Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close - Bizarre movie. It tries so hard to pull at the heartstrings, and even succeeds in a few scenes, but there is so much here that defies reality that the movie as whole can only be seen as a failure.
It's all about the kid. The kid whose dad dies in one of the buildings on 9./11. He's having an incredibly difficult time letting go, and is desperately trying to find ways to keep his dad in his life. This is can relate to. This I can understand. The problem is that he acts nothing like any 9 year old I've ever met. Well, I take that back. He actually reminded me of my son somewhat, with all his questions, and ponderings. He and his dad - had a unique relationship, and a very close one. But he's only 9 years old! He is allowed to trek all over New York all by himself talking to all sorts of strange people. He is allowed to have, what looks like, absolute freedom to come and go. It's just so hard to buy into.
Even with them mentioning that he may have Aspergers, or something like it, that still doesn't excuse everything that goes on.
Then we have the absolutely ridiculous "revelation" towards the end of what his mom has been up to. It totally negates the point of the movie, and pretty much ruins all that came before. I don't know what they were thinking with that. Or what the author was thinking, as this is a book adaptation.
Despite all it's problems there is still some good here, and still plenty to be taken away from it. Some of it was really quite effective, and even pulled on my oh-so-cynical heartstrings. Too bad these moments are so few and far between.
It's a rainy day, so I took my wife and son to see:
ParaNorman - For the longest time I had little interest in this movie. Then I saw that it was stop-motion and made by the fine people who made Coraline(You HAVE seen Coraline, right?). The good reviews sealed the deal, and we finally went today.
This was just plain old-fashioned fun. It had a great classic horror movie feel to the look and the story. It even pays homage to several obvious influences.
The story itself isn't particularly original, and nor are the characters. Indeed, most of the side characters are pure stereotypes. Clueless parents, ditzy blonde older sister, generic bully, fat friend. Despite this, it all comes together in a very funny, and sometimes even poignant, movie. It WAS a little odd when the movie suddenly shifted gears in the last 10 minutes to explore some heady stuff, but it was inevitable considering the material.
I'm all about the recent spate of kids movies touting acceptance. It's ok to be different. In fact, it should be encouraged. Why shouldn't everyone be allowed to be who they want to be, without being bullied or mocked? Right from the beginning Norman is called a freak. Even the adults join in. To be different; To think different, is wrong.
By the end of the movie, after all sorts of crazy events, the new message is loud and clear: Let your freak flag fly. If only it didn't take such means to get to such an end.