Tuesday, August 21, 2012

GBU: "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", "Wanderlust", "Total Recall" and "Dark Shadows".

Since writing full reviews - and even Short Takes - has become almost impossible (until someone pays me maybe...hehe) we'll give GBU a try and rank the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of recent films I've seen. Let me know what you think of this new experiment and as always thanks for reading!

Total Recall (dir. Len Wiseman) *½

The good: It's always nice to see Colin Farrell onscreen, although he's made it clear that he now fares much better in smaller works (see Ondine and In Bruges). Also that body, wow!
Also, give Kate Beckinsale more villainous roles, she was delicious in this!
The bad: why bother remaking a movie when you'll just remind audiences of why the first one isn't even much of a classic to begin with? 
The ugly: the whole Asian-meets-futuristic aesthetic felt old in The Matrix and that came out almost 15 years ago, in this movie it just was awful to watch.

Wanderlust (dir. David Wain, 2012) ***

The good: this Aniston/Rudd reunion reminded us what made them so great to watch in The Object of My Affection back in 1998. Their chemistry is spot on! Wain's screenplay (co-written with Ken Marino) is a treasure chest of one liners and manages to be funny without being too crass and insensitive.
The bad: just nitpicking here but the ending was slightly facile.
The ugly: N/A

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (dir. John Madden) ***

The good: Judi Dench. Maggie Smith. Tom Wilkinson. Bill Nighy. Celia Imrie. Penelope Wilton. Ronald Pickup. Enough said. This cast is to die for and it's great to see real grown up movies are still being made. Dench's soulful performance was worth the admission ticket. How can an actress do so much with so little?
The bad: too many plots means we always end up craving more from the best, like Wilkinson's character.
The ugly: why does Dev Patel keep playing Indian stereotypes?

Dark Shadows (dir. Tim Burton) *

The good: Michelle Pfeiffer needs to be in more movies! It was also nice to see Helena Bonham Carter pushing her shtick to new places and Eva Green was simply to die for! (No pun intended)

The bad: the Burton-Depp thing has been old for almost a decade now, it's time to stop them!
The ugly: Burton's aesthetics seem to be getting more self indulgent with each passing film, in Dark Shadows the settings were so contrived that we couldn't allow ourselves for a moment to see the fantastical in all of this, everything felt just so stale.


Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

On Marigold, charming if a bit annoyingly effete coming down to the end. I've just about had it (maybe) with this whole shrewish wife arc that Wilton was forced to save (to no avail). But, that's truly just one in a few minor quibbles it's a pleasant, charming piece of sweetness for the most part. And more significantly it shows, hey, old folks cans star in charming romantic comedies too because god knows Judi is more luminous than most of them.

Jose Solís said...

Word, I think it's something about her voice. She can be both very caring and also scary as fuck!

Theresa said...

you liked wanderlust? it seems you did. I didn't like it that much. I think the whole plot was silly. But I completely agree with you with your opinion of Dark Shadows. I'm a bit tired of the Burton-Depp affair as well. Get married already. LOL