Thursday, August 16, 2012

This year's airline-film roundup, plus badflicks

The Hunger Games: Surprisingly good updating of The Running Man and The Year of the Sex Olympics via Starship Troopers. In a future America, the one-percent keep the ninety-nine-percent suppressed through televised gladitorial combat which, as its President notes, gives them simultaneous fear and hope (and also, of course, the titillation of watching various attractive teenagers killing each other). And, in the tradition of the abovementioned films, the viewers themselves become implicated, as we are encouraged to buy into the romance narrative the protagonists construct as a means of attracting audience sympathy.

The Adventures of Tintin: Had one or two entertainingly postmodern moments (plus one very tedious inside joke right at the start), but mostly impressed by its ability to take The Secret of the Unicorn and make it boring. Snowy was pretty cute, but they left out his continued fourth-wall-breaking meta-commentary, which for me was one of the highlights of the comics. Not looking forward to sequel.

Fractured: Anthony Hopkins plays a man who murders his wife, makes no effort to conceal his crime, confesses to the cops... and then, when he reaches the courtroom, promptly pleads not guilty, to the bafflement of intrepid state prosecutor Ryan Gosling. Having spent all its intellectual energy coming up with that premise, the film then spends the next two hours fizzling and finally expires in a vague anticlimactic cough.

Nazis at the Centre of the Earth: It's got Nazi! Zombies! At the centre of the Earth! Plus UFOs! Abortions! And giant mechaHitler! Makes Dead Snow look like Schindler's List.

Movie count for 2012: 49