Showing posts with label Lauren Ambrose. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lauren Ambrose. Show all posts

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Where the Wild Things Are

A lonely but imaginative boy is fed up with being ignored at home and after an argument with his mother, runs away. He reaches a pond and gets into a small sailing boat. The pond soon becomes a sea and after days afloat he finds himself on an island inhabited with seven giant creatures. Spotting a similarity between himself and the destructive Carol (James Gandolfini) the boy Max (Max Records) soon finds himself in the middle of the group and convinces them he is a King in order to stop them eating him. Each monster is like a version of Max and themes of jealousy, fear, boredom and frustration are the same which trouble pre teen children as they grow up.

I never saw the film on its initial release back in 2009 but had heard some good things about it. A quick search confirms that it appeared on numerous Top 10 lists but for me it isn’t quite that good. I thought the effects and cinematography were excellent and the story had its moments but it was also a little dull in places and the sort of film which I’d rather have watched in my early teens.

Sunday, 4 March 2012


Before watching this film I couldn’t help feeling that Ross and Phoebe were going to be really pissed when they found out that Rachel and Mike had secretly got married and starred in a film together. Having seen the film, I think they’d probably be more pissed that they’d had to sit through 98 minutes of some of the most painfully awful cinema ever.

The film’s central characters are George (Paul Rudd)  a successful financial worker in New York and Linda (Jennifer Anniston), George’s wife, who has yet to discover her calling in life. At the start of the film the couple are seen in the midst of a decision about whether to carry on renting an apartment or to take the plunge and buy. They decide to buy only to discover the next day that George has lost his job and Linda has had her latest project, a film, turned down by HBO. So, with no income they decide to take up a job offer from George’s brother and move to Atlanta. This is the first of the film’s ridiculous plot holes. Answer this. If you were a successful New York City financial worker, on the verge of a promotion but then lost your job due to the company going bust would you A) Look for another job in the financial capital of the world? Or B) Move to Georgia and live in a commune full of hippies? Another question. If you had made a film but it was turned down by the first TV station you took it to would you A) Take it to another station? Or B) Say, ahh well, I gave it a go. Let’s bin this film I’ve made about the fucking South Pole and move to Georgia to live in a commune full of hippies? It is preposterous!

How I felt while watching. Bored and wishing I was crushing the life out of Anniston so she'd stop.

On their way to Atlanta, the couple get tired and find a B&B which happens to be full of the most ridiculous stereotype hippies I have ever seen. There is of course the naked wine maker, the Earth Mother who gets upset when a fly is swatted, the sexy free love girl, the long haired, bearded man who talks nonsense and plays guitar, not forgetting the old guy from the 70s in a wheel chair. It. Is. Unbelievable. It’s like the film makers just Googled hippy and thought, “Right we’ll have one of those, one of those…” The characters are such caricatures that they are unbearable to watch. Upon arriving it is George who wants to stay and set up their home at the commune but after a ridiculous montage suddenly this switches around and he wants to go back to New York but the previously apprehensive Linda discovers ‘herself’ and decides she wants to stay. This causes problems for the couple and the rest of the film portrays their attempts to fit in and live their lives.

Even before the couple leave New York it is already apparent that these two characters aren’t suited (and it’s not just because of their unshakable Friends incarnations). All the way through I was just thinking, “Piss off back to New York George and leave her there. What the hell are you doing there? You are a successful banker who has left New York to live in a fucking commune that you hate”. They don’t feel like a married couple at all so there is no emotion from the audience when their relationship takes a turn for the worse.

Look! A stick with orange peel on it! Ha! How quirky and funny.

The film is meant to be a comedy but they are really stretching the use of that word. I laughed twice; once when a child said something sarcastic and again when Paul Rudd was talking to himself in the mirror. The rest of the ‘jokes’ were just awful. There was a recurring joke about names which was irritating and most of the humour was meant to be coming from when the audience says “ha-ha! Look at those funny hippies. They are doing and saying things differently to me. That’s funny”. Well it really isn’t. It was just boring, cheap and dumb. In the half full cinema I counted only three laughs from the majority of the audience. It’s just not good enough. I don’t know how people can get away with making films this unfunny and still come out the other side with mixed reviews. The film has a 58% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I must have been watching a different film. I’m disappointed with myself for watching it. If people keep going to see this tripe, it will only encourage more of the same.

Jennifer Anniston is back to her usual self here. After a good performance in Horrible Bosses, she is back in Just Go With It territory. I know that she gets pigeon holed but I wish she’d just stop or say no. Surely she’s rich enough to say no or to seek out smaller, independent films so she can prove everyone wrong. Paul Rudd is the only actor who emerges with an ounce of credibility. The films best moments come when he is on screen alone but he is better than this. The supporting cast are made up of half recognizable faces but their characters are so desperately annoying that it was difficult to get past and think about the acting. I guess that most of the actors probably aren’t irritating, outlandish dick heads so maybe they were very good. Just when you think that the film can't get any worse, there is a cameo from an actor who has appeared in a title role in one of Martin Scorsese's greatest films. His appearance creates no laughs and just makes you say to yourself "What happened to you? You are in THIS film. For thirty seconds. Naked.." Its pitiful.

Wanderlust is a film that I wouldn’t want to subject on my worst enemies. It is 98 minutes of incredibly boring, ill defined drivel with barely any laughs and an ending which made me want to vomit.