Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Let's All Go To The Movies!

Hey y'all - tomorrow we're gonna make pot roast. It's gonna be TASTY. But today, y'all get to hear my review of two movies I've seen recently: Django Unchained and Warm Bodies. If you don't like spoilers, I'll try to avoid them, but let this serve as your warning. I love spoilers (Dumbledore dies), but some people don't. (FYI - you can't spoil a movie made from a book - I stand firm on this point). I am no professional, but I like me a good movie, and these both were. Yes, I know, you could just take my word for it there and stop reading, but why would you deprive yourself of my delightful opinions laid out for you in the following detail? Thought so. Let's start with Tarantino.

Django Unchained
Y'all, this movie is baller. It combines one of my favorite directors (with his signature style) and history. Quentin Tarantino is not afraid to make his viewer uncomfortable; that's well-documented. In Django, he pushes the envelope even further. Just the language alone might make some people uncomfortable - it did to me - but this is key to understanding what he is trying to do with this film. He wants you to squirm, not just because Jaime Foxx blows someone's head off (this is pretty standard Tarantino fare), but because if you really take this film in, it's not that inaccurate. Sure, there might not have been a crazy German bounty hunter (the impeccable Christoph Waltz) running around with a freed slave (Foxx) killing people with that much style, but the situations and racial relations are accurate. As a Southerner, this is hard to accept. A lot of folks would really love to forget that part of American history, but Tarantino shoves it in your face and dares you to look away. Brilliant. So to the meat of it:

What I Loved:
Christoph Waltz - the man can do no wrong as far as I am concerned. He commits, really puts you in the mind frame of a progressive at the time, and dares to be human and a creation simultaneously.
Jaime Foxx - dude is fierce. He really gets that mixture of quiet rage, pride, and battle scars that Django needs. I love love love him. (And I love it when he blames it on the Goose.)
The costumes - all you need to see is Django in his shiny blue suit. EPIC. But all the other costumes were well-done and appropriate.
The plot - the storyline is fantastic - some of Tarantino's films can seem a bit like the plot is secondary to the shock factor - this one is long on plot, and slightly shorter than anticipated on shock.
The finale - I won't spoil it, but suffice it to say, it ended perfectly.
The Django song -  I might make it my ringtone. It's a catchy tune.

What I Didn't Love (but probably wanted to):
Samuel L. Jackson - OH, did I want to love him. I really did. It was too much, and not in the caricature way he is known for. He overdid it. Period.
Leonardo DiCaprio - maybe it's just me, but I wish he had more depth. He seems to always play Leonardo DiCaprio (the curse I thought only affected Keanu Reeves). I usually love him in movies (see Inception) but I just couldn't.
Kerry Washington - this is more the part than her (love her). I wish Broomhilda had more depth to her. Sure, we see her fear and we see her in pain, but I never connected with her and really felt her life the way you do with Django. Again, she's supporting, she's got less screen time to work with, but still.
The violence - it wasn't classic Tarantino. It almost seemed like he held back, and while I respect that choice to bring more realism to the story, I really wanted multiple instances of ridiculous violence. Maybe y'all think I'm crazy, but it just seemed subdued.

The Verdict?
Go see it. I loved it. You will too. If you're squeamish, I'm gonna warn you about the dog scene. You'll know it when it happens. Look away.

Warm Bodies
I went into this wanting to love it, and I came out happy. It doesn't fall into the standard zombie film category. It's more like if Pocahontas had zombies instead of singing Englishmen. The choice to do a lot of the film through voice-over (necessitated by the fact that the main character is a verbally-limited zombie) functions quite brilliantly - it comes across introspective and very relatable. There's plenty of comic relief, but also a little social commentary in there, just pay attention. And it's got John Malkovich - a win if I ever saw one. There are some classic zombie apocalypse scenes - rooting around for medicine for survivors, a walled compound, ammunition for all - but the film employs some new tactics, too. And again, John Malkovich.
What I Loved:
Nicholas Hoult - even as a zombie, he's a cutiepie. He has the ultra hard task of conveying complex emotions while being dead. Not. Easy. The way he slowly humanizes R through the oh-so-common trials of a boy-meets-girl situation (that's really quite complicated since it's zombie-boy-meets-living-girl-whose-boyfriend-he-ate) takes a good deal of maturity and depth. Me likey!
John Malkovich - bet ya didn't see that one coming. I'm a Malkovich fan anyway, but he very coolly conveys both apocalyptic leader, concerned father, and eventually, changed man. It's great.
Rob Corddry - he makes a lot of impact in a supporting role. As M, R's "best friend," he manages to make an impression through comic relief and as a necessary plot vehicle.
The Bonies - CREEPY CREEPY CREEPY! Warm Bodies takes it upon itself to answer the "what happens once zombies really get good and decomposed" question. Answer: Bonies. And they be creepy.
The flashbacks - when R eats a brain, he sees that person's memories. That's so flipping cool. I loved it. Faboosh idea.

What I Didn't Love (but probably wanted to):
Teresa Palmer - y'all this girl is so so pretty, but she's whiny as all get-out. I want a little more booty-kicking and a little less damsel in distress. Julie's got her moments, but really, get over it, honey. Zombie apocalypses aren't waiting for you to cry. You were so much better in I Am Number 4. Also, don't be that girl - if the zombie rescues you and can talk to you, when he says it isn't safe, trust him. He might lose a body part trying to save your stupid behind.
Analeigh Tipton - dude, please stop trying to act. What is it with this movie and whiny women? Where is the heroine in this movie? All I see are scared little girls. Nora as a character is basically useless. Also, weren't you on ANTM (yes)?
Dave Franco - your brother is hotter, AND a better actor. Also, can you play anything other than a jerky bag of the D variety? Would love to see it. Kinda glad your character dies pretty early.
Bleeding - Okay, **SPOILER ALERT** when they shoot R and he bleeds, HOW LONG DOES A MAN HAVE TO BLEED FROM THE CHEST BEFORE YOU GIVE HIM MEDICAL ATTENTION????? I raged about this during the movie, to the apparent comic delight of my companion.

The Verdict?
Go see it. It's definitely a new take on zombies, the CG is great, and it's funny. Plus, you'll get to hear the classic John Waite song "Missing You;" you can't go wrong.

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