Aug 31, 2011

The Bridesmaids, 2011

The Bridesmaids, 2011
Director: Paul Feig
Cast: Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne

Stage: home theatre, at the seaside with one of my best friends on a beautiful morning

The Bridesmaids in short:Annie (Kristen Wiig), is a maid of honor whose life unravels as she leads her best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph), and a group of colorful bridesmaids (Rose Byrne, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Ellie Kemper) on a wild ride down the road to matrimony. Annie's life is a mess. But when she finds out her lifetime best friend is engaged, she simply must serve as Lillian's maid of honor. Though lovelorn and broke, Annie bluffs her way through the expensive and bizarre rituals. With one chance to get it perfect, she'll show Lillian and her bridesmaids just how far you'll go for someone you love.

Preps: One of the hot buns in our cinemas. Don't know anything about it, nor know cast.

Yuk. another comedy with a vague idea to fill in the seats with rotten jokes and weird romance. Rotten in terms of bad ones, not brilliant irony. The storyline runs around three friends, one of them getting married and weird situations they face when getting closer to the date. The real issue, exposed in the movie, is a dispute between money and having none. Plus, being a bride's maid when being one or another. Providing ideas and not backing them up with money, and vice versa, thinking you can buy everything with money.

It turns out that the movie neither had a good idea, nor the delivery of this idea. Some funny scenes, otherwise nothing more than a Sunday movie, where you can easily sleep out most of it and where you cannot miss if you miss it.

A thought that ran through my mind somewhere in the middle.. on the shower before the wedding.. do you get dogs as present for the guests? So Hollywood like.. I hated it. Dogs are live creatures, not something to be given as a token. Horrible.

My personal rating: 0 (don't waste your time, ain't worth it!)

The Bridesmaids on IMDB

Daddy Day Care, 2003

Daddy Day Care, 2003
Director: Steve Carr

Cast: Eddie Murphy, Jeff Garlin, Anjelica Houston

Stage: home TV selection, nice Wednesday evening

Daddy Day care in short: In the comedy Daddy Day Care, two fathers lose their jobs in product development at a large food company and are forced to take their sons out of the exclusive Chapman Academy and become stay-at-home fathers. With no job possibilities on the horizon, the two dads open their own day care facility, "Daddy Day Care", and employ some fairly unconventional and sidesplitting methods of caring for children.

Preps: I have seen this for several times now. It obviously comes every now and then again to the screen. As I am a huge fan of Eddie Murphy, it's almost a must see.

Reality: This is not one of Murphy's victories. I could claim it a sweet family movie, but unfortunately nothing more. It's not even close to Murphy's knees, speaking from a perspective, when a fan has seen most of his movies, his stand up's, his talk shows, etc. I believe he's one of the people that put a name to the comedy. Well, in this movie I have a good feeling that he just needed some money and luckily enough, loved the genre. He does create magic with children on screen. Nevertheless, he turns out a bigger clown he really is. So no real acting here, from none of the actors. But the expressions of the kids and their faces are more or less genuine, as they are so young.
The story itself is impressive and should serve as an example in times of recession. Losing a job might not be such a disaster, if you think about some niche or something you might be good at. You just as well may find yourself indulging this and loving it. As these characters did. The message of the story is great, if you look at it from growing kid's perspective. Putting a three year old to five different language courses, sporting lessons, violine, choir, etc.. well it might be an overload. Daddy day Care on the other hand makes things as they have once been at grandmothers or grandfather's day care. This means that childhood remains childhood. And that time with the kid is more important than career, making money to buyoff time you haven't spend with your child. A good story and a good moral at the end.

My personal rating: 5,0 ( see it for the message sake, not for a good movie sake. And Murphy has some brilliant moments. Apart from that, not worthy of your time..)

Daddy Day Care on IMDB

Aug 29, 2011

One True Thing, 1998

One True Thing, 1998
Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Meryl Streep, William Hurt, Renee Zellwegger

Stage: home TV selection, on a nice Sunday evening.

One True Thing in short: When a tough New Yorker's mother is stricken with a serious illness, she is forced to quit her job and her relationship with her boyfriend to take care of her, finding out a lot of things she didn't know about her mother and father and her life along the way.

Preps: none in perticular. When scrolling along TV channels, I figure this is the piece with an extraordinarily good cast. Therefore worth at least checking out.

Reality: One true thing is one good thing. For sure, a touching drama that will win the hearts of all the members in audience that have similar experience. The hardest thing I guess is watching someone you love, die, or die away, as it is vividly shown in this piece. I have IRL experience in quite similar field, therefore I was amazingly touched by individual scenes that horrificly reminded me of mine back at my home. I conclude that the director or the scriptwriter (or both) have done their homework and proposed the real thing instead of some guessed drama effects that would pack in the seats in movie houses.

Furthermore, not only the cast is brilliant per se (in terms of who is acting in the piece), their live impressions of the characters are amazing. Once again Streep is the Star with a capital S, her act is beyond excellent. The same goes for Hurt and Zellwegger. Although Zellwegger found her niche in characters that are either goofy, romantic, oh-so-american-hollywood-wedding - like, she is strong also in dramas. One for sure is this one. Overtaking responsibility for your sick mother, when you should have be doing something for your career and future, is a great burden and can consequently lead to the state Zellwegger so brilliantly exposes. The rage, lifting up her skirt every time she finds a "situation" - and she finds them a whole bunch, is not only very real, but also so sad to take in - from viewer's perspective. Obviously, everyone has his/her own truth and the reality is in the eyes of the observer. Nevertheless, in my opinion, if someone that hasn't had similar experience, really wants to see, how it is, this is definitely a must see.

My personal rate: 8,0 (a good, strong, solid piece. One of better dramas on family tragedy I have ever seen).

One True Thing on IMDB

Aug 26, 2011

The Smurfs, 2011

The Smurfs, 2011
Director: Raja Gosnell
Cast: Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays
slovene synchronisation: Janez Hočevar Rifle, Klemen Slakonja, Jure Mastnak, Tjaša Železnik, Jernej Kuntner

The Smurfs in short:
When the evil wizard Gargamel chases the tiny blue Smurfs out of their village, they tumble from their magical world and into ours -- in fact, smack dab in the middle of Central Park. Just three apples high and stuck in the Big Apple, the Smurfs must find a way to get back to their village before Gargamel tracks them down.

Stage: local theatre, 3D show with one of my best friends that is truly mad of them. Unfortunately, only synchronized version is available in Slovenia (thumbs down!)

Preps: This was one of the cartoons I grew up with. Therefore I am more than curious how did the implementation to the stage (cinema wall) turn up. I expect to have fun and to laugh a lot, like I used to. I am not aware at this stage, that the game will be synchronized. Although all the cartoons we were washing were definitely synchronized in a way that you could die in laughter.

Reality: Uhm.. a huge dissappointment in the quality of translation. Let's leave for a moment at a side the fact that I didn't know it's going to be synchronized. And even if I did, I wouldn't have a choice. Seems that the only version available in theatres in Slovenia is a synchronized one. Bljak. Yuk. I hate sinchronizations, because they seldom reach the quality of original. Even though, in Slovenia there are several superb actors and superb voices that one can use in such cases. Sometimes I even see both versions, because the synchronized isn't so bad. All in all, I am grateful, that we are still remaining one of the normal countries, not raping the audience with synchronization overall - like in Italy, some eastern countries, etc.

This version is actually very good. I like the way the characters in blue are somehow a part of the movie and it seems pretty realistic. I am not surprised in the flow of the story, because it's pretty much predictable - up to the point where they leave for NY. Here some new horizons appear in their heads, obviously also vice versa - taking a normal human life and making some smurfs appear - and making it a reality - well, this could be a failure of the director.

In this case, I believe, a pretty decent job. Yes, the two characters are too mushy, too romantic, too much of Hollywood (especially at the ending). Could this be a subtle critic of the american system, where you can only survive on another planet, otherwise you get crushed by public, polititians, communists? It cannot be a coincidence that everything is happening in the Big Apple, because all the eyes of the world are staring at this cooking pot, waiting for some major bang to happen. Or could it just be one of the xxxth movie, filmed here, because it's just convenient. Or a free advertising for the big park, where the Smurfs appear.

The synchronized part of Gargamel is, opposed to other texts, like a different translator wrote it. Actually it's a very good one, all the other words that are used are .. well, childish. We can briefly have a look at some of the swearing words or words that express anxiety (slovene language has some really weird ones that noone uses anymore, except Grace in this movie; or Tjaša Železnik in this sense: Marička, Ježešna, etc) - cannot even dare to put this into english, because you cannot have a decent translation. But to hear this used makes me think that the audience is truly disrespected and treated as mere morons.

All in all, the movie has some pluses and rises above average. Makes me think of why it's made now and how does this interact with overall political situation in the world. Because it's pure europeans that are coming to NY (Smurfs have belgian roots), living in a deserted island, somewhere where they cannot reach reality - in this sense, do we reach reality, when we are dwarfs of americans? Some philosophical ideas to think about..

My personal rate: 6,0 (a good implementation of one of my favourites when I was young)

The Smurfs on IMDB