Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chloe, a good movie gone bad....

"Chloe" was a bit of roller coster ride in that I did not think I was going to like it very much, got interested about 20 minutes in and ultimately was disappointed. The story here is that uptight physician Catherine Stewart ( Julianna Moore) thinks her husband, David ( Liam Neeson) is cheating on her. Instead of confronting him she has the novel idea of hiring the slick high end prostitute Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) to approach him to see if he takes the bait.
Initially I thought this movie was going to be gratuitously sexual and explicit. The characters tossed around sexual innuendo and language in a way that did not seem realistic. Fortunately this "you heterosexuals just need to get a room" vibe mellowed into something more subdued and sensual ironically when the prostitute came on the scene.  An arrogance I often have is about 20 minutes into a movie, I will swear that I know exactly where it is going and how it will end. My thought was that Chloe by spinning a made up tale of an affair with David would remind Catherine of her lust and love for him. I know it seems like odd marriage therapy but you can see it happening as Chloe describes her encounters with David.  Catherine certainly needs to get her groove back somehow. She spends the first part of the movie being ignored by her husband and having her son slam doors in her face.  David as one of those mature but sexy college professors movie coeds always want to gobble up, is the perfect model of a straying husband too. All of the pieces are in place for the perfect story running through my head.
Alas it was not meant to be. In a sharp turn near the end, Chloe becomes obsessed with Catherine and suddenly they are acting out a lesbian version of "Fatal Attraction". Don't worry, no family pets are harmed although Seyfried does look at Catherine's teen son like a cute bunny she wants to boil. Instead she uses sex as a weapon and seduces him in mommy's bed. It's sad really because "Chloe" is a beautifully shot and acted movie that deserved better and I could have given it to them if Hollywood would just come knocking to pay me the big bucks.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Twilight: Eclipse - three down and only one more to go ( thank you!!)

After seeing "Twilight: Eclipse" I had to watch a whole block of "Tru Blood" episodes just to remind myself that vampires are sexy, dark and bloody.  I am going to leave you with just a couple of thoughts about why I am saddened by the decision to see this one in the theater, a mistake I assure I will not make for the fourth. Robert Pattinson would rightly be said to carry the burden of male vampire sex appeal in this series. With that in mind, perhaps someone should have pointed out that a scrunched up "I small something nasty" face is not sexy especially for two hours. I recently saw him in  "Remember Me" which exceeded expectations and I must say he played the dark, brooding but always earnest bad boy very well. While were on this subject we might as well go ahead and say that Taylor Lautner's shirtless, "well defined" (bad pun, sorry) acting style in "Eclipse" tipped over into cheesiness of the worst sort. In a moment of self referencing humor, Edward even quips, "Does he own a shirt?".
"Eclipse" does offer up more action but undercuts itself with some not so special effects not to mention the fact that Twilight vampires when killed look like nothing more than empty mannequins. Maybe this is in line with the books, I don't know, but it was bloodless (even for PG13) and cold. The villain we have been waiting on in the form of Victoria once again has scant screen time and (spoiler!!) dies one of the cold, bloodless deaths. Can someone also explain Bryce Dallas Howard's bad choice of wigs?
I did say just a couple of thoughts so I will leave you with my last complaint. Bella's fragile nature is played up to the point of absurdity.  She really needs to be made into a vampire before she dies in some horrible toe stubbing accident.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Single Man - Don't Hate This Movie Because It's Beautiful

In our current time of folksy and populist sentiment, I read some early comments on just the trailer for "A Single Man" that labeled it pretentious or worse the "e" word (elitist). Well just forget all of that if you have not seen it. This atmospheric movie about grief directed by Tom Ford and starring Colin Firth, Julianna Moore among others is a beautifully made movie. The 1964 novel by Christopher Isherwood is a first person story with a lot of inner monologue and tells the story of a middle aged college professor who is mourning the loss of his male lover in a era where sexual orientation was only whispered about in most situations.
How to portray the inner life of a character has challenged many a movie maker but Tom Ford takes all of the elements that could have failed and succeeds for the most part. Don't go away from this though expecting a "downer" because there is genuine humor here. Colin Firth plays excellently droll opposite Julianna Moore and Nicholas Hoult ( a flirtatious student who you will recognize from BBC's runaway hit "Skins" and earlier "About A Boy"). I especially love Moore and Firth together. They act out a genuinely sad but funny scenario minus the silly baggage gay story-lines are often saddled with. Think Will & Grace if Will had not been essentially neutered and Grace drank too much.  One last thought... the above trailer, I think, tries to misdirect from the gay subject matter but the movie never does.
Now I am off to flex my "mocking" muscles and make notes for my review of "Twilight: Eclipse"