If you haven’t heard of Snowpiercer, I recommend steering clear of trailers and going to see it blind. That’s how I saw it—and afterwards I watched a trailer that spoiled lots of things, and I’m glad I didn’t watch it beforehand. All you need to know is that this is a high-concept, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi (ish), fantasy wherein the world’s last survivors live on a train, with each car acting as a literal reinforcement of class structure. I know. It sounds weird. If you have seen the trailer, I don’t think it does the film justice. So, there.
Archives For review
Robot & Frank is set in the near future, when robots can cook your meals, clean your house, and create a garden in your backyard. Frank suffers from memory loss in his older years and receives a robot as a gift to help him with daily tasks.
While I waited for this film to start, I sat in an artsy theater, surrounded by people who were obviously many years my senior, and I wondered if I’d made the right decision in seeing this film. Apparently I’m ageist, but I wondered if I’d be able to relate to the main character enough to enjoy the experience. It turns out I related to him terrifyingly too well.
As someone who fears the loss of tangible media, as well as the thought of robots someday being much smarter than me, I had no problem seeing Frank’s point of view. But as Frank’s mind deteriorates, the robot becomes a sounding board, reflection, and retainer of Frank’s thoughts, fears, and talents. Initially, I was turned off by the film’s tagline: “Friendship doesn’t have an off switch.” But by the end of the film, I had an emotional connection to the robot, too, since it represented an “out” for a crumbling mind, not the actuality of a sentient friend.
I’ve now seen Avengers a couple of times, but I hadn’t written a post because I didn’t know what I could say that hadn’t already been said. It was awesome, everything I hoped it would be. Whedon stood tall and rose to all my expectations. The arrangement of strong characters was well-balanced and well-written, each contributing a unique personality to the whole. Roger Ebert is an idiot. Moviefone is sexist. The end.
I’m just gonna forgo any pleasantries, along with any pretenses that I can look at this film in anything approaching an unbiased manner. I like Woody Allen. I like Paris. I like writing and I like art. I loved this film. Sure, it had its problems, but I was charmed by the main character, Gil, played by Owen Wilson (a blatant representation of Woody Allen) and his sincere (if sometimes sappy) dialogue. Some of my favorite lines that I’ve ever heard were in the film, like when Wilson insists that “No work of art can compare to a city.”
Although it’s difficult to talk about a work of art in terms of feelings, I couldn’t help but love the feel of this film. Yes, no work of art can do a city justice, but this film captured the feeling I had gallivanting about Paris.Some would say that the film romanticized Paris from a tourist’s perspective, but I would disagree and toss in my lot with Allen. I think there are cities that can be appreciated as a work of art, regardless of whether you grew up there or whether you’re visiting for the first time. And Gil’s enthusiasm for Paris is contagious and understandable.
I don’t want to give away too much about the plot, because I didn’t know much about it, and I found myself giddy as certain events unfolded (I even slapped my viewing companion in the arm, grinned, and sat up straighter in my chair a few times in sheer excitement). That’s not to say it had a perfect plot. In fact, I was disappointed that for such a creative premise, the film ended up making some pretty cliché moves, and I was surprised that the film had such an elementary take-home message. Despite its plot clumsiness, I loved the film and I would happily see it in theaters again, which is not an action I take lightly.
Okay, I know I’m a total dork, but I really enjoyed this movie. This alien-comedy by Nick Frost and Simon Pegg (the blokes who brought you Shawn of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) was self-aware, self-referential, and packed full of geeky goodness. References to Star Wars, E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The X-Files,and Star Trek (and I’m sure many others that I missed) were plentiful and fun to spot, and believe it or not, they didn’t feel trite. In fact, the writing was clever, simultaneously making fun of and paying homage to the genre stereotypes. The overall plot was simple, but it allowed for hilarious and endearing character development and interaction.
Although my geek goggles might be skewing my vision, I laughed heartily and obnoxiously throughout the film, and I give it a heartfelt recommendation.