12 Months of Movies 2007: April

Here’s my impression of what happened in April 2007:

Alex:Hey, April 2007! Impress me!
April 2007: Okay! Bawitaba, ba doo da dee diddy diddy
Alex: What the fuck?
April 2007: I dunno, it played well in the frats!

Thursday, April 5, 6:40, Dendy Opera Quays, Cinema 2

I managed to make my way out to the Dendy! Once there, I found a movie which is apparently the French doppleganger of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, which I’ve never seen. Audrey Tatou, beautiful as ever, is a gold digger. She is convinced that a bartender in the hotel where she’s gold digging is in fact a millionaire … and terrible things happen! It becomes a contest of the wills and is both sweet and funny. I like unpredictable movies, but a good romance with a foregone conclusion is something that can’t be ignored. I don’t see a lot of French movies and I don’t imagine that this one is representative, but I would not object if it was.

The Host
Monday, April 9, 3:50, Greater Union George Street, Cinema 17

At first, I didn’t get this movie at all. It seemed ridiculous that, in these environmentally paranoid times, that Americans would force Koreans to tip toxic chemicals down the sink. Yet apparently it happened for real! So people still make weird decisions in this world. Decisions like making The Host and never quite hitting any particular tone. I had no idea whether I was supposed to laugh or be sad about the ridiculous kicking-on-the-floor mourning scene, and some of the deaths that were supposed to be meaningful more accurately fell into the realm of “stupid”, if you ask me.
The Host had some surprises to offer here and there, but it’s not strictly in a genre that I would usually watch and it’s all a bit too strange for me. I have a friend who loves movies that give the finger to what movies are supposed to be about, but I think that a movie can be subversive without uprooting itself and flying up into the solarsphere.

Tuesday, April 10, 12:00, IMAX

Someone, please explain to me why this movie was so huge. Why is it the beloved of male college students ever? Why did I run into a friend later in the month who had just seen it, who said that it made him feel “so gay”? 300 is a movie of rhetoric. It’s also a movie of repetition, bland colour and few to no redeeming qualities. I don’t even care that much about the obvious glossing of certain Spartan realities – although I do care about the ultra-priss Xerxes – this is simply not an entertaining movie. The best thing about it: self-incriminating human piñata!

Friday, April 20, 9:15, Greater Union Hurstville, Cinema 3

Now this is more like it! My work colleague Wei, not very long out of China, said that she loved this movie because it showed up the US bureaucracy as corrupt. It’s true that Shooter isn’t all “rar rar” patriotic self-congratulation that a lot of movies are these days (which is why I find it hilarious when some people call movies along the lines of Lions For Lambs and Rendition movies that “piss all over [America]”), and it tries for bi-partisanship by not naming any affiliations – but secretly features a cabin for the villains filled with Republican portraits.
Anyway! Bam! Dude got his arm shot right off! Marky Mark is the only man who stands between America and corruption! There’s a lot about this movie that is fundamentally stupid, but it’s the sort where you’re allowed to see explosions and the daughter from Brokeback Mountain and say “okay, I accept this.”

Tuesday, April 24, 6:30, Greater Union George Street, Cinema 12

The unwritten rule of animation or video games that are not Disney-Pixar is that Patrick Stewart has to be involved in some capacity. Hence TMNT, the tasty latest effort from the heroes in the half shell. I won’t pretend that it was perfect, because it very blatantly follows the Kevin Smith rule, which I theorise is “cast Kevin Smith in your movie so he can’t possibly complain about it” (see also: Live Free or Die Hard), and the use of “Black Betty” in any capacity in any movie should be punishable by death. Still, it hit so many of my TMNT requirements that those bad spots were moot. What you need to make a good story with these characters is a strong Leonardo and Raphael story. They’ve got that going for them here, and that allows them to get away with the strange proportions on all of the characters and the montage-substituting-for-action bits.
Zhang Ziyi still speaks like she has cotton in her mouth, and to be honest I’m not familiar with all of this continuity, but I had a good time.

Friday, April 27, 2:00, Greater Union George Street, Cinema 8

Why the fuck did I watch this again? I could have seen Paris, Je’Taime or something.

Pick of the Month: Priceless

Priceless represents a night out with Liz, and sometimes that’s the best you can ask for. Your experience will, by necessity, be nothing like that, so settle for the fact that this is a pleasant French film that offers few surprises but more laughs.

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