As promised earlier, here are short reviews of three pleasant but forgettable movies I saw recently.
Vicky Christina Barcelona
This is the only Woody Allen film I’ve seen so I can’t compare it to his earlier (supposedly superior) works. It’s got a very good-looking and high-profile star-cast ranging from Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, and Javier Bardem.
The story is about two American friends – Vicky and Christina who travel to Barcelona so that Vicky can complete her studies there. One night while dining at a restaurant, a stranger Javier Bardem comes up to their table who offers them a vacation in a nearby spot in return for sex with both of them.
A weird love triangle develops which quickly becomes a quadrilateral when Bardem’s ex-wife comes to live with him after a failed suicide attempt.
While the characters try to sort out their feelings for each other, we are treated to fabulous scenes of life in Barcelona.
The story is nothing much to write home about and would be quite forgettable if not for the setting in Barcelona, the high-profile star cast and the fun performances.
All in all, very entertaining, and good light-hearted movie to watch.
This is a movie based on the book Austenland by Shannon Hale. I haven’t read the book but this movie was a pleasant if slightly bland watching experience.
The movie stars Keri Russell as Jane Hayes – a modern-day girl who romances hopelessly about the life and times in Jane Austen novels. With her love life a shambles because she is more attracted to her life-size cardboard replica of Firth’s Darcy than any real male, Jane decides to live out her dream and invest all her savings in a trip to Austenland.
Austenland? What on earth is that? It’s like a theme park for Austen fanatics where women can go and live out their dreams of living in Jane Austen’s world complete with suitors, balls, and so on.
Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen; or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them.
Will Jane be able to kick her Austen obsession for good, or will she find her real-life Mr.Darcy there?
The plot is flimsy at best and practically threadbare in many places. The only reason the movie is watchable is Keri Russell who rises above the limitations of the movie.
Watch this movie if:
- You are a woman or
- Read and enjoyed the book or
- Fan of Jane Austen books
World War Z
Snooze. That’s the only word I have to describe this movie.
It’s based on a very popular book – World War Z by Max Brooks. I haven’t read the book, but the goodreads reviews don’t tally up with my memories of the film making me feel this film is far from a faithful adaptation.
Technically the film does well. It stars Brad Pitt. He plays Gerry Lane, a former United Nations field agent who retired to spend time with his wife and his two daughters.
One day while stuck in a traffic jam this family finds out that society is collapsing around them when there is a stampede of terrified civilians and their vehicles, and a furious attack by people who’ve been infected by a virus that turns them into zombies.
Lane’s first task is protecting his family and getting them to safety. He then travels around the world hoping to find a way to stop the outbreak of this virus.
The special effects are good, and the zombies look suitably zombie-like.
The plot is decent too, however, the film feels too mechanical in many places, and I could guess the twists and turns long before it happened.
Overall, technically good, but the movie still falls flat in terms of thrills.
Have you seen these movies? What do you think? Have you seen any other movies you can recommend to me?