Think Like A Man

Name: Think Like A Man
Year: 2012
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 122
Description: Four women have given up on getting their men to do what they want until they find a how to book written by Steve Harvey. They start using his advice about relationships and their men start falling in line, until the men discover what the women have been doing: then the war is on.
Stars: Chris Brown, Gabrielle Union and Kevin Hart
Genres: Comedy, Romance

Interesting premise, boring film.

And boring score.

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The Odd Life Of Timothy Green

Name: The Odd Life Of Timothy Green
Year: 2012
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 102
Description: After receiving bad news from a fertility doctor, Cindy and Jim Green try to bury their dreams of having a child by writing out all the great traits their child would have and putting them in a box in the garden. During a freak storm in the middle of the night, they awake to find a boy named Timothy, with leaves growing from his ankles, standing in their kitchen calling them mom and dad. Cindy and Jim are thrown into the midst of parenthood and over the coming months, Timothy will teach them more than they could have imagined about being parents and raising a child, no matter how he comes into their lives.
Stars: Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, CJ Adams
Genres: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

Well, it was certainly odd. It reminded me of The Green Mile. I never really liked these stories about a normal world with one supernatural element. Jennifer Garner was mostly very good and Joel Edgerton was… awkward but had his moments. The film was clearly forcing a message down the viewer’s throat: that it’s totally okay to be different and that wasn’t done in the most subtle way either. Seeing the parents go from imperfect to perfect was nice, but the way Timothy just comes and goes like that… Not my thing.

The score was enjoyable and had some interesting effects: they reversed the sound of the flutes. Sometimes it seemed to be happy when it needed to be sad, though, and all things considered, it’s a rather boring and decidedly simple piece of music.

Secret Of The Wings

Name: Secret Of The Wings
Year: 2012
Rating: G
Running Time (minutes): 74
Description: Tinker Bell finds herself crossing into the Winter Woods. There she meets Periwinkle and together they find the magical powers that their wings obtain. They have to save the Pixie Tree from a dark winter, but something horrible happens to Tinker Bell. Will the wing power fix it?
Stars: Mae Whitman Lucy Hale, Timothy Dalton
Genres: Animation, Family, Fantasy

Ever since I loved Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue’s score, I added the movie series to the must-watch list I use when nothing else of interest is on. I didn’t enjoy this movie that much, though. The story isn’t particularly good and there are too many superficial characters, voice-acting-wise.

And the score is still good, but not nearly as great as the previous one. It was also a real pity that my favourite fairy theme wasn’t used again.

And I hope the American narrator doesn’t have children to whom she can read fairy-tales so coldly.

The Avengers

Name: The Avengers
Year: 2012
Rating: R
Running Time (minutes): 137
Description: Earths mightiest heroes must overcome both their personal demons and personality clashes on an epic scale to unite in order to defeat an old enemy and an invading army of Aliens bent on conquest.
Stars: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson
Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Now I’m definitely hooked on the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This one was really, really great. I just loved how all these characters came together in this nearly perfect story. It was particularly satisfying to see more of Black Widow and that she got her own backstory. Iron Man’s endless barrage of sarcastic humour is always welcome too, but I still don’t know whether Loki is just a bad character or whether I’m not understanding him. This was also the first time that Thor annoyed me and can someone please tell me why alien motherships are never prepared for nuclear weapons?

The score was very functional and had some nice parts, but even though I love the Avengers’ theme and the Captain America reprises, I find it a little ungrateful not to reference Doyle’s, Armstrong’s, Djawadi’s and Debney’s efforts. Musical continuity, please.

This time, the narrator was an American who did sound like a human being. Keep up the good work, Marvel. This was the first time I watched it with audio description, the last (and only other) time being in 2012 when I wanted to show off my brand-new 5.1 system. That resulted in two hours of mini-earthquakes and me being utterly confused by all the action.

Home Alone: The Holiday Heist

Name: Home Alone: The Holiday Heist
Year: 2012
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 87
Description: Finn Baxter and his family move from California to Maine to their new house. Finn is terrified and believes the house is haunted. While he sets up traps to catch the ‘ghost’, his parents get stranded across town and Finn is home alone with his sister. Their house is targeted by 3 thieves.
Stars: Christian Martyn, Eddie Steeples, Jodelle Ferland
Genres: Comedy, Crime, Family

I only started to like this after 30 minutes, when the kids were home alone, though I loved Ellie Harvie’s character and performance, but Finn is an annoying, stupid dude and as usual, I didn’t like the ‘lessons’ and ‘messages’ of this film, especially when Ellie Harvie recited one. The lead burglar had a strange British accent, though he was entertaining enough (why do villains always speak British in American films?) The female burglar was a nice and unexpected addition as well. Oh, and the little boy next door sounded like a girl and was weird. Plus, as in the original movie, the traps are really unrealistic, but that only bothered me now. Overall, I had a good laugh. Is it normal for random movie clips to be repeated during the credits?

The kiddo who composed the score wisely didn’t use Williams’ themes. It has some good ‘magical’ Christmas music with celesta and choir, but honestly, if you really have to use bad sample libraries, don’t use strings, they reveal the fact that you’re using a computer straightaway. The burglar music did sound an awful lot like Williams’ material and playing Jingle Bels over a comical scene really works. Even sampled Christmas carols sound good, by the way.

The audio-describer had a rather cute voice and I really liked phrases like ‘scene changes to’.

The Amazing Spider-Man

Name: The Amazing Spider-Man
Year: 2012
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 136
Description: Like most teenagers, Peter is trying to figure out who he is and how he got to be the person he is today. Peter is also finding his way with his first high school crush, Gwen Stacy, and together, they struggle with love, commitment and secrets. As Peter discovers a mysterious briefcase that belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand his parents’ disappearance – leading him directly to Oscorp and the lab of Dr Curt Connors, his father’s former partner. As Spider-Man is set on a collision course with Connors’ alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make life-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Rhys Ifans
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

Decided to give this a go after totally giving up on the terrible Toby Maguire movies.

Now THIS one was good! No Spider-Man whispering in that tortured voice Toby just can’t seem to drop. Garfield is so much better. Uncle Ben is superior and the villain is credible this time (no more stupid, childish hideous laughing)…

And Horner’s score is absolutely magical. Still wasn’t moved sufficiently when Ben died, but my goodness, this is so much better than Elfman’s perennial, comical, undramatic, annoymous, chaotic crap! What an awesome superhero theme! And the romantic side of the score is equally gripping. A little underplayed, perhaps, but still fifty times better than the feeble attempt Hans Zimmer makes at romance in the sequel, or the attempt Danny Elfman made that I totally forgot.

Parental Guidance

Name: Parental Guidance
Year: 2012
Rating: PG
Running Time (minutes): 105
Description: Old school grandfather Artie, who is accustomed to calling the shots, meets his match when he and his eager-to-please wife Diane agree to babysit their three grandkids when their type-A helicopter parents go away for work. But when 21st century problems collide with Artie and Diane’s old school methods of tough rules, lots of love and old-fashioned games, it’s learning to bend – and not holding your ground – that binds a family together.
Stars: Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei
Genres: Comedy

Bette Midler overacts, kids are annoying.

The Sessions

Name: The Sessions
Year: 2012
Rating: R
Running Time (minutes): 95
Description: At the age of 38, Mark O’Brien, a man who uses an iron lung, decides he no longer wishes to be a virgin. With the help of his therapist and his priest, he contacts Cheryl Cohen-Greene, a professional sex surrogate and a typical soccer mum with a house, a mortgage and a husband. Inspired by a true story, The Sessions follows the fascinating relationship which evolves between Cheryl and Mark as she takes him on his journey to manhood.
Stars: John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy
Genres: Biography, Comedy, Drama

I dunno… My first thought was: God, John Hawkes has a stupid voice, but in the end, I managed to appreciate it. When Cheryl and Mark started to love each other, I feared it would turn into a dramatic finale in which Cheryl tragically ditches her husband and chooses to live with Mark, but that didn’t happen. Didn’t like how Helen Hunt kept mechanically dictating stuff into her recorded, did like Rhea Perlman’s thirty seconds of screen time. The ending was all right, I suppose, but I wasn’t really moved by the whole thing, not least because of Marco Beltrami’s unbelievably dull score.

Shadow Dancer

Name: Shadow Dancer
Year: 2012
Rating: R
Running Time (minutes): 101
Description: Set in 1990s Belfast, an active member of the IRA becomes an informant for MI5 in order to protect her son’s welfare.
Stars: Clive Owen, Andrea Riseborough, Gillian Anderson
Genres: Drama, Thriller

It’s a good story, but the way it was told just isn’t my thing. Hardly any music, let alone Irish music, a barely functional score, doom and gloom etc. Didn’t understand the ending either and it was really weird that the protagonist suddenly started kissing the undercover agent for no apparent reason. Also surprised how any IRA member could decide to turn against the IRA in two minutes.