It’s holiday season time, which means it’s also time for the holiday family film rush, I saw the first two big entries vying for your holiday movie season dollars and I will share my thoughts with you on those now.
First off, Amy Adams is magnificent, cute, brilliant, and adorable, any positive adjective for performing could be filled in here. She is just a sweet little Disney princess lost in the real world and plays it to perfection. She carries the comedy and makes the fantastical plot believable and all the more real.
The movie itself is a mixed bag, remaining pretty safe and PG fair, it is quite funny at times especially in the early goings of the real world scenes. After having some fun with applying the Disney formula to a big live action movie the movie falls into predictable romantic drama and issues sprinkled with good bits of humor.
Patrick Dempsey is good as the single dad about to make the new mommy leap, but his story arc and the girl he is dating is just so ridiculous and unbelievable by the end it really hurts the movie.
James Marsden is fantastic as Prince Edward and the movie could have done itself a good service by putting him on screen as mush as possible. Unfortunately he is a supporting role, but is a blast every time he comes on screen.
Timothy Spall (Wormtail from Harry Potter) plays the wicked queens right hand mad and has fun torturing an animated chipmunk, but other than that doesn’t have much to do, and by the end of the movie makes the obvious turn by the unappreciated but over used simpleton slave.
Susan Sarandon also pops up as Narissa and is kind of a mixed bag. She is fun and over the top one minute, then silly tounge flicking the next, very odd either way.
All in all, little girls will love it, most women will find it cute, and most guys should be even able to find some enjoyment out of it. In the end, a decent way to waste two-hours of your life.
Unfortunately for this film, I wish I had the two hours of my life back. This movie is just flat out terrible. **SPOILERS THROUGH OUT** Now, before anyone writes me off as someone who can’t enjoy a sappy family film, that is wrong, I can usually find enjoyment out of anything on watch, but I only enjoyed about 5min of this movie.
First off the movie just beats things into are head. From the get go we are shown that everyone thinks that August Rush(Freddie Highmore) is a “freak” and we have to listen to everyone call him one for 5 min, enough we get it. We don’t need to feel more sympathetic for a kid who was orphaned but actually has parents somewhere, we are already sold. A second and major issue is believability. Ok, Highmore’s character would not be allowed to be walking around doing anything, they seriously would lock a kid up for talking like he does, he is certifiable. Next, Robin Williams holds all of these homeless musical prodigies that he finds on the street hostage and forces them to work for him and none of these kids runs away, or gets picked up by the authorities, yeah right. Next, Highmore can feel the music, and I am supposed to be inspired by a random gibberish sounding smattering of NY noises when he enters the city on a bus that he some how was able to afford a ticket on while also sneaking out of the Boy’s Town he lives in, I don’t think so. And then I am supposed to believe he is a musical prodigy just because he can wave his hand like a conductor while the camera sweeps around him trying to make it look whimsical and magical, come on.
The next major issue is consistency. Every character makes decisions they would never make, simply because they have to create this ridiculous story and move it along. The parents both drop both of their successful lives and just move to NY on a whim, because they feel inspired by the music in the air. Robin Williams is holding kids hostage, then acting as a mentor father figure, then throwing kids into chain link barriers, then kidnapping children, he is all over the place. Or Highmore’s character who gets the dream opportunity he has waited for to spread his music, and he just follows Robin Williams away back to the streets like a lost puppy, what!?!?! The movie just doesn’t work on just about every level, with only one redeeming seen, towards the end between father and son in the park.
Acting wise, everyone but Highmore does an alright job, it’s the material that is weak, Russell, Howard, and Rhys Meyers have a terrible script to work with. Highmore is just bad. He is all wide eyed and babbles about his dreams like an idiot, remaining incredibly positive for being in such a shitty situation and then he shows that he can cry occasionally; which the director must think will make us emotional because he is crying for no reason. Oh yeah, and it all works out perfectly in the end.
Anyways, I would never ever recommend this movie to anyone, but then again, everyone else I saw it with that it was “good” “cute” and thought I was crazy. So what do I know?