KILL BILL VOL 2 (DVD) – While the Pei Mei story is interesting, with the martial arts master archetype, it’s really only there to explain how how The Bride could punch through a coffin, it’s really not needed as part of this story. It’s a bit like the pregnancy test / assassination attempt story; long, beside the point, and serving only to lengthen and slow down the story.
“Nah, you’re not a bad person. You’re a terrific person. You’re my favorite person. But every once in a while you can be a real cunt.” — Bill
Vernita, Elle, Bill and Budd get no origin story, and yet O-ren does. I think of O-ren and Sophie as relatively minor characters in the films; they’re a means to an end, but they’re under-defined props. Hell, Sophie is less defined than Rufus the piano-player.
I love this pair of films on the whole, I just htink that they’d have benefitted from a little more focus; one long film of about 200 minutes, maybe cut more chronologically; or maybe three films of about 100-120 minutes each to balance the back-stories, maybe a proper prequel?
BRIDESMAIDS (AMC) – I didn’t believe that this could be getting the ratings and reviews it was getting, especially when seeing it clocking in at more than 2 hours long. It’s actually pretty good, even if you don’t give it the standard SNL-alumni handicap. I knew Matt Lucas was in the film from the trailers I’d seen, but somehow Chris O’Dowd (IT CROWD) was a surprise to me.
There’s no real surprises here in the basic story-line; one woman is getting married, and none of her bridesmaids know each other. The bride’s oldest friend feels like has been upgraded for a newer, shinier, but bitchier model, and everyone is mis-reading everyone else’s motives and intentions, and nobody’s saying anything.
I did get the impression from the previews that this was going to play the Megan character as the Pity Bridesmaid; fat and unloveable. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case, as she’s really one of the strongest, most unique characters here. The other three bridesmaids, however, play to types; sexually frustrated housewife, innocent newlywed, and little miss rich and perfect new best friend. No big surprises at the core, but it plays out really nicely, and doesn’t feel like it’s dragging toward the end at all – some of the best laughs are in the third act.
WIN WIN (Carlton) – What a great film. FOX Searchlight’s synopsis didn’t offer up a lot of promise; “Disheartened attorney Mike Flaherty (Giamatti), who moonlights as a high school wrestling coach, stumbles across a star athlete through some questionable business dealings while trying to support his family. Just as it looks like he will get a double payday, the boy’s mother shows up fresh from rehab and flat broke, threatening to derail everything.”
However, Alex Shaffer plays Kyle as the nice, polite teenager with a scary, fury right below the surface; it’s shocking when it bursts forth – this is his first feature, and I can only imagine there will be more if this wasn’t a complete fluke. Good script, exceptional acting all round.