I have been to the cinema three times of late and my verdicts on each are as follows in ranking order…
Whip It. I got into such an excited state over seeing this film that I worried I might have built up my expectations to such a degree the film would never be able to live up to them. Well, I needn’t have worried because not only did they match them, they far exceeded them. This film is brilliant. Its targeted at quite a niche market I suppose what with the feisty female characters and all power to the women message, as well as it indie/quirky undertones, therefore I predict a lot of people are going to disagree when I say I LOVE this film. But here are my justifications; I’d rather not use this term for the sake of my credibility, but it sums up this film perfectly and that’s funky fresh. There have been a couple of rollerderby films before, the one I remember being Raquel Welch’s Kansas City…(i want to say shuffle but i know that’s not it)…something. Other than that though, this is a pretty unique film. I certainly didn’t know anything about rollerderby before it and if its achieved anything its raising the profile of this insanely fun looking sport. I even found myself cheering wildly for The Hurl Scouts (the name of the team) whilst in the cinema.
The film takes on similar conventions to the sports movies in that an unlikely rookie joins and turns out to be a big star, but Ellen Page is so frickin’ awesome she can make any role kooky, likeable and distinctive. There’s also the conventional best friend, love interest, disapproving mother, amiable father and wise role model characters, but each of the actors who fill these roles are equally immense. Big fan of Alia Shawkat and Kristen Wiig. However there are also a few surprises that keep you guessing. The soundtrack is also one of the best things about this film, with tracks from The Ramones, .38 Special, Tilly and the Wall, Landon Pigg (who also stars) & The Turbo Fruits and Dolly Parton being my personal favourites. And also a really cool remix of the lollipop song, trust me you will tapping, humming or jiggling along. There are so many good things in this film, its hard to name them all, but here are a few of my most memorable snippets to look out for; the swimming pool scene, Drew Barrymore as Smashley Simpson especially when riding her boyfriend (not as filthy as it sounds), the Marco/Polo searching for the keys part, the rollerderby coach and pretty much all of the skating scenes. It looks addictive. This film is upbeat, heartwarming and hilarious, who could want anything more.
Remember Me. This is the film where Robert Pattinson is supposed to prove he can act. I got sent the script for this a while back and when I first read it I found it funny, poignant and devastating. I really couldn’t wait for it to hit the big screen. However the transition from paper to product has left me rather disappointed. Most of the humorous parts I found that the delivery was slightly off and so the jokes were missed. Robert Pattinson rather annoyed me, he’s a moody actor, so he does suit this dark character, but I didn’t find myself sympathising with Tyler as much as in the script. The editing and cinematography are most impressive, expressing the bleak and emotional sentiments of the film. The ending is also just as shocking and affecting as when I read it. Its a complex and thought-provoking film, just not executed with the excellence I had hoped for. It will however leave you speechless/moved by the end.
Dear John. Sadly this was the sort of film that leaves you feeling you’ve wasted the £8 you spent on your cinema ticket. I wasn’t expecting an amazing film; this is after all based on a Nicholas Sparks book, however after being suitably impressed by the romance of The Notebook I thought I’d give it a go. I think where The Notebook succeeds and Dear John fails is in the acting department; for all of The Notebook’s plot contrivances or gag moments the rich talent on the screen pulled it through. Unfortunately Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried can’t quite do the same. Though Richard Jenkins as the father is the exception, he’s quite easily the best thing in this film. The ending is poor, Seyfried as Savannah is unlikeable, I just don’t buy her excuse I’m sorry and the script is so kitsch and overly quixotic. What sort of ordinary people come out with this poetic crap; “the saddest people I’ve ever met in life are the ones who don’t care deeply about anything at all”. This is melodramatic fluff.
As you can probably tell by the amount I wrote for it Whip It was by far my favourite of all three and I’d even go so far as to say my favourite film of 2010.