Extreme Sexual References, to Children’s Animation, to Sexual Referencing Again
Well, I hope you all had a good half-term. I myself have been stuck at a desk for so long, I’ve been memorising the grooves of the wood. Revision, eh?
Still, here are a few films I picked up from this week. Not much else to say, except for enjoy the review!
THE PLOT: In futuristic Los Angeles, a lonely guy named Theodore writes touching letters for BeautifulHandwrittenLetters.Com. As he is going through a lengthy divorce, he picks up a new operating system to help him with his daily to-dos. The AI system, named Samantha, starts to become closer and closer to Theodore, until romance blossoms.
Can I say this out-right that this is most definitely NOT the heartwarming romance that you should watch with your parents? Oh no, because they switched up the sexual/swearing content higher than South Park gone wild. At points, it was fairly unnecessary (why do we need the image of strangling a woman with a dead cat?) and the bombardment of F-bombs really was over-playing on the realism that they were trying to create, if you can call a relationship between a human and compute realistic (actually you can, click here).
ASIDE from that little mishap, this is a really good movie if you decide to listen to the messages being put across. The relationship of Samantha and Theodore isn’t rushed, and has just enough screen-time to be fulfilling from an audience’s perspective. Their relationship rises and hits some bumps, and its nice to see all those little twists and turns along the way without being hurried forward.
There were great performances by Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, Rooney Mara, Chris Pratt, Olivia Wilde, revolving around the gravitational performance of Joaquin Phoenix. All play a part in this strangely sweet romance, which makes comment on our own love lives, the human condition, and the beautiful world around us world that we sometimes overlook.
VERDICT: 9/10 – That love that is so bittersweet.
Theodore: Sometimes I think I have felt everything I'm ever gonna feel. And from here on out, I'm not gonna feel anything new. Just lesser versions of what I've already felt.
The Tale of the Fox
THE PLOT: Are we all sitting comfrotably? One upon a time, in the animal kingdom, there was a crafty fox that played crafty tricks. When the Lion King (no pun intended) passes a law that no animal may eat another animal, the crafty fox decides that the vegetarian life isn’t for him. Thus continues the story.
This 1930 animation classic took me by surprise. Not because of the apparent gripping story or characters, but by the animation style. With a doll made for each character and using stop-motion to capture each individual movement, this must have been an extremely difficult to make. And the animation has actually aged surprisingly well… well, it still looks like it’s from the 1930s, but the quirky design makes it stand-out, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it couldn’t hold a candle to some of the major animation pictures out today.
The story is a good base to play around with different animations, including a dramatic final scene where they try and siege a castle filled with booby-traps. While the moral of the story really is highly questionable, its a fun watch if you have nothing to do with the next hour of your time, and want to see some animation old-school style!
VERDICT: 7/10 – Disney’s Robin Hood gone bad.
The Wolf: Sir, I demand compensation for a cold, a nervous breakdown and some stolen hams.
THE PLOT: Awkward young teen Juno (Ellen Page) has just got pregnant by her best-friend Bleeker (Michael Cera). Deciding that motherhood isn’t for her, she finds an adoptive couple, Vanessa and Mark (Jennifer Garner and Jason Bateman) to take her baby in, and waits for it to be born.
So I’ve heard about this film for a while now, and its sat dormant on my watch-list for years (that watch-list remains at 145 movies) and I’ve tried not to be over-hyped like I did when watching Spirited Away. I wasn’t, and I found this movie to be good. How good exactly? Well…
First off, I loved the quirks of this film. The high-school dialect (it’s nice to see an American high-school in a movie that doesn’t look like hell on earth) was entertaining and zany, and Juno’s sudden jolt into the adult world is perfectly described in her words:
"[I was out] dealing with things way beyond my maturity level."
I was a bit torn between whether all the critical acclaim was warranted, or if it was over-hyped, and I’ve had a track-record for being pernickety about this. While parts of the film feel quirky just for the sake of being quirky (the cashier Rollo, who was actually hilarious and the random sketch-book text and intro-credits) the gimmicks compliment Juno’s odd character, and doesn’t derive from the plot itself.
Speaking of Page, she really did capture the teenager perfectly, one who really doesn’t understand all of the complications that come with adult life. J. K Simmons and Allison Janney played her surprisingly understanding parents. But they understood Juno was never going to be a normal girl, and stick by her to support her pregnancy, and the other problems that entails.
So yeah, I would say I enjoyed this film for its quirkiness of plot, characters- actually, let’s just say its quirkiness of everything so I can stop using the word quirky. Oh yeah, the soundtrack was pretty zany too.
VERDICT: 8/10 – Zany quirkiness.
Juno: Wow your shorts are, like, especially gold today. Bleeker: My mum uses colour safe bleach. [Pause] Juno: Go Carol.