I hope everyone had a great Family Day (Canada) and a great Presidents Day (US). I’m sorry if I forgot other holidays but I hope you are having good those too. Since I don’t have to work today and most things around me are closed, I thought I’d spend the day watching some films. Specifically these
I thought the second one was appropriate on day like Family Day because it looks like it has something to do with a son which kind of works with today. It also allows me to scratch off two more movies off my list.
Of course like I did before here, I also need my cool chair
and some delicious Chef Boyardee. I only like my beefaroni when it’s super so this definitely worked out this time.
Without further ado, here are my reviews:
Nicky Spurgeon (Will Smith) is an extremely accomplished con man who takes an amateur con artist, Jess (Margot Robbie), under his wing. Nicky and Jess become romantically involved, and with Nicky’s profession of being a liar and a cheater for a living, he realizes that deception and love are things that don’t go together. They split, only to see each other three years later. And things get messy.
The first impression I got watching this film was how dark it was. I suppose it works based on its subject matter of criminals and crime. Seeing that this film is about a bunch of con artists, there’s some general stealing of stuff here but it is done in such an easy, fantastic way that it just seems a little unrealistic to me. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t really think it would happen this way. Realistic or not, it does look cool as everything is done with a sort of flair. Maybe it’s done to sort of pump up Smith’s con man Spurgeon and maybe to emphasize the difference in skill between him and Robbie’s Jess but it took me out of the experience a little. What kept me going here was Smith’s performance. I found he had great charisma and charm, making who is really a bad guy, be good. He also had great chemistry with Robbie’s Jess. Jess was better than a cliche love interest as she was smart and knew hot to use what could have made her cliche to her advantage. Their scenes were not always the most exciting but they definitely elevated some of them but they were all captivating. I understand that this film is about Nicky and Jess but I would have liked more of a focus (pun intended) on the other characters in the film as they were not very fleshed out so it was easy for me to not care about any of them. I also would have liked if Nicky and Jess had more fleshed out backstories too as it would have added a few more dimensions to their characters. When they could have taken the time to do this, they chose to go straight into the main plot which I suppose is kind of okay too. This film was separated into two parts. The first part involves Nicky finding Jess then training her in the ways of the con and developing a romantic relationship. The second part finds them three years later in Buenos Aires where Nicky is working for a Spanish millionaire named Garriga (Rodrigo Santoro) and then later runs into Jess. Being con artists, there always are ulterior motives so things may not exactly be what they seem. This second half is when the most significant things happened but this part just didn’t work as well for me because I found it hard to keep up with all the plot twists. I personally would have prefered watching a film that was comprised entirely of the first half where Nicky and his team and Jess go around conning people.Overall, this was a decent con film, elevated slightly by the performances of Smith and Robbie. With a little more focus (pun intended), it could have been a lot better.
John Gregory (Jeff Bridges), who is a seventh son of a seventh son and also the local spook, has protected his country from witches, boggarts, ghouls and all manner of things that go bump in the night. However John is not young anymore, and has been seeking an apprentice to carry on his trade. Most have failed to survive. The last hope is a young farmer’s son named Thomas Ward (Ben Barnes). Will he survive the training to become the spook that so many others couldn’t? Should he trust the girl with pointy shoes? How can Thomas stand a chance against Mother Malkin (Julianne Moore), the most dangerous witch in the county?
The reason why I didn’t see this film the first time was because the trailers I saw just made it look cheesy and I wasn’t quite convinced with Jeff Bridges’ performance (at least from the trailer). The story involves a man named John Gregory (Bridges), a seventh son of a seventh son and also a spook, who has protected his country from various supernatural forces. Since John is getting old, he has been seeking an apprentice who can carry on in his stead but most have failed. His last hope may be a young man named Thomas Ward (Barnes). He and Gregory must now come together to face the evil Mother Malkin (Moore) who very well may be the most dangerous witch in the country. After watching this, I was glad (or is it not glad?) that my suspicions were true as I found that this whole film was just coated in cheese. I’m not sure if it’s because the story is so silly (I know it’s based on a series of novels by Orson Scott Card) but just a lot of things about it just felt off to me. Bridges just did not seem right at all here. He was okay I guess but he just could have been a lot better. It felt like he’s played this type of character in much better films. He looked wrong, his accent was weird, and he just seemed out of place. It felt like he could have done better but was just being held back for whatever reason. His character did have some redeeming qualities as he handled himself admirably in all the action scenes (at least the ones without too much CGI). It also felt like whatever Moore said sounded cheesy and I just could not take anything her character, Mother Malkin, say seriously. I felt the same way about all the henchmen as all their lines sounded cheesy as well. The bad writing just took me out of the experience. Barnes was okay here but was not particularly memorable as Bridges’ Gregory seemed to get most of the focus. What was odd to me was the forced romantic subplot involving Ward and a young witch named Alice (Alicia Vikander). Their scenes just felt awkward and forced. I thought the action scenes were okay and the special effects were okay too but it almost doesn’t matter since they were both drowning in cheese. The music was just as cheesy as the epic, orchestral soundtrack just didn’t fit at times and overpowered the film at other times. Overall, this film had potential but it was just so cheesy that it was hard to focus (pun intended) on the few good things this film had to offer.