me too far at arm's length to really enjoy this. It would have been better with a sarcastic Robert Mitchum or a violent Lee Marvin or a threatening Clint Eastwood in the role. Depending on your appreciation of McQueen, your mileage may vary. (I need to get my hands on the Alec Baldwin remake for a comparison. Sadly, that one includes Kim Bassinger, who is a professional cold fish. Maybe she takes McQueen's role.)
29. (1088.) World Without End (1956)
B-movie drive-in filler variation in the vein of The Time Machine or Planet of the Apes. Really not worth anyone's time.
I'm already knee deep in March. More to come.