March 25, 2011, - 5:25 pm
Here are my reviews of this weekend’s new movies:
* “Sucker Punch“: I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a more pretentious piece of tripe. So much style, so many cool special effects, and yet so little substance, all of it pure garbage. This is what you get when they make graphic novels–usually crappy–into even crappier movies. While this one wasn’t originally a graphic novel, it was written, supposedly, with a “graphic novel” sensibility, according to Zack Snyder, who wrote and directed it as well as several movies made from graphic novels. The story is ridiculous, but tries to pretend to have us in three different alternative universes . . . or something. Hey, make us wonder whether three ridiculous stories filled with stupidity are real or made up. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Three stories, all just horrid.
A 20-something girl’s wealthy mother dies, as does her sister, when she accidentally tries to save her from their evil stepfather, who either did or tried to rape the younger sister. Then, the stepfather takes her to a creepy, corrupt insane asylum, which is either really a brothel or it’s just in her imagination. We’re not told either way, not that I cared. The girl, Baby Doll, is scheduled for a lobotomy. While she waits for that–or while she’s getting it (that isn’t clear either)–we see her being trained to dance as all the girls in the whorehouse are trained to do. But when she dances–which we never see–everyone is hypnotized, and suddenly all of the girls are in some warrior futuristic world training to kill the enemy and blow up stuff and she-warriors. That world is supposed to show the girl Baby Doll how to escape the asylum. We go back and forth between these three stories. And it’s pointless.
Both leads in this awful movie are Australian because I guess there is a shortage of American actors in Hollywood, these days. Not that this would be the flick in which they’d desperately want to act. Co-stars Abbie Cornish, who is not Baby Doll (that’s Emily Browning), but some other character, called Sweet Pea. Yes, the names are stupid, just like the movie. Also, it’s amazing this isn’t rated “R,” but only PG-13. If you let your 14-year-old go to this, you’re an idiot.
Definitely not for kids. And, for that matter, definitely not for adults either. Only for morons wanting to feel unduly smart while wasting ten bucks and two hours of life.
Watch the trailer. . .
* “Jane Eyre“: Unlike many, I’ve never seen any other movie incarnations of the Charlotte Bronte novel. But I really liked this version. Mia Wasikowska, an actress I normally didn’t think much of, really does well in playing Jane Eyre through tragedy after tragedy and struggle after struggle. Michael Fassbender is excellent in his role as her master and love interest.
Yes, it’s essentially a chick flick, but one of the better ones and very classy and well done. If you’ve read the book, you know the story. If you haven’t, it’s the period piece story of an English girl whose parents die and whose wealthy relative despises her. The relative sends her to live in a mean, tough orphanage of sorts. When she grows up and gets out, she becomes the governess of the young ward of a wealthy English lord and develops romantic feelings for him. But all is not a bed of roses.
Beautifully shot and well acted. A little slow, but that’s kind of the typical tempo for pictures involving that slower time period.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules“: This is a sequel to last year’s “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” (read my review), and I liked this one better. It’s funny, entertaining, and the main character, a middle school boy named Greg, isn’t the unethical creep he was in the first movie. In this one, he’s actually trying to do the right thing . . . sort of. It’s fine to take your kids to this, and you might laugh, too. As I said, it’s entertaining . . . though, mostly for young boys who like grossness and juvenile bathroom humor.
What I didn’t like about this is that the parents are complete morons (as in everything from Hollywood and, unfortunately, as in a whole lotta real life), and the movie encourages younger kids to do dumb stuff to get a lot of hits on YouTube. How much did YouTube pay for that product placement?
Greg, now beginning his second year in middle school, is no longer the picked on new guy. Instead, he has to deal with the worst harassment from his older brother, Rodrick, ever. And he has to deal with idiotic parents who are oh, so clueless while preaching empty moralisms they actually don’t practice or enforce, which makes it maybe not such a coincidence that the mom (Rachael Harris) looks and acts a lot like Sarah Palin. Greg is also trying to impress the beautiful new girl from California for whom he’s developed a thing.
Not a great kids’ movie, but fine, especially if you have young boys that need to let off some steam. Make sure they don’t get any ideas from the antics of Greg and his brother, though.
ONE REAGAN-AND-A-HALF REAGANS
Watch the trailer . . .
Tags: Abbie Cornish, Charlotte Bronte, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, Emily Browning, Jane Eyre, Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, movie, movie review, Movie Reviews, Rachael Harris, Sucker Punch