The World According to Renee

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Review: Life of Pi

“Which story do you prefer?”

Let me start by saying, I haven’t read the book. Not for lack of trying; I started it several times and couldn’t get past the first few chapters so I gave up. By the looks of the film, I should have given that up too.

Most people are familiar with the basic plot: a boy is lost at sea with only a Bengal tiger for company. In the novel, the first part is exceedingly boring. In the film, the first part is the most interesting while the voyage is exceedingly boring.

Don’t get me wrong- the film is beautifully shot, well acted and perfectly scored. However it is also over-CGI’d and utterly ridiculous; at one point I wondered if the film had been spliced with Avatar. I understand the CGI, you can’t have an actor on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean with real wild animals. The premise makes a lot more sense when you get to the end (no spoilers) but when you’re sitting there watching it, you feel ripped off that someone thought this would be plausible. Even the resolution is unsatisfactory, but the premise does make sense after it is revealed.

I really can’t say much about this film. I was bored to tears and felt utterly dissatisfied at the end; I looked at the time and considered walking out with an hour to go, then rolled my eyes furiously at the resolution. This is not the fault of Ang Lee, who has made a visually magnificent movie. And kudos also to the screenwriter, who did what I couldn’t and trudged through the novel to produce a script. It’s all metaphors and analogies and if there was a point to it all, I missed it completely.

6 out of 10 popcorns.

January 24, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Review: Hitchcock

You know you’re going to like the film when it opens with Ed Gein killing his brother.

Hitchcock follows the making of the classic film, Psycho. Helen Mirren, who plays Alma Hitchcock, knows how to work the screen, but she also knows when to take a backseat. In this film, she is absolutely playing second fiddle to Sir Anthony Hopkins, who prances around, filled with a sense of his own self-importance (essential when you’re portraying the great director). Scarlett Johannson was a little off as Janet Leigh; for a start, the wig wasn’t sitting right with me and she just fell flat against such an experienced cast.

There’s no real plot, so this is the perfect film when your brain needs a break. Hitch finds a novel he wants to film, the studio refuses to finance it (Psycho was self-financed), the Production Code dictates certain changes and the first print of the finished masterpiece is not well received. Add Alma’s side project, Hitchcock’s suspicions that his wife is doing more than writing with her new partner, Ed Gein hallucinations and you have yourself 99 minutes of a great film. There are numerous homages to Hitchcock’s works including several shots of venetian blinds (can you name a Hitch film which doesn’t use venetian blinds?) so any fan will delight in these. I would have liked to see more of Psycho‘s backstory but I suspect that’s a film all on its own.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to watch some Hitchcockian classics.

7/10 popcorns

January 17, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment