Brittany Runs a Marathon
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
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WHOA. That's some ride. I had the pleasure of watching the series post-run (tHANx da interNetz) so the follow-up was, to my delight, not only an excellent continuation of the story, but also wilder, darker, faster, and more emotionally gripping. Sure, we've had characters in peril in the past, but in this film, every single character is brought to the brink of death... and let's just say some don't return from it. And to see the void through their eyes is both exhilerating and terrifying. The cast is still superb, but Fillion is at his finest. None of the one-liners fall flat, not a single line is out of place, and every shot is cooler than the last. I think it's a fabulous film, but I picked off a half star just for those who had never seen the series. Without all that backstory, you really have no emotional investment in them, which is really what makes this work. So the bottom line is: watch the TV show. It's awesome. Srsly.
I know, I know, sucker for Disney. Especially fairy tale musicals. After 5 viewings, I figured it's about time to write something down about why I would possibly spend so much time in a theatre with such dismal sound and video quality. The short answer is characters + music + plot. It's quite appropriate that Disney's 50th animated film contains so many elements of other classics like The Little Mermaid (young, naive maiden and the sassy villainess in black), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (the forbidden "road trip" and overprotective parental figure plus the dashingly handsome rogue), and even Beauty and the Beast (seriously - magic glowing flower, amirite?). It gives the characters a familiar feel while throwing them a more modern, snappy script and some fabulous voice actors. (Shout out to Zachary Levi - the man can sing! Who knew?) Same with the plot - some bits seem almost recycled, but tastefully so. And the music. /sigh Alan Menken can do no wrong. Seriously. After seeing it just once, I had "I See the Light" stuck in my head for days. It's all genius, especially the lively, jig-like dance, and never fails to get me emotionally swept up in the moment. And the visuals aren't too shabby either! Rapunzel's hair looks incredible - major kudos there - and the floating lanterns rising above the city never fails to give me chills. So. It's awesome. End of story.
Another could-have-been-awesome movie I saw that weekend (the other being Megamind). I adore RDJ, don't get me wrong, but it's hard to be awesome when the film sort of coasts along and character development is shoddy. All credit due to Galifinakas (phewf what a name) for pulling out all the stops for the bathroom scene - it hit suprisingly hard, in contrast to most of the film, which sort of coasts along. It could be the editing, but there's no real sense of urgency until the last 20 minutes. Regardless, it's lovely to see RDJ and miss Monaghan together again - reminds me of better times. And better comedies.
A bit of a disappointment, to be honest. As some may know, the title role (once Ubermind) was originally played by Robert Downey, Jr. And I couldn't help but think that it would have been better that way. This is Ferrell at his laziest, unfortunately, relying on his "screechy" voice for humour rather than digging into the sarcastic bits. Not to mention that it's not particuarly well-written. That's the problem - nothing's really well done, but nothing's exceedingly horrible either. Just makes for a bleh kind of experience.