This Week In Cinema: January 19-25, 2014

saving mr. banks

If I ever need saving I’m hoping an animated mouse can come to the rescue!

Only a handful of movies this week,

Dal-kom, Sal-beol-han Yeon-in (My Scary Girl, 2006, Jae-gon Son, South Korea) ***

Over the top is a most ridiculous fashion. That’s the strength of this film though as there is some level of charm to be found in how ridiculous every moment of the film manages to be. I laughed a lot, and maybe that makes me a bad person, but I’m okay with that. The awkwardness and the ludicrous nature of every single aspect of the film got to my funny bone in a pretty major way. I wish more American romantic comedies were like Dal-kom, Sal-beol-han Yeon-in, because though it has a ton of problems it’s still really funny and a lot of fun to sit through.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005, Shane Black, United States of America) ***

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is an engaging and fun noir that felt very progressive to me at times. I liked the characters, I loved Val Kilmer’s performance, and I laughed a lot while being interested in the to and fro of the narrative. What I didn’t like was the breaking of the fourth wall in the beginning of the film and the end. That felt false to me, and it felt like a cheap ploy from Shane Black, a misguided attempt to help a script and direction that he didn’t believe in. I know for a lot of people the fourth wall stuff is a major draw, but I loved everything about Kiss Kiss Bang Bang excpet for the fourth wall breaking narration.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991, Michael Pressman, Hong Kong/United States of America) ***

I wouldn’t quibble with anyone who wanted to say this movie is terrible. Still, I love the goofiness of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze implicitly. I must have watched the VHS tape of this movie almost a hundred times as a kid. Sure, there’s some nostalgia at play here, but I don’t think nostalgia is a bad thing. It’s not blinding me to the many flaws within the film. Rather, the nostalgia is the icing on the cake, that little extra something to go along with the zany and wacky fun I still have with this movie as an adult.

Saving Mr. Banks (2013, John Lee Hancock, Australia/United Kingdom/United States of America) ***1/2

My initial reaction was one of charm. The more I think about this film the more I like it and the more it reveals its not just about being charming. The recreation of a time and place is wonderful, the acting from Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson is truly great, and ultimately the direction deserves some kudos. The ending is of the utmost importance because the end doesn’t betray its lead character, she remains steadfastly against what she dislikes. She’s not happy in the end, she’s experiencing catharsis, of the highest order. Screw history, I wanted a great movie and that’s what I got.

Wrap-Up:

A bunch of movie good movies that I really liked this week. The most recent one stood out the most, and that’s why Saving Mr. Banks takes home movie of the week honors. Until next week, watch more movies!

Cheers,
Bill Thompson

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