Tag: Taylor Swift

The Giver

Raise your hand if you never read The Giver?

Since I am writing this before you read this, and it is the internet, I can properly assume no one raised their hand when I asked the question. Seriously. This is one of those books that tends to frequent everyone’s elementary or middle school experience. I know for certain I had to read it twice in middle school thanks to moving in between.

I don’t have an issue with them turning a literary classic into a movie like a lot of weird people do. No. I am just annoyed that this introduces biases to my review. I try my hardest to make sure the movie review only takes the movie into account, not to compare it to the book or whatever. The best way to do this is to rarely read books. Hell, a good friend basically demanded I read Ready Player One, but I knew it was becoming a movie, so I had to decline a few times. But damn middle school. Messing up my biases. At least I didn’t love the book, only thought it was okay.

Map
But turning everyone into a wannabe pirate was probably a good change.

In this future world, the world was ruined by something I think they called The Ruin. Now people live in communities and celebrate samness. They all dress the same, have similar households, age at the same time, all that fun stuff. No one gets extra toys or unique anything. Shit, they all get their bikes at 9 years old.

Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) is about to turn 18, and thus find out what his job is going to be for the rest of his life! He has no idea, because he has never really felt like he liked anything in particular. Well, turns out Jonas is fucking special. He gets to be the new Receiver of Memories! Yay!

Yeah, the job title doesn’t sound as cool as nuclear physicist or body builder, but apparently it is one of the highest jobs of a society. After all, his friends Fiona (Odeya Rush) and Asher (Cameron Monaghan) got stuck with nurturer and drone pilot (Wat) respectfully.

The Receiver of Memories is the only person in a community who knows about the world before hand. Who knows about colors, emotions, war, poverty, hunger, love, happiness, grief, warmth. All of this stuff. And Jonas is going to have to experience this all for the first time and become a member of the council to supply a wisdom that everyone else is secluded from. And the guy who previously had the job (Jeff Bridges)? Well, I guess he is The Giver now.

Also, Meryl Streep is the Chief Elder, Alexander Skarsgard, Katie Holmes and Emma Tremblay make up Jonas’ family unit, and Taylor Swift is also lurking around.

Taylor
Yep! There she is! For her minute or so of screen time!

For all those book lovers, loving this book is not a good reason to see the movie. That’s right. It is very different from the book. Feel free to complain elsewhere on the internet, for I don’t care.

What I do care about is a movie telling a good story, even if it changes from the source material. And you know what? This one doesn’t.

First off, the film is rushed. The movie is 94 minutes with credits. That means it is under an hour an a half, and it has to spend time building up a world/society, having a character learn everything is wrong, and of course, try to change things. That is definitely not enough time. Some people say this movie was finally made because of the recent success of other dystopian teen movies. They have various qualities that make them a success, but they are all also well over two hours in order to tell a complete story.

A lot of this movie feels half assed, especially from Streep and Holmes. Apparently Bridges was trying to get this movie made for decades and I guess he was the best part, but he was surrounded by crap. On an overall spectrum, I wouldn’t even put his performance as great.

Shit, even the editing was bad. I remember a scene with the sister after dancing, she says a line but her mouth doesn’t move, only smiles. That was super awkward.

Fans of the book will hate this movie because it is different enough from the book. In reality, they should hate this movie because it is a shitty movie.

1 out of 4.

The Lorax

I say a lot I try to make sure that movies based on books are given their own subjective look, without bringing the book into it. After all, they are different mediums. I need to judge the movie just on its movieness.

But The Lorax? That shit is classic. Here is an audio version for the lazy who have never heard of it. I think a movie version is definitely doable, but it will be weirder, and probably pretty short. Depending on what they set it in.

And just hopefully not extremely up in your ass on the environmental issues. That’s all I want. Lots of rhyming, damn it. Also, lots of Lorax!

Loraxes not
Well, these things arent the Lorax. Poor start so far.

The movie begins with Ted (Zac Efron) a very non Lorax human having big dreams in Thneedville, a completely “artificial city”. Everything is metal, plastic, or synthetic in some way. No trees or plants, that is all fake too. But no worries, they love their lifestyle and capitalism. They even love the fact that they by air, from O’Hare (Rob Riggle) for whatever reason.

But Ted is in love. With a girl! A strange girl who dreams of the world outside the walled city that they cannot leave. Audrey (Taylor Swift) wants a real life tree so badly, she even said she’d marry a boy if he gave her one. Simple needs! Despite the wishes of his mom (Jenny Slate) and grandma (Betty White), he escapes the city walls and goes to the barren landscape! And obviously, as I just described it, it kind of sucks. No trees anywhere.

There is a creepy house though, hopefully that is where the Onceler (Ed Helms) lived, a rumor of a man who is said to have tree seeds in his possession. And does he? Who knows, because he wants to talk to Ted first and tell him his tale, about how he met the Lorax (Danny DeVito) when he first came to the fields to start up a business and become a success.

Then you know, we get a really long version of the Lorax story, with lots of singing and dancing, and animation explosions, and lengthening. After the seed is received, where the book normally ends, the movie then continues to explain what he does with the seed and his attempts at taking down the O’Hare foundation in Thneedville.

loraxes
Aw, there is the Lorax. Super caauyuute.

Interestingly enough, the first scene actually got me hooked into the movie. The first song titled after the city was actually catchy and interesting, minus the weird parts about extreme capitalism and being a zombie. But yeah! I was excited. But then it went more and more downhill.

After that I didn’t really like a single song, which is a shame. Especially the last one, Let It Grow, that stuff got weird. But after Ted meets the Onceler (who yes, you get to see in the flashbacks. Just hands would be weird in a movie), the story of him going out into the fields, finding the lorax, and then eventually destroying the ecosystem takes WAY TOO LONG. It is ridiculously long. And pointless. Especially since the destruction part doesn’t take a long time, just the part after 1 tree to get to oh man cut it all down.

The morals associated with the Lorax novel are basically simple. Hey, don’t over do it. That is about it. The movie kind of takes that message, amplifies it to show even further extremes (Thneedville) and smacks you over the face with it again and again. I didn’t like that, it was far stronger than it should have been. The ending, after the return to the city with the seed, was just a long chase scene that felt pretty annoying too. I didn’t hate the O’Hare character, minus the fact that he didn’t make much sense, but the way they chose to portray him (not his portrayal?) was annoying to me. Just his general look. I thought “Oh jeez, thanks storyboard artists. Couldn’t have made him more normal sized? Fuck your proportions”.

There were some good moments, but man, I do think this would have been better at 40 minutes max and less acid trips.

1 out of 4.