Posts Tagged ‘Keira Knightley

19
Apr
15

And So It Goes, Begin Again

And So It Goes

I was stuck on a 12-hour flight and my choices were to sleep (impossible), stare at the back of the headrest in front of me, or watch this nauseating piece of shit. Reading was off the table because I had stupidly packed my book, and didn’t have it in my carry-on. Anyway, I chose the movie. This 2014 movie stars Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton playing characters meant to be thirty-year-olds. They sleep around, act goofy, obsess about their careers, and stumble through life. Of course, it’s allowed to never have your life completely figured out, but the glaringly bad writing, the fact that they couldn’t adjust things for their ages, dragged this film down quickly. Douglas’ character is suddenly forced to take care of his 9-year-old granddaughter. Keaton lives next door (in a duplex apartment) and helps pick up the slack. They meander about their pointless lives doing nothing of interest. The little girl does some school project about butterflies or some shit. Eventually, the movie farts to an ending and it stops. The acting is woefully bad, with everyone phoning in their performances. Avoid this one.

Verdict: Shitty

Begin Again

On the same flight, right after And So It Goes ended, Begin Again started. This isn’t a movie I would ever have chosen to watch, but it turned out better than I expected. Mark Ruffalo stars as a music producer who used to be big, but lately has been churning out nothing but shit. His company eventually gives him the boot. Keira Knightley stars as the girlfriend of a douchey pop-star played by Adam Levine. Occasionally, she writes songs for him. They live a comfortable, yuppy lifestyle until one day he cheats on her and she leaves him. She decides to strike out on her own, playing her own music. Ruffalo sees her at an open mic night, and realizes she could be the next big thing. They pool their limited resources, and record an album (written and performed by her) in various New York City locations. Naturally, the album becomes a big hit. I liked this movie for several reasons. The characters are fairly well written, they feel organic, and interact in largely believable ways. Ruffalo and Knightley worked well together on screen. I wouldn’t say they necessarily have chemistry, because Ruffalo doesn’t have chemistry with anyone. The story moves in interesting directions, and it never once verges into cliche territory. And the highlight was the segment of them recording the album, which was lots of fun to watch. It’s a decent movie, and one worth checking out.

Verdict: Good

28
Sep
13

A Pirate’s Life for Me

Captain Jack Sparrow.

I recently decided to watch all three Pirates of the Caribbean movies back to back. I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was either going to be a hell of a lot of fun, or so bad that I’d wind up strangling myself with a belt. I saw these in the theater upon their initial releases, and haven’t seen them since. All I could remember was Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow, wearing makeup, and acting quasi-gay. To make matters worse, these were all very popular, and, like Transformers 2, popular things are often horrible. Not to mention, it’s a film series based on a ride at Disneyland/World. There were a lot more things going against this trilogy than going for it. But, as I always say, sometimes you just gotta shit your pants, and — wait, that’s not it — how does that saying go — oh nevermind, let’s just get on with the review.

The Curse of the Black Pearl

Jack Sparrow: Gentlemen, m’lady, you will always remember this day as the day you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow.

Norrington: That is, without a doubt, the worst pirate I’ve ever seen.

The first of the series, from 2003, is certainly the strongest of them all. It has a fun vibe running through it, and it doesn’t give a shit if you don’t like it. One of the most interesting things about this movie is that Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is not the main character. The two main leads are Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley). Sparrow shows up from time to time and affects people and situations, but he isn’t integral to the plot. He has his own motives, and sometimes they align with the heroes and sometimes with the villains. Interestingly, he is also the comic relief of the film, not so much as he’s written, but due to Depp’s quirky portrayal. His introductory scene, where his tiny boat sinks but he still manages to step gracefully onto the dock was pretty damn funny.  Continue reading ‘A Pirate’s Life for Me’

18
Mar
12

A Dangerous Method, Alias Season 4

A Dangerous Method

Freud, Jung, and some chick. What more could you want?

I really wanted to love this movie. After all, it stars Viggo “I’m a total badass” Mortesen as Sigmund Freud, Michael F. Assbender as Carl Jung, and Keira Knightley as Some Chick I’ve Never Heard Of. The cast is great. The director, David Cronenberg, has made some incredible films including Naked Lunch and Christmas-favorite Eastern Promises. Also, with this being about the friendship-to-adversaries relationship between Freud and Jung, I thought I was in for quite a cinematic treat. Something on par with Obi Wan and Darth Vader or Professor X and Magneto starting out as friends and then becoming enemies. Unfortunately, there were no lightsaber duels or mutant powers.

The problem with this movie wasn’t the acting (which was great), wasn’t the directing (which was quite good), and wasn’t the production values (which were excellent). The problem came from the script. There was no real climax to the movie. In fact, there was no real conflict. Yes, Freud and Jung had differing opinions about the fledgling field of psychoanalysis, but it was portrayed rather matter-of-factly with very little conflict or drama. The side drama of Jung’s affair with Spielrein (Knightley) was interesting but lacked punch. The whole thing seemed very dull in what could have been a psychological and emotional showdown. At least the positive and negative aspects of both Freud and Jung were explored. I know they were going for accuracy and realism, but it’s a movie, we need to have at least some kind of drama and climax. Oh well, at least everyone involved did a good job. Oh, and Keira Knightley got naked.

Verdict: Average

Alias Season 4

Alias season 4 cast.

After the complete trainwreck that was season 3, this season gets things back on track. Everything is vastly improved from the previous year. The writing is better, the acting has improved, and the overall insanity has been toned way way way down. The most noticeable difference between season 4 and all other seasons is that it is the most plausible. Obviously, it’s a TV spy show, and there is no way it is going to be realistic. However, in terms of believability in how the agents operate, what they do, the missions they go on, etc., everything is at least within the realm of reason. The overall story structure has a slower pace, a lot more episodes are self-contained, and there are far fewer ZOMG cliffhanger endings. Why bother with a cliffhanger ending if it’s just there to tease the audience? It also has two of the series best episodes: the one where Sydney and Vaughn infiltrate a Russian spy training camp that looks just like an American suburb, and the one where everyone is essentially incapacitated and Marshall single-handedly saves the world. Oh, and the stuff with Arvin Clone was pretty cool. While it still isn’t good enough to reach Awesome status, season 4 of Alias is probably the best the show has to offer.

Verdict: Good




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