Last year, between the two of us, we watched an average of 317 movies.
This year our goal is to top that by watching at least one a day.
And as an extra special torture, we've decided to write about all of them.

19 June 2008

August Rush, dir. Kirsten Sheridan (2007)

NIKKI says:
Perhaps I built it up too much? I was expecting to be blown away by this movie. I'd been listening to the music for a little while, and enjoyed all the songs, so I expected, even more, to love the movie. And it's written by Nick Castle, who wrote one of my all-time favourites, The Boy Who Could Fly. Sadly, August Rush was a bit of a let down, only because I think it tried to do too much. A rewrite or two and maybe it would have worked.

As it is, I enjoyed it, I got wrapped up in bits and pieces of it, but, ultimately, it lost me a bit because everything just seemed so perfectly timed. Everyone was where they needed to be at exactly the right time, and this really removed the magic. How does a kid navigate New York City so skilfully? That's just one of the questions you'll find yourself asking. And how coincidental was it that August meets Mr. Jeffries and leaves the boys' home at the exact same time Lyla's father decides to reveal his ghastly secret that sets her on her mission to find her son? All this at the same time Louis meets up with an old bandmate and decides to go to Chicago to finally track Lyla.

I don't know. It was too much after a while. Yes, the music was great, and the fairytale aspect of the thing worked on some level. But when you examine it closely, the plotholes mount. Steve was right -- if Lyla's baby died at birth, who buried it? Why did Louis only now decide to seek out Lyla? Where was August living during his stint at Julliard? Why did no one try to stop the Wizard from taking him away from the school when he'd been there so long father-free? That's a child services issue right there.

Loose ends everywhere. I said, too, that the Wizard character would have worked a bit better had he been a good guy. An evil Machiavelli trying to make money off August did not work as the man who also stood up for the street way of learning music, caning Julliard for its text books and teachings. The music is out there! And August should be teaching you! ... it all falls on deaf ears when that same character turns his back on August to exploit his natural gifts.

So close, yet so far. I wanted to love it. At most, I just liked it.


Futurama: The Beast With a Billion Backs, dir. Peter Avanzino (2008)

NIKKI says:
I didn't enjoy it as much as Bender's Big Score, but it was funny nonetheless. I am really happy we get to see more Futurama. As technology advances, it's fun to see how the show responds. In this movie, someone checked a published version of the Wikipedia for an explanation -- only Futurama can make those kinds of jokes. I hope these movies go on and on.


STEVE says:
And I enjoyed it more than Bender's Big Score. Go figure.

I thought Score was very funny, of course, and the story of Fry going back in time to better himself in order to woo Leela was handled with just the right mix of bizarre and touching that I'm used to from Futurama. But the pacing was off and it dragged in the middle. Maybe Beast's story wasn't on par with Score, but it beat the snot out of it as far as pacing, so it felt like a better movie because my mind wasn't wandering halfway through. As far as the jokes went, it was as wrong as it ever was.

Example: Amy Wong ("of the Mars Wongs") is grieving the death of her husband Kif. Bender walks in and says, "What's her problem? Somebody die or somethin'?" Leela tells him that Kif is dead and instead of responding with sympathy, which would have been out of character for Bender, anyway, or even indifference, which would have been more Bender's style, he pumps his fist in the air and cries, "Nailed it!"

Up next: Bender's Game. And if I even have to tell you why that's funny, you probably don't watch Futurama anyway.