Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Movie Mini-reviews: The Nice Guys and The Huntsman: Winter's War

The Nice Guys

Holland March, an alcoholic private eye, is on the case to find a woman's famous daughter Misty Mountains. Actually, everyone knows that Misty's dead, but missing girl Amelia is somehow involved so he takes the case. Jackson Healy, professional hired muscle, was hired by Amelia to get March off her case. He thought it was done, but thugs come to his house trying to find her. He teams up with March to crack the case.

I didn't think I would like The Nice Guys because I'm not usually interested in films set in the 70's or the main actors. However, the trailers were pretty hilarious and the humor throughout the film is surprisingly dark. Russell Crowe is sardonic and more serious while Ryan Gosling is overreacting constantly and hysterical. They make a fun team with their bumbling, poor decision making, and jokes at each other's expense yet somehow actually finding evidence. Over the course of the film, they each improve some aspect of their lives (Holland by cutting way back on drinking and Healy by doing something significant) and become friends. The 70's setting gives the ridiculous opulence of the upper class and the rabid (also ridiculous) indignance of the hippies and college students. The only thing I had a problem with was a few one liners from March's precocious daughter. Some of them fell flat, but other than that, the film was Overall, The Nice Guys is a fun comedy open for a sequel that I hope gets made.

My rating: 4.5/5 fishmuffins

The Huntsman: Winter's War

Eric and Sara were trained to be in Snow Queen Freya's army. The only rule she had was to never love (including familial, friendship, or romantic). Of course they do and get caught. Eric sees Sara murdered before falling in a river, where he becomes the grumpy guy seen in Snow White and the Huntsman. Seven years after Ravenna's death, he discovers she's still alive and she saw him abandoning her to be imprisoned for years. They have to team up in order to find and destroy Ravenna's evil mirror.

The Huntsman: Winter's War is both a prequel and sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman. I know it didn't do well in the box office, but I found it to be an entertaining fantasy film. It took everything I hated from the first film (Snow White/ Kristen one expression Stewart) and added a Snow Queen sister for Ravenna. The film has a lot going for it. The plot is pretty standard: quest for evil mystical item, rekindle the love between Eric and Sara, and then the final battle between good and evil. All of the actors in the film are pretty stellar. They ham it up when needed and give emotional gravitas when needed. Chris Hemsworth is endearing and charismatic as the lead. Charlize Theron reprises her role as the deliciously evil Ravenna. Emily Blunt is Freya whose story is tragic and powers are formidable. The visuals are beautiful and well done. The costumes in particular are gorgeous and I would watch a ton more movies just to see more gorgeous evil queen dresses. The only part I found lacking was the goblins. Their design defied logic and the scene went on a bit long. Other than that, the film was fun. Don't go in expecting something profound and you won't be disappointed.

My rating: 4/5 fishmuffins

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