Not much to say this week. As a matter of fact, nothing at all.
Something Borrowed (2011) - 3/10
Let’s get something out of the way: I only went to see Something Borrowed because there was nothing else playing at the theatre and I was in the mood for a movie. I had heard people saying that the film was terribly mediocre, but I did not expect for it to turn out as bad as it did. Not only is the entire storyline deeply uninspired and dull, but the rest of the movie is also mediocre at best, making it a mostly boring ride. I have not read the book upon which Something Borrowed is based, so I do not know how faithful of an adaptation this is, but as far as the film itself goes, it mostly plays out like an average rom-com, but what brings it below average are the surprisingly dislikable main characters and the ‘situation’ they find themselves in, particularly because all of the problems present in their lives could quickly be solved from their part. The only good thing in the entire movie is John Krasinski, who brings his usual flair in his portrayal of the only truly likable character in the story, but not even he can save the film from the waste of time that it is. To sum it up, avoid Something Borrowed by all means, regardless of whether you read the book it’s based on or not.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) - 5/10
I’m a big fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean series of films, with the first entry in the series holding quite a special place in my moviegoer heart. Even though the third film left me a little disappointed and I felt that there was absolutely no need for a fourth movie, I was still looking forward to Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and hoped for the best. Unfortunately, the movie turned out to be quite a letdown, ranking well below the rest of the films in the franchise. Most of the problems in the film arose from its muddled plot and the weak attempts at humour that often misfire. Its storyline tends to overcomplicate things for no apparent reason, spawning unnecessary side plot points and introducing characters that have little to no relation to the main story. Johnny Depp remains solid in the scene-stealing role of Captain Jack Sparrow, but his character is close to being a caricature of himself in this film, and as for Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane, their talents or wasted on a couple of underdeveloped and uninteresting chracters. It’s a shame the franchise has gotten to such a low point, but it is what it is. Fans could give this one a go, though, if only for old time’s sake.
Red Riding Hood (2011) - 3/10 Red Riding Hood starts strong, but ends up being a complete mess of a film, with a storyline that tends to be completely ridiculous at times, weak directing from Catherine Hardwicke’s part, and a too modernised look and appearance. The acting mostly ranges from mediocre to downright bad, with one exception being the always impressive Gary Oldman (who I have no idea how he ended up in this film in the first place). By the end, Red Riding Hood completely destroys all the promise that its intriguing premise set up and delivers a final product that is neither entertaining nor enjoyable, except maybe for the audience of hormonal teenage girls that it’s clearly targeted at. It also concludes with one of the worst possible twists: one that tries way too hard to be unpredictable and therefore loses any sort of logic or relation to the actual plot. The days of Thirteen and Lords of Dogtown are truly gone for director Catherine Hardwicke, but perhaps one day she will realise the myriad of faults present in her more recent works and go on to correct herself. Here’s to hoping that day comes sooner, rather than later.
Priest (2011) - 6/10
When I first heard of Priest and saw its trailer, I was really looking forward to it because it looked quite solid and it definitely seemed to hint at solid popcorn entertainment. Once the overwhelmingly negative reviews came flooding it, though, I was a bit discouraged from giving the film a go, but decided to check it out anyway and see how it fares for myself. In the end, Priest turned out to be quite an enjoyable action slash horror slash sci-fi flick, and even though it definitely has its problems, I was entertained the whole time watching it. As a whole, the movie fails to evolve past the standard popcorn fare mostly due to its mediocre script, the large amount of cliches plaguing storyline and the lack of any real character development. However, Priest does boast some sleek visuals and quite an interesting post-apocalyptic look, which paired with a bunch of surprisingly well-done action scenes make for a very enjoyable ride. Despite a decent enough performance, Paul Bettany fails to stand out in the leading role, and Karl Urban's talent is also wasted on a one-dimensional villain with not enough screen time, but that matters little since most of the film is focused on bringing out its action and horror elements. It does incorporate a somewhat noteworthy blend of action, horror, sci-fi and western, ultimately delivering a fun hour and a half at the movies that is well worth the price of admission if you know what you're going in for.