February 3, 2012, - 5:09 pm
Only one of the new movies in theaters this weekend was semi-decent in my view.
* “Chronicle>“: I found this movie interesting, but be forewarned: it is aimed at teens and 20-somethings and mostly at guys in that age group. If you aren’t in this group, please do not complain to me later when you didn’t like it and went based on my recommendation. You were forewarned.
Although I did not like the herky-jerky style of a movie videotaped by someone (hasn’t this been done to death already?) and I did not like the ending, I found the idea of high school boys who suddenly acquire superpowers to be creative and entertaining.
Three high school friends attend a party, which one of them is videotaping, as he videotapes everything. Outside of the party, they stumble into a mysterious tunnel, where some sort of outer space creature is hibernating. The creature lights up and their video camera goes in and out. After they leave the tunnel, they discover that they have strange powers to move objects with their minds. Two of the boys are popular, but the third–a cousin of one of the other two–is bullied by both his father and classmates.
The movie explores what happens when a troubled kid who is hated suddenly has herculean strength and telekinetic power and how he uses those powers versus how the two popular kids use them. And it shows us what happens when powers come without rules . . . or maturity.
I liked that it had a good guy character to balance out the bad one and do the right thing. And despite the headache-inducing way parts of this was shot and the crummy ending, I found it entertaining enough. But it’s not a “great” movie. Not a bad movie, either. It is rated PG-13, but I believe it deserves an R for violence, language, and sexual themes.
Watch the trailer . . .
* “The Woman in Black“: I didn’t partiularly like this long, boring horror thriller starring Daniel Radcliffe of “Harry Potter” fame. He’s trying to play against type, and it doesn’t work for me. He’s just too dull. There’s no spark or charisma. And while parts of the movie were scary (and caught me by surprise, as a good scary movie will do), overall I restrained my laughter (at parts not intended to be funny) so I wouldn’t offend and disturb the other people seated near me.
Radcliffe plays a widowed English lawyer and father of a young son in the early 1900s. He’s has traveled from London to a seaside town to attend to the estate of a dead client, who lived in a giant mansion. Several kids in the town have mysteriously died after willingly killing themselves, and it appears to be connected, somehow, to the mystery of the mansion. The woman in black is seen briefly during each of these episodes. Who is she and why does she do this? That’s the mystery that the movie explores, if you care to stay awake enough to find out the drab story, which was neither interesting nor exciting.
There were a lot of special effects, ghosts, and seeming illusions in this movie, but it was just plain boring and I wouldn’t have paid ten bucks to see it. And the plot was kinda confusing and cockamamie. I’ve seen better. So have you. There’s a reason this came out in early February. It’s not that good.
HALF A REAGAN
Watch the trailer . . .
* “Big Miracle“: This was screened on the Jewish Sabbath, so I went to see at the Midnight show, last night, instead. And I struggled to stay awake amidst the movie’s attacks on (and lies about) Ronald Reagan, businessmen, ANWR-oil drilling, and oil executives. This is a “Save the Whales”/pro-Greenpeace movie that takes place in the ’80s. And it just went on and on and on and on. The one interesting thing in it is that when choosing the national news stories to put on the air, “NBC Nightly News” producers chose the story of three trapped whales, rather than Chrysler laying off 5,000 employees and tens-to-hundreds of people dying in a derailed train in India, because, “Brokaw’s a sucker for whales.” Yup, three trapped whales are more important, right? Only to a tree hugger.
And the movie defames President Reagan by revising history and reality. The whales are trapped under the Alaskan ice and will die unless they are helped to break through the ice to swim South to breed. The movie shows a local reporter who dreams of making it big picking up the story and getting the national media’s attention. An oil company CEO is shown as an opportunist because he wants to drill in ANWR and allows his ice-crusher ship to be used, only because he wants good PR. President Reagan is shown as caring only for PR, too. And he’s shown as putting his hatred for Russian Communists before what’s right to save the whales. Reality Check:
Bonnie Mersinger (now, Bonnie Carroll), Reagan’s Executive Assistant for Cabinet Affairs in the West Wing, is portrayed in the movie (under a different name). While she told USA Today that while the movie is pretty close to the real story, the movie doesn’t reflect her recounting of events. It shows her trying to convince Reagan’s Chief of Staff and then Reagan to help the whales, and both are reluctant. But Mersinger/Carroll says otherwise:
[She] was asked by President Reagan to head to Barrow [in Alaska] to serve as a liaison between the President’s office and the National Guard’s rescue efforts. “President Reagan was just a huge animal person, so he asked me to find out how I could help,” she says.
But none of that is how it’s portrayed in the movie or that it was Reagan’s initiative, not hers and not for PR. Heck, it was in late 1988, as he was preparing to leave office, when he no longer needed to care about PR.
And while, despite all the blatant left-wing stereotypes and lying in this movie (environmentalist wacko–good! President Reagan and oil execs seeking to drill in ANWR–bad!), the movie was entertaining at the beginning. But it quickly became repetitive and long. I only need to see five scenes of whales jumping out of water, not 500. Ditto for the number of times I needed to see holes being drilled in the ice by Eskimos. Yaaawn. (Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, Ted Danson, and Kristin Bell star in this, with Barrymore as a Greenpeace activist and Danson as a phony, opportunistic, big, bad oil executive.)
This movie, with all its left-wing disinformation, is being marketed to kids. If you take yours to see it, make sure you deprogram them and correct the BS afterward, as my late, great father used to do with me and my siblings when we were kids.
Watch the trailer . . .
Tags: Big Miracle, Bonnie Carroll, Bonnie Mersinger, Chronicle, Daniel Radcliffe, Drew Barrymore, Eskimos, Greenpeace, John Krasinski, Kristin Bell, movie, movie review, Movie Reviews, President Reagan, Ronald Reagan, Ted Danson, The Woman in Black, Whales