Tag Archives: Scarlett Johansson

You know these films that just will get amazing reviews no matter what because honestly speaking, 99% of the critics and 99% of the audience attending the screening are mad geeks? And you know when you are this only person who can watch it but doesn’t actually NEED to watch it (unless he or she is a critic, then of course, they probably should, just because EVERYONE is talking about how amazing it is). And you know when this critic who is in this 1% simply LIKES the film, but doesn’t LOVE it? Do you know how hard this critic’s life is? Well, I could just lie to you and say how much I loved the Avengers’ Assemble…but I’m too truthful to my personal morals and thus I publicly announce that this:

is  to me.

And now let me tell you why…

Firstly and most importantly, the Avengers is completely action driven. If you follow my reviews like you should, you probably already know that I am not a big fan of action as a genre, however, I do appreciate good films even if they don’t come from my favourite category. I enjoyed the magical world of Harry Potter as much as I guiltlessly paid too much money to watch Transformers in IMAX (after I already saw it twice in a normal cinema). I even liked Rise of the Planet of the Apes more than Drive and enjoyed Thor more than most of Sundance films this year. So it seems like surprisingly, I might had been the perfect target for the Avengers, even though I didn’t know why Hulk could sometimes control his anger and other times couldn’t, or how did Iron Man manage to communicate with everyone on the ground while he was flying around almost unseen, or why was Black Widow called a black widow?

or who is this guy anyway?

I know, I know, I was suppose to do my homework before I went to the cinema and watch all of the Avengers’ movies separately, so they could get more money out of me  I could appreciate it more; but I didn’t and I believe that even if I am not familiar with the series, a good movie would be able to quickly introduce me to the characters. And it did! And these are the characters:

a nice guy, protects the United States, believes in God, generally conservative and a little out of fashion, but still cool for hipsters

a nice, Briths guy, has a hammer and shit, believes in brotherhood and has one funny line

says he’s always angry but looks like a nice guy, knows about technology and is afraid of a cage

no, not this Cage

an asshole

With characters so well written, there’s only action left I guess.

So, is it AMAZING?

Once again, it’s just good. It is very strong, well balance and impressive film,  but the Avengers seem not to risk enough to reach the hoped for greatness. The shots are classic, the music is standard, the jokes are cocky (by the way, it could be the Avengers’ drinking game if you had a shot every time dialogue between any characters on screen or any action sequence finished with a cocky comment; i promise, you would be completely drunk in the first ten minutes of the movie) the special effects are as good as they have always been in Marvel’s movies, but the lack of egde makes it just a satisfying and entertaining movie rather than the EPIC adaptation everyone was waiting for.

ok, that’s pretty epic

I saw the Avengers in 3D (although the cinema had problems screening the copy so the first thirty minutes was just plain blurry) and it was definitely a well made 3D. It wasn’t pushy, it wasn’t distracting and to be honest, it was a little pointless. Most of the time I felt as if I watched the potential the Avengers had rather than the same potential being used in practice. The special effects were of course great, but there was nothing innovative about them, nothing breathtaking or simply unique. It was just everything Marvel has already given its audience, but combined in one movie.

Speaking of combining things in the movie, I believe this is what the Avengers was really about. Having different characters from different comics fighting for Manhattan against Thor’s evil brother. The type of movie where we cheer for each and every one of them, the type of movie in which they combine their powers in order to create a new, unique weapon against the enemy. The type of movie that uses the awesomeness of Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and Hulk mixed together in order to promote the universal message about the importance of friendship and standing for yourself. The type of movie from which we learn that everyone is different but we are all the same, right? Not really…

Don’t get me wrong- I enjoyed the Avengers (or whatever the actual title is), however, after reading so many reviews and seeing big 8.9 on IMDb rating page, I expected so much more than what the movie actually offered. Well, actually, I expected only one thing. I expected it to provoke this feeling of unity, the belief in people and the need to see more of the Avengers fighting alongside because they are just such a great team. Instead, because of the Avengers movie, I believe that all of these characters just hate each other and making them see each other again would be simply a punishment for them. I know it’s too late to stop the sequel from being made, so just please, make it warmer. After all, isn’t friendship what the Avengers’ comic is about?

who are you…

I’ve been thinking for a while about the strong enough sentence to open this review. Finally I have one. AVOID THIS MOVIE IF YOU HAVE EVER SEEN ANY FILM BEFORE. Otherwise, find something entertaining to do during screening, because this adventure has nothing exciting to offer. If you have any experience with cinema, you will quickly realise that although We Bought a Zoo claims to be based on true events, the version of these events has been filtered through so many Hollywood cheesy filmmaking 101, that there is nothing left of humanity that any sort of reality would offer.

You have probably seen the trailer that cannot really make up its mind and choose between being a comedy, a comedy drama or a family adventure. If you thought it would define itself as one or the other when presented in whole, you are wrong. After today’s screening of We Bought a Zoo, I’m more confused about its genre than when I watched Jack and Jill. So, here are the three main reasons why I absolutely hated We Bought a Zoo, but also why I think some people might actually like it…

1. Cheesiness

I know it is a very general word to use in a form of critique, but trust me, there is no better word to describe the whole film. Literally, every single one of the scenes is cheesy in some way. I have no idea if a writer (Cameron Crowe noooo) lost a bet and thus he had to fill it with as many sweet scenes as he could, but really, the amount of cheese is just difficult to handle. Let me give you a few examples:

Benjamin Mee, portrayed by Matt Damon plays a man who lost his wife and is left alone with children that he does not necessarily handles well. Of course, Damon’s parental mistakes are not really any mistakes, he is of course a perfect father, but let us go with the creator’s suggestion that not everything is that perfect in his relationship with Dylan, his son. Thus, whenever the topic of Mee’s wife’s death or conflict with a growing up son is raised, we are bombed with sentimental speeches, long shots of Damon’s eyes tearing up and flashback of the family united running around the green fields laughing and just utterly happy. It wouldn’t be so bad if not the fact that everything about Mee’s life seems unbearably idealistic. Although he is now a single father, Mee decides to just go with the flow and being advised by his seven year old daughter’s enthusiasm, he literally buys a zoo. Of course, everyone is there to help and even the rational voice of his brother, we are meant to treat as unromantic and wrong. The real problems he encounters (such as getting into real debts, his son’s rebellious moods and the fact that his children seem not to get any education or friends) disappear naturally and the only time he loses temper, he uses negative emotions to deliver the very sentimental speech. The only bad guy, the inspector of the zoo who visits it twice in the movie, is stereotypically evil and of course, our heroes  know how to deal with him ok. Mee gets the girl he wants somehow remaining emotionally loyal towards his life. Even when the weathermen announce the day before Mee reopens his zoo the start of the biggest storm season in the last hundred years, we know that he is going to get the whole city to come and visit his little, charming zoo. Everything is cute and nice and smiling and seriously, guys

2. Predictability

It is impossible NOT to predict what is going to happen in We Bought a Zoo. Even if you try your hardest not to follow the cliches Hollywood has been training us for years to respond to, your brain will do it subconsciously for you, making We Bought a Zoo painful to watch. I don’t want to spoil the film for you, but just imagine these scenes in the most stereotypical script ever and tell me, which option you think Cameron Crowe has chosen to go with:

1. Benjamin Mee has been spending too much money in order to develop the zoo. One of the members of the crew discovers it and backfires him against everyone else in the team. It seems like ‘the adventure’ is over and Mee has to pack his stuff and sell the zoo. What happens next?

a) Mee sells the zoo

b) Mee takes a bank loan, however, his team becomes sceptical towards him

c) Mee discovers that his dead wife left him the money in case a situation like this happens. And it’s almost million dollars!

2. Dylan (Mee’s son) is an asshole. One of the girls working at the zoo, Lily really likes him. She brings him sandwiches every day and tries to get into any sort of conversation with him. Dylan, however, keeps ignoring her and being a total dick towards her. When he reveals to her that he can’t wait to go back to live in the city, the girl’s heart is broken. But can two people of the opposite sex but the same age NOT be together?

a) yes, Dylan and Lily never get on together. Because he obviously wasn’t interested and she is only thirteen, they find themselves other partners and live happily ever after.

b) Dylan realises that Lily is a nice girl, however, because he broke her heart, she doesn’t want to talk to him ever again.

c) Dylan expresses his sudden love towards Lily and they live happily ever after!

3.The zoo cannot be open unless it is accepted by the inspector, who is of course, the devil himself. His mission in life seems to be to destroy people’s dream and to be a total asshole. So…does he approve of the zoo?

a) No, the zoo still does not fulfil his mad requirements.

b) Yes, he just signs the papers and leaves.

c) Being touched by the supposedly super cute Mee’s daughter who says that everyone calls him a dick, but she doesn’t believe it, he decides to approve of the zoo and turns out not to be so evil after all.

If you managed to answer all of these questions, I am sure you know what I am talking about….Being so cliche, We Bought a Zoo fails to feel realistic, and it was suppose to be based on the true story after all.

3. The Truth

I watched We Bought a Zoo at the press screening with Q&A. The guest was Benjamin Mee himself, who was discussing the similarities between the movie and the reality, the zoo itself and the story behind it. It turns out that what was left from his own experience was the fact that he bought a zoo without knowing anything about it.

Benjamin Mee is English and his zoo is in England. He is extremely positive, charming and witty man who lives a great life that is fascinating to learn about. Although he was extremely happy with the fact that he was being played by Matt Damon, you could tell that so many things about the film were far from the reality, that he doesn’t really treat it as personally as he could. I must say, his own story seems to be so much more touching, more humane, more unique and simply more interesting. If We Bought a Zoo was a documentary, it would probably be the best documentary of the year. Unfortunately, Hollywood wanted differently. And Hollywood got what he wanted. But I didn’t.

 

Maybe these are the films waiting for me to review them…