7 Jun 2016

LOVEFILM: APRIL/MAY '16



RUBY SPARKS ... 

Fun film, shame about the overly soppy, romantic ending. Call me cynical but it almost felt like one of those films in which worried the film might be too long someone took the decision to take the 'easy' option rather than explore other perhaps lengthier endings. TT

Yes, what she said. NJT

STILL ALICE ... 

A film about Early-Onset Familial Dementia.

Incredibly moving in parts (but then it would have had to be seriously poor to be anything but). However it brought nothing new to the multitude of dementia based films out there and was largely marred by unconvincing acting all round but especially that by Julianne Moore as Alice.

Based on a 2007 novel by Lisa Genova. I'm hoping this will have more to offer. TT

Again, what she said. NJT

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY #2 ...


Depending on what you were hoping to get out of this, the last film in the Hunger Games franchise, you are going to be left pleased at the return to adventure OR, like myself, underwhelmed that after Mockingjay #1 (see both Mr T's and my reviews reviews here) which proved potentially interesting here we are back to a film reliant on its action rather than any real sense of plot. 

Yet to read the books (I've always promised myself I would do once the hype had died down but never seem to get around to doing so) I can't say the films have inspired me to do so. TT 

I knew it was rubbish from the beginning... halfway through I was lulled into believing that it might have said something important about the nature of society, but no. Just collapses into formulaic, action oriented pointlessness. NJT

GET ON UP ...

The James Brown story.

With three time shifts (and that was just within the first fifteen minutes) alas I rapidly got lost off by the constant, chaotic (and illogical?) jumping around in time.

And then, ok so it may well have happened, the 'Godfather of Soul' may well have been guilty of spousal abuse, but there's a fine line between depicting events and what here felt almost like glorifying them.

A film I quickly became bored with, the latter part of it spent with only scant attention being paid. TT

Biopic, not a genre I usually enjoy too much, but I did find this an engaging film.  Those who struggle to keep up with the time shifts of which decade the film is in at any given moment may find it a little awkward as the flashbacks are peppered throughout and sometimes a brief as a few seconds and I'm not sure about the dialogue to the audience... but the story is compelling. Not the least aspect of which is the insight to racism in the US through the 40's and 50's as the backdrop for his rise from poverty and abuse to stardom and wealth. NJT


MACBETH ... 

Tis true, I cannot lie, I'm not a big fan of Shakespeare (a legacy of being bored throughout a theatre production of Julius Caesar as a teenager?) and even less so when it comes to his more darker offerings but hey-ho I live in hope that like his A Midsummer Nights Dream, his Merry Wives Of Windsor, I will come across one I enjoy.

Alas not a film I stuck with right the way through. I struggled with the language, of, Macbeth aside, not knowing just exactly who was who. Then there was - aagggghhhh! - the curse of the intrusive incidental music.

Something which, especially when used in conjunction with speech, I have trouble with at the best of times. In my 'old age', I find it increasingly annoying that film makers seem to think we, the viewer, need the use of poignant/dramatic incidental music to indicate a poignant/dramatic moment. Just cut the incidental music and let us get on with actually watching/listening to the film, we do recognise a poignant/dramatic moment when it occurs ... honest. TT

What can I say... Macbeth always cheers me up and this is a particularly fine production - full of scorpions is his mind and stepped so far in blood.  

Shaky Bill, can't beat him. I do think that the soundtrack could be turned down a bit though... NJT



15 comments:

Gina R said...

Ooh... bad bout this time around. I agree with the Mockingjay 2 sentiments... very underwhelmed by this one (though I did love the predictable scene with her shooting the arrow at... well, you know who), and had I not already promised myself I'd read the series, probably not a motivating factor.

Kelly said...

I always enjoy seeing what films y'all have watched and if any overlap with ours. This time, only one... the Mockingjay film. We enjoyed it, but for me it's just another example of stringing out a book series (which I enjoyed more than the films, of course) and milking it for all it's worth.

I've considered reading Still Alice, but don't really have any desire to see the film. It hits a little too close to home.

Not a fan of "the bard" to start with, I'll pass on Macbeth. Brings back memories of a bad time in school. Ugh.

I should have a new set of reviews up next week.

Literary Feline said...

I really liked the novel Still Alice. I haven't felt the need to watch the film, and doubt I will seek it out. I'm sorry it disappointed you. I keep hearing from others how much they loved it. So, I'm glad to hear a dissenting opinion.

I enjoy the Hunger Games movies for what they are. And I do love a good action film. I wasn't too thrilled with the final movie though. It definitely isn't a movie that could stand on its own.

I'm not a fan of Shakespeare either, Tracy. :-)

frayedattheedge said...

I haven't seen any of these ...... and I don't think I want to!

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I have to admit that hubbie tends to watch a film as much for its action and CGI skills, as the storyline, although it is much better when both are of a reasonable standard!

I have never been tempted by 'The Hunger Games' either as films, or as the written word, so I'm not really worried whether one format is superior to the other, although it is a bit annoying when a film doesn't live up to its expectations and you keep watching it, hoping it will get better!

'Still Alice' definitely isn't on my radar, as the storyline is far too close to home for comfort.

PS. Just saw your sidebar - Congratulations on hitting the top 1% of Goodreads reviewers :)

Yvonne

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I read Still Alice years ago and appreciated it for what it taught about early onset Alzheimer's Disease. I won't see the film because I can't stand at least one of the cast (it would be a distraction).

DMS said...

I have been wanting to see Still Alice, but have't gotten around to it. I have only seen one of the Hunger Games movies so far- but I did read and enjoy all the books. I personally think the books are a lot better- but I know a lot of people are really into the movies. Great hearing your thoughts on all of these!
~Jess

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Thanks for sharing! I really should go back and review movies again more often. I just got out of the habit of it. haha I do want to check out Ruby Sparks; mainly because I like Paul Dano. haha

Suko said...

Tracy,
Thanks for these honest movie reviews. I haven't seen any of these films, and probably won't, with the exception of Still Alice, which sounds worthy (although you say the acting was unconvincing). As for me, I saw Me Before You a couple of days ago, which I thought was well done (I read the book a while ago).

Barbara Fisher said...

I’m rather ashamed to admit I’ve only seen one of these films and that was Still Alice I agree about the acting, but I still enjoyed it.

If you ever get the chance to see Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet performed on stage you should go and see it. I watched a performance at a tiny little theatre in Farnham, Surrey (UK) when I was sixteen years old, and I’ve never forgotten it. I was sure I would hate it, but nothing could have been further from the truth.

Brian Joseph said...

I have so little time these days that I have watched a woefully small number of films. I really want to see this version of MacBeth.

These performances can be confusing and hard to follow. I find that watching live Shakespeare is helped immeasurably by reading the play shortly before watching.

I also find that dramatic music when overdone, can really mar a film.

Natasha Hill said...

I've still yet to see the second Hunger Games film in the finale but I am hoping it had more of the action which the final book ended on in it. Will have to check out the others too, especially Macbeth! - Tasha

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Too bad about most of these. I still havne't seen nor read the second Hunger Games book... even though I may need to for pointers if Trump gets in... *sigh* I am a soundtrack girl so I wouldn't want it to go, but it sounds like it wasn't well composed for Macbeth. :(

Charlie (The Worm Hole) said...

Haven't got round to watching Mockingjay 2 yet, but the book's the weakest of the three, for sure, so in that way it kind of matches it. I haven't seen Still Alice, but I wonder how it might have seemed if there wasn't a lot of books and films about dementia at the moment? Same as everything, I suppose, the first few will be great, ground breaking even, but if it becomes a trend those later ones won't seem as good.

LL Cool Joe said...

I loved Still Alice and thought the acting was great. My father in law had Alzheimer's, and I thought it was very accurate. I love Julianne Moore as well.

I saw 2 minutes of the Hunger Games and knew I didn't want to waste any more of my life watching anymore!