Tuesday, 31 August 2010

3 films, 3 paragraphs

The briefest of brief run-downs of recent cinematic highlights (precluding TS3, of course).

Adventureland is little gem of a film, a paean to crummy summer jobs, doomed workplace romance and the growing awareness in post-adolescence that the adult world is more complex than the caricature that one grows up with. But it leavens these heavier themes with a lot of great gags and more Lou Reed than I thought possible to enjoy. It also features the currently ubiquitous Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg, both of whom sometimes seem like they're in every second or third film we see at the moment.

The Proposal, by contrast, is much more of your Hollywood money-printing machine, dangling, as it does, Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds (in less sleazy form than in Adventureland) in front of pretty Alaskan scenery (or perhaps, Northern Exposure-style, somewhere that just looks like AK). Wise heads less in thrall to the charms of Ms. Bullock might justifiably deride it on any number of counts, but I found it perfectly tolerable if overly derivative of her finest hour. I am such a sucker.

Unlike all videogame tie-in films, which essentially provide confirmation for the view that games are derivative and violent nonsense, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World actually takes this much-maligned medium seriously (after a fashion), and uses it positively to create a narrative and an aesthetic that's pretty unique (the excellent Run Lola Run got some of the way there first). The film is chock-full of neat references and dynamics that parallel those of action games, even structuring itself around infamous boss battles. While the "real world" romance at the centre of the film is sketched out a little too perfunctorily to be convincing (Michael Cera's generic slacker performance is wearing thin), its co-opting of so many tricks from gaming make it an infectious blast. More so for those in the know, but I reckon it'd be fresh and fun enough for most jaded cinema-goers.


APM said...

While You Were`Sleeping!
That explains a lot. It could be the alternative title for Primer.

Plumbago said...

I shan't have WYWS's name taken in vain! ;-)

Still, knowing Liza's opinion concerning Primer (not to mention her withering disdain for my film-recommending skills) perhaps that is a good alternative title.

Anyway, The Proposal is strictly for SB fans, but I'd strongly recommend Adventureland. Though don't tell Liza I said that. Unless she likes the film - then you can tell her.