bironic: Neil Perry gazing out a window at night (Default)
[personal profile] bironic
I'm just going to update this post as I go. I don't think anyone is reading these but me, anyway. :)


In which Harrison Ford growls GET OFF MY PLANE COMPUTER and Paul Bettany has a terrible haircut.

Or: In which I wish the line, "I want you and your wife downstairs now," meant something different.

Or: Possibly in which PB and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau first developed their man-crushes on each other.

There are two good things related to this movie. One, PB's description of filming fight scenes with Harrison Ford ("I woke up going down these stairs"). Two, this guilty pleasure Stockholm Syndrome fic featuring the villain with an OFC: Autobiography by tartausucre.

The Heart of Me

Grr. Tragic love affair movies make me sad-angry, and this was no exception. (Just let people who love each other be together! Everybody stop lying! Polyamory is also a thing, if that would solve your problem! This whole situation would be tiresome if something about it didn't work well enough on an emotional level to elicit those sad-angry feelings.) For what it was, it was fine, though.

Paul Bettany looked so young in the DVD extra—he was what, in his mid-20s?—no wonder the director was initially hesitant to cast him—but he played the part well. Poor emotionally roiled pale Englishman with romantic terminal condition in repressed wealthy family in 1930s-40s. Helena Bonham Carter and Olivia Williams were fine, too. Fine, fine, fine.

…Oh God, he was 31. He didn't look 31 in that interview.

The Da Vinci Code

Blah blah blah Church conspiracy, blah blah history isn't what you think, blah, symbology.

What I enjoyed:

- Jean Reno as a ruthless "French equivalent of the FBI" agent.

- Ian McKellen being crafty.

- Paul Bettany's role as the villainous-yet-sympathetic monk was exactly as promised, naked self-flagellation and all, but bigger than expected, which was nice. He had the first line in the movie and everything. He got to punch Tom Hanks, get struck with a cane by Ian McKellen, and get slapped by Audrey Tautou, with bonus tape-gagging and being tied up in the back of a truck while he kicked at the grille. The role itself not being particularly deep, and his accent sounding terrible, most of the enjoyment came from the overall look—quite like albinism, bleach-blond hair and pale blue contacts—and a few beautiful open-mouthed expressions of anguish.

Overall worth fast-forwarding through.

The Tourist

I have... nothing to say about this movie. It was boring, but not boring enough to quit. I had zero stake in any particular outcome.

The only times Paul Bettany got to be sexy and intense, leaning in first on Angelina Jolie and later on a handcuffed Johnny Depp, his Scotland Yard/Interpol agent was being disappointingly misogynist, not to mention unprofessional. (Example: "How was your night in the hotel? Hm? She's quite something, I'm sure. [...] She's a good agent, except she invariably falls in love with any man she spends longer than a train ride with.") Other than that, a handful of comedic frustrated faces as Johnny Depp kept getting in the way of his investigation.

Oh, and the music sounded so much like the alien whale sounds from Star Trek IV that it actually distracted from the "suspenseful" scenes. Ha.

Conclusion: forgettable.

The minute-and-a-half-long gag reel in the DVD extras was fun, though. "This was the first Paul Bettany movie Johnny and Angelina had ever been in," said Paul Bettany, sitting next to Johnny and Angelina. Then PB and JD mouthed "I love you" at each other a lot.


The suspense in this was intense enough that I had to watch the movie in three sittings to keep my own stress levels from rising. (I also had to turn on subtitles to make out half of what they were saying, what the hell.) What started as a whodunnit became a "will they get justice" then turned into a "terrible error in judgment leads to a series of very bad decisions" plot in which I wasn't sure whether I wanted the guy to get caught or not. Tricky! Engaging! And a good ending. The writers/directors could have gone in a couple of different directions and I'm glad they chose the one they did.

Things to like: the blue-gray color palette; the overall air of a Scandinavian police detective murder mystery*; the acting. Nice to have Mark Strong, Brian Cox (first enjoyed in X-Men) and the dude who plays one of Jon Snow's buddies at the Wall. Paul Bettany looking his own age as the conflicted main character. An affectionate scene between his character and his character's daughter. Questions about whether and how the movie was going to use a father's dementia in the investigation.

*I mean, look at these [promo] [shots] and tell me that's not supposed to [reference] [Wallander].

ETA: Ah, how timely: a photoset on Tumblr.

Things to like less: the way viewers become distanced from the character just when we need to stay with him, as he falls further and further apart. The bonds between brothers and between sons and father that were talked about so often also could have been shown in more detail as those bonds were increasingly strained.

In sum: quite good, despite (or hence) the need for multiple sittings.

Date: May. 31st, 2015 02:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
"U woke up going down the stairs" BWEE.

Date: May. 31st, 2015 04:25 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (RSL neil window)
From: [identity profile]
Recalling that interview was the saving grace of watching the final fight scene.

Date: May. 31st, 2015 04:08 pm (UTC)
ext_471285: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I just saw a snippet of Firewall while traveling in Spain. PB had no cheekbones!

Date: May. 31st, 2015 04:24 pm (UTC)
ext_2047: (Default)
From: [identity profile]
It made me wonder if that's what he looks like normally, when he's not being bossed around by personal trainers for movies in which he's supposed to be shirtless or wearing a superhero suit or something.


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