Film Friday #128

Moonrise Kingdom

When Sam (Jared Gillman), an orphan loner meets Suzy (Kara Hayward), a girl with a serious anger problem it is love at first awkward sight. While Sam is away at scout camp the two “lovers” plot to run away together, throwing their small island community into turmoil as they are pursued by local law enforcement (Bruce Willis), a band of rabid fellow scouts and a giant storm. Moonrise Kingdom has all the hallmarks of a Wes Anderson film – misunderstood outcast kids, strange outfits, unexplained weird family behaviour (Frances McDormand as Suzy’s mother talks to her children and husband through a loudhailer), Jason Schwartzman, a narrator… For some this is a good thing and I know he is a favoured director of many, but up until now I just really haven’t gotten it. However, I actually found this one quite charming. The unwavering purity of the connection between Suzy and Sam is lovely and creates a great juxtaposition with Suzy’s tendency to become violent at the drop of a hat. It also has a cracking soundtrack and a host of brilliantly bizarre adult supporting characters. I might just have turned a Wes Anderson corner. 3.5./5

Girl look at that body... I WORK OUT!

Girl look at that body… I WORK OUT!

The Raven

After a series of deranged murders, seemingly inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s (John Cusack) macabre stories, Detective Fields (Luke Evans) calls on the man himself to help find the perpetrator. But when Poe’s lady love, Emily (Alice is Eve) is kidnapped things suddenly become much more personal and Poe and Fields must race against the clock to save her life. This film has absolutely no redeeming features. The acting is lazy and haphazard, the character development is non-existent, the pacing drags painfully making the film feel about four hours long, in some places it’s so dark you can’t see what is going on and the dialogue is so clichéd and hackneyed it ends up being funny… and it’s really not supposed to be. I feel like this was trying to be Sherlock Holmes and failed miserably. In the words of one of the friends who watched this with me, “What happened to High Fidelity John Cusack?” Well I can tell you one thing, he’s not in this film! 0/5

Poe: "Is this a costume ball?" Emily: "No I'm just embarrassed to be seen with you."

Poe: “Is this a costume ball?” Emily: “No I’m just embarrassed to be seen with you.”

John Carter

John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), a civil war veteran is transported to Mars after coming into contact with a strange pendant in a cave. There he finds a vast tribe of twelve foot tall barbarians called Tharks who are amazed with his new found ability to leap through the air and think his name is Virginia. The Tharks are not particularly thrilled with the dominant humanoid looking residents of the nearby city of Helium, who are at war with a rival clan (I think… I got very confused). After escaping from the Tharks and falling in with Helium Princess, Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins), Carter finds himself thrust into the middle of the conflict, which is actually just a ruse to cover up the manipulating actions of the Ras – another race who are sucking the life out of Mars for their own ends. Complicated enough for you? Considering that this film is likely only to be enjoyed by seven year old boys, there’s probably a good case for dumbing it down a bit. It couldn’t draw enough of my attention to concentrate on the plot line and the minute I got distracted I had no idea what was going on. It is unlikely you are going to miss anything by not seeing this CGI-tastic snorefest. Unless you are seven, in which case you probably won’t care if it doesn’t make any sense. 1.5/5

He's behind you!

He’s behind you!

The Lincoln Lawyer

Matthew McConaughey plays, Mick Haller, a somewhat sleazy defence lawyer who has made a name for himself getting dodgy clients off on technicalities. When his bail bondsman friend Val (John Leguizamo) puts him onto the case of mega rich playboy, Louis Roulet (Ryan Philippe) he thinks he has it made. Roulet has been accused of beating up a prostitute (Margarita Levieva) but claims that he has been set up. As Mick starts to see similarities between Roulet’s case and one he defended in the past he realises he might have been responsible for putting an innocent man behind bars. Backed into a corner by legal technicalities, Mick must put all of his less than savoury skills to use to bring the truth to light. If you have ever seen one of the slew of John Grisham adaptions that came out in the 90’s this “dodgy lawyer with a conscience and lots of tricks up his sleeve outsmarts the smart guy” thing will be familiar and like me, you will probably get the feeling that you’ve seen this film before… about twelve times. Matthew McConaughey is fine, as always playing himself but Philippe is as flat as ever. There’s nothing terribly wrong with this film but it lacks any originality and can’t quite be rescued by its rather entertaining supporting cast. 2.5/5

It says here you're most well known for getting your arse out in Cruel Intentions

It says here you’re most well known for getting your arse out in Cruel Intentions


  1. I couldn’t agree with you more on each and every one if these reviews. Well I may have liked Moonrise a little more than you but the others are dead on!! Love the 0/5 for The Raven, they filmed sucked.

    Nice post. 🙂

  2. Abbi

    I was surprised to like Moonrise Kingdom at all because I’m really not a Wes Anderson fan.

    The Raven was horrendous. I hope John Cusack is ashamed of himself!

  3. Great reviews. You may have ALMOST convinced me to watch Moonrise Kingdom. I really really have NEVER understood the Wes Anderson thing. That’s a shame about The Raven. :-/ I used to LOVE John Cusack in his Lloyd Dobler Say Anything days but he’s not been like that for years. 😦 And I’ll watch John Carter at some point as Andrew Stanton is responsible for so many of my Pixar favourites (Wall-E!!) but it looks very iffy. The Lincoln Lawyer is the type of movie that always bores me but.. Hey – John Leguizamo! Still won’t watch it, though. 🙂

    1. Abbi

      I’ve never enjoyed Wes Anderson but I found Moonrise Kingdom really quirky and charming with likeable characters, unlike some of his other films which just felt bizarre for the sake of it. It might be because it felt like he might have been channelling some version of his childhood self in Sam.

      The Raven is an embarrassment. I also used to love John Cusack but I think it all went a bit wrong somewhere around America’s Sweethearts.

      Good luck with John Carter and if you figure out what’s going on, let me know! Lol!

      1. Is what’s-his-face in John Carter at least hot enough to look at if I can’t be bothered to follow the plot?

        1. Abbi

          Eh… he’s not really my type but he is topless a LOT so if he is your type you’ll probably enjoy him.

  4. I’d just like to point out that I enjoyed John Carter and I’m not 7 😛 It plays right into my flm weakness!

    1. Abbi

      Whatevs… you just like topless boys and senseless adventure #princeofpersia

        1. Abbi

          Troy is different.

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