Movies of the Week #12 (2018)

I was away last week, but still managed to pull my quote. #pride #thelittlethingsinlife #hashtag

MotW12

Oh, pitches…

  • Pitch Perfect 3 (2017): Wow, talk about a movie being painfully unfunny and depressingly one-note. As a fan of the previous two movies, I felt insulted by how little they tried here. There’s nothing special about PP3, which is really just a schmaltzy send-off for the girls we grew to know and not care too much about. The same old template, some flashy songs, some inane plotlines, basically non-existent rivals, everything is off about this movie. So just don’t. 3/10

All the stand-up you can handle

  • Ricky Gervais: Humanity (2018): The uber-expensive Netflix stand-up featuring the former Golden Globes host is a fun dose of Gervaisianism – a brand of humor that makes few concessions. In this 80 minute show, Gervais mostly stays well tuned and produces some solid material, taking on American media item Caitlyn Jenner, impending old age, choices on having children and some other topics. Barring the occasional miss, it’s the humorless personal politics of the man which lessened the experience towards the end, in something that felt like an attempt in self-redemption – an expose on animal suffering and his support towards causes fighting against it, tagged onto an almost apologetic remark about the usefulness of Twitter, which gets a lot of bashing otherwise. Still, not too shabby from the soon to be old man. 7/10

All the drama in the world of film

  • All the Money in the World (2017): With all the controversy surrounding the recasting of Kevin Spacey, it sure felt like Ridley Scott’s latest would be doomed. In fact, it turns out that the movie works well enough and that the reasons why it fails are not related at all to Spacey’s replacement, Christopher Plummer. On the contrary, Plummer is probably the best thing in a movie which otherwise doesn’t gel together very well. This loose  retelling of the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III and the family’s reluctance to pay the ransom requested plays on the avarice that tends to run through the veins of some of the richest men on the planet, as was the case with the elder Getty. It’s a palatable Hollywood topic, taking on these cardboard outlines of the flawed rich and their exploitative, insensitive ways about life. (Un)fortunately, characters still matter in movies, and all other characters bar the one played by the more senior Plummer (fun fact, Charlie Plummer, cast as the younger Getty, is just an unrelated namesake) feel lifeless and unrelatable. Add to that a meager final act and you have a bit of a flop, which is perhaps better than AtMitW deserved to be after the backstage drama surrounding it. 6/10

The Italian nut-job (haha, sorry!)

  • La pazza gioia (2016): I’ll be truly honest – it took me three attempts to finish La pazza gioia. That’s mostly because watching a movie that treads the fine line between being mentally ill and just being in existential pain as well as this one does is hard. For me, at least. The glorious performances of Valeria Bruni Tedeschi and Micaela Ramazzotti are key to expressing the ambivalence of their characters, two women who find themselves in a psychiatric recovery home and yearn to be a part of their own lives again. Barring a far-fetched, but emotional finale, Paolo Virzi’s film is a delicate study of pain and happiness that’s worth the struggle. Definitely. 8/10