Skateland (2010)

Skateland (2010)

It’s the early 1980’s in small-town Texas and Ritchie Wheeler (Shiloh Fernandez) knows that things are changing. The skating rink he manages is going under, his friends are all on the verge of moving away and his parents are getting divorced. All of these events converge and force Ritchie to take new stock of his life and where he wants to be, but sometimes that’s hard to do.

I went into this expecting an Almost Famous vibe, but it didn’t really turn out that way. What I did find was a movie that I wanted to like, but ultimately found to fall flat in a lot of places.

The acting was all really well done. Shiloh Fernandez’s character, Ritchie, seems authentically from that time period. Ashley Greene and Heath Freeman are also really up to par for their roles as his friends.

However, there was a lot of meandering. At first, I couldn’t really tell what the message of the film was supposed to be. It felt sort of like a one-note, reminiscence-fest – which is fine, but it wasn’t really for me. There were some good scenes, but the tempo of the movie switched around too much for me to really sink my teeth into it.

JOE Rating: ★★

Advertisements

V For Vendetta (2005)

V For Vendetta (2005)

Original Theatrical Release: March 17, 2006
Director: James McTeigue

A shadowy and theatrical freedom fighter, only known as V (Hugo Weaving), wages a war with terrorist tactics against a corrupt and totalitarian government. When he rescues a girl named Evey (Natalie Portman) from some also-corrupt secret police, she becomes entangled in his endeavors and may be the best ally he’s known.

The first half of this film opens up with a lot of panache. I was caught up right off the bat with the atmosphere and the established setting. This carried me through all the way to the middle of the film where I felt that the movie was bogged down a lot and lost its frenetic pacing.

The source material, of course, was Alan Moore’s graphic novel of the same name and the film managed to evoke most of what Moore was trying to accomplish, but in the end, I think, the source material always does things that a movie cannot. Also, the graphic novel focused more on V’s attempts to enlist Evey to carry out his legacy, whereas the movie, I felt, showed that he cared about Evey’s involvement but ultimately wanted to inspire a revolution rather than solely rely on her.

The two works are completely different in my mind, which is something I always try to do when looking at one work which is based on another work. I think overall, the film managed to capture some qualities of the graphic novel but it was ultimately the Wachowski’s own message that came across.

The action scenes were all well-done and there wasn’t a terrible amount of CGI. Hugo Weaving was the best thing about this movie because I never envisioned V’s dialogue being able to be correctly brought onto the screen but he did it with great skill. Natalie Portman was lovely and talented, as usual and it was great she was willing to shave her head for the role. Kudos.

This is a great film, and could have been exceptional but for the mid-movie backstory dump that slogged the film down. Still, go watch it, it’s a lot of fun.

JOE Rating: ★★★★

Movie Trailer For V For Vendetta