Monday, January 13, 2014

Movies 2013, Crime, pt3

            These are the more mysterious and intriguing movies I saw, so not a lot of plot details, more just me giving the premise and whether or not I liked it.

Side Effects, or "Jude Law doesn't get enough work."
Overall: 6/10
These are the actors you will be watching.  You may experience sleeplessness and diarrhea.
            You will start off thinking this is a movie that is trying to decry the pharmaceutical industry.  And who wouldn't want to decry those people?  Slight incremental changes to patents, lobbying doctors to keep patients on more expensive medicine, lobbying the government on very murky topics.  They are not the bad guys, they are being exploited.
            This is a mystery film so I can't go into detail with it concerning the plot but all of the actors turn in good performances, especially Jude Law as the one trying to figure things out.  He is put upon, and scared, angry, and ultimately confident.  I wonder if any other actor would have been right for the role, but he did well enough that I feel no need to mentally recast him.
            It has its slow bits, and is visually rather dull and dark, but that fits the mood, and theme of being medicated into a haze.

Trance, or "Somebody watched 'Inception' and 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' back to back and then made a decision"
Overall: 6/10
MORE COLOR!  I suppose you could add "Only God Forgives" to the mix of films this takes some influence from.
            This was done by Danny Boyle, a director with a lot of clout in regards to making very pretty movies, with a lot of flashbacks to explain intricate plot developments.
            This is also a mystery film involving the medical industry, ironically it has an American woman Doctor treating an Englishman without pills in complete juxtaposition of "Side Effects" setup.  This movie is about hypnotherapy, art theft, and trippy plot structure.  It has a very engaging premise, that a man double crosses his partners during an art heist and sustains a head injury that keeps him from remembering what he did with the painting they stole, or why he stole it from them, and they try to use hypnotherapy to pull the memories out of his head.
            Big memorable thing about watching this movie, there is a lot of nearly-nude sequences for many of the actors, a lot of James McAvoy's butt.  I saw this with 4 other people and one of them left the room to take a call, during his exit we got full frontal female nudity from Rosario Dawson, holy moly pretty.  This is when he came back from the call and asked, "did I just miss a lot more near nudity?"  And hardly believing us when we told him full frontal.
            The movie is gorgeous to look at because of the lighting and color they use, very much like you are in a dream.  If I have one issue that kind of killed it for me was the false ending that happened which would have been a better ending for a lot of it, instead there is an attempt at an "Inception" like ending that had the film going too long... it just didn't work after a certain point.
            Also, very odd music choices, with a lot of very light pop music at very dark moments.  Very strange.

Welcome to the Punch, or "James McAvoy and Mark Strong should be bigger stars."
Overall: 7/10
Conversely, this film is shot almost entirely in silver, blue, and a light aqua green.
With the notable exception of one scene at the very end of the film.
            Unfortunately I have not gotten to see, "Filth" which is also a James McAvoy film that was well received by critics and look like something I would like to watch.  McAvoy is one of the best actors doing stuff right now and has not gotten the level of success he deserves.  Mark Strong serving as the criminal side of this movie is another actor who does not get enough credit in spite of being an excellent performer who has hit the mark on every bad guy I have seen him play.
            This is yet another mystery film set in England.  When a young police officer nearly catches the most notorious thief in all of the UK and gets shot in the leg for his trouble the cop becomes an embittered and hotheaded asshole, and the thief becomes a wealthy recluse.  Then the massive spike in gun violence in London kills the thief's son and draws him back to London, in turn causing the cop to gear up and try to catch him.  This movie is very well paced with corruption, cat and mouse, detective work, conspiracy, political intrigue.  And the violence in it is a lot more real than in most movies.  People get shot and you say, "well, they're dead as shit."  Which is a nice bit of realism.
            I can't say the movie touched me deep inside or was truly classic, but it was really good and one of the easier to recommend films I saw last year.

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