Friday, July 8, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (#7)
I saw this film in the theatres, but, as it came out during the Christmas season, never had time to write a review. I just recently saw it again on a flight, so I'll review it now. Consider it a little reminder before Part 2 comes out next week!

I will admit, I am a Harry Potter fan. I love the books and I've enjoyed seeing them come to life on-screen. Some have been better than others, but they've all been crowd-pleasers.

The older Harry gets, and the more powerful Voldemort gets, the darker the stories get. That definitely rings true for this film! It. Is. DARK. So dark, in fact, that I was sure something was wrong with the small screen on the seat in front of me on the plane; many times I couldn't see anything at all!

What could be seen was definitely a PG-13. The film's content is pretty dark, and not for young children, no matter how much they like the books. It follows the story pretty well, which for me also meant that you can feel like you are watching the bulk of 700+ pages; I remember in the theatres glancing at my watch near the end, wondering if it would be over soon. That's never a good sign.

As much as I love Harry Potter, I was disappointed with this installment overall. The screenwriters took a few liberties with the book's storyline, and one scene in particular made me squirm.

When Ron and Harry are destroying the Horcrux necklace in the forest, Ron sees a vision of Harry and Hermione together, as in unclothed and "snogging". I had been forewarned about this scene, and saw the arguments that the young actors were in fact decently covered, that not much is shown, that the vision is hazy. So when I saw a silvery, though pretty clear picture of a topless Hermione and Harry, it made me pretty uncomfortable.

It's just a shame that movie producers think that these kind of scenes are necessary. I mean, a simple clothed snogging session between the two could have made Ron just as mad. Unfortunately, most in the movie industry care more about money than morals. And we fall for it every time. I mean, despite that, I still went to see it. And I'm going to see the next one, too.

What about you? Midnight showing, anyone?

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Dilemma


This is the other movie I saw at 30,000 feet. You could argue that my opinion is tainted by the fact that I'd already been traveling 24 hours straight when I saw it. But really, I think this film would be just as bad on the ground, after a nap and a shower, on the best day of my life. 

I'm beginning to be convinced that any movie starring Vince Vaughn is an automatic no-go. The weird thing is, I want to like him. People ("I ain't people!") say that he's a lovable 'everyman', and I can understand that. He's cool, he's funny, he's the kind of guy you want to be friends with. It seems he might even be charming if he wasn't always playing an insensitive buffoon who's unknowingly or knowingly being a jerk about things.

Unfortunately, Kevin James is also a good sign of a bad movie. He's hilarious, and I love him in the series "King of Queens" and in "Hitch". In fact, I wish the latter was all about him and not so much about Will Smith and Eva Mendez... but I digress.

In "The Dilemma", best friends Ronny (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Kevin James) are in the middle of closing a deal with Dodge to make electric cars with muscle-car sounding engines. Ronny discovers things with his 'perfect couple' friends Nick and Geneva (Winona Ryder) aren't what they seem. They're both having affairs, him with a shady massage parlor and her with a tatooed, yet sensitive young Channing Tatum. In Ronny's efforts to spare Nick's feelings and his sanity, Ronny threatens his own relationship with his girlfriend Beth (Jennifer Connelly).

It's obvious from the plot that this movie does not promote good values. Even the better relationship in the film has unmarrieds living together. (I realize this is the norm for Hollywood, but that doesn't make it right. It's just not right.) The worst part is that Geneva is totally unrepentant and justifies her adulterous behavior. With a cast full of talented actors, I wish I could like this film, but even the edited airline version can't remove all the bad from this film. See, the thing about a comedy is, it's supposed to make you laugh. This one fails in that regard. Miserably. And not just because I'd been on the plane 4 hours too long.