Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Watch This Not That

I will see most any movie that involves mental illness. It’s not quite the same as my compulsion to see any movie with Kristen Bell, but it’s close. And sometimes Kristen Bell is in movies about mental illness and I am a happy camper.

Short review: Enjoyable yes, good no.

 When this movie came out I planned to see it in the theater. It looked like a ridiculous CG-fest appealing to the lowest common denominator. And with that type of movie the big screen can be a big plus. I didn’t end up seeing it until last week, but that assessment was pretty much accurate. The cheesecake ridiculousness aspect of it was entertaining enough but the way it was conveyed left something to be desired. Half the reviews of the movie felt it was misogynistic, and half felt it was very anti-male and I’d have to lean towards the latter. But whether it was making a satirical statement or a genuine one, it was heavy handed, poorly executed, and generally depressing. The mental illness connection is pretty tenuous. But in its defense: schoolgirl samurais fighting steampunk nazi zombies with dragons and robots.

Holy Motors

Short review: Enjoyable no, good yes(?)

I’m not well versed in French cinema and this movie did not convince me to become so. It had been described as “bonkers” and “a delight.” But I found the vast majority of it an enormous downer. It was beautifully filmed, it kept me thoroughly invested throughout as I tried to make a speck of sense of it, but in the end still a big downer. I love weird movies, and this may have been the weirdest one I’ve ever seen, but I can’t really recommend it to anyone as my net experience was negative. It was very interesting, so if you can handle being bored and disgusted for most of it I guess I can recommend it. 

Safety Not Guaranteed

Short review: Enjoyable yes, good yes.

This was a movie I kind of meant to see but never got around to it. I only knew that Aubrey Plaza was in it, but it turns out that I love the whole cast (not least of all Kristen Bell.)  Maybe I’m pulling more meaning from the film than it warrants, but I thought it had interesting things to say about acceptance, relationships, and of course, mental illness. And it was funny. And it was by far the best selection I’ve had as an in-flight movie. And the director may possibly be directing the next Star Wars movie (if you’re into that. I’m not.) I'll have to do an actual review of the movies of the year some time next month, but I'm guessing this will be my number one. This or the Katy Perry movie. 

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