Saturday, November 29, 2014

Movie Note: A Threefer

So, Over the past few weeks, I have seen a few movies, and thought that since it's Thanksgiving weekend and a few of you might have something other than shopping to do, I could at least clue you in on the few that I've seen.

First, there's Big Hero 6 from Disney. It's hard to describe this movie without spoiling it, but if you've seen the commercials on TV, it's nothing like that. I brought a few kids, and they all enjoyed it, I cried like a baby a couple times, as I am prone to do, nowadays, and was surprised when it was over, because it seemed nowhere near as long as it actually was.

There is really no language, no graphic violence, no anything other than some exciting action and a few scenes that might make younger kids (chronological and 'at heart') really sad, that should dissuade anyone from taking the whole family.

And yes, the big white marshmallow-looking thing is awesome. I recommend this movie.

Okay, then next up is Interstellar.

This one is not for kids, although my daughter's 5th grade class was talking about it before it opened. It's not that there's anything objectionable about it, very little violence, no language, no naughty stuff. It's simply that it runs almost three hours and moves at a slow, deliberate pace.

In the movie, Earth is dying (no reason given: insert your pet theory here), and Only One Man (Played by Matthew McConaughey) Can Save the Human Race. So, as it turns out, there's a way for this former test pilot to fly a spacecraft into a wormhole that has conveniently appeared near Saturn, and travel to a distant galaxy to search for habitable worlds.

The movie is not as pretty to look at as Gravity was, but it does have some very nice effects, and where the former had little more than a run-of-the-mill thriller plot, this one delves into the science quite deeply, particularly regarding time, space and relativity, which MORE than makes up for not being quite so visually stunning.

The amazing thing to me was that, toward the end, it looked like it was going to go off in 2001:A Space Odyssey territory and have a long slow deliberative build-up to an ending that made absolutely no sense unless you were completely stoned. It got really, REALLY weird, then all of a sudden, everything fell into place and all the loose ends tied right up and made sense. You can quibble with whether it's BELIEVABLE or not, but on its own terms, it makes sense.

I also recommend this movie, at least if you like science a LOT, and don't mind the nearly three hour run time.

Last and least is Annabelle. I admit, my daughter loved The Conjuring, and this one was rated similarly for similar reason, no language, no dirty stuff, no real gory stuff, just really intensely scary, at least according to Rotten Tomatoes. So, I took her to see it opening weekend, and due to something that had occurred earlier in the day, she freaked out and made me take her home.(Yeah, I'm the worst dad ever.)

So, when it finally made it to the dollar theater, I went by myself, expecting the nicely effective first part to flow into a really scary ending. But no.

This movie starts well, but then devolves into a bunch of disconnected jump scares that aren't particularly scary, and then ends abruptly in an ending that is completely unsatisfying. The script seems to contradict itself a number of times, and the story makes no sense, even in the context it sets up for itself.

I was utterly disappointed.

And can we talk about that doll? That is about the ugliest doll I've ever seen. Why anyone would want something that creepy looking as a non-ironic collectable, I can't say. For that matter, why do all "possessed doll" movies have such freaky looking dolls? Like Chucky. I have to say, if I figured ANY doll was going to spring to life and start hacking people up, it would look JUST LIKE  Chucky. Why can't they use a doll that looks like Barbie? Or a Cabbage Patch Kid? Or maybe a cute cuddly stuffed bunny? If one of THOSE started slitting throats, you'd be all like, "DANG! Did NOT see that coming!" Unless you were from Caerbannog, or something.

Anyway, Skip Annabelle, even if you're really bored and want to watch a scary movie. Watch The Conjuring again, instead.

So, to review:

Big Hero 6: See and take the kids.
Interstellar:  See, if you're smart and like science-y stuff.
Annabelle: Yawn.

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