Alack! Alas! My January has largely been spent in pursuit of my actual research, for my thesis, culminating in a writing a conference paper and completely wiping me out. Then, there was some goofing off around my birthday, and the consumption of altogether too much food.
In the midst of all of this, however, I did manage to see a number of movies, and while it had never been my intent to make this a movie blog, they have come to dominate (as they are my most frequent and easily-ranted-about entertainment). Without further ado, I present my thoughts on the three movies I saw in theatre in January.
Thoughts on Up in the Air
This movie is not the normal sort of movie I write about here. (I do watch some movies outside of the science fiction/fantasy/action/comedy category—though not many—but I generally don’t hold forth on them.) However, this movie was good enough to warrant some public praise.
I guess it is technically a drama, though it has plenty of humour throughout. George Clooney plays a likable jackass who fires people for a living, and lives to travel, with no ties, no connections, just freedom. He is teamed up with a young woman who plans to revolutionize his business and tie him down, and the movie is about him realizing maybe connections aren’t so bad.
That description doesn’t really do it much justice; the movie just works on basically every level. Tension, family conflict, and humour are all well balanced into a movie that is (mostly) unpredictable, clever, nice, and yet doesn’t end too neatly. Up in the Air gets the Andrew House seal of approval.
Boom! Now this was my usual kind of movie. As most of my familiarity with Sherlock Holmes comes via Star Trek: The Next Generation, I’m not a stickler for accuracy to the source material, and so the obvious… liberties taken with it do not bother me. Guy Ritchie put together a snappy, fast-paced action movie with highly entertaining characters and a fine cast. I was worried a little bit in the middle that they were actually introducing mystical/occult stuff, but thankfully it all worked out in the end. A very fun and ridiculous movie—though not one for Holmes purists—that I wholeheartedly recommend.
The girlfriend wanted to see this one, and it turned out to be better than I expected. I guess it was a sort of horror movie, though thankfully not a part of the torture porn genre, which has a former angel protecting an unborn child from the possessed masses after the apocalypse. There were some genuinely creepy bits, some nicely gross bits, some cool action scenes, and, well, that was mostly it. The reason for the apocalypse was kind of unclear, and the reason the unborn child could stop it was even more unclear—the movie did not lend itself well to deep introspection. But it had a bit of tension, creepiness, and coolness, and so it kind of worked, for the kind of movie it is.
And that’s all I’ve got.