Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Movie Reviews: The Good, the Bad, and the Beautifully Pointless

Recently we've watched several strong-women movies of varying quality that came out this year. Some are worth seeing, and some are worth buying a bottle of cheap wine to help you see it.

1. THE INTERN

Verdict: definitely yes! Go see it! Robert De Niro plays the 70-year-old intern at Anne Hathaway's start-up company, where he gets entwined in her messy life and the two develop a lovely repartee and growing friendship. Everything was delightful about this movie, from the look to the pacing to the easy way the story unfolds: they obviously got a star director to go with their star actors.

I loved seeing a movie that tells women, "the awful things people choose do to you are not your fault." And hearing De Niro say, "I hate to be the more feminist one here..." This story was great. The cinematics were beautiful, the story-telling a cohesive pacing of show-don't-tell, and there was a good balance of humor and wisdom. Worth the ticket.

"You really don't know what Facebook is, do you?"

2. HOT PURSUIT

Verdict: hilarious fluff. Reese Witherspoon is a white girl cop assigned to protect Sofia Vergara, who agreed to testify against a drug lord and is being hunted by several different assassins. The plot had a lot that was unexpected, including some nice character transformation.


Sofia Vergara made the movie, with her positivity and girl power, not-so-subtly telling her cop-bodyguard that "just because I'm brown I can't read a book?" Reese Witherspoon was the wrong choice for the protagonist, but it was funny, a good brainless movie to watch for some laughs.

3. JUPITER ASCENDING 

Verdict: where do I start? This movie is gorgeous, pointless, and only hilarious because it wasn't trying to be. If you can turn your logic and sensibilities off, you'll get a sci-fi flick that's a teen girl's fantasy--which is cool considering we usually rave over teen boy fantasies (Guardians of the Galaxy, Transformers, Fast and Furious) and tell teen girls whatever they're into is stupid.

They basically threw a budget at Tumblr, and this is the colorful, diaphanous baby that came out. Taken in that light, there's a lot about this movie that I liked: it somehow managed to stick it to the patriarchy and be girly wish-fulfillment all at once. There's a reason it got poor reviews, the same reasons Transformers or any other mindless SF gets slammed: there's no plot, loose ends are left hanging, and the protagonist has little agency and a lot of corny lines. But...pretty! And we get to see Sean Bean be good, evil, good--okay, I lost track which side he's on.

"Don't you make me pull this trigger."

Watch it with a bottle of wine or while doing a crossword. Enjoy the most beautiful sets and CGI the movie industry produced this year. And if you're a Sens8 fan, keep on the lookout for Doona Bae and Tuppence Middleton.


Your only required watching is The Intern. If you miss that one, you're missing out. But if you're in the mood for funny, silly, or eye-catching, check out the others too.


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