May 11th, 2012

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Safe

I know my movie addiction is horrible. I dont even make excuses for it. I'm still recovering from the lack of sleep that comes with doing musical theater, and yet I insist on running across town for a late-ish movie that will get me home right at bed time on a school night, just because I dont wanna risk missing it. Oh yeah, I saw this on Tue, just playing catch up now.

Even though some of his recent choices have been questionable, I'll follow Jason Statham to any movie, particularly if it looks action-y. I live for that genre, and he is my present go-to star for my adrenaline fix. The fact that there were no less than three trailers before the movie that featured Bruce Willis boded well. Was that an accurate harbinger of goodness to come? Eh.

Statham really made a name for himself in the genre with Transporter, and from there peaked with Crank. Since then, nothing's really excited me in quite the same way. At least Safe wasn't a disappointment like a few I'm sure he'd prefer to wipe from his resume. It just didnt seem to bring anything new to the table. Yeah we got the gritty style with the no holds barred attitude the boy is known for, but nothing dazzled. The story felt contrived. There were no real risks.

It's only been a couple of days since I saw this, and I'm totally blanking on anything worth discussing. That says a whole lot on its own. I did enjoy the ride while on it, but clearly it didnt stay with me. The one standout was the little girl, Mei, played by Catherine Chan. She wasn't your cute-sy little princess in distress. This girl's attitude was all business, which was kinda refreshing. I liked that she thought about things rather than just cowering and going with the flow. That's a lot more than I can say for lots of leading ladies in action movies who may be twice her age (I'm looking at you, Megan Fox in Transformers!)

Safe - \m/ \m/ \m/
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The Raven

It's been almost nine whole months since I've lived in Fenway, but I still know how to maneuver my way around a Red Sox crowd and get to the movies over there in exactly the right amount of time. Srsly, I was quite impressed with myself yesterday. From knowing what time to leave the office to how to find a good spot on the train to walking against the crowd down Brookline, it was all just as clockwork as I've come to expect from my selectively OCD self.

As far as the actual movie, part of it seemed promising, part of it made me skeptical. On the promising side, the premise sounded pretty cool, and I knew I'd love the goth feel. On the skeptical side, I really wasn't so sure about John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe and I could see the very fine line to overly campy and hokey in the not so distant horizon. My verdict is that it ended up somewhere in the middle. The concept was really cool, but the follow thru wasn't fully thought out. I feel like the writers started putting it together and never quite decided where things were gonna end up. Or rather, they knew where it'd end up, but not exactly how to get there.

Watching the movie, my first thoughts were that I really wish I was much more familiar with Poe's work. I've read Telltale Heart, and I've got a passing familiarity with some of his other work, but nowhere near enough to catch any of the references. I dont know if I spaced out at the wrong time, but I still dont entirely get what Poe's role in the game was (I mean besides the obvious). The killer was recreating his stories, but he also had to write the story? Clearly I missed something. But we certainly reached a point about midway thru when I stopped caring. I didn't feel knowledgable enough to try and piece together the mystery myself. As someone with a logical an analytical mind, I live for the puzzle. Without it, I'm bored.

At least my fears of a miscast proved to be unfounded. Cusack was pretty unrecognizable, stylistically at least. While he may not have been my first choice for this gothic prince, he took it on quite well. The supporting cast was strong as well, but overall I just see so much unfulfilled potential in this movie.

The Raven - \m/ \m/ \n
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Sound of My Voice

I had planned on seeing Dark Shadows tonight, for like the past week. But then a blurb on Sound of My Voice caught my attention (more on that in a minute). I had a quick rehearsal for tomorrow's show selection that ended just a touch later than I'd planned on. I made the last second decision that I'd have better luck running to the Kendall in 10 min than T-ing to Harvard in 20. Given that I got there just after previews started, I think I made the right choice. Shadows is postponed to later this weekend (unclear if my tomorrow evening is free or not). Then all I got left is my repeat of Avengers, which may be pushed to next week. I do intend to start my next side project within the next 7 days. It mostly depends on how the movie going falls, which again is dependent on tomorrow.

It doesnt take much to convince me that I wanna see a movie: a particular actor or director, a personal recommendation from a friend, a favorable review from a trusted source, just the right keywords in a quick blurb. It was that final option that pulled me into Sound of My Voice (with a little bit of the one just before). EW had a short review. The operative phrase that caught my attention was "...gets deeper into the fascination — the mental horror — of cults than Martha Marcy May Marlene did." YES! While I had enjoyed Martha Marcy, I found it was lacking in that aspect. I wasn't as psychologically thrilled as I expected, and we didnt dive too far off the deep end. Sound seemed to promise all that I'd been missing.

Did it deliver? For the most part, yeah. I think I coulda done with a little bit more crazy, but then again, we all know how I love my messed up dramas to be really \m/. What I did like was all the mystery around it. Who is Maggie? What are her motives? Are our documentarians gonna get caught? Those are just the spoiler free questions I can ask. There were plenty more. Watching it played out kinda like watching Lost. Questions and mysteries would start to appear, and then would cut out quickly and move onto the next thing. Before you could process the unknown, you were presented with something else. If you're into that sort of Lost-y vibe, then yeah this is a good one for you. However, if you need closure in that type of set up, maybe you should skip this. I'm still puzzling over what it all meant, especially the last minute. And unlike Lost, Im not exactly expecting the internet to be abuzz or to walk into the office and spend the first hour of the day discussing. (Though if you've seen this and you have theories, please please tell me!)

Right now, I'm thinking about how the different aspects of this cult set up get to me. The hive mind and ulterior motives and all that crap really intrigues me. That's the stuff that kinda sucks me in, but I can see how some people would find that to be the scary part. No, what scares me is how overly nice the cult-ees, especially the leaders are. The soft gentle voices, the overly understanding attitude, all of that creeps me the \m/ out. I wonder what that says about me as a person...

Sound of my Voice - \m/ \m/ \m/ \n