Monday, April 28, 2014

Movie Monday - the "what I saw over Easter" edition

Somehow, I managed to go to the movies three times over Easter. And, as usual, I had All The Thoughts about the movies I saw. So I figured that I'd just go ahead and discuss three movies at once.

The Grand Budapest Hotel
I don't quite know how to start with this one. I enjoyed it. It was very pretty. It was well acted. It was funny. But the whole time I was enjoying it and laughing at the jokes and getting into the story, I hated myself for enjoying it and laughing at the jokes and getting into the story. Because it was really problematic.

There are a grand total of seven named female characters. Three are sisters, and have about as many lines between them. Two of them have only a single scene before they're killed off. Another is a French maid and has about two lines that aren't "Oui, monsieur". Which leaves one female character with more than one scene/half a dozen lines. And she dies too. The Bechdel test may not be the greatest thing in the world, but this movie fails it so hard that it barely even has named female characters TALKING, let alone talking about something that isn't men.

Furthermore, M. Gustave's sexuality - he's very stereotypically gay, but with a tendency to sleep with rich and insecure old ladies in the hopes of inheriting - is treated as a running joke throughout the film. Add in the fact that Zero's character is played by a brown guy when he's a poor young lobby boy and a white guy when he's a rich hotel owner, and I was on the train to I'm-Not-Okay-With-This-Ville. (Yes, I know that F. Murray Abraham is of Syrian descent. That doesn't change the fact that they cast the much-darker-skinned-and-of-Guatemalan-descent Tony Revolori as a younger version of the same character. Sigh.)

The Lego Movie
I took Little Miss A to see this on Easter Saturday, and discovered that she eats popcorn in the most disgusting way ever (jams her hand in the tub, rummages around to get her hand covered in salt, licks her hand, returns it to the tub, actually eats very little popcorn). ANYWAY. I enjoyed the movie. The live action section gave me a lot of feels, and I actually enjoyed the story more after the live action part started than I did when it was just Lego. I loved all the little added touched for the adults in the audience - like the Millennium Falcon getting eaten - and the messages it conveyed to both kids and adults were good. Still, it was a little on the long side for a kids movie, and while I enjoyed it I'm not sure it's one I'll feel the need to rewatch in a hurry for reasons that I can't quite pin point...

Only Lovers Left Alive
Doug and I went to see this on Tuesday, so admittedly it wasn't QUITE over Easter. But whatever. And yes, we mostly went because of Tom Hiddleston. It was...interesting. Definitely not your typical vampire film, that's for sure. It was very arthouse - you could basically have removed "blood" and replaced it with "drug of choice" and come out with something not unlike Trainspotting. In order to keep their cover, there were lots of shady backroom deals with hospitals and wearing sunglasses inside and dealing with the monumental cock ups of others of your kind and the desperate lengths that they'll go to for their next fix.

So it was a really interesting interpretation of the vampire legend. BUT. It felt longer than it was, and there were times when the plot dragged. I think it was partly an arthouse thing, but in the hands of a different editor, the pacing could have been improved quite a lot. Also, apparently being a vampire means never brushing your hair, because I spent about 75% of the movie wanting to jump into the movie and attack the characters with a hairbrush... Still, it had its entertaining and moving moments, and the acting was superb throughout, so...I guess it comes out in the win column???

Have you seen any of these? What did you think?

K xx

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