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Posts Tagged ‘william hurt

The Accidental Tourist (1988)

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I really wanted to like this movie.  It’s got two of my favorite things in it: dogs and travel.  It also has a man who hardly cares for either.  I gave an involuntary shiver at him searching for American cuisine in foreign countries – I mean eating Burger King in PARIS?  Sinful.  That hurt me just a little bit.

Anyway, William Hurt stars as Macon Leary (what kind of a name is that anyway?) and he dispassionately writes travel guides for people who hate traveling.  A travesty, yet I guess someone’s gotta do it, so it should probably be Macon Leary.  We meet him at the beginning of the movie in an ICU gazing over his son’s dead body. He and his wife Sarah (Kathleen Turner) take it hard, but they’re having difficulty coming together over it.  So she leaves him.  And leaves the dog.  Macon falls down some stairs, screwing his mobility and goes to stay with his weird siblings.  They play funny games.  His editor, Julian (Bill Pullman) comes to see him sometimes.  He likes his sister.

Then he meets Muriel Pritchett (Geena Davis).  She’s kind of awesome, but also kind of eccentric and definitely quirky.  She’s talkative and forward, and knows a lot about dogs.  He hires her to help him train his own dog.  Then they fall in love, or whatever.  Then everything comes to a big wha-bam in Paris, of course.  The end.

Before you write me off completely, I emphasize that my low opinion has NOTHING to do with it being slow.  On the contrary, I love slow, quiet films (84 Charing Cross Road for example).  What I didn’t like had nothing to do with the story.  It’s like I could see, even almost taste, the beauty and potential of an emotional connection but I was just never truly moved.  The letdown was even more potent with that in mind.

I’ve always loved William Hurt, but the man disappointed me with this one.  It didn’t feel like a story of a hurt man who needs a little attention and lovin’ to make his way to recovery.  No, he was static, he was expressionless.  How could the fiery Muriel even dream of falling in love with him?  His personal journey seemed superficial at best.  He doesn’t even like his own dog…

Geena Davis, on the other hand, was great.  She manages to play the wacky woman with just enough umph yet still grounded in reality to make her likable and not overbearing.  She’s a realistic mother, looking after her son with great care and love.  She’s also realistic in her relationship with Macon.

I’ll admit, the writing is excellent.  Kasdan and Frank Galati know how to run things, and on paper it portrays the beauty that could not be captured on screen.  Something is missing.  I found myself searching for emotion, something that only Davis gave to me.  Okay scratch that, the other actors were also pretty solid (though I don’t care for Kathleen Turner too much), but I did love Macon’s crazy family surroundings and the family dynamic.  As well as Bill Pullman.

The Accidental Tourist was a disappointment.  I wouldn’t go so far as to give up on it forever, but it’d take a lot of will power to get myself to sit through Macon’s monotonous personality for an additional hour and a half.  4/10

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Written by laurenthejukebox17

April 15, 2011 at 8:38 pm

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001)

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Spoilers. Just sayin’.

I remember so well when this movie was released.  I was 10-years-old, and i wanted sooo badly to see it – but due to its PG-13 rating my mom wouldn’t let me.  I got over it.  I’m glad, now, that I didn’t see it then because when I finally was able to, I could appreciate it.  At 10-years I already loved movies and knew all about Steven Spielberg; E.T., Close Encounters, Jaws, & Jurrasic Park were favorites from my childhood.  I did not, however, know who Stanley Kubrick was (pretty sure that name came along when I was 12 or 13).  This began as Kubrick’s project and you can see his prints all over it.

Sometime in the future, where the world is starting to freeze over and couples must obtain a license to have children, technology has advanced so much that man can create life.  Artificial intelligence (robots) are hardly distinguishable from human beings.  Scientist Allan Hobby (William Hurt) wants to take it a step further: What if we could create a Robot that could love.  Not physical lust but love like a child would care for his mother.

And so David was created (Haley Joel Osment).  Monica (Frances O’Connor) and Henry (Sam Robards) Swintons – whose child is being held in cryostasis until a cure is found for his disease – decide to test out this new product. (Yeah, I totally stole that from IMDb.  But I didn’t really know what the kid’s problem was.  So sue me).  Henry brings him home and Monica is initially furious.  No “mecha” could replace her own physical child.  Trial period ensues.  Should they choose to keep David, they must perform an irreversable imprint ritual.  Monica spends time with David and they begin to bond.  She decides to do the imprint thing (sadly, this now makes me think of Breaking Dawn…) and David is now in for good.  The transformation is instant – Monica is now Mommy and David wants nothing but to make her happy.

Problems arrive when their “real” son, Martin (Jake Thomas) recovers and comes home.  Suddenly David’s got competition.  Suddenly “Daddy” has changed his mind about the entire ordeal.  Suddenly David is getting in trouble and doesn’t know how to get mommy’s love anymore.  David cuts a lock off Monica’s hair to gain her love but is falsely accused of sinister motives.  Things get worse when he’s found holding Martin at the bottom of a pool… but only because he was frightened seconds earlier and wanted protection.  Monica (sob sob sob) can’t take it anymore, David’s gotta go.

So what does she do?  She drops him in the middle of the woods with nothing but a smart Teddy, some money, and a dismal parting message: “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about the world.”  WTF?  He may be artificial, but he’s still a kid.  All he can figure is that his mother must not love him because he isn’t real like Martin.  He decides to search for the Blue Fairy so that he can become a real boy like Pinnochio.

Part two, the story takes a turn and we are introduced to (though we don’t thoroughly explore) this “world.”  Mecha exist everywhere, but humans resent their presence.  “Flesh Fairs” are held to destroy and publicly ridicule mecha, led by Lord Johnson-Johnson (Brendan Gleeson).  Human nature hasn’t degraded far enough for them to ridicule an 8-year-old boy, however, when David is under display.

David still searches for the Blue Fairy, still accompanied by Teddy and newly accompanied by Gigolo Joe – Hey Joe what do you know? (Jude Law).  He is led (guided by Dr. Know (Robin Williams)) to an underwater Manhattan.

The end to this film is an end for discussion, and I must admit I have a few issues with it myself.

David is reunited with Dr. Hobby, creator.  We learn that David is the new frontier.  Soon he will be available to anyone who wants a child that can love.  Suddeny, though, David leaves.  Hey Joe what do you know is taken by the police.  David finds the remains of a Pinnochio exhibit on an underwater Coney Island.  David and Teddy stay in the helicopter thing for, wait for it, two thousand years praying to the Blue Fairy.  After those two thousand years – the Mecha of the future and some sort of real Blue Fairy (Meryl Streep) find David and are able to reunite him with his mother for a day only.  The film ends after a perfect day spent with Monica.

I’m not in the habit of writing an entire synopsis for a simple review, that’s not my thing.  But I’ve been thinking about this movie so much that it helps me to sort it all out.  I’m even having difficulty throwing in sarcastic comments, made-up words and dumb jokes I’m thinking about this so hard.  Allow me to interject now with a big WTfreakingF???  Like, seriously.  I don’t even know what to think.  But now that I’ve gotten this out of my system, thanks for listening to that really boring summary instead of our usual review format.  I feel much better now, folks.  Anyway, there are the little things that bug me… for example though I liked Jude Law’s character I found the sexual innuendos unnecessary.  It gave an interesting perspective to David’s unique ability to truly love, but in the end it contributed nothing.  I also wonder what the point is of owning a perpetual 8-year-old.  But those are small things.

Many complain about the end.  Many are convinced that Spielberg took this film a completely different direction than was the intention of Kubrick.  (Spielberg has been quoted to say that this is false, Kubrick’s intentions were met in the finished product.  Apparently).  Granted, I had a WTF moment myself and it took two viewings to really place it but seeing as mecha cannot become human, this is sci-fi not fantasy, I found the ending appropriate.  David found closure.  His wish essentially came true.  He was able to spend a perfect day with his mother and do the things he wanted to.  Who knows what his future holds – he is one of a kind, now.

My issue concerns the almost-end.  Apparently he was led to Manhattan as part of a plan.  Apparently he was special.  Apparently the fellow scientists (including Miles from Lost!)  were dying to meet him.  He was made in the image of Doctor Hobby’s son for crying out loud!  Yet…. nothing else happens?  David… gets left?  Did they search for him?  What would have happened next?  Now do their Davids and Darlenes get shipped to the world?  We are led to this moment and nothing happens.  That threw me.  And really bothers me.

My admiration for this film outweighs my contempt for its faults, and although I was thrown by the ending it adds to my appreciation.  Though I love Spielberg and Sci-Fi always – the selling point is Haley Joel Osment.  He may be the very best child actor to have passed through cinema, and yeah I’m being serious.  It’s not easy for an adult to correctly display artificial emotions, yet he does it without a single misstep.  His eyes tell the story.  His performance could not be duplicated.  If anything, the film is worth it for him.

It is unique.  It is fascinating.  I was invested every second.  As with all works of art, it’s now left to interpretation, so do what you will with the ending.  I, however, highly recommend the film.  It must have been worth it if I’m already eager to watch it again. 🙂 8/10

On a side note – I want a Teddy.  That’s my kind of companion!

Vantage Point (2008)

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I consider myself to be a “film person.”  I mean, more so than TV.  I never watched much TV growing up and there few shows that I watch regularly.  My heart lies with movies.  But I will say this: if the series is good, I’m there, and I’m there to stay.  Some of my favorite TV shows include Lost, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Monk, The Office, The West Wing, and ER. There’s something about spending that many hours with the same characters (we all know I’m a character person).  I feel so attached to Mary Richards, Mark Greene, President Bartlet, and Monk.  They’re my friends.  So, you see, my small but firm attachment to TV improves my film experience.  If ER‘s Juliana Margulies is in anything – I’m there.  Same goes for John Krasinski, Ed Asner, Rob Lowe, and certainly George Clooney.  So, even though I’d heard mixed reviews for Vantage Point – I was totally going to see it because of Matthew Fox, our lead Lostie.

And you know, I liked it!  To a point, that is.  Essentially, it’s nothing more than a glorified 23 minute assassination.  We figure out the whodunnit and whole story by viewing multiple vantage points of the various characters.  It’s like putting a puzzle together – with each “rewind” more pieces come together.  It’s a great concept with mediocre execution, though it is stylish.  The story itself is extremely implausible (and I mean extreme), but a lot of fun.

It’s got a good cast – William Hurt, Dennis Quaid, Forrest Whittaker, Sigourney Weaver, and Fox.  Two thumbs up for the short running time.  Great action sequences.  I’m not sure what the moral is nor what *certain characters* motives were.  Also, the ending felt abrupt – as if the big build up throughout the movie led to no where.  And, frankly, this is not Dennis Quaid’s best movie ever.

So really, the more I intelligently think about it the worse it gets – I no longer fear being hit by a car since, obviously, I will never die nor be injured despite being smooshed by a semi.  I’m also now pretty confident that I can single-handedly take out the secret service and waltz into the residence to kidnap the President. …But I can’t deny that I was pretty into it.  Suspending my disbelief is rarely this fun. 6/10

The Incredible Hulk (2008)

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I dig super-hero movies.  I’ve never been into comic books like my big brother, but I love the whole ensemble of a super-hero movie.  I remember seeing Spiderman for the first time and loving it.  That is until most of my friends convinced me it was “cheesy.”  So I stopped liking it.  But really, guys, what is a super-hero movie without cheese?  I mean, people refuse to watch Superman just because they cannot accept it that Lois Lane doesn’t recognize Clark Kent without the nerd glasses on.  Well folks? You’re right, it is pretty ridiculous but just deal with it!  I now like Spiderman and will continue to do so no matter what people say.  (Not the same for Spiderman 3, though.  That movie just sucked).

Anyway.

I know what you’re assuming and noooo I didn’t see Ironman 2.  Sadly enough.

I watched The Incredible Hulk.  And you know what?  I liked it.  It’s got a cast I like for one thing: Edward Norton, Liv Tyler, William Hurt, and Tim Blake Nelson.  Bruce Banner (Norton) is living in Brazil seeking a cure to his “unique” condition (results from a gamma test gone wrong… he now turns into a giant green monster when his blood pressure gets too high).  General Ross (Hurt) is searching for him, believing him to be government property.  Aaaaand so that he can create this super army.  The best moments in the movie all involve the mysterious “Mr. Blue” (Nelson) though the CGI is also top-notch.  Hulk is not my fav compared to most other super heros out there (it’s not easy being green) but I thought this adaptation and a smaller green dude created life and emotion behind the monstrosity.  Norton was a perfect fit and gave a good performance.  Plus, Tim Blake Nelson just rocks (O Brother Where Art Thou? anyone?) 6/10

p.s. I guess I’ll just have to settle for a Tony Stark cameo until I can get the real thing.  Two more months ’till I’m home, baby.

Written by laurenthejukebox17

June 11, 2010 at 5:52 pm