This is not a Tree of Life review

Due to  a series of unfortunate events, a trip to see The Tree of Life this afternoon was scuppered when not one, but two successive buses were missed. So, unable to board the working class wagon, my Terence Malick post has also had to be cancelled. So what can I offer you instead? How about my thoughts on the three films I have managed to catch up on this week…sound good? Of course it does!

Holly Rollers

Now I love Jesse Eisenberg. I decided after watching Zombieland and Adventureland (from which this blog found it’s name) that if they ever make my life into a movie, it would be called Joeyland and Mr Eisenberg would play my good self. However, his presence (and solid performance) isn’t enough to save you from the overwhelming tedium of Holy Rollers.

The drug smuggling exploits of Hasidic Jews should make for an interesting story, but they don’t. The cast give it their best, but there’s a total lack of pace or excitement, and a turgid brownish colour palette. Apparently Kevin Asch won The Gotham Award for Breakthrough Director on the back of this. How low are their standards?

Kung Fu Panda 2

We were spoilt in 2010, but that doesn’t change the fact that 2011 seems to be shaping up to be a poor year for animation. You can normally count on Pixar, but things don’t look good on that front, and despite Disney starting well with Tangled, they followed that up with the monumentally disappointing Winnie The Pooh. Rango and Rio were okay, but favoured style over substance, while Gnomeo and Juliet had neither of either.

You can add Kung Fu Panda 2 to that ‘all style, no substance’ group. It looks blumming fantastic, and there are a smattering of laughs throughout, but it’s got nothing on How To Train Your Dragon or Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. I used to be a Jack Black apologist, but I even find him annoying as a panda now. Gary Oldman has fun as a villainous peacock, but even he lacks the menace of Ian McShane’s Tai Lung. It’s a notch below it’s 4-star predecessor, and I’m pinning all my hopes on Arthur Christmas now.

Larry Crowne

Larry Crowne wants you to think that he’s a nice guy. He wants you to think that he’s the underdog that everyone likes. He wants you to think that he’s been hard done by, but is going to muddle through regardless. The thing is, he’s not any of those things, he’s actually a bit of a cunt. He’s the kind of guy who pursues married women, and he’s the kind of idiot who perpetuates the financial crisis. Put simply, I can understand why his wife left him.

Everyone’s too nice in Larry Crowne, too perfect, too saccharin sweet…and I don’t buy it for one minute. Even the romance is a sham. There’s no way Julia Roberts’ character would be attracted to Larry, and she’s far too miserable for Larry to be attracted to her (her subsequent mellowing is rushed and unearned). At the end of the day though, I suppose it’s harmless, and I had to work hard to get myself faux up in arms about it.

Oh, and George Takei is a delight.


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2 Comments on “This is not a Tree of Life review”

  1. Tim P August 2, 2011 at 19:21 #

    When can I hear your thoughts on TOL?

    • joefilm August 3, 2011 at 00:43 #

      Nowhere at the moment. Leeds cinemas are useless and it was gone within the week. Probably going to have to wait for the DVD now, or see if it’s still on anywhere in London next week.

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