Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Tourist/ The King's Speech

The Tourist

Warning... Spoiler Alert!

D+ (2.1)

I really love to take a piss on Hollywood on what they are today and it's really a shame that many famous actors and actresses have to put up with gossip and risks that would have tested their reputation. The one part is that celebrities are victims of studios cashing into movies that involves mind-numbing special effects or in this case a movie with another famous person. This is known as the star vehicle just so studios cash in to audiences' money since two most famous people were put there.

This is the perfect example of what studios are doing to Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, two of the most famous people in Tinseltown since they are highly paid and drive everyone's eyeballs on them. And it's called the Tourist.

Angelina Jolie plays an allusive woman in white who is wanted because her partner Alexander Pierce had embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars to several sting operators in Europe. She then meets Frank Turalo (Johnny Depp), an American maths proffessor who's on vacation to Venice so she couldn't be caught. Frank is then involved when British agents mistaken him for Pierce and he ends up in love with her.

I was expecting that The Tourist would be a totally mediocre experience, even if it was directed by Florian von Doonweshmark (his name reminds me of Doofenshmerf from Phineas and Ferbs) who directed The Lives Of Others which won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film which I never heard of. However it exceeds my expectations where it is way below mediocre. It's lame.

Everything except the art direction just blows. The setting of Venice is so beautiful, I like the photography, and even so I don't even mind eye candy for the guys or the girls. But every aspect, every tiny little detail is just a waste of my 2 hours. The miscasting, the illogical plot and messy dialogue

Doonweshmark must have took each misstep along the way whilest directing it and he wrote the screenplay. Every line of dialogue was either cheesy or just plain terrible. I have to admit that I laughed twice during the movie, but I still hate it. There were some scenes that were just cliched, some that I've correctly estimated for the next ten minutes and some scenes that just bored me to death. And they must hired some professionals because the stunts are just pretentious and poorly staged. To tell you the truth there is just a lack of action. And the score is just typical and annoying.

Unfortunately I can also blame the casting. Jolie and Depp are great actors but their performances are really one dimensional and wooden. Jolie has a limited amount of dialogue and looks as if she's bored and Depp seems to be revising his character as Jack Sparrow for the next Pirates Of The Carribean movie because his bumbling personality does not appeal to me and is so annoying.

There is absolutely no sense of chemistry between the glamous leads as both lack any substance needed to lighten it.

The one thing that had made me mad with this movie is that part of Donnersmarck's mundane direction is that there's a twist ending that doesn't make any sense. The ending is in Spanish. Not in language but in subtitles and I was so dumbfounded it made me thought 'wow, this is really messy'. Unfortunately, the biggest flaw is that The Tourist doesn't even know what tone to take. Is it a comedy? Because the dialogue so terrible with some insulting views about the Americans it had made the whole audience unintendedly laughing. Is it a thriller? There's no action. Is it a film noir? There's no character in the two leads.

And this needs to explain why it was nominated for three Golden Globes when it is so terrible. Is it just a ploy so they can avoid the Razzies because of the star players or is it for TV ratings since no one cares about awards shows? I don't know, I absolutely felt cheated.

It is Hollywood that's gone wrong here.

The King's Speech

B+ (7.8)

I was absolutely surprised that this was not only taken over by the critics and festival goers, it was a crowd pleaser in Australia as well and to me it was a surprise to me because this is about the Royal family which I had never learnt about its ancestery and this is one of the best films of last year.

It won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival and I went to the movie with no hopes at all because in that theatre I was the youngest person in that cinema watching this movie. The whole audience is around 60 to 80 so there were a lot of seniors passing by and I thought I'm in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The King's Speech focuses on King George VI (Colin Firth) and before he became the head of the monarchy, he was the Duke OF York when Edward VII (Guy Pearce) decided to marry an American divorcee and given that the regulations is that he's the Head Of the Church, the Church cannot take the Duke's wish of marrying a woman who's twice married and so Edward abandoned his place to the Royal throne to George. The man who wouldn't be called King by the whole public never wished to be King because it involves public speaking or making speeches which he truly dreaded. George has a speech impediment that not only disallows him to make a speech, he constantly stutter when having a conversation or when he tells a bedtime story to his daughters Elizabeth (our Queen today) and Margeret.

Having no hope to treat this impediment his wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) went to Australian speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffery Rush) where his unorthodox methods not only treated Bertie's (his family usually calls him that) weakness but grow a special relationship between the two during times of war and post war

The only thing I heard about The King's Speech is that like The Social Network it is one of the best films of 2010. I went into the film with no expectations because the Royal Family never had me interested. And also anyone under the age of say 50 wouldn't be interested about the film's premise. But then when I came out of the movie once it was finished I was really astonished and impressed with this film and knew why it had to be the year's best.

The plot was really fascinating in many levels as it's about the biggest weakness of a King who's an icon for National Resistance during World War II that's supposed to be the King's duties. It's also fascinating of how Bertie has to become King because his brother Edward marries someone who is not the Church's type.

It is also unintentionally hilarious as the humour for the film comes quick and fast. Not to mention it is filled with a lot of wit. But the problem with this movie's humor is when to laugh. Most of the audience had laughed between scenes and it's great that they're enjoying themselves.

Colin Firth should receive an Oscar for Best Actor because he portrayed a famous King as we never had learnt before. Bertie's emotions have me sympasise for him because he's kinda feels like he's autistic. He's not confident and has a lack of communictation with the public because of his handicap and he'd get picked on by his father for not speaking perfectly. However Firth makes his character really inspirational and motivating as whenever words come out of his mouth at any stop it's exciting that he had overcome his weaknesses. Geoffery Rush is hilarious and fun to be with as an Australian speech therapist who's character is very riveting as he helps Bertie to be a King along wars and troubles and has a play-by-my-rules stance.

Even Helena Bonham Carter is splendid as Bertie's wife as this is a departure from her usual character as a melodramatic psycho. She also supports Bertie with seldom where she's the only person in his family who does that since none of his family never cared if he had trouble speaking.

The King's Speech is basically an actor's movie since it has universally impeccable performances by these finest veteran actors. And this is where it has a lot of heart under its system given that these characters has a lot of soul and emotion that have put many people in tears.

But apparently The King's Speech is not perfect. What would've made it perfect is that many historical dramas have this particular formula that I have trouble with. I mean we know the main character has something bad that restricts his duties as the head of a powerful monarchy but then it's when he's starting to take over and it's make it so predictable at the end of the film and once you get to the ending it's just that is that.

The King's Speech would have made my top ten list had I reviewed it before the year ended. The film has fine craftmanship and is aspiringly dramatic.

1 comment:

  1. I can barely watch the king's speech because listening to him trying to talk is so annoying.