Tuesday Release Reviews: March 20th, 2012

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Pick of the week:
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Rating: 8.8/10

It’s incredible that they managed to fit a renown mini-series into an average length film. It’s incredible that they found a lead actor that could effectively play a role where the work was cut out for him by another one of Britain’s best.  The film truly is incredible in its own peculiar way. It’s not overblown or overly dramatic like many other spy/informant films, but rather it is a mental labyrinth where all you have to guide you through this guessing game are the emotions on screen and the chilling music in your ears. The cast is full of superb English actors, including Colin Firth, John Hurt, Tom Hardy, and without question Gary Oldman: A man who should have had three oscars long ago, never mind just being nominated for his first now. This film isn’t rated higher because the plot and story may be too much of a mental game. I had questions after the first time I saw the film, so I had to watch it again to fully understand some parts (forgive me, I am no George Smiley). This doesn’t deduct too many points, however, because firstly I’d have re-watched the film regardless if I had questions or not, and secondly the questions do in fact get answered once you watch again and are not gaping plot holes. This is a film you have to pay attention to (yes, even during the graphically realistic crime scenes), and trust me, you will be rewarded generously.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Runner up:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Rating: 8.7/10

I’ve mentioned how I prefer the Swedish film before, so I won’t focus on that. Instead I will focus on this film winning against the odds. Rooney Mara not only met expectations, but she has now become a household name, just like Noomi Rapace before her in the same role. Fincher returned to his crime film roots and has proven that he still knows how to completely dominate that genre. The film is so different to the Swedish version we all came to know and love, and yet it tells the same story. Basically, it’s refreshing even if we already knew basically what was going to happen (a few differences here and there, but the general basis was the same). A few points are deducted because of how fast the movie opens. After the mind blowing opening credits, which are like a Rorschach test on shrooms,  you’re suddenly thrown into the story and are forced to hang on. Like Tinker Tailor, Dragon Tattoo is not just a film with a long ass name, but is one that you will benefit multiple viewings with, where the opening doesn’t seem to be much of a problem the next time. Otherwise, it’s gritty yet elegant, scary yet poetic, out of your sense of normality yet totally relatable and connecting. Well worth checking out.

The Muppets

For those of you who would like to be happy:
The Muppets
Rating: 7.7/10

Who doesn’t love the Muppets? If a story about an informant is too much work to watch and a film about a murder investigation is too depressing, the Muppets are back with a light movie and full of laughs. This film looked like it was going to be terrible at first, but it was actually rather well done. The live actors did a good job paying tribute to the adorable puppets, and said puppets did exactly what they always did, and could you ask for more? The jokes are mature yet audience friendly, and the theme of what it means to be “alive” give some sort of depth to this film. Why it’s rated kind of low is because I didn’t feel that too much was at stake here. We still feel sympathetic and passionate, but for some reason you just knew that everything would be alright. I guess because it stuck too closely to the regular Muppets formula, right? If that sounds good to you, then check this out. There’s no real reason why you shouldn’t, unless you’re a jerk who doesn’t want to admit that puppets make you laugh.

Movies I didn’t see that are also out:
Hop-looks mind numbing. Forget it. Stupid Russel Brand.
The Sitter-doesn’t look as dumb, but it looks like a massive disappointment. Plus, I’d like to think that Jonah Hill is a good actor after seeing Moneyball, and The Sitter will most likely make me highly annoyed by him again.

Sorry guys. Looks like all the movies I saw out this week were all good. See, all of the Oscar-season films are coming out. Hopefully soon enough more junk comes out so I can review that and be “funny” again, right?

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