Third Film Comment

gerard-butlerI don’t know what’s happening, but I feel that there aren’t too many films out there worth watching. So I’m going to write about a film I have watched, but haven’t loved.  I find that American cinema doesn’t cast  foreign actors well. Actors like Penelope Cruz, Gerard Depardieu, and even Antonio Banderas lose some of their screen persona when they act in American films. All these first-rate actors, who are impressive in their native countries do for the most part second-rate work in the USA. I’m saying this because I love Gerard Butler, the Scottish actor. I first saw him in a British film called Dear Frankie. He had a small role, but  he caught my eye. Then, I identified him as the phantom of the opera in the film of the same name and as Beowulf in Beowulf and Grendel. I thought he was a striking phantom of the opera, preferable to the blond leading man. Then as King Leonidas in 300, a film where he was perfectly cast, he was catapulted into fame. And that’s when the problems began.

Though a very attractive man, he doesn’t seem to do well in romantic comedies. I hated P.S. I Love You, mainly because the plot was so improbable and because Hillary Swank was miscast as a romantic figure, and they kill him at the beginning of the film. Well, that wasn’t his fault. After that, I enjoyed his character in Rock’nRolla, but this was a British production. Then I saw him in The Ugly Truth, another run of the mill romantic comedy. It has nothing new to offer. Katherine Heigl is very pretty, but there’s something about her that doesn’t click with me. As far as the romance, I found this film too vulgar for my romantic taste. The love triangle is badly developed. Except for being handsome, the young man who plays the doctor, doesn’t do much…and he’s no competition for Gerard Butler. There’s really not much in the story which leads to the romantic ending.  So, as you can see, the ugly truth is that you should skip it. The Bounty Hunter was even worse than The Ugly Truth. There was absolutely no chemistry between Aniston and Butler, and though cruel, while I was watching all I could think of was that I could  understand why Brad Pitt left her for Angelina Jolie. So it was, at least for me, a disaster.

However, since he’s become very popular with both men and women, he has many films out there now. I  haven’t watched Gamer but I did watch Law Abiding CitizenLaw Abiding Citizen begins with an interesting premise about how a criminal can get away with a crime if he/she has the right lawyer. Unfortunately, at least for me, the director and writers took the easy way out and developed an action packed ultraviolent film with no heart.   Butler has several films which will be released soon, the most promising being Coriolanus about a Roman warrior. Hopefully, he’ll do better in this. Anyway, I’ll watch anything he’s in-I just like him.

2 thoughts on “Third Film Comment

  1. The great Jennifer Lawrence is the highest paid actress in the world, her rolls are so diverse and greatly executed that her movies always tend to have a huge gross income at box office. Through a short period of time she has become a Hollywoods A- list star. She began her journey in TV series with small audience reach such as: The Bill Engvall Show and The Burning Plain. The first time her acting skills were proven to be in a maximum level was the movie The Hunger Games (2012) she was energetic, a real revolutionist and hard headed. Fans really loved that about her, making her role playing Katniss Everdeen a millennium legend. The way she indulged the public and stood up for all the wrong that was occurring in the storyline, really takes good performance to pull of. After seeing the work she could do, she was casted and given the role for the whole saga Catching Fire and the two-part Mockingjay.

    As it happens to many actors they tend to lose their persona because the audience can only see them as that character’s they played in the movie and more so if it’s a saga but, not for Mrs.Lawrence. She is versatile and that is what allowed her to completely change for the other roles with such grace. Later starting as Mystique in X Men: First Class, it was a shock to many fans of the movie because of the roles they already compared her to, yet she was able to create and personalize this character. But, for me it wasn’t neither of these movies that triggered my fandom for this exceptional actress.

    The Silver Linings Playbook was the game changer, she now stared the role as ‘Tiffany’ as a standout in a crazy love story. Bradley Cooper as Pat Solitano Jr. and Robert De Niro as Pat Solitano Sr. also are leads in the movie. Finally a twist on romance movie, Tiffany has a weird, outcast personality trying to break free from the expectations her family and everyone has set out for her, she beings to overcome the suffering of the lost of her lover whom had passed away. And then meets Pat a mental case who is also suffering because of the memory of this cheating wife. Both of them need help and seek for each other, many would think that was the worst decision they could of made but, they are the type of people who take chances and know that not everything will be peaches and cream. She is willing to help him get his wife back but only if he helps her win a dance competition that is her only aspiration in the moment. Throughout all of the ups and downs they have because of their different ideas of how to live life they overcome them so find love. That’s why I love this movie and the message it sends out “imperfect and love can go great together”. Other roles that were risky and edgy but Jennifer landed and did a great job was as an emotional complicated wreck of a wife in the movie American Hustle. Once again showing off her talent, with both movies she won three Golden Globes and two Oscars.

  2. The Fault in Our Stars is an emotional teen movie, based on the bestseller by John Green, which for the most part enforces the silver ring of abstinence with cancer. Shailene Woodley plays Hazel, a teenage cancer patient, whose thyroid lesions have metastasized to her lungs. Her condition has stabilized due to experimental drug treatment, but she has to wheel around a portable oxygen tank. In the support group that her mom forces her to attend, she catches the eye of Gus, a cute boy, whose osteosarcoma condition is also stabilized after the amputation of one leg.
    Gus likes to have an unlit cigarette in his mouth to show his existential defiance. Hazel is obsessed with a novel called An Imperial Affliction with an abrupt ending, all about a girl dying of cancer, written by a reclusive author called Peter van Houten. Impulsive Gus whisks her and her mom off to Amsterdam to meet her hero, and it is a journey that is to bring their relationship to a crisis.
    Now, there may be people who can witness a halfway competent dramatic representation of the death of children from cancer without choking up. I am not one of those. Flashbacks show that Hazel lost her hair when she was 12. It has thankfully grown back, but she is wearing it short. Gus is way cute, and his lifestyle, like Hazel’s, does not appear to be modified in any appreciable way by his illness. They are both extremely comfortably off, and Gus’s bedroom is like a starter man-cave for a wealthy young man.
    But no. Their respective parents are strict, although Hazel’s mom appears to have whispered something extraordinary to Hazel, when she was in a grave situation in hospital years previously. It is something that Hazel has not forgotten and that should theoretically deepen and complicate their relationship profoundly. But the pair just hug it out. It’s like it never happened.
    The Fault in Our Stars reaches a nadir of horror when Hazel and Gus visit the Anne Frank House. The couple are overwhelmed with emotion at their own situation and make out, while the surrounding crowd melt, offering encouragement in various European languages.
    The title is taken from Cassius in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars/ But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Perhaps getting cancer was written in the stars for them, but Hazel and Gus realize that it is “in themselves” to do something in response, up to them to make the best of life. That’s fair enough.

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