Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Two new reviews: 'Wolverine' and 'Young Vic'

First off:

IESB points us to a spoilerific review by someone who claims to have been to an early screening of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This anonymous person sent an e-mail to wearemoviegeeks.com, and needless to say, the thing is one giant nerdgasm of a review. A few commenters over at wearemovigeeks.com swear the person is for real and that they really saw the thing. Others (me included) are skeptical. I skimmed parts of it, but since I don't want to be spoiled I'll leave you an excerpt and you can head on down to the site to be spoiled shitless. I am warning you. There are spoilers. Don't send me your hate mail about the spoilers. I warned you. Anyhoo:

OK, so I’m not a movie reviewer, so forgive me if this is not as concise as a professional review might be. Having said that, I also don’t know how much of the plot and “ohhhh, holy shit!!!” moments you want to know, possibly spoiling it. But feel free to edit and take out anything you don’t want to have spoiled.

The movie itself looks amazing. Lots of cool sets and special effects, it’s edited very well, the pacing is perfect and the running time is right on. It actually leaves you wanting more, and really, isn’t that the “nirvana” that most action movies hope to arrive at for the audience?

And now:

I've been waiting for The Young Victoria for over a year partially because I adore historic epics about British monarchs (particularly their queens), and because of Emily Blunt, and because there is still no North American release date. But, Guy Lodge over at In Contention crushes my hopes for the period piece with his review:

Meanwhile, in depicting its subject as a modern woman suffocated by her surroundings and dated gender trappings, complete with adorable lapdog and an accent that is decidedly more Sloane Square circa 2009 than House of Hanover circa 1837, the film pulls a similar trick of characterization to last year’s “The Duchess.” Working, however, in an even softer register than that already lightweight film, “The Young Victoria” plays down court intrigue in favor of dewy-eyed first love; if “Elizabeth’s” populist coup was restyling royal history as political thriller, this lands squarely in rom-com territory, with Rupert Friend’s Prince Albert the dreamy yet ever-deferred suitor.

He does however give a lot of credit to the film's leading man, Rupert Friend. There has been an awful lot of chatter about him over the last few months and Guy Lodge explains why:

The real revelation, rather, is Rupert Friend, who is given even less to work with than his co-star and emerges with leading man gravitas that I think few suspected he had. Delicately negotiating Albert’s gangly shyness without descending into hapless-fop cliché, Friend quietly keeps the love story afloat by downplaying the character’s heroism in favor of his boyishness, aided visually by the wispiest of mustaches.

Whether nervously pausing as he deliberates over his next sentence, holding his breath as he concentrates on his dance steps, or goofily running down a corridor in expectation of a letter, he never loses sight of the fact that this Prince is still very much a besotted kid. Radiating warmth and humility, Friend’s superb performance is the only element that moves with Victoria in this otherwise petrified, disinterested film — and by far the youngest thing about it.

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