Posts Tagged ‘amanda seyfried’

a million ways to die in the west

Albert Stark (Seth McFarlane) is a cowardly sheep farmer from Old Stump Arizona in 1862. His girlfriend Louise (Amanda Seyfried) sees no future in dating a sheep farmer, and so she breaks up with Albert, and starts dating Foy, (Neil Patrick Harris) owner of a mustache accessory store.  A new girl named Anna (Charlize Theron) comes to town, and falls in love with Albert.  Unbeknownst to Albert, Anna is the wife of the most feared gunman in the territory, Clinch Leatherwood. (Liam Neeson) What happens when Clinch comes to Old Stump?  Does Albert find out that Anna is Clinch’s wife?  Does Clinch find out that Anna has fallen in love with Anna?

The running gag in this movie is that the residents in this town keep dying in unusual ways.  To call the humor in this movie juvenile is an insult to juveniles everywhere.  The movie that this movie most closely compares to is of course Blazing Saddles, but the two aren’t even in the same ballpark.  Sure there is the one scene in Blazing Saddles with the cowboys eating baked beans, but every scene in A Million Ways To Die in The West is the baked beans scene, and that gets old fast.  Blazing Saddles is a much more daring and better movie, the idea of a black sheriff in the Old West is much more controversial and frankly funnier than anything McFarlane can come up with.  I don’t like Family Guy, McFarlane’s tv show, it’s an unfunny version of the Simpsons, so I already went into this movie with low expectations, but this movie didn’t even meet those low expectations.  There’s the requisite drug humor because McFarlane is “cool”, unnecessary special effects, an unbelievably unrealistic love story, and Gilbert Gottfied as Abe Lincoln.  If you’re still planning to watch this on cable, unsubscribe to the cable channel that’s airing it, if your friend gives this to you as a present, unfriend him/her right away. You can do better.  If your mom gives this to you as a present, have her take a maternity test, no mom would make her son or daughter watch this movie. Get as far away from this movie as humanly possible.  Please.

Seth McFarlane plays kind of an odd character, he seems to be a 2014 guy in 1860’s Arizona, and so they whole movie has an air of phoniness to it.  There are so many anachronisms in this movie, I lost count.  What the heck is Charlize Theron doing in this movie?  Ruining her career apparently.  She is literally paid to laugh at all of McFarlane’s stupid jokes.  Amanda Seyfried is also taking match and gasoline to her once-promising career.  Sarah Silverman is taking her “shock jock” persona from her stand-up routine to this movie, and it doesn’t translate well. Neil Patrick Harris is simply not funny as the smug entrepreneur.  And it’s official, Liam Neeson is in every Hollywood movie currently being made, his Irish accent and character was much better in The Lego movie.

This movie is too long by at least a half hour, who let McFarlane turn this movie into a 2 hour snoozefest?  Surprise, surprise,  the director is Seth McFarlane, proving he knows nothing about directing a movie.  Pacing, look it up Seth, your movie has none. So this movie limps to an end after 2 hours of a meandering pointless story.

A Million Ways To Die in The West.  Shear-ly awful.

Advertisements

in_time_01

In the future, time is the new currency.  People live to the age of 25, and then get to live one more year.  The rich keep decades and centuries in time banks, while the poor pay more time for less goods and have to scramble to live longer than 25.  Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) is a poor young man from Dayton, who has struggled, to live to age 28.  His mother, Rachel (Olivia Wilde) has somehow lived to 50, but she is running out of time.  Will, down to his last day, meets a rich man named Henry Hamilton (Matt Bomer) who doesn’t want to live anymore.  Henry gives Will a century of time, and timekeeper Raymond Leon (Cillian Murphy) immediately suspects Will of robbing Henry and killing him. At the same time, Rachel gives all her time to Weis Time Lending to pay her debts.  She doesn’t have enough time to buy a bus ride home and dies on the street.

Will escapes to New Greenwich , bastion of the rich, to seek revenge from Philippe Weiss (Vincent Kartheiser )for his mother’s death.  Will kidnaps Philippe’s daughter, Sylvia, (Amanda Seyfried) in hopes to get more time from Philippe, but the two fall in love.  Will is now being followed by Philippe’s goons and Timekeeper Leon.  Does he live long enough to find happiness with Sylvia?

Sometimes it’s fun to review a bad movie, a movie so bad it’s good.  This is not one of those times.  I like dystopian movies and books, but not this one.  The plot is unintelligible for the first fifteen minutes, it’s as if the plot didn’t  matter, the producers had what they thought was a cool sci-fi concept and hip young stars, who needs a plot?  Here’s how dumb this movie is, Olivia Wilde plays Justin Timberlake’s MOTHER.  Are you kidding me?  And they rob from other movies relentlessly.  They borrow the star-crossed lovers bit from Romeo and Juliet, they steal several scenes from James Bond movies, and they rehash the one percent versus  99 percent theme that has already become overused.

The acting is horrid.  Justin Timberlake as an actor, is a good singer.  Maybe he should sing his lines.  When Timberlake starts to cry, I start to cry, not because it’s sincere and heartfelt, but because I want him to stop trying to act.  It’s like he’s reading his lines off a cue card, dry, emotionless, monotone delivery.  Why does he keep getting offered these roles?  And frankly, Amanda Seyfried was worse, after what I thought was a promising start to her career in Mamma Mia, she’s made some real stinkers, like Chloe, Jennifer’s Body, Letters to Juliet, Red  Riding Hood, and now In Time.  She was underwhelming in a great film, Les Miserables, so my opinion of her has slipped mightily.  What is Cillian Murphy doing in this movie, after making the really good Red Eye, appearing in two Batman movies and Inception, he should know better.  The smartest actor in this movie is Olivia Wilde, she dies about 20 minutes in, not that her acting could have helped this movie be any better.

Andrew Niccol wrote this movie, he’s written such great movies like The Truman Show and Gattica, but this movie is insipid and strains credulity.  He also wrote The Host, so his talent seems to be escaping him.

In Time: Time’s up on Timberlake’s acting career.

LesMiserables

Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman)  has served 19 years of slave labor, under the watchful, vengeful, eye of police inspector Javert.  (Russell  Crowe) Valjean breaks parole, and escapes to the house of a kindly Bishop, (Colm Wilkenson) who forgives Valjean for stealing some silver.  Valjean makes the most of this second chance and becomes mayor of Montreuil  Sur Mer, and opens a factory.  One of Valjean’s factory workers, Fantine (Anne Hathaway) is a poverty stricken single mother who will do anything for feed her child, Cosette,  (Isabelle Allen, Amanda Seyfried) including selling her hair, and her teeth, and becoming a prostitute, now Fantine is dying, and she wants Valjean to take care of the young Cossette.  Always wary of the omnipresent Javert, Valjean pays off the owners of the inn where Fantine has left Cosette, Thenardier  (Sacha Baron Cohen) and Madame Thenardier  (Helena Bonham Carter) and takes care of Cosette while still on the run from Javert.

Years later, Cosette meets Marius (Eddie Redmayne) who after an argument with his grandfather takes up the Revolutionary cause.  Marius and Cosette fall in love immediately, but Eponine (Samantha Barks) also loves Marius, and is jealous of Cosette.  Further complicating matters, Javert is still pursuing Valjean.  Does Valjean ever escape Javert? How does the love triangle between Marius, Cosette and Eponine resolve itself?  How does the French Revolution affect these people’s lives?

When I first sat down to watch Les Miserables, I didn’t think I’d like it much less deem it a classic.  It’s a musical and I’m not too keen on musicals from Broadway.  In addition, the movie is set in French Revolutionary times, I thought I was in for a snoozefest.  I was entirely mistaken, this is an enthralling, engrossing, captivating film, that draws viewers in from the first minute and keeps them engaged throughout.  The songs, which I thought would be a weakness, turned out to be the strongest part of the movie and even aided in the exposition of the story.  It dealt with the poor, hungry masses of France in a compassionate tender way, and blended their fates with the fate of the French Revolution in a beautiful, seamless way.  Les Miserables doesn’t try to force tears, it just tells a story and lets the emotion come naturally.  This is the role Hugh Jackman was born to play, and all this time, I thought it was Wolverine.  Jackman’s acting was as good as his singing. Russell Crowe was also very good acting and singing his lines.  Anne Hathaway was wonderful in a small role as Fantine, and yes she can really sing.  Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter add some much needed comedy relief,  and Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Banks are actors who I’ve barely heard of.  I saw Redmayne in My Week With Marilyn, a very good film, but had no idea he could sing.   I didn’t know Barks at all, and she had a heartbreaking, scene stealing performance.

The writing is superb, I’m sure it’s difficult to take a 2000 page book by Victor Hugo and turn it into something that translates to the screen, but the story was told simply and effectively.  The direction was splendid, there is nothing that catches my eye about the direction, in many movies, but this movie was different, there were all kind of crazy angles and shots, and France looked like a picture postcard, although I suspect some of that was CGI.  I hope it was not most.  Watch this movie, with someone who means a lot to you, you will both enjoy it.

Les Miserables.  Not Miserable.  Enjoyable.

jennifers-body

A popular cheerleader named Jennifer (Fox) has been friends with a nerdy girl named Needy (Seyfried) since they were kids. When they go out to see a boy band called Low Shoulder, Jennifer’s determined to meet the lead singer, and Needy is determined to make sure that Jennifer doesn’t go with the band.  Jennifer ends up going with the band, but sometime later ends up at Needy’s house bloody and throwing up black tar like material.  Needy cleans it up but wonders what the heck happened to her friend after coming home from the group date.  Suddenly boys start ending up dead and Jennifer is always close by.  Can Needy figure out the mystery of her best friend and the murders before Jennifer makes a move on Needy’s boyfriend Chip?

This movie is so unbearably bad that it’s almost unwatchable.  I thought it would work on some level, but it doesn’t work as a campy comedy, it doesn’t work as a horror movie.  It takes itself too seriously to be a comedy, and when the jokes come, they are not that funny.  The thing that the audience is supposed to fear is only shown in silhouette.They never explore why a popular cheerleader would be friends with the terminal loser.  And for those who wanted to see this movie just for Megan Fox, you’ll be sadly disappointed, unless you like bad acting, then you’ve hit the Megan Fox mother lode, Fox can’t act, that much is obvious, she’s just an internet fantasy for horny 14 year old boys. The irony here is that for a large portion of this movie Fox looks pretty lousy.  The writers only seem to want to cash in on her sexpot image.  The other actors are mere window-dressing. Amanda Seyfield is supposed to be the shy, brainy counterpoint to Fox’s vacuous character, but this schizoid script also expects Seyfried to be the object de amor of not only her boyfriend, but Jennifer as well.  So she’s a shy, brainy nympho sexpot narrator?

Uh huh.  Seyfried was great in Mama Mia, this role gave me agiita. As badly as the women fare in this movie the guys fare worse.  Johnny Simmons, who plays chip looks like he’s about 12, and all the guys look like rejects from a boy band audition. This mess was written by Diablo Cody who wrote the irritating but tolerable Juno, and produced by Jason Reitman who will probably be nominated for an Oscar for directing “Up in the Air.”  So much for Oscars translating into quality.

Jennifer’s Body, not Fox’s Best Body of work.

Catherine Stewart (Julianne Moore) is a wealthy and successful gynecologist.  Her husband David (Liam Neeson) is a beloved music professor.  They seem to be living an idyllic life.  But then, David misses a surprise birthday party thrown by Catherine, and Catherine sees a text from one of David’s female students, thanking him for a great night.  Catherine suspects David of infidelity, and sets out to entrap him with a female escort from nearby, named Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) Chloe tells Catherine of her and David’s first encounter, and each salacious detail of every subsequent meeting.  Catherine seems oddly drawn to Chloe, even while professing her love for David,  But then Chloe forms a bond with Michael, (Max Thieriot), but who is she really interested in, David? Michael?  Catherine?

Don’t bother to find out.  This movie is so predictable, the viewer knows immediately what’s going on.  Despite having a great cast, featuring the likes of Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, and Amanda Seyfried, this movie is basically a horrible mix of Basic Instinct and Fatal Attraction, and that’s all you need to know.  Hollywood always seems to populate these movies with these psychologically deranged women, Sharon Stone, Glenn Close, and I’ll let the viewers find out who the nutjob du jour is in this movie.  Despite having a hot indie director at the helm, and a hot young actress staring wide-eyed into the camera (no not Julianne Moore), this movie ends up with the same tired clichés that most of Hollywood manages to conjure up every now and again.  Moore looks bored, Neeson looks like a wax dummy at Madame Toussaud’s.   Seyfried does her best vacant stare, to no effect.  They all deserve the horror of being locked in a room to watch this movie.  If you like cheap titillation, dressed up as arthouse cinema, this is your movie .  If you like to think, think again, before watching this movie. Chloe has lots of nudity, one graphic sex scene.  It is too explicit for children, too predictable for adults.  Just skip it.

Chloe.  Cloying.