I expected this movie to be funny, at least a little bit cute, and to probably make me cry at some point. It delivered on all three, but in such a better manner than I thought it could. I’ve said it other places, but I think that this is probably the feel good cancer comedy of the decade. There were a few obligatory cancer movie tropes: The warning shot (wherein death becomes a real threat rather than a vague one), the breakdown (wherein the protagonist freaks out because death is a real threat, and usually reaches out in distress ), the family/friend related realization (wherein the protagonist realizes that s/he is loved.) But they were done well, not too heavy handed or schmaltzy. I would have gone a little softer on the break-down myself, but I always think that movies are too dramatic about the breakdown scenes.
Of course I cried, but not just at the obvious places, there were also touching scenes that had real emotion, and they were skillfully intertwined with great belly laugh moments that reminded me of the sort of crying and laughing that happens in the enormity of actual tragedy.
See this film if you’re into a genuine emotional journey. Also see this film if you grew up on stoner comedies and want to see how your favorite characters from teenhood are dealing with adult issues. Surprisingly well, actually. Which I think is probably what’s up with most of us out here.
Killer Elite is standard action movie stock. It’ll go into the pile of fairly OK movies that can be watched when one is tired of the classics. It’s sort of the soysage to Die Hard’s Jimmy Dean maple breakfast link. But let’s face it, not every movie can be Die Hard, most of them can’t even be Die Hard 2. I know I’ve probably already used that line, as have others before me. But nothing beats Die Hard.
I think that the problem with Killer Elite was that it felt like a heist film trapped in the celluloid of an action film. Both film styles are good, but they’re not necessarily compatible. There was also a lot to do, and not a lot of time to do it in. The plot seemed sort of meandering, and the motivation of non-protagonist characters was a little fuzzy. But the fights were extremely well-choreographed and well shot. All of the action was superb, something that’s been sorely missing from this year’s action offerings.
See Killer Elite if you’re tired of the dick-all, badly timed fight scenes that films seem to be giving us right now. Also see it if you’re interested in watching unnaturally well-built men in armed as well as hand-to-hand combat with each other. I especially like De Niro showing us that he’s still got it in a really great knife verses coat number. Despite it’s confusion, and the rushed feeling of the plot, Killer Elite is probably one of the better films for action that I’ve seen in awhile. It’s worth the money just to be reminded what a fight scene should look like.
What’s Your Number?
I guiltily admit that I actually wanted to see this vag-fest. I usually reserve chick-flicks for Netflix streaming in the background while I’m working on other things. However, I like Anna Faris, and despite the fact that she seems to star in one stinker after another, I know she’s capable of being hilarious and adorable at the same time. Which is just precious.
I have to say that What’s Your Number made a fairly successful effort to be a movie about a woman that’s not a completely formulaic ode to the patriarchy, and at the same time is actually funny and irreverent. Faris was at her best, and paired with frequently naked Chris Evans, the film was laid back, fun and fast-paced. The only time my feminist trigger finger even itched the tiniest bit was at the sister’s wedding where the vows were trying to be cute, but ended up being a gender-stereotype fuckfest in which the man was made to seem like a stupid oaf and the woman an emotional psycho.
Yeah, they were a little light-handed on the whole moral of the story, which is that buying into the shit that women’s magazines feed you only leads to self-deceit and unhappiness (as well as a general lack of decent sex or adventure.) But for a major motion picture, I was truly surprised by how little I was offended. It was actually a fun comedy with a woman as the lead! It’s not a vag-fest after all, finally someone showed that even if there’s a female protagonist the film can still be good!
See this if you left Bridesmaids thinking that it was still not anywhere up to snuff with your favorite R-rated male driven comedies. What’s Your Number isn’t going into regular rotation like The Blues Brothers or anything, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.
Also, I feel obligated to mention that Anna Faris was frequently naked as well, just that wasn’t nearly as interesting as naked Chris Evans. Because duh.