A Three Movie Weekend – so far…

Several movies I’m interested out all at once = not enough time to catch them all.  Long weekend = more chance to see movies!  So, I decided to see as many as I could this weekend.  Three of them were showing here in Sanford, so they were the ones I chose!  What did I see?  “The Lovely Bones”, “Leap Year”, and “Sherlock Holmes”.  What didn’t make the top of the list because it wasn’t playing in Sanford?  “Up In The Air”.

So – what did I think of the ones I saw this weekend?  Glad you asked…

 The Lovely Bones

I wasn’t sure about this one.  The previews caught my eye, but I was trying to figure out what I thought about it based on the previews.  Was it going to be a downer?  Was it going to be a horror film?  Was it going to be a suspense thriller?  I opted to give it a try and hoped that it would be good! 

It is the story of Suzie Salmon, who was a typical 14-year-old in the early ’70s.  It was a time before it became necessary to be concerned about strangers.  Against her better judgement, she was lured to a secluded spot by an adult neighbor who murders her.  From what I understand of the book, I am grateful that the movie spares us the details of her murder.  She finds herself in a place between reality and heaven.   She watches over her family and her murderer from the in between place.  Her family is distraught and her murderer goes undetected.  Her father goes on a never-ending quest to find out who killed his little girl.

I was impressed with the acting and characters in this movie.  The most impressive was Stanley Tucci as George Harvey – Suzie’s murderer.  I have never seen Tucci in a role that didn’t impress me, but this was a very different view of him than I have seen in past roles.  He is an outstanding character actor who brings life and reality to any role he takes on.  This is no exception.  He plays the villain part to perfection.  I also found Susan Sarandon’s portrayal of Suzie’s Grandma Lynn a fun diversion from the more serious parts of the movie – she was a tough, hard drinking, chain-smoking woman with way too much make up and her hair teased to the sky!  I really enjoyed watching her.

The part that I was less impressed with was any scenes of Suzie in her spirit world.  I found it to be a little too bazaar, fragmented, and disjointed from the rest of the movie.  It didn’t seem to fit.  It was very reminiscent of the 1998 movie “What Dreams May Come” with Robin Williams, except it didn’t come together in “The Lovely Bones” as nicely as it did in “What Dreams May Come”.

All in all, I thought the story was good and the acting and characters were well done, but the bazaar segments left me wondering what the point was.  So, I left wondering if the good parts outshined the bazaar parts or the other way around.  I’ve decided to focus on the good, but can’t completely overlook the bazaar — so, I rate this one a B.

Leap Year

This is a typical romantic comedy — Amy Adams portrays Anna, a woman who wants to be engaged to her boyfriend, Jeremy, so much that she concocts this plan to travel to Ireland to surprise him by proposing to him on leap year in keeping with an old Irish tradition.  Comedy ensues when she runs into complications with her travel plans and is dependent on a cocky Irishman named Declan.  As expected, she ends up falling for Declan and realizes it just as Jeremy finds her and proposes. 

The movie is very predictable and moderately funny, but is really quite cute.  So, I rate it a B- for being an OK romantic comedy – good, but not memorable.

Sherlock Holmes

The write-up on Yahoo Movies states “Robert Downey Jr. brings the legendary detective to life as he has never been portrayed before”.  I couldn’t agree more!  It didn’t take long before I realized they totally ruined my idea of Sherlock Holmes!  I admit that I am not a HUGE follower of Sherlock Holmes stories and movies, but have read and seen a fair amount of these classic tales of brilliant detective work.  My vision of Sherlock Holmes is a distinguished English gentleman who has an uncanny way of looking at the evidence and coming up with the solution through highly educated means.  The portrayal of this wonderful character in this movie is quite the contrary!  Robert Downey Jr. portrays him as an asinine, arrogant buffoon who just happens to have a knack for putting things that most people overlook together to piece together a mystery to come up with a solution.  The brilliant mind part is there, but the rest is a mockery of a beloved classic character.  Also — I can not imagine Sherlock Holmes as a common street fighter and an action adventure type character who performs acrobatics and martial arts type of attacks on his enemies.  It just doesn’t fit and completely ruins any resemblance to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.  Rachel McAdams and Jude Law join Robert Downey Jr. in his failed attempt to bring new life to the classic characters they portray – Law plays Dr. Watson and McAdams plays Irene Adler.  The saving grace is that Law and McAdams did far better acting jobs!  Robert Downey Jr’s portrayal of Holmes looked more like a bad combination of Charlie Chaplin and Downey playing himself — it was apparently meant to be funny, but it wasn’t!

I might have overlooked the wild switch in the character dynamics if it had been a good action/adventure format.  But I can’t say that it was.  I thought it fell flat in that department!  In one word, it was BORING!!!  I actually dozed off more than once and found myself jolted awake by a loud bang or gun shot (an expensive nap).  It was totally unbelievable and moderately interesting.  Another place I felt it fell short was the use of mental flashes to show Holmes’ thought process as he looks at evidence and thinks through how he will fight his opponent.  The scenes are much like those used in the TV series “Psych”, but are not as successful in being funny and relevant to the scene.

I got the feeling they tried to mix comedy and action/adventure and failed at both.  The only part of the movie that was interesting and kept my interest was the end when Holmes explained how all the magical/mystical deeds of adversary, Blackwood, were actually done – that was all kinda cool.  But, other than that, it was a real yawner for me!  I rate it a C+ — not terrible and not a total loss, but I really wish I hadn’t spent $7.00 to see it and take a little nap!

I’d like to see “Up In The Air” and may take a drive out-of-town to see it tomorrow — maybe it will redeem the weekend full of movies!  But, I do have work that needs to be done around the house, so it will depend on how I feel tomorrow and how much I think I can get done if I also go to a movie!

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