Category Archives: Films

5 Terrible Tropes

Usually I’m insufficiently hateful or verbose enough to tear apart a book or movie.  I tend to cover media in fan-girl mode, that’s why they’re “A” Reviews.   But not all tropes are rainbows and butterflies.  If you’re a writer or filmmaker who utilizes these, I’m begging you, cool it!

Eye Open
No, I’m not ready for a close up.  For some reason they like to shove a camera into a person’s face for emotional effect or something. I especially hate it when someone who was peacefully sleeping wakes up violently.  My vote: maintaining a healthy distance hurts no one.
Ahhh!: Catching Fire, Resident Evil, Avatar, Breaking Dawn, The Matrix

Fourth date marriage
Accidentally in love, then bam, they’re at the altar.  The average time it takes to fall head over heels with your soulmate is 3 days in movie time, and that might be generous.  Why is romance so often cheap and careless?
Happily Whatever: While You Were Sleeping, Hitch, Romeo + Juliet, The Proposal, Shrek, most Disney and Nicholas Sparks stories

Framing device
Narrator: “This is a story about…and then this happened…and then the end”
Me: No thanks, for adding nothing interesting at all. 
Unnecessarily setting up scenes that switch back and forth to the storyteller the whole time.  Unlike using significant minor flashbacks that would be far more efficient they decide to throw in inane details and useless extra characters throughout the entire film, testing my patience.
GTFO: Titanic, The Notebook, Forrest Gump, Great Gatsby, Water for Elephants, Ever After, The Princess Bride, Life of Pi

In medias res
Argh, is it too much to ask for stories to be told in its proper chronological format? I have such a grudge for its lack of order plus that it’s become ultra trendy. My friends practically stop the DVD and run for cover whenever there’s a prelude cutting to an earlier scene and I would scream, “NO!!! This is out of context!!!”
1) hacked and unartistic
2) useless the story
3) insults the viewer
4) completely overdone
5) distracting and choppy
Oh bother: Inception, Miss Potter, The Illusionist, The Help, Mrs Winterbourne, Moulin Rouge
Well played exceptions: The Prestige, Crash, Memento

Charade
You lied to me?! All this was to get that woman’s money? – Anastasia
Holding a secret or feeding into a misunderstanding.  I’m too lazy to keep up a false cover so I’m not keen to enjoy an entire premise where a “hero” is caught up in a lie.  It may be they are trying for humorous consequences or drama but I just feel like when it hits the fan there’s just destruction and betrayal, not entertainment, in its wake.  It’s one thing if the duplicity was given as a sophisticated double cross or by a evil manipulator with an end game. Sometimes it can be done well, in the style of Shakespearean comedies but unsuccessful investments otherwise.  Usually they involve an harmless reporter or a bet, which is less than riveting.
Wtf: Rango, Brave, Just Go With It, Something Borrowed, She’s All That, 10 Things I Hate About You, Hitch, Dan in Real Life, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Never Been Kissed
It’s for a good cause exceptions: 21 Jump Street, Ever After

What do I know, my taste runs the same as the average vampire-loving teenager anyway. There’s no accounting why certain themes push our buttons.   Let’s just agree that we all like stupid things. Counter list coming soon!

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A Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

*spoilers all around*

I was really into the animated Spider-Man series as a kid.  He is extremely relatable dealing with angsty youthful struggles we all have in life.  He also comes with a street attitude uncommon in other superhero figures. Plus, he thinks/talks to himself a lot to work things out, so I peg him as a fellow introvert.

(side note on the Sam Raimi series: When I went to the theater to see the first one with Tobey Maguire I was immediately disappointed – they ruined the Spider-Man I knew.  The writing was so bland and the characters flat I didn’t care what happened to them.  No chemistry between Peter and Mary Jane.  It REALLY bothered me that the webs came out of Peter’s body.  There were a handful of scenes in each of the installments that worked and the visuals were top notch yet ultimately I would say I found them watchable but unsatisfying.)

Anyway, for this feature, let’s get the bad stuff out there first…

Weak points
I thought the whole movie didn’t really flow.  There were a lot of revelations and developments that were crammed in and didn’t add much to the story.  Pace could be a lot quicker.  Not a fan of the blaring fanfare for intro and outro, it should be strings, not trumpets (dang it, I have to admit, the first trilogy did a better job with that).

I had to say that out of love, now on to the amazing portions…

Lesson 1: Be kind to “invisible people” (or force them to go to therapy)
Does anyone think I matter?  Am I needed?  I just want people to see me.
I would say Max/Electro’s story is unforeign to most people.  He was rejected and ignored even though he was a brilliant engineer.  He was alone and obsessed over anyone who gave him attention.  Therefore, given power, he will seek revenge and murder a ton in search of fame.  I thought I was jaded to conspiracy but was quite disturbed how his records and death were erased as a cover up to raise Oscorp’s stock. No one can complain about their birthday after seeing Max electrocuted, dunked, and bitten savagely by electric eels!

Lesson 2: “It’s complicated” is only acceptable when the stakes are life and death.  Everyone else should just picture the future with them/ without them and decide which is better.   
Peter and Gwen were such a match! I loved their science session when she lectured him about combating the electrical fields from his web.  When he wrote the I love you message it was a death sentence for sure.  He warned her and did everything he could to keep her out of danger but it was her choice to risk it all.  They loved and respected each other fully and you know it’s not meant to be but still can’t help but get torn up over his loss.

Lesson 3: Nerdy/ brainy is the new sexy indeed. 
I was wary watching the first film last year but Andrew did a fine job doing what Spider-Man does best – snarky snark snark.  He sold it well and I never developed such a crush on Spider-Man until recently.  Intelligent skinny Peter who devotes himself to making the world better (with that perfect hair every morning) is definitely my kind of guy. Emo well dressed pretty boy Harry with those piercing blues, not bad either. It was so sad that he thought everyone just wanted money from him!

Leftover Questions: So is Felicia going to be Black Cat? Is Peter going to show his aunt the video exposing the truth about his dad and Oscorp (or anyone else for that matter?) Would skipping stones with someone be considered as cheating on your S.O.?

Cool Spidey-scenes

  • Peter dipping Gwen for a big kiss at their graduation, woohoo
  • A+ on effects and voice for Electro
  • Peter & Harry go on a bromantic date
  • Peter’s acrobatic diversion to help Gwen escape, hot!
  • Slow mo strategically saving the people on the stairs who were about to be electrocuted
  • Harry going through files on his glass desk/computer, high tech!
  • Peter conducting experiments with the web material and batteries (all for nothing, he should have just called Gwen, haha)
  • Spider-Man cosplaying with a helmet to hose down the baddie and high fiving the firefighter team, win
  • Harry successfully breaking into Ravencroft with only a taser, whaaat
  • The part with Gwen was falling was artistic and extraordinary
  • Peter walking completely besotted toward Gwen through traffic, sigh

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