Monday, April 2, 2012

Movie Monday: JCM, 50/50, EPL

In the past week, I've actually seen three movies. Okay, only one was in the movie theater, but I still wanted to write about all three.

So, in the order I saw them:

"JCM" aka "John Carter of Mars" aka "The Princess of Mars" - It was perfectly fine. A sci-fi adventure movie based on an Edgar Rice Burroughs story. Handsome drifter finds himself miraculously transported to Mars, where he meets a few alien races and one gorgeous princess who can kick butt with the best of them. The movie, apparently, is now the biggest flop in all of moviedom. Which is too bad, because I enjoyed it. I thought it was fun and fluffy with decent 3-D effects. It had a crappy early marketing campaign - only ever showing up as "JCM" with no explanation - and came out just barely before "The Hunger Games," which means that the box office take was horrible at the outset. Which is really too bad, because I found myself at the end of the movie thinking "The sequel should be really good" - but there never will be a sequel.

On Saturday morning, before I got myself moving, I decided to watch "50/50" - a "cancer comedy" about a guy who finds himself in a relationship with a shrew, working for a company he doesn't like, unsure he likes his best friend, and not speaking to his mother... and then he gets cancer. If you ignore Seth Rogan (the best friend), and focus on Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anjelica Houston (the guy and his mom), you end up with a really good movie. Funny and sad and angry and hopeful all at once. Definitely worth the rental. The kind of movie that you get to the end of and think "I wonder what this guy does, next?"

Saturday evening, on kind of a whim, I caught "Eat, Pray, Love" on one of the cable channels I never watch. Julia Roberts decides she doesn't like her life, her husband, her boyfriend, her job, herself, and goes on a journey to find herself. She eats her way through Italy, she meditates her way through India, and she kind of gropes through Thailand, all surrounded by gorgeous scenery and great supporting cast. Great movie? No. Good movie for a late night when nothing else was on? Yes. (I should mention that apparently the movie is nothing like the book, which may not be a bad thing...) Do I wonder what happened to her at the end of the movie? Yes, although I'm not totally sure that I care.

And there you have them - three movies in three paragraphs. And their grades are:

"John Carter of Mars" - B+ (It had heart, but not quite enough soul.)

"50/50" - A (Lots of heart, decent amounts of soul, luckily I was alone and had tissues at the ready.)

"Eat, Pray, Love" - C- (It was a good idea, but really didn't make it on either the heart or soul meters.)

By the way, did you notice the theme of the movies? I didn't, until I was driving home from work today. All three are about people who desire to change their circumstances, and all three left me wondering what happened, next. And none of them made me want to change places with their main characters.

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