Seven Pounds – film no. 708

Having been influenced by the slightly less favourable reviews of this film, I resolved to give it a miss and save two hours of my life. However, I was then wrongfull swayed by the judgement of my parents who claimed it was a very clever movie and worth watching… so I invested my time. What a foolish thing to do.
Seven Pounds is overly sentimental; someone on imdb declared that if it did not ‘reach the core of my soul’ i would not be human. Well I can assure you I am 100% human, just untouched by this syrupy excuse for a film. This was precious, annoying and really confusing. Throughout the entire film all I could think was ‘they’d better explain all these cliffhangers throroughly at th end’. Instead, Will Smith commits suicide by a jellyfish. I had a myriad of unanswered questions…who was the guy who had a ‘deal’ with Ben and then cried at the end? where did he get these special powers from? i.e. how could he fix that papermaking machine? being one of them. The only time I cried was when Will Smith was shouting down the phone at Woody Harrelson and I felt pretty sorry for him, alternatively I was also venting after a very long day. Most likely the latter. I also laughed out loud once, when Will Smith was humming that ‘loving youuuu is easy cos you’re beautiful’ song. But that’s the extent of any reaction I had to this film. It was pretty dull, not gonna lie.
The ending was a dissatisfying emotional payoff; ‘you must be Emily.’… excuse me while I gag. The cinematography was beautiful, especially memorable were the views of the beach and the shot of the candle outside on the table as its pouring down with rain. This is mostly a confusing film rather than intriguing, it may claim to be clever, but really its just quite intricate for the sake of calling itself deep. Also I found it quite patronising how the filmmakers are attempting to spoonfeed the audience lessons on atonement and responsibility. The lesson really should be don’t use your phone whilst driving. End of.
I really should have listened to my instincts/the reviews and saved two hours of my life. Now that is a valuable lesson I have learnt from watching this film.

The Beginning

So there I was watching Nora Ephron’s ‘Julie and Julia’ on Sunday evening, film no. 707 and I had inspiration to write a blog; mainly because that is what Julie Powell did after being inspired by Julia Child’s cooking. Not only would it be a perfect creative outlet for my passion for film, but also a good way to remember the countless number of films I watch each year; apart from documenting them in a list of course.

I’ll start from this weekend… friday night was ‘Blow’. Johnny Depp, Penenlope Cruz and the cocaine industry. The only thing I knew about it was that it starred Emma Roberts when she was first starting out in her movie career. Made in 2001 it charts the story of George Jung who established the American cocaine market in the 70’s. I’m not sure what ever made me want to see it, considering I have no interest in drugs or the handsomeness of Johnny Depp, but I did. In my opinion, there wasn’t anything special about it; maybe I haven’t seen enough drug movies to realise how perceptive or original it may be. It wasn’t a particularly beautiful or brutal film, it jumped around quite a bit and however the message is clear; this was a man who thought he could find happiness through wealth and at the end, at the expense of a child who loved him and trusted him, he realised it wasn’t as important as he thought. And while I may not be able to relate to snorting cocaine at parties or smoking weed on the beach, this is a lesson from which we can all learn. I gave it 3 stars in my film diary which equates to the rather reductionist term of ‘good’. But that’s what it was.

Saturday night I watched ‘Out of Sight’. Having just completed a George Clooney movie star profile for my film studies project this was a film I was intrigued to see this film; mainly I admit because of the ‘sizzling’ chemistry between J-Lo and George and also because it was Steven Soderbergh first mainstream film. Slightly complicated, but overflowing with technical accomplishment and perfect moments. The freeze frames, the bright city lights in the background as Jack Foley and Karen Sisco rendez-vous in the bedroom, the steamy bathroom scene, the non-linear narrative; this is the foundation not only for George Clooney’s cemented position as Hollywood heavyweight but for Soderbergh’s excellence. Not as slick as the Ocean’s film, but more absorbing and realistic. Lopez still seemed to glamorous or ‘done’ for a federal marshal, but every review that ever mentions their chemistry are right; it was sizzling.

And lastly, the film that inspired this blog; ‘Julie and Julia’. It was the perfect mother’s day gift and the perfect sunday evening film. The kind of warm, humorous and well, delicious film that makes you want to get up and cook as soon as it over. Yes Meryl Streep is eccentric and superb and funny as Julia Child; Amy Adams is equally charming and the food, well apart from the meat dishes, ( I am a new-born vegetarian) it all looked very appetising. The plot dragged slightly in the middle, but the different POV’s and story jumping worked wonderfully. I was quite surprised to find both Sue from Glee and Chloe from 24 in it; both of whom will never escape their famous characters, but all in all it was a delightful little film. It wasn’t flawless; i found the script for the New York sector slightly tedious and predictable, but the peformances are what transform it from 3 stars to 3.5; yes I am that pedantic.

That was my weekend in films; three memorable films, two true stories and one person who’s started a blog because of them. Bon appetit!