Happy New Year, everybody.
Last year, I gave reviews of every film I saw in 2012. I’m not going to do a full list this year, just a few films that I watched. They are in no set order.
Life of Pi
The story of a man named Piscine (“Pi” for short) born in India. The story is narrated by Pi to a journalist. His family owns a zoo. The family decides to take the animals to Canada. The ship sinks and Pi, the only survivor, is stuck on a lifeboat with the zoo’s tiger as his only companion.
Pi is an unreliable narrator.
I’ve already written about this film. Poet Mark O’Brien, a victim of paralytic polio, lost his virginity with the help of Sex Surrogate Cheryl Cohen-Greene. There is full-frontal nudity, but it is handled tastefully. If you get the chance, rent or buy the DVD.
Despicable Me 2
The followup to “Despicable Me”. Despite protesting that he is no longer a working villain, Gru is roped in to help crack a difficult case. Some very adult but well-disguised humour.
This did not deserve its Oscar for best film. An entertaining look at how staff members of the US Embassy in Iran were exfiltrated (yes, that IS the word they used) under the cover of being a group scouting Iran for areas to shoot a science fiction film named “Argo”. The best part? “What does Argo mean?” “It’s short for Argh go fuck yourself.”
This film was largely snubbed by the Oscars. Yes, Daniel Day-Lewis won the Best Actor Oscar, but I still think that the makeup people should have been recognised. They made Day-Lewis into Lincoln.
Escape from Planet Earth
An alien story in reverse, where the main character from another planet comes to Earth to rescue his brother, trapped when a distress call turns out to be a trap.
A buddy cop film with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in the lead roles. Ridiculous, fun and very entertaining.
The most disappointing film of the year for me. This prequel to Monsters Inc. showed the backstory of Sullivan and Mike. The plot was forced, cliched and implausible, even within the film’s universe. Instead of letting the story develop naturally, Pixar straitjacketed it into following a formula and it shows.
The Bling Ring
Based on the article “The suspects wore Louboutins”, this was about a gang of teenaged thieves who burgled the homes of celebrities in Hollywood. At the end, the gang is sentenced. I was quite shocked to learn that the two ringleaders had to pay $800,000 in restitution each. That’s several times my net worth. The best part was Emma Watson. She has left Hermione behind for good. She plays a vapid, shallow self-absorbed person that left me disgusted, and very impressed with her acting abilities.
Written and directed by South African born Gavin Hood from a novel by Orson Scott Card. After an alien invasion by a race called the formics, Earth is determined to prevent the immense casualties it suffered in repelling the invasion from ever recurring. Because teenagers can process information faster than adults, they are trained as soldiers to repel the next invasion. Ender Wiggin is the best, and is appointed the leader of Earth’s forces. There is a twist that I managed to guess, but it’s still shocking.
The last film I saw in 2013. Loosely based on “The Snow Queen”, it has some very clever plot twists. I enjoyed it.