Thursday, September 5, 2013

Writing Counts in Movies, Too

These past two weeks I crawled from my writing cave and took in a couple of movies, The Wolverine and Elysium. Here are my thoughts:

The Wolverine- Being a comic book fan and a Hugh Jackman fan, I held out hope that this film could rise to a decent entertainment level. Unfortunately, Hugh Jackman aside, it never really rose above a level of, meh. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either. It's deep emotional meaning (immortality, life and death, that sort of stuff) never truly came out of the shallow end, and the action scenes seemed tempered. There were flashes of brilliance, like the bar scene, and the fight atop the train, but most of the action sequences lacked that kick-ass spark a movie like this needs. Sadly, The Wolverine was imminently forgettable and slightly disappointing.

Elysium- Again I had hopes for this film, by the writer and director of District 9, and this time I was rewarded.   This is a nice science fiction film, that delivers what it promises: action, drama, and grit. The plot's solid, if somewhat predictable at times, and the writer/director, Neill Blomkamp, creates a very believable world of urban decay and class dystopia where the privileged few rule. It's a world quite chilling at time, where robot and human alike can be without feeling; at least the robots are programmed that way.  I also liked that it didn't compromise its ending, and played out the inevitability.  I enjoyed this movie quite a bit.

The strengths and weakness of both films lie in the writing and the plot; one embraced its themes and built on them, the other hedged its bets and fell short.

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