Vieve’s View on Jack The Giant Slayer? Meh.

Hi Peoples!

This is Vieve here–Nedi’s daughter–to keep you updated with films that sometimes my mother is just too busy to watch. ūüėÄ ¬† ¬†Or films I do not care to see… ¬†ūüėČ ¬†I will call these posts Vieve’s View on…

View-Master

hopefully, it will help fill in some film gaps.  Thanks, baby girl!  

Jack the Giant Slayer poster.jpg

Finally we were able to watch Jack The Giant Slayer. ¬†Sure, it didn’t look like the greatest movie, but it seemed like it could be fun! (Also, Ewan¬†McGregor looked NIICE :P) Well my mom completely passed out–that should tell you something–and my best friend and I were left alone with a crappy movie. ¬†The beginning of the film looked great visually and story seemed promising. ¬†There were plenty of beautiful scenes and the animation/graphics were well done and they connected to the story to help it flow.

Then they fast forward and you are thrown ten years into the future with characters that are not very well-developed and that then seem to fall flat. ¬†Even my weakness for Bill Nighy‘s voice or McGregor’s excellent armor–and great hair–and plenty of suave acting could salvage the film. ¬†The film is very predictable, as we might have expected–and all though the film is one full of adventure, the typical¬†obstacles, the typical conclusions, some cool graphics, a typical Hollywood romance, and of course plenty of action–in the end, I got all that I was expecting but the key ingredient was missing…character development.

I couldn’t care less for any of the characters–especially for Jack. ¬†Nicholas Hoult is a fine actor but this role does not allow for much and has no real arc or growth . ¬†Now, for the¬†villain. ¬†Wait. ¬†Is there a definite villain? ¬†Like my mom says–a villain can make or break a film and in this one it is broken. ¬†Okay– another ¬†big issue I had with the film was the ending. What was the point? Who is the boy? Why?

I understand what Jack The Giant Slayer was trying to do– a fantasy adventure romance– but where Matthew Vaughn executed that idea perfect in Stardust¬†, unfortunately director Bryan Singer fell short. ¬†(Real shame, Singer has yet to come back since X-Men…I hope he finds his groove again–soon.)¬†

A little part of me wishes I would have just fallen asleep and cuddled with my mom–she enjoyed herself the most, I dare say. Yet, I am glad I stayed up–I was curious about Jack The Giant Slayer and now I know. ¬† Disappointment. ¬†So, if you are curious? ¬†Be warned. ¬†Proceed at your own risk. ¬†ūüėÄ

Well, this was fun.  I will be back with some other reviews.  Bye!

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Want a lovely film experience? Go Salmon Fishing in the Yemen!

Charming. We do not get to use that word often in film. Yet, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is just that–charming. An original, fresh approach to the romantic comedy formula. The narrative relies on an impossible dream that brings these characters together with a common goal–faith and fish (and science). ¬†ūüėÄ

Adapted from the novel, of the same name, by Paul Torday–the premise is far-fetched. ¬†A wealthy Yemeni sheikh wants to bring salmon fishing to the desert of his country by creating flowing rivers. It sounds crazy because it is, but the journey taken is memorable and lovely. Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy does a fine job with the material. The¬†dialogue¬†is crisp, witty and sharp (and very British). I laughed out loud at very clever moments and was impressed by how intelligent it was. Addressing themes from politics–animal nature–and our own natures, the story is rich. Now, I have to place the novel on my to-read list to see if it is just as good.

Director Lasse Hallstrom tells a beautiful story–simply and honestly, with a touch of the mystical. (That is what he does–Chocolat and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape¬†–two of my favorites–are some of his classics.) ¬†He allows the characters to evolve naturally and paces the story perfectly.¬†It also helps that there is gorgeous cinematography by Terry Stacey, that enhances the experience.

Another plus is the perfect cast. Ewan McGregor is awesome, again. I always comment on his natural, easy talent because he never seems to be acting. I love him here. His character’s arch is gradual, subtle and poignant. Emily Blunt is wonderful, too–again. I enjoy her in every film she is a part of. I appreciated their chemistry–it felt real and you found yourself cheering for them.

Amr Waked is great as the Sheikh, but the scene-stealer is Kristin Scott Thomas‘ turn as the brash press director of the British Prime Minister. Thomas delivers her lines with confidence and sting. She is a power house, but is also having fun with this role. Loved it!

My only complaint is an awkward, adversarial militant sub-plot. It just felt out-of-place and unnecessary. I understand that it leads to certain major events, but it was not explored or focused on enough for it to have impact. So, it ends up feeling forced. Obviously, it does not ruin the picture and can be easily overlooked, but still is not needed. I also would have liked to see more time given to the country of Yemen and its people. It could have enriched the plot.

Bottom line? Ignore the odd title (although appropriate) and take a chance on Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. You will end up being charmed and enjoy the time you’ve spent in this universe.

 

Beginners is a little known film & that’s a shame, because it’s lovely!

Beginners has cruised under the mainstream radar unnoticed.  I hate when that happens!  This is a lovely story that tackles big sweeping themes like life, death and love from a unique perspective.  Creative and full of whimsy (and yeah, that is the right word to use!) this film impressed me. I got it and I loved it! 

I can see how some may consider it slow, odd or strange–but I appreciated all the nuances–all the hints of brilliance.¬† It did not feel like a movie–it felt like life–filled with real people¬†confronting real issues.¬† Writer/Director Mike Mills¬†is definitely a new talent and I hope he will continue to create these singular stories.¬† (I have not seen his debut¬†Thumbsucker–but now I plan to.)

The cast is awesome!¬† Ewan McGregor is wonderful (his quiet roles seem to captivate me the most) and Melanie Laurent is someone I plan to keep up with.¬† Their budding relationship is one of the sweetest and again, real things I’ve seen in a while.¬† The¬†spotlight here goes to Christopher Plummer, who has received¬†tons of accolades and is¬†rumored¬†to be a top contender for an Oscar.¬† He is amazing!¬† I have been a fan since The Sound of Music–and he never fails to disappoint, but what Plummer does with this role is nothing short of magical.¬† (sidenote–I am still rooting for Nick Nolte in Warrior¬†ūüôā for the Oscar win!)¬†And let us not forgot Cosmo (the Jack Russell) that plays the adorable doggy companion, Arthur!¬† He is fantastic! ūüôā

Check out the trailer for a nice peek of what to expect and then go and find this gem!