5 Feb 2012

Monthly Movies: Jan'12

One of my local movie theatres, the Yelmo Puerta de Alicante, is finally showing current movies in VOS!!! (i.e. orginal language with Spanish subtitles). Just one session per day of the four sessions each movie is showing (so you've got to work around their schedule), but that's better than the nothing we had before. And I've been so enjoying these performances un-dubbed! I hope they keep it up! :o)  So this January I got to play in a Zoo, cringe at some incompetent bank robbers, watch a criminal mastermind match wits with a genius detective, lose myself in a performance without words, catch glimpses of Britain's recent political history, and watch a man reconnect with his family and his roots.

Very sweet! And lots of fun. Considering it's a true story (but transplanted from the UK to the US): that's one crazy dude! I'm talking about Matt Damon's character, the guy who buys the titular zoo so his family can live in the house.

Oh my! Well, the only justification I can make for the actors is "it must have looked better on paper"! Because the premise sure peaked my curiosity when I read the summary, and the trailer looked funny! I need to remember to dig deeper on some of these movies... Oh well, you win some you lose some! I did laugh quite a bit though! And had fun watching "McDreamy" hiding his eyes behind those shades and being a really weird guy. :p
What's it about? An odd guy (on some sort of medication) jumps over a bank till to protect a teller he fancies (Ashley Judd, what were you thinking?!) when two separate crews start to rob a bank and bullets start flying. Kind of a comedic cross between Agatha Christie's "Ten Little Indians", Ocean's Eleven and a Tarantino bloodbath! If it appears on your TV schedule then go ahead a give it a shot! Otherwise... save your money!

Delightfully zany, much like the first one! Fun action-packed atmosphere. Great moments between Holmes and Watson. I missed Irene Adler though, I much preferred her as a female counterpoint to Holmes than any other candidate. Nice touch the handkerchief... But at least Kelly Reilly gets more to do this time around, enjoyed her interaction with Inspector Lestrade! Plus she holds her own on the train! :o) I didn't think much of Noomi Rapace's gypsy character, didn't see much point in her except to point us to her brother.
I pretty much knew how the film would end though (as does anyone who's read the stories), and when I saw Holmes handling Mycroft's apparatus... I was pretty sure before then it would be a twist on the original tale, but not too much (there was no way they were going to change two key characters' fates!), and that thingy gave me the clue needed to solve that final puzzle! Despite having figured it out I still enjoyed seeing it play out. :o)

Can you tell I was looking forward to this? ;o)

The Artist
Magic. Need I say more? If you've seen it you know what I mean. I you haven't, well then ignore any preconceptions you might have about a black and white silent film and GO WATCH IT! After all, this is going to be this year's big Oscar Winner! ;o)

The Iron Lady
Yikes! That woman's a bit scary! Meryl Streep just disappears in this role (and yes, I know part of that is thanks to the make-up), wonderful job! Interesting way of bringing it to life: talking to dead husband and re-living memories of key moments of her life in flashbacks. One tough nut. I don't remember much about that period, plus I wasn't in the UK, so I can't comment on her as a historical figure nor how they treat the subject... but she sure was one impressive lady!

The Descendants
Lush visions of Hawaii... so gorgeous views guaranteed! Add to that a very moving family story, a great performance by George Clooney and Shailene Woodley, who plays his eldest daughter, and you've got one damn fine movie! (I just don't see it as "best" of the year though) We get tears, we get laughs (I love that scene where he's running to his wife's best friend's house to confront her about the affair!), we get angry... and we enjoy it all!

I'm going to try and catch as many of the Oscar contenders before the big night... but it won't be easy 'cause Hugo for example doesn't come out 'till the end of February! Plus apparently they'll only be showing Moneyball in Spanish... and having the choice to see other films in English (plus one Spanish film in Spanish I'm looking forward to) I don't know if I'll put my money on Brad Pitt in Spanish... (plus I don't think he'll be taking home best actor this year, my money's on Jean Dujardin for The Artist!). So, have you seen any of these? What did you think? Any recommendations for me? Bonus question: are you an Oscar fan? ;o)


  1. I am SO GLAD you are able to see these movies, Cris! I loved the Artist as well, but some of my friends didn't like it. What's not to like? I feel the same about The Descendants, good but not great like The Artist. I Loved Moneyball and thought it was a contender, too. Meryl Streep definitely deserves an award for her performance, I think.

    Glad to know we have similar tastes. I'm rooting for Dujardin, too... :-)

    1. I would have seen most of them even if they had been in Spanish, but I did enjoy them more for not being dubbed! Although that wasn't really an issue with the Artist ;o)

      Funny note: after having just written here that I would probably end up skipping Moneyball, I just went to see it with my Dad this afternoon! It was an icky grey cold Sunday, perfect day for the movies, and it was his choice of film... I honestly thought he'd choose J Edgar 'cause he's a big Clint Eastwood fan and the topic intrigues him, plus it would have been in English vs Moneyball in Spanish. But nope. Moneyball it was, and an excellent choice! Great performance by Brad Pitt! :o) (but I'm still rooting for Dujardin)

  2. I haven't seen any of these films yet. We wait until they come out on On-Demand to watch them. I really want to see The Zoo, Sherlock Holmes and The Descendants tho.

    1. Kim, I'm all about seeing them in the cinema whenever possible. It's just not the same thing at home! And since most of my friends are choosing not go out partying lately, well I don't have many other "entertainment" expenses so no worries (and I rarely buy anything at the concession stand which is where most money goes)! PLus I enjoy hanging out with my Dad who's also a big cinema fan and we often go together. :o)

  3. Good month for films! I thought Iron Lady was a bit too positive towards its subject and had too much framing device and not enough story, but Streep's performance was great. The Artist was fab. Glad We Bought a Zoo was good - I couldn't work out if it looked promising or just... random! (And it keeps making me think of Fierce Creatures)

    1. January and February... so many excellent films, so little time! And then we have to deal with the empty months... *sigh*

      My thoughts on the Iron Lady run along similar lines. I figured it was probably a bit on the positive portrayal side since I know she's a very polarising figure in the UK. In any case Streep was brilliant!


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