It’s about time for some general-stream-of-consciousness-almost-think and write movie reviews. Blogging is becoming a little formal and over-edited, perhaps as it becomes more broadly recognised, but maybe that’s a bad thing?
Anyway, chief culprit first:
EAT PRAY LOVE – 6/10
Travel, keeping a diary and painting your inane thoughts and lifestyle as some kind of “hero journey” (“quest physics”) is the way towards karma, enlightenment, and a multi-million dollar book deal. Despite all its talk of meditation and prayer Eat, Pray Love is basically about looking outside yourself – what psychoanalysts call the “extroverted attitude” – rather than sincerely looking for the answers within.
Lurking behind the new age references, this movie had some surprisingly traditional elements. Despite being a chic, articulate, educated New York Times writer, the story revolves less around the heroine’s search to find herself than to find a soul-mate. A man. Yes, the big scary enemy.
Was the movie suggesting that, for a women, completion can only come from a Spanish hunk with a very annoying accent? Or was this in fact an unusually honest and thoughtful assessment about the importance of family, love and friendship in a success-obsessed age?
Maybe I’m being a touch unfair: if this manuscript landed on a publishers desk, they’d probably be quite mad not to go for it (with the exception of the appalling section in Italy).
THE SOCIAL NETWORK 7/10
Because everyone was going to this i decided not to watch it – no-way – on any condition. Social media is nice but i’m with Malcolm Gladwell, it’s not some dark art that only the initiated can use, and people need to stop following those that have gone before them – Mark Zuckerberg did not make his Benjamin’s imitating Bill Gates.
So i watched it the day it came out. Coincidentally Zuckerberg himself said that the most accurate thing about the movie was the clothes the actor playing him wore – they pretty much nailed that.
Generally this movie was a pleasant surprise. I really liked the idea that even once “thefacebook” began they “didn’t know quite what it was”… and still don’t i guess. The building or evolution of a website or social media platform never really finishes, which in itself does seem something quite revolutionary.
Justin Timberlake was excellent as the Napster guy. The percentage of hot girls dancing on tables and generally misbehaving around Harvard was dubious. In real life, they’d be in the library or drinking pimms with the Winklevoss brothers (funny how the American upper class are basically English).
SCOTT PILGRIM 7/10
It’s a video game-movie with excellent one-liners, very slickly put together, and kind of weird and off-beat in a way that works – which i guess is pretty hard to do. It’s original. Also the conceit – that the hero has to fight 7 evil X-boyfriends for the heart of “Romona” – is amazing. So simple and instantly funny.
My favourite evil X is Matthew Patel (because he wears eyeliner, seriously who would do that :-P) and the one with “vegan power.” At the end the hero gets a love “power-up” and a “self-respect” power-up, and the latter turns out to be the most powerful. Interesting. Or is reading too much into these kind of movies a very bad idea?
KICK ASS 6.5/10
What if you could be a superhero, but in the real world? Where you go out to stop some guys beating up on a lady, and end up getting stabbed? Where it’s not a video game, where you bleed?
Actually here the concept was pretty tired and unoriginal, but somehow mafia bosses, neat structure and a certain naivety made it work.