By the time we got around to thinking about going to see The Monuments Men it had already been and gone out of the cinema. Not much of a loss as I can't say it was something I was gagging to see.
Instead we went to see a post-Oscars screening of Gravity. This was another movie I'd had no particular desire to watch when it was first released, but if it had to be seen at all, then it had to be on the big screen in 3d as it was intended.
Did I enjoy it? Well, yes I did. Maybe I leave my critical faculties at the door when I go to see a movie, but it's rare that I come out of the cinema saying 'it stunk'. Last night I skimmed the reviews of Gravity on imdb and they seemed almost uniformly terrible, which surprised me a bit as it had kept me on the edge of my seat pretty much all the way through. At one point I even had to do some relaxation and deep breathing to bring a bit of perspective and reality to the situation. But with a bit of reflection I could see where they were coming from.
Most of the terrible reviews revolved around two things, the poor script and the scientific booboos. There wasn't much of a script it's true, the characters weren't much developed, but they didn't need to be. The film was all about the tension and unique jeopardy of being adrift and in danger in space. I think it would have been spoiled if we had spent much of the movie being asked to engage more deeply with the characters. We cared enough to want Sandra Bullock get back to earth. We didn't care enough to bother about George Clooney sacrificing himself to save her.
There were a few questions in my head about the believability of the science stuff even as I was watching the movie, but I just put them aside at the time to enjoy the ride, which was pretty intense. So what it there was no way any of it could happen in reality? Nobody bothers that the Avengers couldn't possibly have their super powers, that time travel doesn't really exist, that Harry Potter can't really cast spells, or any of that metaphysical hokum. So why worry that Sandra Bullock doesn't make a convincing astronaut because she has to use a manual to fly a spaceship, or that you couldn't possibly travel from the space shuttle to the ISS with a jetpack? It's all an illusion, start to finish, but if you can suspend disbelief, you can enjoy it for what it is. The 3d could have been made for this movie, there were times when I was flinching away from bits of space ship fuselage that were coming at me, my brain had forgotten that I was sitting in a cinema seat.
It was very refreshing to watch an action film with a female protagonist that wasn't dressed in skintight PVC with her tits hanging out, and where there was plenty of action and tension but no uber violence or super-villains. That stuff has been seriously Done. To. Death. You won't find me queuing up to watch Spiderbollux or Captain Fannypants. I was dragging along to see Thor 2 before Christmas, and the only interesting thing about it was that Thor looked just like my son. Did I say interesting? I meant disturbing.
Anyway, I'm not sure what's next on my cinematic odyssey. I love Terry Gilliam so will probably try to get to The Zero Theorem. I watched 12 Monkeys last night and found it a bit baffling although that might have been because I dozed off momentarily and missed some important plot points. Quite fancy Transcendence too, computers (yay!), Johnny Depp (yummm!) and Paul Bettany (phwoar!), my idea of heaven.