12 Apr 2012

Monthly Movies: March'12

This is the "how on earth did I manage to go this often to the movies?" month! I even saw 4 movies in an 8-day period! Kind of crazy, even for me! :p
March was definitely a month for flights of the imagination and high doses of adrenaline: spies being double-crossed, spies competing for the same girl, Martians, the magic of the earliest movies, guys threatening to jump off a ledge and some funny retired Brits lost in India...

Okaaaaaay... not quite sure where Soderbergh was going with this... I suggested it to my dad (he really likes action and spy flics) and went in counting on a certain level of quality from Soderbergh and the actors involved (Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbinder, Michael Douglas, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas...) but it just didn't quite add up. Lead actress Gina Carano is apparently an Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) superstar and she is very impressive during the fight sequences (she did her own stunts), to the point I kind of felt bad for the poor fellahs up against her! But I don't think she delivers as the lead character, and I'm not really drawn into her story enough to care about why all the double-crossing is going on or trying to figure out who are the good/bad guys... Definitely a "wait and see it on TV" movie.

This Means War.
FUN!!! What happens when two spies, really good buddies who have each other's backs on a regular basis when they're out saving the world, find out they're dating the same girl? Let the crazy games begin! They say they're not going to interfere in their mate's efforts to woo the girl, and just let her decide between them (without telling her they know each other)... but we all know that will never happen! So lots of crazy spying on a spy action, funky gadgets and gizmos and just plain lots of laughs guaranteed! Reese Witherspoon plays it really well, trying to choose between these two guys (Chris Pine and Tom Hardy) she's kind of accidentally found herself dating. The looks on the guys faces when they overhear her telling a friend the pros and cons of each one... priceless! Of course the story is a bit predictable (they even have a nice "consolation prize" lined up for the eventual "loser"), and this isn't going to win any awards or anything. But if you enjoy a bit of an adrenaline rush onscreen from time to time, combined with a good dose of laughter and all the cool spy stuff, then you'll definitely enjoy it! My dad and I were cracking up laughing A LOT! (good thing we went at 4 pm on a weekday and so had the screen pretty much to ourselves, or we would have gotten "shushed" a lot, lol!)

Turns out the book on which this movie is based - A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (of Tarzan fame) - turns 100 this year! And this movie is definitely an awesome way to celebrate a century. It looks fabulous (I saw it in 2D, but after seeing bits in 3D in an extended trailer that played before Hugo I wish I'd gone ahead and seen the 3D version, what little I saw looked amazing!), the story is lots of fun, the characters are very complete (and the actors do a great job bringing them to life)... The story? A former Confederate soldier on the run from the Cavalry and Indians suddenly finds himself on Barsoom (Mars for us Earthlings), a planet that is slowly being destroyed by its own inhabitants (of which there are several cool scantily-clad species, including one with four arms!). Since Mars has a different gravity than Earth we get a funny bit where he has to learn how to walk again, and turns out he can pretty much leap over tall buildings in a single bound! Anyhow, this poor fellow who just wanted a quiet life looking for gold and away from anything that smells of war, finds himself involved in spite of himself in the conflicts for dominance on Barsoom. Might the love of a fair maiden (who happens to be handy with a sword and a brilliant scientist, so my kind of gal!) make it worthwhile? ;o)  Although the story is wrapped up in a satisfactory manner, they've left a door wide open for possible sequels (which will no doubt depend on Disney making back their investment on this one). So now I'm going to go and see if these Mars novels are available for free download on Project Gutenberg and find out what happens next!

I remember people wondering how on earth this could be a Martin Scorsese film... but those must be people who don't know how dedicated he is to restoring and preserving old films! So Hugo is basically a love letter from Scorsese to the early days of cinema, and it's a beautiful one at that! Magical, moving, sad, funny... I loved it! And saw it in 3D which looked great. Only little iffy bit, not too convinced by the girl... but Hugo himself was fabulous, and loved all the secondary characters in the station! :o)  But I'm still glad The Artist won the Oscar.. ;o)

Woah! Talk about tense!!! Made me really nervous each time he leaned over that edge, I could totally believe he was willing to die for this... and so wasn't safe from falling. Not much else to say about it except that my dad and I enjoyed this adrenaline-rush of a movie (that for once doesn't have a bunch of chase scenes and cars exploding!).

Cool! We may have gotten this over a month after it premièred in the UK, but 2 months before the US! Plus I got to see it in ENGLISH! (yay!) I'd say that's only fair for making me wait an extra month to see The Hunger Games, except I've been really looking forward to HG and hadn't heard about Marigold until I first saw the trailer a couple of weeks before it came out... :s
My dad didn't want to come see this one with me, he was afraid he'd "identify" with all the old fogies in the film... but they were hilarious! My favourite was Maggie Smith's character, with all her Empire-era prejudices, being confronted with a situation she just couldn't understand from her worldview... This is a lovely story, LOTS of FUN with some brilliant British actors (Judi Dench anyone?), so when it hits cinemas near you, go see it! :o)

PS: The Hunger Games finally land in Spain on the 20th... have you seen it? How'd it live up to expectations? ;o)


  1. I haven't seen any of these, Cris, other than Hugo. You were definitely busy. I just saw The Hunger Games and it was really well done. I enjoyed it, but it also is not likely to win any awards. Jennifer Lawrence was a perfect Katniss and the violence wasn't overplayed. You'll like it! :-)

    1. I had a lot of faith in Jennifer Lawrence for this role, glad to hear she lived up to expectations! :o)

  2. Funny you should post this! I've got a friend who wants me to go to the movies this weekend and wants to see "This Means War". I don't watch a lot of T.V. so I never see movie advertisements, and hesitated when she basically described to me a "chick flick". (I'm a comedy or action kind of girl!)

    Now hearing your review, it actually sounds interesting! Great post!!

    1. I never see movie advertisements either, except as previews when I go to the movies! But I also very rarely go to see a movie I know nothing about... I usually do some research first if it's a movie my dad has chosen, just to be sure we won't regret it after (sometimes I haven't been able to talk him out of his choice and we've both regretted it!).

      Glad to have been of help! I hope you enjoyed "This Means War"! It's just some good old crazy spy fun, mixed into a rom-com format! :p

  3. I liked Best Exotic as well. Haywire was enjoyable but... odd. The Hunger Games is completely awesome! I can't decide whether to try to get to the Pirates, The Cabin in the Woods and Mirror Mirror, or just go see The Hunger Games again...

    1. Pirates? Is Johnny Depp back on our screens and I didn't know about it?

      Just saw Mirror, Mirror this weekend and was very pleasantly surprised! The trailers don't do it justice. Very tongue in cheek, beautifully made and quite fun! (but something tells me I'll prefer Snow White and the Huntsman)


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