Film · Review · That's neat

Three Movies

(Spoilers-spoilers-spoilers can be expected)

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Recently, I entered  a contest to win tickets to watch Perks of Being a Wallflower. And, well, I won. The whole event was made for people who got free tickets through divers contests and the theater was overbooked. Since we showed up half an hour before the screening (classes, bus and whatnot), we got rather crappy seats at the front row.  I was a bit annoyed because even though I understand the concept of first come, first serve, a lot of people were just keeping seats for their friends and were totally rude when we asked if the seats were taken. But oh well.

Free movie ticket is free

Before the film was shown, some guys from a radio show came and said that one super lucky person would win an envelope full of coupons that was supposedly taped under one of the theater’s chairs. Except, everyone looked under their seats and no one came forth as the lucky winner… Also, the hosts started making some awkward jokes that were a bit weird:

Guy 1: My friend here is Irish blablablablah
Guy 2: Yeah, Irish people can’t read
*Tumbleweed*
Guy 1: So…. I was saying…

Anyway. About the movie.

Plot Summary (direct from IMDB): An introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors who welcome him to the real world.

I must say, I enjoyed the movie but it was very awkward and cringe inducing. Must have spent half of the movie with my hands on my face going: “nooooo!” The whole theater reacted pretty funnily to everything and lot of people laughed a lot. At the end, when the whole plot twist part was revealed, the whole theater seemed to be on the edge of their seats. Then someone on the left shouted: “Oh hell no!” and we all laughed. It diffused the tension, but I still felt rather uncomfortable. The movie made a good job of explaining things without showing too much.

I understand that a lot of people read this books during High School and it must be noted that the author of the book, Stephen Chbosky, also directed the film. So I can only assume that it was pretty faithful to the original material. Yet, as someone who never heard of this before, I was a bit puzzled by the whole “I’m writing-a-letter-to-you,-person-I-heard-about.” In term of the characters, I thought that Patrick was the most developed one. Sam, on the other hand seem to be pretty constant from beginning to end.

After the film was over, SD and I reviewed all the moments that were a bit too convenient (We’re not talking anymore? What if you saved me from a fight?). Overall it was a nice coming of age story but I could not relate too much with the characters (once again, the whole American experience of High School that feels so damn foreign to me).

Best scenes: Highway+Tunnel with David Bowie Soundtrack blasting.

Brave

I am really happy I decided to join the UBC Film Society this year. They are showing great movies for a ridiculously low price (2$50). And the best part is, I can invite someone every time and get the same reduce price for both our tickets. And I was very excited to be able to see Brave.

Plot Summary (direct from IMDB):Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse.

First of all, I should mention that the Pixar short shown before the film (called La Luna) is a little jewel on its own. It’s beautifully drawn and animated and the story is very sweet.

I did not know much about the film before seeing it so I was very surprised to see so many bears in it! I was very happy to see a story where the main character is a determined girl who wants to choose for herself and doesn’t need anyone to tell her what to do. Merida is a great main character because she does not rely on a strong prince to save her, she takes matters into her own hands. The film does not end with her finding a better, more handsome prince. And she was not the only great female character of the movie, her mom (and the combo they make together) was great! Bechdel test totally fulfilled!
Brave is a joyful movie and it made us laugh so much! It’s full of fun and funny, quirky characters. In term of the plot, I thought they would be more emphasis on little details such as the tiara the mom leaves in the forest, the pendant Merida gives the witch and more importantly, the burnt bow that does not end up being mend. But well, small details in a pretty great movie. Bonus point for the  Scottish (?) son that no-one can understand. I literally told SD: “I have no idea what he just said!” ten seconds before one character said: “no idea what he said.”

Best Scenes: Tournament fun, three brothers and the chicken, mother bear…

Looper

I tried to see Lopper twice before I could actually get in. It seems to be insanely popular right now. The 7:00 show was full (mind you, they were showing the film in TWO different rooms) on saturday and I was quite tired after volunteering all day so I went home. Then, the next day, the 7h50 showing was full too so my friend and I got the 10h00 screening tickets. Which was actually great because we got in early and secured pretty good seats.

Just a little rant: remember what I said about opening bands annoying me because they play on the assumption on what you could possibly like? Well, we had a bunch of trailers before our film, including two horror movies trailers about scary kids. Going home after was quite scary and I was a bit pissed, even though I had read the whole synopsis of this particular movie a few days ago.

Plot Summary: In the future, time travel will be invented and immediately outlawed. Some mafia groups get their hands on the technology and use it to send people back in time, where someone awaits to murder them on the spot and dispose of the body. These killers are called Loopers and this story is about Joe, one of them.

So I had a LOTS of expectations for this movie because I read quite a bit about it online while being very wary of any big spoilers. I thought the plot was pretty solid even if some part of it annoyed me.

First, about the good things. I liked the way the director used different genres in his movie. It centers around time travel but you don’t have tons of people running around and going back and forth. Time travel is just a mean or a pretext.  The movie itself is more a sort of mafia/gang movie/action dystopia. You can definitely see a breach in between part one (Past Joe working/ having a good time and ruining himself) and part two (past joe and future joe running around/events at the farm).

I also liked that Joe was not a perfect character that did what is right. At first, he is pretty annoying and Old Joe is very selfish. Actually, both of them are just so egoistical, thinking only about the best ways to spend their 30 years of fun and keeping all they gained from it. Future Joe was definitely shown under a more negative light but was also pretty badass. Old Joe redeemed himself in the second part of the film but I wished he could have kept being the same, caring only for himself rather than deciding to help the pretty lady and her kid.

I had read before that the movie was rather shocking and violent from the first minute onward. So I was totally excepting the first scene and was amused by other people’s reactions. In a way, it sets the tone of the film and you seat on the edge of your seat, waiting for bad things to happen. And overall, they don’t really happen. Hear me on this, I don’t really enjoy watching gory stuffs happen but I think the character of Abe could have been much more hateful and cruel if he dirtied his hands more. When he talked to past Joe, I thought he would try to hurt the prostitute to make him confess. Also, I thought they would totally run over the kids while driving completely wasted. It would have shown how ruthless, stupid, careless the Loopers are compared to the rest of the population. And it would have added on the idea that Joe is not a nice person.I feel awful thinking that the film did not commit enough on the violence level while some pretty horrible things happened yet, I came out thinking: “Only that far?”

I also wished that the relation between Abe and Kid Blue was more detailed. Is one the loop of the other? Are they related? That would have explained a lot.

In terms of things that bugged me. The total absence of female Loopers. Rian Johnson stated on a Q&A on Io9 that he wanted to give an impression that the Loopers were part of a sort of bad boys club. Fair enough. Let’s look at the other female characters of the film: you have the prostitute and the mother. Cliché much? You could argue that Sara was pretty badass and stood up for herself yet she needed Joe to protect herself most of the time. And in a way, she used to be a lady of the evening  too so…  Future Joe’s chinese wife (did she was even given a name?). She is pretty motherly too, when she helped him and could have been a prostitute before. And anyway, she has a pretty minor role.

About the whole TK mutation subplot, it seemed pretty random to me. I think I remember reading that the director wanted the kid to be more threatening even as a child. Still seemed a bit weird to have that arrived all of a sudden at the beginning.

And the rainmaker? By chance he was born in the same area… what a coincidence.

Minor annoyance: when Joe is learning french. First, you can see that he is not learning from a tape because he says: “Ils onT” while the tape pronounces it properly. And after that, he starts learning random words that make absolutely no sense to know at his level

While watching the last 10 minutes, I was thinking:”OMG Incest!!! O_O” But while talking it through with my friend, I realized that I was highly mistaken. Which proves that going to the movies with a friend can be a good thing!

Best Scenes: I truly enjoyed the Joe’s scenes together in the dinner. And the part where the guy gets his loop on the loose and how they find him back.

Fun songs!

Do You Wanna Date My Avatar?– The Guild

So Near So Far-Angra

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