Kirkkitsch’s Blog

Watching Vol.22
January 24, 2012, 6:00 am
Filed under: Movies, Reviews

Abduction– Okay, before I get too far along with this brief review, you already know, that I only rented this because me likee the Taylor Lautner. It sure wasn’t because the movie looked good. And although I like the package he comes wrapped in, I must admit that I too got wrapped up in the Twilight hype when he returned with a rockin’ bod…then I saw said film he returned for and my interest quickly waned. It was cringeworthy. I assumed it was the material…now I’m thinking it’s the messenger (shoot him already). Don’t get me wrong, Lautner is still pretty, but that’s about it. There are lots of pretty packages out there. Too bad most of them are empty when you shake ’em.

Synopsis: A thriller centered on a young man who sets out to uncover the truth about his life after finding his baby photo on a missing persons website.

Now before I do MY review, here is a link to a hilariously accurate one that I read online. It’s considerably more brutal, but nonetheless honest. My review will be nowhere near this entertaining, so I’ll leave it up to you if you want to read it now or later.

While watching this abomination, this scene from an episode of Family Guy kept coming to mind (sorry for the shitty sound quality):

Everything Peter was saying whilst eating the pine cone, was pretty much what I was thinking to myself as I watched the movie.

Um, I don’t have a lot to say about this one. It was nice to see Sigourney Weaver and Alfred Molina. When I think of Alfred Molina, I instantly think Prick Up Your Ears, one of my favorite movies. Same thing with Sigourney and Alien. But I digress.

From the get-go, Lautner was just awful. I’m not sure if it’s my own personal baggage of associating good-looking with douchbaggery, but he lived up to it and then some. He just came off as a douchebag that I didn’t care about. His character was good-looking, built, popular (natch), had wealthy parents, etc…yet within the first 30 minutes, we see him in his psychologist’s office, whining about how he feels like a “freak” (this generation’s go-to word for not fitting in), he doesn’t know where he belongs, yada yada yada. Wah. You’ve now doubled your douchebag factor.

Although I think Lautner is hot…his looks border on too perfect. I kept thinking back to that scene from Steel Magnolia’s where Olympia Dukakis is talking to Dolly Parton about her whitebread relatives (grandson, granddaughter, children) and the camera pans over and they all look at her and grin these big toothy smiles and wave to her enthusiastically, and as she feigns an exuberant smile, waving back, as she says out of the corner of her mouth “They all look like they’ve been carved out of cream cheese.” THAT’S how I feel about Lautner; he’s just too groomed. He doesn’t seem real, from his airbrushed complexion to his bleached teeth, to his perfectly manicured hair and eyebrows: it just doesn’t seem real. And let’s face it, he’s Gen Duh’s Mario Lopez: he’s coasting on his appearance. Therein lies no substance, so get thee to acting classes STAT! Maybe he’ll get better with age (talent-wise); looks-wise, he’s got decades to coast.

In the end: The movie was just bad. Not even laughable-bad, but more cringeworthy-bad. I knew going in that it wasn’t going to be high art, but with John Singleton directing, my standards weren’t that low. After all, I loved Four Brothers and enjoyed Higher Learning…but then that was 6-10 years ago. This was a by-the-book “thriller” for the texting crowd. Avoid like the plague.

With that said, I’ll leave you with this still from the best part of the film (which happened within the first 10 minutes):

I Don’t Know How She Does It– I like Sarah-Jessica Parker. Always have. I think I enjoyed her more when she seemed more humble, because, quite frankly, she comes off like she loves the smell of her own farts too much. Whatever the case, I’ll usually check out her movies. I also like Greg Kinnear (who looks adorable in his glasses in this movie).

Synopsis: A comedy centered on the life of Kate Reddy, a finance executive who is the breadwinner for her husband and two kids.

The movie went quick for me. If I had to guess why, I’d say probably because the story was such a familiar one that I really didn’t have to pay much attention. In the end, I felt like the movie was, well, forgettable. Yes, it made me laugh out loud a few times, and I enjoyed the (very Sex And The City…speaking of, did you get a load of the OBVIOUS SATC angle the PR people tried to do with one of the poster designs? From a distance, it looked like the 4 characters from the show! Painfully obvious) narrative, from Parker’s perspective. Heck, I didn’t even mind the whole mommy factor, as it didn’t seem beat to death in the way it normally is. I guess I just felt like the main character (Parker) kinda got guilted (by co-workers, in-laws, husband and colleagues, etc.) into always being the one who was “sorry”…for everything, even her success. I didn’t see her husband doing any apologizing, just a lot of pouting. In the end she always ended up backing down…”for the sake of the family.” Personally, I could live with a little less family time if I could’ve had the kick-ass lifestyle they seemed to be enjoying. But hey, that’s just me.

All in all, I enjoyed the movie; it was definitely worth the rental. However, it’s not something I see myself adding to my DVD collection. It just didn’t resonate as something that warranted repeated viewings. Like I said: enjoyable, but in the end, forgettable.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes– Though The Planet of The Apes phenomena took place during my formative years, I was never really an avid fan. Didn’t hate, didn’t love it; I was kinda indifferent. It’s kinda how I felt about Star Trek, and like Star Trek, Planet of The Apes also had an animated counterpart which I enjoyed (own). So, going into this film, I wasn’t really holding it to any kind of standards in regards to its predecessors.

Synopsis: During experiments to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, a genetically-enhanced chimpanzee uses its greater intelligence to lead other apes to freedom.

First off, I’d only seen the trailer, maybe once, and I remembered thinking it looked interesting. Well, at least more interesting than most of the other fare coming out around the same time. My point: I somehow managed to overlook the fact that one of the major plot points was that they were working with the apes in order to find a cure for Alzheimer’s. Needless to say, this aspect was kind of a bummer for me, so I fast-forwarded through most of John Lithgow’s performance, which is unfortunate, since he was one of the few highlights of the film.

To save time and get to my bulletpoints, I’ve gathered a couple of random quotes from other people’s reviews via IMDB. I’ll wrap it all up with my two cents.

Guy who looks like he left college a week ago finds a cure for Alzheimers; He breaks all the rules and experiments on father disregarding the obvious negative side effects on his experimental subjects.

Caesar’s facial features looked a little too human, not enough chimp. Really. (It was supposed to be his brain that was affected, not his face)

In addition, someone else said something to the affect that Draco Malfoy (AKA Tom Felton) was in the film as a demented ape wrangler and that this time around instead of classmates (a la the Harry Potter films), he’s teasing apes. That pretty much summed up his character. Not a big stretch from other characters he’s played; different astral plane, same song & dance.

All in all, I didn’t love or hate the movie, it was merely watchable. Franco looked good (clean), which was a nice distraction. And I thought it had an interesting premise and was a good starting point to kick off any potential franchise possibilities…BUT, I often found my mind wandering, thinking what the film would look like if alllll the CGI was removed; there wouldn’t have been a movie, that’s what would’ve happened. Most characters were one-dimensional archetypes, while others were completely superfluous (i.e. Franco’s love interest). I realize that with this type of premise that realistically there couldn’t have been REAL apes in every single scene, but the movie didn’t even feel like that was ever even an option; it was a CGI spectacle from the get-go.

Personally, I don’t know why it couldn’t have been an animated film, voiced by popular actors. It would have been just as entertaining in my opinion, if not more-so. I’ve said this before and received puzzled looks, but I STILL think some franchises could totally pull off an fully animated installment, say Friday the 13th, for instance. I don’t know why that’s such a “out there” concept. I’m not even talking Pixar 3D rendering or 3D gimmicks of any kind, just straight out animation in a style reflective of the subject matter. But hey, that’s just me. I just think animation has come a long way, but still has lots of room to grow. Unfortunately, it’s still considered a medium for “the children.”

In the end: good premise, entertaining enough, but too bogged down in focusing on the trees instead of the forest (i.e. the bigger picture). You might enjoy it, if you have the patience. Most of the action takes place in the last 30-45 minutes. Good try, but could’ve been a lot better with more fleshed-out characters and less “technology”.

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