Posts Tagged ‘Olivia Wilde’

In a nutshell: Eternal youth for the rich, death for the poor. Great concept marred by poor execution.

Popcorn rating: 2.5/5

Robin Hood meets sci fi might sound like a recipe for disaster. But writer and director Andrew Niccol almost manages to pull off this story of a dystopia in which time is literally money.

No doubt inspired by the work of Philip K Dick, In Time shows a world in which people stop aging at 25 but are genetically engineered to live just one more year. This is unless they can ‘buy their way out’ – the rich and successful basically have eternal youth. On each person’s arm are glowing digits which morbidly show how much time they have left to live. It is also like a cash machine as people can simply touch each other to transfer ‘time’.

Niccol messes with your head from the outset – to give you an example, you meet the protagonist Will Salas (Justin Timberlake) and then his mum Rachel (Olivia Wilde from House) – in physical terms they are the same age but Rachel is 50. Salas lives day-by-day struggling to survive – quite literally – but when he saves Henry Hamilton, who has a century on the clock, his life completely changes.

Salas is accused of murder and from almost out of nowhere, he recruits a disillusioned rich man’s daughter Sylvia Weis (Amanda Seyfried). The pair set out on a Robin Hood adventure to crash the living, breathing market and give everyone the chance of a full life. Hot on their heels are the time keepers (I kid you not) led by Cillian Murphy, in a rather dull and disappointing role.

In Time proves to be a flawed but interesting concept. Despite the audience being offered no explanation about why the world is like this, the film is intriguing – as well as a terrifying take on our obsession with mortality and the evolution of capitalism.

In the film, people live in ‘time zones’ which separate the rich and poor. It’s all too familiar – think about Britain’s poor estates and leafty mansions. Unfortunately, it’s the unconvincing story and execution which lets it down. Sylvia betrays her family and her whole way of life seemingly on a whim. In one scene the picturesque pair also ram raid a bank which is made entirely out of glass and has its safe wide open. Seriously, who made this bank?

All in all, watching In Time won’t be a complete waste of time, just don’t expect any real surprises as the final seconds tick down.

Reviewer: DavidMorgan

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In a nutshell: Snoring your way through the Wild Wild West.

Popcorn rating: 2/5

Someone somewhere had an idea. ‘You know what’s great?’ perhaps they thought. ‘Cowboy movies. You know what else is great? Aliens. Man, how cool would it be to like, you know, put cowboys and aliens together in a movie and then, like maybe, throw in Indiana Jones and Bond and that guy outta Apocalypto and that sexy bird from Tron Legacy cos she looks kinda sexy, like a sexy alien cowgirl. Wow, yeah and everyone aged from 10 to 90 would just love it. High five.’

For some reason I thought it sounded like a good idea too. I was looking forward to the Jon Favreau directed Cowboys and Aliens like a five-year-old looks forward to Christmas. See, I love Westerns. Real Westerns, like the Shakespearean filth of Deadwood or the raw elegaic beauty of True Grit. I like aliens too. Hell, District 9 is one of my all time favourite movies.

Cowboys and Aliens, however, is none of the above. In fact, when I was leaving the cinema, I heard someone describe Cowboys and Aliens as “good, honest fun” and I can only presume they were talking about when the older lady close to the front row started choking on her popcorn.

The premise is surprisingly complex but as it is also somewhat pointless, we don’t need to go into it in detail here. Suffice it to say that the story centres round a small town somewhere in 1873 Arizona which is mysteriously attacked by people-stealing aliens. Mildly perturbed by the arrival of aliens from outer space, the townsfolk calmly band together into a posse to go hunt the “demons” and save their people, with the help of some injuns and 30 or so outlaws.

Guess who’s going to win? Go on, guess. I won’t ask you to care of course. To care would require a few ingredients, like good dialogue, some character development and a script which offers something different from the same old good V bad plot.

What Cowboys and Aliens does have is a bucketload of saccharine, one dimensional characters, a frankly ridiculous twist even for a film involving cowboys and aliens and, worst of all, a boring script.

Oh, it’s not all bad. There is the odd smattering of humour, which works well, there are a few good, scary jumps along the way too, and at least the aliens have the decency to look different from previous imaginings. That’s it though.

Don’t get me wrong. I like mindless fun as much as the next kid – Indiana Jones, The Mummy, Men in Black are all great examples of movies which mix laughs, action and storytelling successfully. Cowboys and Aliens doesn’t, and its a shame really, because it was a great idea. It really was. It just didn’t quite match up to the dream.

Reviewer: Curlyshirley

Disclaimer – This may seem like a harsh review but, true to the ethos of Let Me Eat Popcorn, it is my honest opinion. I would, in the interests of fairness, like to point out that my 12-year-old nephew Malachy loved Cowboys and Aliens and even went as far as to describe it as “brilliant”. So there.

TRON: Legacy (in 3D)

Posted: December 6, 2010 by curlyshirley in Film
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

In a nutshell: The story is cobbles but check your brain at the door and soak your senses in TRON. Let the games commence.

Popcorn rating: 3/5

TRON: Legacy is not perfect. The first shot of a “young” Jeff Bridges in all his CGI glory is just, well, creepy and the ‘son of the creator’ plot has so many holes you may as well have knitted it yourself out of some leftover wool.

But who cares? Nobody ever really thought the story was going to win awards. No one that heads out on a cold winter’s eve to see TRON: Legacy will be out for something as mundane as a plot.

You are there for the grid. And the grid, my geeky friends, does not disappoint.

After a few meandering set-the-story scenes (and that weird “young” Bridges CGI thing) you are soon in the virtual world of TRON and what a world it is. From its zippy, neon lines to the stylish blue and white glassiness of Flynn’s castle in the mountains to the sheer dexterity of its death games, everything about this computer generated world screams: “I am stylish. Got that? OK? Sty.Lish. Yip. That’s me.”

If you value looks over substance, then lie back and wallow in how gloriously, menacingly chilling it all looks. Enjoy the frantic games, the uber cool unicycles, the spinning discs and the mesmerising, speedy elegance of the unbeatable Tron. Giggle at old Flynn’s 1980s lingo (did he just say “rad?”) and Michael Sheen’s OTT Castor. Drink in the harsh, dystopian cyber beauty of it all.

Then pick up your brain at the door, leave the cinema, grab a beer and talk about how awesome it all was. How you wouldn’t mind seeing the first one now. How it all a got a bit Messiah at one point, which was kinda weird. How you’re glad you saw it in IMAX/3D because TRON: Legacy on DVD just won’t be the same. Even if you have got a 54” 1080p TV in your living room. Which says it all about the plot.

Then you can talk about all that other important stuff. Like war and politics and budgets and stuff. Or, if you were a computer game, what would you be?

Reviewer: curlyshirley