Posts Tagged ‘charlize theron’

Atomic Blonde

In November 1989, in East Germany, a British agent with MI6, named James Gascione,(Sam Hargrave) is shot by KGB Agent Yuri Bakhtin. (Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson)   Gascione, kept a list of allied spies in his watch and the list was stolen by Bakhtin.  Another MI6 agent, Lorraine Broughton, (Charlese Theron) is brought in to find the list and get out of East Germany alive.  She knew Gascione before he was killed and he told her there was a double agent working for the Soviets.  While trying to track down Bakhtin, she meets another British spy, David Percival (James McEvoy) who has an East German defector named Spyglass (Eddie Marsan) with him. Spyglass says he has committed the names of the spies to memory.  The other secret agent is a French novice, Delphine Lasalle (Sophia Boutella) who Lorraine feels protective about. But in a place, where she can trust no one, and where someone is a double agent, can Lorraine afford to develop feelings for anyone?

Atomic Blonde is a standard issue spy movie, with all the elements of all the other spy movies, from Bond to Bourne.  There’s action, sex and even a double agent.  But there is too much violence, not just shooting, but fist fights so intense that the participants end up bloody beyond recognition.  If the difference is that Lorraine is a female spy, there is a vastly better female spy movie called Salt.  The difference is, with Bond and Bourne and Salt, the audience cares about what happens to their characters, Lorraine Broughton is written in such a hard-edged way that it was hard to care for her.  The identity double agent was obvious, and the ending was predictable.

The acting is mixed.  Charlize Theron continues to try to prove she can act and fails again.  She tries speaking with a British accent and it sounds like an odd mix of British and American, which is odd, because she’s South African. Theron apparently thinks that if there’s enough fight scenes in a movie, that’s a substitute for actual acting. This was a movie made for Angelina Jolie, but it seems like she’s been blacklisted.  James McEvoy, who is usually likable in his films, plays such a unlikable character in this movie, that means his acting was good, but it didn’t really matter, because it’s Charlize Theron’s movie.   Sophia Boutella is just eye candy for the men in the audience, and didn’t have much of a character to play. John Goodman is good, he plays a no-nonsense CIA agent.

Atomic Blonde seems to be a movie interested in style over substance.  The whole movie wants to convince the audience that it takes place in the 80’s.  The movie looks like a bad 80’s music video and there’s a soundtrack filled with 80’s songs.  In fact, sometimes the songs overpower the movie.  Sometimes, the visuals overpower the plot.  The sequencing of the movie is shot in such a way that it gives away the fate of the hero in a matter of minutes.  Why make a spy film and give away the main spy’s fate?  The pacing is slow, and the performances are mixed.

Atomic Blonde:  A bomb of nuclear proportions.

 

mad max fury road

In a post-apocalyptic Australia, a warlord named Immortan Joe (Hugh Keys Bearne) controls one of the remaining population centers left, called the Citadel.  He controls the distribution of the food, water, and the population itself, selecting only the most beautiful women to mate with. Max Rockatansky  (Tom Hardy) is a prisoner of Immortan Joe who escapes.  Max is joined by Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) who is looking for her family in the green area, and takes some of Joe’s finest breeders with her.  Nux (Nicholas Hoult) believes that Joe is a Devine ruler and Nux is one of Joe’s most fervent followers.  He volunteers to bring Max, Furiosa, and the breeders back to Joe.  Do Max and Furiosa escape Immortan Joe and Nux?  Do they find the green place and safety?  Or does Joe hunt them down and bring them back?

I didn’t see the original Mad Max movies, and I didn’t see this one for a long time, because I generally don’t like reboots or sequels.  A reboot, sequel or prequel is Hollywood’s way of saying, “We’ve run out of new ideas, so here’s an old idea, for a new generation.”  Fury Road is no exception.  It’s an old idea wrapped in a bright, shiny, new package, but resist opening the package, because there’s nothing inside.  The story is threadbare, there is no plot development, no character development, nothing but mindless chase scenes and violence, Hollywood’s go-to staple.  All the talk of the feminist hero Furiosa had me at least curious to see this movie, but her character is entirely mitigated by the mindless runway model breeders, who look like they stepped off the cover of Vogue despite living in a post-apocalyptic society.  One of the characters switches allegiances in the middle of the movie, for no apparent reason, and the movie goes on for a half an hour longer than it should. George Miller is the principal writer for this tripe, so he gets most of the blame.

The acting is below par, especially with such a talented cast.  Tom Hardy, who I liked in The Dark Knight Rises and Inception, is reduced to a series of monosyllabic, monotone grunts and groans, the script is a real disservice to his acting skills.  Charlize Theron is easily one of the most overrated actresses in Hollywood, and she proves it here by sounding like an American in the middle of the Australian outback.  She was born and raised in South Africa, how hard is it to do an Australian accent when you’re from South Africa.  Nicholas Hoult keeps getting these high profile roles, and I keep wondering why , other than playing Beast, he’s really not that good.  He at least tries to do an Aussie accent, he lays it on thick, but he tries.

As non-existent as the plot was, the visuals were exhilarating.  The cinematography was spellbinding, the daytime shots were covered in an orangish hue, and the night shots were bathed in a pale blue light.  It was spectacular to see.  That said, George Miller’s pacing is horrible, either breakneck speed, or pathetically slow lulls to explain the non-existent plot.  Miller also gets lousy performances from Hardy, Theron and Hoult, and that doesn’t say much for his directorial skills. This film has ten Oscar nominations, including best film.  It really makes me wonder if the Oscar voters even watch these movies.

Mad Max:  Fury Road  Full of Potholes and plot holes.

 

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.