What’s Seattle Saying? – March 29, 2013

WhatsSeattleSayingLogoEach week, Should I See It will be looking to its left and to its right, collating the thoughts of many of the film reviewers and writers located in and around the Seattle community.

OPENING IN SEATTLE – MARCH 29, 2013:

    • G.I. Joe: Retaliation
    • Ginger & Rosa
    • The Host
    • On The Road
    • Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions Of A Marriage Counselor

See what the Seattle critics say about these films…after the cut!

 

GI JoeG.I. JOE: RETALIATION
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum
Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of combat violence and martial arts action throughout, and for brief sensuality and language.)
Genre: Action/Adventure
Running Time: 110 Minutes
Director: Jon M. Chu

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
In this sequel, the G.I. Joes are not only fighting their mortal enemy Cobra; they are forced to contend with threats from within the government that jeopardize their very existence. – Focus Features.

 

WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT G.I. Joe: Retaliation?

Check - YesBrian The Movie Guy, KOMO Radio.Star 101.5 FM/Brianthemovieguy.com
“It may be cheesy, over-the-top and completely ridiculous…but using a $135 million budget to bring an 8-year-old’s military playroom movie to life means you’re still in for a bit of good ol’ fashioned, shoot ‘em up fun!”

X - NoRobert Horton, Everett Herald
“…a loud and overbearing experience.”

X - NoBrian Zitzelman, Examiner.com
“Intermittently enjoyable shouldn’t sound like a major endorsement. In the world of repulsive Transformers flicks however, it feels like one.”

X - NoErik Samdahl, FilmJabber.com
“…fast paced and action packed, but the speed is used less to keep the audience engaged and more to gloss over the ridiculously absurd absurdity of it all.”

Check - YesBenjamin Nason, The MacGuffin
“…an otherwise engaging popcorn affair for the average movie-going crowd.”

Sara Michelle Fetters, MovieFreak.com
X - No“…while G.I. Joe: Retaliation is without a doubt a far superior effort to its predecessor, I don’t have the slightest wish to watch it again at any point in the foreseeable future.

X - NoTim Hall, The People’s Critic@SeattlePI.com
“Retaliation’s biggest failure is to not feeling like a GI Joe movie.”

X - NoBrad Brevet, Rope Of Silicon
“I stopped playing in that sandbox a long time ago.”

X - NoSoren Andersen, The Seattle Times
“‘As for plot and character development, well, um … did I mention the picture has a lot of guns?”

X - NoIan Dinsmore, Seattleite
“…we didn’t come for the zingers, we came for the action!

X - NoMichael Ward, Should I See It
“Praising it as being a far superior film to the first G.I. Joe endeavor is an obvious reaction. Using that praise to call Retaliation a good film is another thing entirely.”

Almost our entire panel took a look at G.I. Joe: Retaliation and while many reference it a vast improvement over G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra, only two critics gave it a passing grade. There are individual elements the panel liked – Bruce Willis’ cameo, Dwayne Johnson and his chemistry with Channing Tatum were mentioned, but overall Seattle critics were underwhelmed by a loud, at times illogical, CGI/action hybrid. The local reaction was more subdued than the national consensus as Rotten Tomatoes gives Retaliation a score of 29%.

GingerRosaGINGER & ROSA
Starring: Elle Fanning, Alice Englert
Rating: PG-13 (for mature disturbing thematic material involving teen choices – sexuality, drinking, smoking, and for language.)
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Director: Sally Potter

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
London, 1962. Two teenage girls – GINGER & ROSA – are inseparable. They skip school together, talk about love, religion and politics and dream of lives bigger than their mothers’ domesticity. But the growing threat of nuclear war casts a shadow over their lives. Ginger (Elle Fanning) is drawn to poetry and protest, while Rosa (Alice Englert) shows Ginger how to smoke cigarettes, kiss boys and pray. Both rebel against their mothers: Rosa’s single mum, Anoushka (Jodhi May), and Ginger’s frustrated painter mother, Natalie (Christina Hendricks). Meanwhile, Ginger’s pacifist father, Roland (Alessandro Nivola) seems a romantic, bohemian figure to the girls. He encourages Ginger’s ‘Ban-the-Bomb’ activism, while Rosa starts to take a very different interest in him. As Ginger’s parents fight and fall apart, Ginger finds emotional sanctuary with a gay couple, both named Mark (Timothy Spall and Oliver Platt), and their American friend, the poet Bella (Annette Bening). Finally, as the Cuban Missile Crisis escalates – and it seems the world itself may come to an end – the lifelong friendship of the two girls is shattered. Ginger clutches at one hope; if she can help save the world from extinction, perhaps she too will survive this moment of personal devastation. – A24

WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT Ginger & Rosa?

X - NoAdam Gehrke, AdamGehrke.com
“…the film moves at a difficult pace, spreading out in many directions but often not staying on one course long enough to add enough meat.”

 Check - YesSara Michelle Fetters, MovieFreak.com
“…a glorious achievement of breadth and beauty anchored by a performance from Fanning that’s close to one of a kind.

Check - YesMoira Macdonald, The Seattle Times
“‘Ginger & Rosa’ is told from Ginger’s point of view, and as such emerges as a celebration of 14-year-old Fanning, whose wide-eyed face lights up the film”

After drawing a nice Seattle per-screen average, Ginger & Rosa.expanded into a couple additional locations in the Seattle area and two members of our panel attempted to raise awareness with two glowing reviews of Sally Potter’s latest film.  Both positive reviews mirror the national press who praise the performance of Elle Fanning, confirming the buzz which came out of festival showings in late 2012. While the film did not work for one panelist, nationally, Ginger & Rosa has amassed a 79% approval. Drifting out of theaters, this is a film custom-made for Netflix queues.

TheHostTHE HOST
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, WIlliam Hurt, Diane Kruger
Rating: R (for some sensuality and violence.)
Genre: Science-Fiction
Running Time: 125 Minutes
Director: Andrew Niccol

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
What if everything you love was taken from you in the blink of an eye? “The Host” is the next epic love story from the creator of the “Twilight Saga,” worldwide bestselling author, Stephenie Meyer. When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan) will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about – Jared (Max Irons), Ian (Jake Abel), her brother Jamie (Chandler Canterbury) and her Uncle Jeb (William Hurt) , proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world. – Open Road Films

WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT The Host?

X - NoRobert Horton, Everett Herald
“The movie’s dull overall, even if Saoirse Ronan’s commitment to the lead role is impressive.”

X - NoBrian Zitzelman, Examiner.com
“The Host is garbage.”

X - NoErik Samdahl, FilmJabber.com
Uh-oh, it’s a love triangle! Or is it a love…square?

X - NoAllen Almachar, The MacGuffin
“…so absurd and ridiculous that I found myself laughing. This is one entertaining movie, but maybe not in the way the filmmakers intended.

X - NoSara Michelle Fetters, MovieFreak.com
The Host does not deliver, but it does make a valiant effort to do so all the same, and on that front it does get my respect if not an actual recommendation.

X - NoTim Hall, The People’s Critic@SeattlePI.com
“The love triangle leads to a few of the most ridiculous movie scenes I’ve seen in the past 24 months.”

X - NoBrad Brevet, Rope Of Silicon
“One of the worst movies I’ve ever seen.”

X - NoMoira Macdonald, The Seattle Times
“‘The Host’ is like a confused guest who stays too long — but at least it’s good for a few laughs.”

X - NoMichael Ward, Should I See It
“Laughable and baffling, The Host is one of the more bizarre mainstream films I have seen in quite some time.”

Running the table in all the wrong ways, no one in Seattle liked The Host. While I can attest to the fact that many of these critics were not doubling over in laughter and unintentional hysterics (i.e. Alex Cross, Taken 2), many in attendance were left scratching their heads and wondering how the film was so…off.  The dislike runs the gamut of Brad Brevet’s proclamation that The Host is one of the worst films he has ever seen to Sara Michelle Fetters trying to find a silver linings with the film’s failures. Many did praise Saoirse Ronan as at least trying to sell this material and luckily for her, the failings of this host are not from her hospitality. Nationally, 10% of critics liked the film. As in ten. Wow.

OnTheRoadON THE ROAD
Starring: Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart
Rating: R (for strong sexual content, drug use and language.)
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 124 Minutes
Director: Walter Salles

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
Based on Jack Kerouc’s beloved American novel, On The Road is the story of Sal Paradise, an aspiring New York writer, and Dean Moriarty, a devastatingly charming ex-con, married to the very liberated and seductive Marylou. Sal and Dean bond instantly instantly upon meeting. Determined not to get locked in to a constricted life, the two friends cut their ties and take to the road with Marylou. Thirsting for freedom, the three young people head off in search of the world, of other encounters, and of themselves. – A24


WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT On The Road?

Check - YesAdam Gehrke, AdamGehrke.com
“Worth your time through and through, On the Road is…awesome.”

Robert Horton, Everett Herald
X - No
“The actors can’t make a dent in the movie’s self-consciousness. You can sense the movie’s confusion…”


X - No
Erik Samdahl, FilmJabber
“…looks good, but it largely lacks purpose.

Check - YesEdward Davidson, The MacGuffin
“Jack Kerouac’s On The Road has been both romanticized and criticized over the years. And this thoughtful new film version shows it still has some relevance left in it.”

Check - YesSara Michelle Fetters, MovieFreak.com
Much like Kerouac’s novel itself, the movie has kept burning inside of me…

Brad Brevet, Rope Of Silicon
X - No“…the story is so tedious and each scene redundant of the last that it’s hard to care one way or another about what is taking place on screen.”

Check - YesMichael Ward, Should I See It
“What holds this together are the performances, an electric performance from Kristen Stewart compliments a strong Sam Riley, but hard to shake is a tremendously understated turn from Garrett Hedlund.”

Jack Kerouac’s On The Road was a book given to me when I graduated high school and a book I, in turn, passed off a couple of times to people I greatly admired as they set off for new life’s adventures. Director Walter Salles took on the challenge of filming an unfilmable book with mixed results. For a couple of panelists, the film spoke rich and profound to them while others found it middling and tedious. A simple majority (4 of 7) liked the film locally, but nationally just 44% of critics offered an endorsement of the adaptation. Many agree that the acting drives the ship and will be an interesting film to revisit in the careers of Hedlund, Riley, and Stewart as years go by.

TemptationTYLER PERRY’S TEMPTATION: CONFESSIONS OF A MARRIAGE COUNSELOR
Starring: Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Lance Gross, Kim Kardashian
Rating: R (for some violence, sexuality and drug content.)
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 111 Minutes
Director: Tyler Perry

WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
A bold exploration of the intrigue and perils of infidelity, Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor is a compelling love story that dives straight into the heart of obsessive passion. “It’s about a woman who starts to get restless in her relationship and her choice to be with another man has a huge effect on the rest of her life,” explains screenwriter/producer/director Tyler Perry. “She goes on a journey – in her career and in her marriage – and she ends up in a very different place than she expected.” In a departure from his previous dramas, this explosive film finds Perry exploring the nature of desire – and just how powerful and dangerous a taste of the forbidden can be. “This is definitely one of the most provocative movies – sexually and otherwise – that I’ve made,” says the director. “There are a lot of people who struggle in their relationships. They make bad choices about their marriages. They get divorced. And so many of them don’t step out of their situation and really think about the consequences of what they’re doing. This movie asks, ‘Are you sure you want to do this?’ It sends up a flag.” – Lionsgate

WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT Tyler Perry’s Temptation: Confessions Of A Marriage Counselor?

Following the pattern set by all Tyler Perry films, post-Diary Of A Mad, Black Woman, the prolific director’s latest was not screened for local or national critics. Unlike a lot of films not shown to reviewers ahead of time, no one in our panel bothered to see the film Friday morning…or any day thereafter it seems. If they did, they have not shared their thoughts. On the national circuit, one reviewer, Mike Ryan of The Huffington Post, has revisited the film several times in the last week because he simply cannot leave its silliness alone. Why? Well, the film is apparently payloaded with a super mega gonzo twist that left nearly every reviewer ROTFLMAO. For Tyler Perry films, soaked in Christian and faith-based treatises on life through the prism of the Lord, his films appear to be getting more and more absurd. And yet, with what appears to include his most desperate “look at me” moment to date, the film still scored better with critics than The Host. 16% of critics endorse the absurdly titled drama and yet, no one praises Kim Kardashian’s work. No one.

FINAL CONSENSUS
If you are in the hunting mood, Ginger & Rosa would be the film to seek out either now or down the line when it transitions to home video. The box office king was G.I. Joe: Retaliation and by and large, our panel may not have liked the film, but few detested it. Those thoughts were left for The Host, which may show up on the wrong kind of Top 10 lists come December. No one saw or cared about the latest Tyler Perry endeavor and feelings were mixed with On The Road.

EXPECTED OPENINGS/EXPANSIONS IN SEATTLE April 5, 2013:

  • Evil Dead
  • Jurassic Park 3D
  • The Place Beyond The Pines

What’s Seattle Saying surveyed critics include:

Adam Gehrke, AdamGehrke.com
Brian The Movie Guy, KOMO Radio/Star 101.5 FM/Brianthemovieguy.com
Robert Horton, Everett Herald
Brian Zitzelman, Examiner.com
Erik Samdahl, FilmJabber
Laremy Legel, Film.com/Rope Of Silicon
Staff Reviewers from The MacGuffin
Sara Michelle Fetters, MovieFreak.com
Tim Hall, The People’s Critic@SeattlePI.com
Brad Brevet, Rope Of Silicon
Staff Reviewers from The Seattle Times
Ian Dinsmore, Seattleite
Michael Ward, Should I See It

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