Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Paperman is Terribly Insulting!

I'll have more to say about The Oscars after I watch Life of Pi, but until then, this is all I have to say.

Seth MacFarlane was a really funny host. In fact, he was so funny, it made me wonder where that Seth was while Ted was being made.

Argo is a really good movie. Not my choice for movie of the year, especially when I feel like Zero Dark Thirty or Django Unchained were more bold and daring and even more important.

Brave winning for best animated feature is....ummm.....surprising. It was good, but every other movie that was nominated was better. Wreck-It Ralph seemed like it would have been the more suitable choice, but maybe the old guys voting felt like it wasn't good enough for being about video games(just speculating).

Alright, so, let's get to the angry part...

Paperman makes me mad....I mean, really mad!

I didn't mind it too much when I first saw it. It's got a really good art style....and that's as far as my appreciation goes for this thing. But then it got popular, people were getting emotionally touched by it, and now I can't stop thinking about it. How can people be so emotionally invested into one of the most superficial and, quite frankly, insulting love stories I have ever seen?

I guess it makes sense, though. The whole thing hits the right notes for the general public. First we have a guy who is your average guy and there's nothing really that special about him, but he's generically cute looking. He's got those big Disney Eyes, a modest looking smile, a sort of boyish messy set of hair, and a really big nose. The woman? Well, she's a mutated science experiment where pretty much everything about her is to make her look as gorgeous as possible.

Seriously, if you ever meet a woman who looks like that, get the heck out of there, because she's probably a robot assassin....and she's after YOU!

But this is a Disney cartoon, so we can trust her.

The entire story of the short: They first meet, they have a slightly amusing interaction, and while the guy turns his head for a brief second, the woman magically teleports on the bus without saying anything. And, against all odds, they some how meet together again. The stuff that happens doesn't really matter, it just matters that it was against all odds.

There, we're attached to these characters, we see the guy wishing he can meet her again, making us feel sympathetic, and then he does, giving people that warm and fuzzy feeling. My problem is that it blatantly hits all of those notes to make you feel the way you do by the end of it.

The reason why I feel like it's insulting is how the guy treats the entire situation. He probably lost his job because of what he did and it's all for someone who could be a robot assassin for all we know.....and she's after HIM!

Yep, let's keep that attitude going for everybody and start turning people into idiots.

It doesn't help that every other animated short was better than this one! You want to talk about clever? How about The Longest Daycare. How about something that's even better looking? Adam and Dog. Want something really wacky? Fresh Guacamole is probably going to be one of the weirdest but one of the cleverest things you'll ever see. How about another love story that's actually more meaningful and actually has things to say? Head Over Heels.

It just makes me mad to see what people seem to be getting out of this. "It's okay to abandon all logic and reason if it's for the sake of love." Fine, I know that's not what people are saying, but those are the implications. 

If this didn't get so much attention, I wouldn't have even cared. I would have just remembered as a very beautiful looking piece of work, and that would have been it. But, then, people had to twist it into being more than just an empty, meaningless shell, though, a very good looking shell. But, then, these are the same people who nominated Les Miserables for Movie of the Year.

Call me bitter, but I hope their relationship turns out to be a massive train wreck.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Side Effects

And, here we go! The first truly great movie of 2013. And it's by Soderbergh, a director who came out with another first great movie of the year of 2012(Haywire).

Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to talk about this movie without talking about the turns it takes into what makes it such a great movie. If you've managed to avoid the trailers or any other information about this movie, good! This is definitely one of those movies where you go in completely cold. So, I would advise you to stop reading this right now and just go watch the movie.

If you do feel like reading some more, then I won't spoil any of the turns this movie takes, but, you might as well stop reading anyway.

The movie starts off with that guy from 21 Jump Street getting released from jail after serving his time for insider trading. He comes home with his wife, Emily(being played by that girl from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), and everything is fine and happy now. Except, it's not, because Emily attempts suicide by driving into a wall in a garage parking lot.

Emily ends up in the hospital and she gets a visit from Watson from the Sherlock Holmes movies. Ok, fine, his name is actually Jonathon Banks. Anyways, Banks is a psychologist, and he tries to help out Emily. After a couple of the depressive phases that Emily goes through, she gets set up on these certain kind of drugs and.....that's where things start going into different directions that you're just going to have to see for yourselves.

What's totally great about this movie is how well directed it is, though, this is a Soderbergh movie, and he's pretty much been able to show real directing skills on pretty much everything he's done. His most recent movies are some titles you might recognize like Contagion and Haywire, though, his most notable movie from last year was Magic Mike. I haven't seen Magic Mike(maybe I'll see it, it's gotten really good reviews), but all of these movies are really different genres, and they've all been really good.

This time around, it's a psychological thriller, and it's a really good one. The actors put on some really good performances, but what I think what makes this film work is the cinematography that's used. Effective angles are used to project the emotional states that Emily is going through. One of the scenes that kind of spoke out to me was when Emily was being put through this sedative, and the movie focuses on the characters looking directly into the camera while asking Emily questions. It feels a bit awkward, but it's kind of meant to feel that way, making us feel how Emily feels before passing out.

I think I'll touch on this movie later, maybe a week or so to make sure that at least one person has seen this movie, but for now, just go see this movie. I heard on NPR that Soderbergh might be retiring after this movie, and I really don't want him to. It's only been a year since I've been fully appreciating him as a director, and it'd be a shame if he goes.

Regardless, though, this is a really, really good movie, and you should definitely check it out!