Sunday, January 3, 2010

Trifecta of Movie Reviews

In November I mentioned that I would be spending the tail end of 2009 at the movies. Tons of purportedly great flicks coming out in time for Awards Season. Eek! And out of all the movies that are on that list from November, I have seen all that have been released here in Vancity, except for one - Nine. I just ran out of days! 2 others – The Messengers and The Lovely Bones have yet to open here. Not sure if The Messengers will and the buzz about The Lovely Bones is not good, with many saying that Jackson completely f*cked up the book - which worries me. No time to review them all extensively….. so here is the last three in mini-review.

Sherlock Holmes

I am not privy to the background or history of Sherlock Holmes. What I know is this: there is a pipe and a sidekick called Dr. Watson and a villain called Moriarity and solving of the crimes. I concur with most of the reviews of Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes. This film is pretty much about the bromance between Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law.

The plot was silly and pretty much irrelevant. Something about an evil Lord who practices black magic and is part of some evil society that wants to take over the world….. insert image of nefarious villain twirling his black moustache at any point …….. kinda lame and as I said…. Irrelevant.

It is the banter. The relationship between these two is what makes this film enjoyable. And the marvelous Irish music for each of the fight scenes. I also liked Rachel McAdams in her role. She did a great job as Holmes’ conniving former girlfriend who has a checkered past and questionable motives. Much like the entire plot, she seemed a little irrelevant to the story, which some have noted, but I am a huge fan of McAdams, so I didn’t really mind.

Overall, Sherlock Holmes was fun. Silly fun, with very very cute boys fighting and solving crimes. And, to quote the great Kevin Smith, Homes and Watson and their enduring relationship as heterosexual life partners.

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

Heath Ledgers last film. His second collaboration with friend Terry Gilliam. Ledger tragically passed away during filming. 3 of his friends – Johnny Depp, Jude Law & Colin Farrell – stepped in to complete the movie. It is not your typical movie. It is a visual feast for the senses and Ledger was impressive.

So Dr Parnassus (Christopher Plummer) made a deal with the Devil (the perfectly cast Tom Waits) to ensure his immortality – his daughter (model Lily Cole) on her 16th birthday. Along the way they encounter a mysterious stranger (Heath Ledger) who may or may not be able to help Parnassus outwit the Devil. The “Imaginarium” is a world full of wonderful colours, lush landscapes and bizarre visions – all of which are personal to each person who enters through the mirror in Parnassus’ traveling sideshow.

Yes, the story was a little out there. Definitely a case of suspending your belief in what is real and what is not. Which I enjoyed immensely. It was wild and wacky and the inclusion of Depp, Law and Farrell honestly seemed as if that is how the film was supposed to be. Casting Tom Wait’s as the Devil was a piece of inspired casting. He was creepy and smarmy and fantastic.

Filmed in Vancouver, I loved recognizing some of the sites of the city I love so much – the stunning Orpheum Theatre, the spectacular Marine Building and the gorgeous Vancouver Public Library (superlative overload anyone??). I liked this movie a lot. It probably won’t be seen by that many people, but it should be. Go see it! Great film.

The Young Victoria

Oh Michael Buble…. You silly silly boy. Did you see her light up the screen? Have you witnessed the accolades that have been heaped on this performance? Did you see what you completely f*cked up? I know that she is better off with her fiancĂ© – the charming and adorable John Krasinski. I said as much a few days ago on the Twitter that scientists should be working to clone Krasinski, cause right now he is pretty much my ideal man. Funny, cute, and not a cheating douchebag.

The point of this little tirade against the Canadian Crooner Michael Buble is that I saw The Young Victoria starring the luminous Emily Blunt. A dramatization of the turbulent first years of Queen Victoria's rule, and her enduring romance with Prince Albert. I don’t know much - or anything - about Queen Victoria or her life. I am pretty sure that they took considerable artistic licence when they were developing this story for the screen. But no matter.

I liked this film. Blunt was stunning, albeit a little hard to swallow as a 17 year old. She is a great actress and a pleasure to watch on the screen. The costumes and set design were magnificent. A tiny little bit of me wishes I had been born back then. Then I remember the whole right to vote, have an opinion, earn as much as men thing. Ha! The Young Victoria is a good film about a Queen I knew very little about. I am expecting Blunt’s name to be called when they announce the Oscar Nominations soon.

I will get around to seeing Nine. I hope. Believe it or not, I am a little movied out! But the Golden Globes are in a few weeks, so I gotta see what I can now right?


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