Thursday, October 27, 2011

In Time ★

There was an embargo on this film for reviewers.  We had to sign an agreement not to give our opinion on it until the 27th October, 2011.   There was a very good reason for this.   The film studio is hoping that at least they will get the first weekend of receipts out of it before the word gets around.   In our world, we still use money and, whatever, you pay to see it, will be a waste of it-and your time.

I suspect also, the studio is attempting to protect the reputation of writer and director, Andrew Niccol (Truman Show and Gattaca).  He is to be the writer and director of 'The Host', based on Twilight author, Stephenie Meyers last book.  There must be a lot of money tied up in that project, which they are spinning into a three movie series.  Don't ask me why they are doing that either, it's only one rather average book.

But to the review, of course, and the reasons why you should find something else to watch...

‘Time is money,’ said Benjamin Franklin.  This idea is the concept of ‘In Time’, starring Justin Timberlake & Amanda Seyfried. 

It is a fascinating idea that, in a not too distant future, at the age of 25, the genetically engineered aging gene turns off.  The inhabitants of this world are then given one year on their clock, displayed in bright green numbers on their arm.  They then earn and spend time as we would money.  In the slum areas, where our hero Will Salas (Timberlake) lives, most people struggle constantly with only a few months on their clocks, always checking how much time is left after each pay day.
Then Will meets Henry, with over one hundred years on his clock, who has already lived a century. Disillusioned Henry shares with Will that the rich in New Greenwich are stealing from the poor through inflation.   He gives his remaining time to Will, setting Will on a course to change the order of this imbalance society.
Entering the wealthy Time Zone of New Greenwich, Will meets up with spoiled rich girl, Sylvia (Amanda Seyfried), who yearns for more excitement in her life.  Meanwhile Will is pursued by Raymond Leon, a Timekeeper (Cillian Murphy) who enforces the rich folk’s control of time. The movie is action filled with time sensitive car and foot chases, along with arm wrestling games ending in death.  In between a romance develops, as it must, between Will and Sylvia.
As the film drags on, and, unfortunately, that is what it does, the audience begins to wonder if they should be checking their own arms to see whether to spend more time on this hugely flawed film.
How anyone can ruin such an incredible idea is an obvious question.   One answer is in the clich├ęd and over-wordy script delivered via very poor performances by Timberlake and Seyfried.  Then add two male lead characters who are clearly not physically twenty-five, Timberlake is thirty and Cillian Murphy is thirty-four.  Then top it off with plot holes so huge you could land a time machine between them.
As we left the theatre we pondered another Benjamin Franklin gem, ‘Lost time is never found again.’  What may be even worse is that ‘In Time’ was a lost opportunity.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

REAL STEAL ★★★

Robot movies are usually great fun. Throw in a Father who has abandoned his eleven year old son at birth and is now forced to look after him temporarily after his Mother dies, and you have a fun movie with some heart.

Hugh Jackman is Charlie Kenton, a down and out robot boxing promoter, who when he takes on the care of his son Max, Dakota Goyo, also takes on his beaten up and previously dumped sparring robot, Atom.  After using up all his favours with, Robot fixer-upper and boxing gym owner, Bailey Tallet (Evangeline Lilly), he begs just one more to get the broken down Atom on his feet and fighting.  Max’s enthusiasm for getting a match for his robot, and the road to the inevitable match up with the top league robot, Zeus, evoke all those other rousing movies like ‘Rocky’, ‘The Champ’, and even ‘The Fighter’—although I’m not saying this is another ‘Fighter’.

If you’ve seen the ‘Real Steel’ trailers, then you will have a good idea of what you are in for, when sitting down with your popcorn and coke.  Dakota Goya and Evangeline Lilly are very good in this.  I’m sure we will see Dakota popping up in upcoming films just as his namesake (female Dakota Fanning) did after ‘I Am Sam’ and ‘War of the Worlds’ set her on the road to childhood stardom.

Hugh Jackman seemed a little uncomfortable in this role and the American accent was a little off.  Perhaps, he was missing his Wolverine claws.   Having said that there was a moment there where I wiped away a tear whilst pretending I was scratching my cheek.  Don’t you hate that? 

The highlight of the movie has to be Max and his robot’s dance sequences. Those alone are worth the ticket price.