By: Henry J. Fromage –
I’m on my way to Korea for a long overdue vacation, so you know what that means- plane movies. Mediocre, mediocre plane movies.
Before decamping for Korea, I caught Bong Joon-ho’s latest, which has been pitched as some sort of marrying of The Host to Steven Spielberg-esque girl and her otherworldly friend E.T. business. I found this tale of a Korean girl and her GMO superpig vs. corporate bullies trying to profit off of it (wait, does Mirando sound like Monsanto to you, too?) to be a little on the nose and cloying from the story perspective, but just shy of brilliant from the filmcraft side. You should definitely give it a watch if only to see Bong emulate Spielberg beautifully behind the camera. The story, CGI farting hippopig, and the proudly bizarre, tonally insane performances by Tilda Swinton (dual manic Katie Perry/evil(-er?) Hilary Clinton) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Richard Simmons meets all the cocaine I’m sure Richard Simmons never did)… ehhh, take it or leave it.
This lean, mean thriller stars Christopher Plummer as the Alzheimer’s-ridden man on the trail of the one of four age-appropriate men who could have been the concentration camp guard from his and his Nazi-hunter friend’s Auschwitz past. It’s as simple a setup as you could imagine, and I won’t say much more about the plot. Some critics felt this could have been fashioned into the awards-type prestige picture that Atom Egoyan used to make, but for my money this stripped-down, excellently acted morality play/revenge tale works just fine as it is, all the way to the nasty, narratively efficient finish.
151. The Hollars
John Krasinksi directs himself in the kind of star-studded (seriously, everyone) city boy coming home to an unspecified Middle America full of tasteful indie tunes and kooky drama independent feature that might as well be a rubber stamp for the genre. Despite that, the cast really is good, the tunes really are present, and with Margo Martindale as the more than capable anchor, the drama is dramatic enough. Worth that plane or lazy afternoon TV watch, and keep some tissues handy. It ‘gon get ya.
152. Happy Feet
Yep, I had to wait until a plane with no other options before I was ready to watch George Miller’s other franchise. Hard to believe Mad Max and Happy Feet sprung from the mind of one man. Like, near impossible to believe. This won Best Animated Film over Monster House (and Cars, which was the only other nominee- it was a weird year for the category). Watch this and Monster House again and tell me what you think. Sweet like a mountain of Sweet & Low in a Syrup monsoon. Meh.