Friday, August 17, 2012

Two More Movies

Bachelorette (2012) (43/50 movies)
I caught this on On Demand and I think of any movie can prove just what a special accomplishment Bridesmaids actually was it's this one. Bridesmaids nailed the ideas of growing up around a story that juggled being funny and being heartfelt and was able to keep all those balls in the air. Here, with Bachelorette it can't handle it and it mostly leads to some jarring tonal shifts. BUT and here's the big but, not big enough where I can say you should run out and see this right away, but perhaps it's worth a look someday: for the most part I did enjoy it for reasons that are both surprising and not surprising: 1) Party Down reunion with Adam Scott and Lizzy Caplan! 2) A Surprisingly funny turn from James Marsden of all people, and Isla Fisher I found really funny, if not sort-of one note, and 3) I am a sucker for a movie that gets people stuck in a problem or "adventure" that they have to figure out over the course of one evening: here the macguffin is their friend's ruined wedding dress. Your mileage is going to vary here because this isn't Kristen Wiig and these "friends" are waaaay more acerbic, sometimes to the point of wondering why the bride would be friends with them (but then again being grandfathered in from high school actually explains a lot). There is one thing I REALLY did like about this though: the two people getting married, the guy was just a regular, tall, good looking guy and, and this SHOULDN'T seem or sound revolutionary, but the bride is played by Rebel Wilson, who played the sister half of the British brother-sister combo that Kristen Wiig lived with in Bridesmaids. My point being is I like the fact that this is a big girl marrying a hunky guy and besides some references to what people used to call her in high school it's never made into a thing, beyond the fact that her friends can't believe that she is one getting married first, but that's also because they are kind of horrible people. It's never a thing, and her more conventionally pretty friends are left on the sideline watching her getting married, and, as I said, this shouldn't seem like a dominant idea is being subverted, but in the world of the rom com (or, let's be honest, popular cinema in general) I feel like it really is.

Warrior (2011) (movies 44/50)
WOW. After Tina and I finished watching this the other night all we could do was sit an stunned silence. It speaks volumes about the writing (and acting) on display here that movie so filled with not only sports movie cliches, but clearly preposterous twists leading up to the final showdown never felt marred by this preposterousness.There’s absolutely nothing new here, but Warrior wrings every last bit of rousing, feel-good energy out of the tired sports-movie template to create a hugely entertaining movie that just happens to be about MMA. Warrior hits the trifecta of great acting, vicious beat-downs, and not one but two populist underdog tales that hit all the right spots.  It’s Rocky times two: Twice the violence, twice the underdog story, and twice the acting abilities. I mean even the fact that they manage to shoehorn in an unstoppable Russian fighter and it STILL doesn't detract says a lot (played by Kurt Angle, of course). Just a note on the acting front: one of the things that I found/funny interesting was the fact that here was a British man (Hardy) and an Australian (Edgerton) playing Irish-American brothers from Pittsburgh. True Confessions: I may or may not have been tearing up from the time the brothers (spoiler?) have a confrontation on the Atlantic City beach until the end. May or may not have happened, who can tell?


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