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Midnight Special (2016)
lack of imagination
I don't usually go to the cinema without knowing anything about the film, but this time I did. My husband said the movie is well rated so it should be worth the time and money.
It was not, but let's say it helps to see what it does to a film when form/style is more important than the story. The first half of the movie gives you hope for something really original to follow. That is not the case.
The timing in the movie where we get to asking ourselves "what exactly are we watching" was so obvious in the cinema, cause everybody seemed to be quietly whispering to each other: is the boy an angel?, is he Jesus? :D is he from Krypton??
The point where the father worries about what a superman comics will do to his son's imagination is quite promising. So, he is not the savior he was taught he is, he is not from another planet (presumably because his parents are sure they did not adopt him), and he needs to learn what is real. What is real? please please don't let him be from another dimension, not one right on top of this world (Earth, not the entire universe), not one where beings made of light and walking (walking!) in a most uncomfortable way are watching us and have been doing so for a long while... not a world that looks like tomorrow-land! But that is what you get, after painstakingly watching supernatural powers being described as radio powers, blue light coming from the child's eyes and giving a sense of peace to the ones he is sharing that with, kinetic powers, and only being able to go (back?) to the other dimension at a particular time and place. And a mother cutting her blonde hair but smiling because she knows she will always be special, because she conceived a child who is from another dimension and is always watching his father, through blue light shining in his eyes.
An exercise in style who is supposed to be a tribute to past good sci-fi movies and ends up being a moronic parody of them. But even without being aware of any other sci-fi movie, isn't it better to have a story in a movie than merely style? If you can live with the lack of originality you might enjoy the movie. But it cleverly tricks you into high expectations and delivers so very little in the end.
La fille de Monaco (2008)
nice colors for sad eyes - disappointing
The story does not make any sense.
It seems like the author has just put together disparate ideas for a style exercise - "If we get Fabrice Luchini we can make people think it's a comedy and then they will be surprised it is not".
But it is not anything else either. Why would a reality show person impress so much a lawyer who is supposed to be world savvy? Because he thinks he plays in a comedy?
Then apparently the only reason it turns to drama is because he has sexuality issues (as the bodyguard in the film puts it - apparently he never had sex before).
And the real drama is the bodyguard's character - but for reasons that are left in the dark.....
In the end I felt a sense of waste of time and (production) money. Not even the beautiful landscape and colors manage to salvage anything of the lack of meaning of the movie. Making a mess with nice music and colors (Monaco) to make it seem it has sense (and style) it's not what a movie is supposed to be about.
made me laugh bitterly
What follows is a spoiler. Please read this before considering watching this movie.
So, what is this story about. Life on Earth is about to be extinct because of some radiation storm whatever. The Earth is actually burnt by the sun. And this is not going to happen in a long time after this present day, when the sun WILL burn the Earth while becoming a supernova. It happens in 2009.
Now, some alien species knows this. They know as early as ... 50 years ago. They have far more superior technology than us (you should see their spaceships) but ... they do not consider using it to save our planet. Do they have some directive which sounds like the Star Treck do not interfere thing? Who knows. Anyway, these aliens do not want to save our planet, they only want to rescue 2 kids, male and female, so that the human species can "survive" (wow, and here we go again with the debate: will they be cloned or what, brothers mating sisters ?) More probably they want 2 specimens to put them into a galactic zoo, but hey, it's definitely not clear in the movie either, believe me.
So, the film is about how do this aliens get the 2 kids.
Well, they begin by whispering to a little girl of 50 years ago, stuff that drives her crazy. They whisper to her the date, location and number of victims of future major accidents, terrorist attacks, plane crash, you name it, for the next 50 years, culminating with the great accident that wipes us all out.
The school of the little girl (who is American by the way) wants to make a event to celebrate the school's anniversary, and they choose (wow) this little girl's idea - lets make a time capsule .... the kids all make drawings for kids 50 years later to open ... while the girl writes numbers, numbers, numbers, incessantly ...
OK, so the alien plan goes on. 50 year later. The kid who gets this curious letter is the son of a astrophysicist. He has lost his wife in a fire one year ago. He is very troubled by this ... He is also the son of a pastor. He does not speak to his father (presumably because he is a pastor while the son has "chosen" science). This astrophysicist (I'll refer to him as Nicolas Cage to make it simpler) actually makes sense of the numbers, and finds those accidents cited in this coded letter all on the Internet. He even gets involved in both of the next 2 on the list .... while the last mentioned there is ... you guessed it, the LAST one.
He manages to get in touch with the daughter of the little girl who once wrote the letter. She also has a daughter. Both their kids have the same ability of hearing whispers ... remember the aliens? It is not clear why these particular kids hear the whispers - are they chosen, or the aliens whisper to all the kids, but only these 2 have begun hearing them ...
Anyway, to make it short, well yes, the sun will burn the Earth, these 2 kids will go with the aliens, while Nicolas Cage dies in peace (unlike many of the rest of "us"), returning home to his father, because the revelation to him was that aliens saving his kid (or kidnapping his kid) means there is "something" more after death ...
Lets add some details - black stones all over the place means the aliens are near. The aliens are revealed in the end to be angel like creatures of light, still, when they take human form, they cant help but look very creepy. They also have the ability to open their mouth and emit a very intense light which will blind you and allow them to go away (while you're blinded).
Nicolas Cage thinks him calling the FBI will make them stop the traffic in a specific area. When he realizes this is not true, he argues with a policeman about it. He also thinks a terrorist got scared and ran because he stared at him.
Let me see what else I can remember. Oh yes, the first little girl, the one with the letter, commits suicide (why didn't the aliens rescue her, she was listening to their whispering and getting crazy because of it - oh yes, but that was also part of their plan).
The 2 kids get also to go away to their new world with 2 bunnies. And the final setting with their new world, when I think about it, it just reinforces my idea that it is a galactic zoo where these 2 kids are held in display.
OK, so this is it. Considering this kind of script, would you consider spending all the money, energy and effort it takes to make a movie out of this??? For me, this is a new low in how stupid can a movie get and how vast amounts of money can be spent on garbage in this world (instead of designing a device to save us from the sun hi hi hi).
Hope you do not go to see this. But it might work if you expect it to make you laugh.
The Duchess (2008)
a bit too long
I had to watch this film a second time to really enjoy it, and then I knew what was wrong with it the first time. It is too long.
The first time I saw it, I knew nothing about the subject, the duchess, the whatever. Surely the production was well done and actors played very well ... I thought at first Keira was a bit too theatrical, but she continues really really well I think. In the end ... I didn't know why I haven't liked it better. Was it the acting? was it the script? well, in the end, I thought it was just how it was all put together, too slow for the duchess character who seemed more fiery then the film is, the love affair but where exactly was the love, why did it end and it seemed nothing really had happened.
some weeks later I saw it again, and this time I felt better and I think I know why it doesn't click at full potential, unfortunately. It's just too long for its intended rhythm and story. A bit more tight and more together would have kept better proportion and overall likability.