Monday, July 2, 2012
Quick Reviews: Seeking, Ted, Abe
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World: All attempts to stop an asteroid from crashing into Earth have failed, says the radio at the start of the movie. The world will end in three weeks. We then get Steve Carell in his typical role as lovelorn shlub. We know this immediately because as soon as the radio DJ finishes the news update and resumes playing music, his wife jumps out of their car and runs away, never to be seen again. While some people start partying and having random sex without concern for pregnancy or disease, Carell's character, Dodge, tries going to work as usual, selling insurance. Then he meets Penny (Keira Knightly), and they end up trying to track down his high school sweetheart, the one true love of his life. Since the focus is on their trip and its impact on them, there isn't much focus on the whole world-ending thing. "The Day After Tomorrow" this ain't. So when they're nearly caught up in riots, it comes off as more of a plot device. And the way it ended didn't seem quite right to me. But some stretches of it were quite affecting. My grade: B-minus.
Ted: From the mind of Seth MacFarlane comes the story of a boy who wishes for his teddy bear to come to life, has his wish magically granted, and still lives with the bear 25 years later, both wasting their lives away drinking, getting high, etc. Basically a mediocre episode of "Family Guy" but with more explicit raunch and language, and
no Stewie. There were a few belly laughs, and some stuff that was pretty offensive, just like "Family Guy." I do like Mark Walhberg in comedies. But the crowd around me liked this movie much more than I did. My grade: C-plus.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: This is based on a novel that was part of the mashup novel craze (which, I guess, is pretty much over now) that started with "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies." Young Abe wants to avenge the murder of his mother, only to find out that she was killed by a vampire and there are lots more of them. So Abe becomes trained as a vampire hunter and goes on a killing spree, followed by going into politics and learning that the vampires are out to take over the country. While marginally ridiculous to begin with, as the Civil War reaches the Battle of Gettysburg, the whole thing just goes off the rails. Literally and figuratively, that is. I read the Wikipedia entry for the novel, and the movie differs in a lot of ways. Without having read the novel, I have to say the movie would have been much cooler had they not made the changes they did. Also, I joked on Twitter and Facebook that what I really wanted is for the movie to reveal that Lincoln's assassination was faked so the sequel could feature him in the present day taking out the "Twilight" characters. I guess I'll have to wait for a sequel to "Vampires Suck." My grade: D.