Archives for posts with tag: james mcavoy

MV5BNjM1M2Y3NWUtOWM1MS00YjUzLThiNmEtNjdiMTZmMzg3NTY3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTQxNzMzNDI@._V1_UY268_CR1,0,182,268_AL_An ancestral curse gives Penelope (Christina Ricci) a pig face, and she therefore struggles to find love. Especially because, by the terms of the curse, it is assumed (particularly by her mother, played by the inimitable Catherine O’Hara) that she must marry a rich man. So she needs someone from old money, still rich, who doesn’t mind the pig face. Tricky.

People are bigger assholes than you’d expect, though. The deformity is pretty mild (especially on Christina Ricci, where it’s a bit…on the nose*), and she comes with a lot of money. You’d figure someone would be happy to cope, even if Penelope weren’t fairly interesting and nice, which, of course, she is. Also Richard E. Grant is her dad, which is a 10/10, dad-wise. But Edward Vanderman (Simon Woods) is cartoonishly appalled by her face, and he runs off to a reporter (Peter Dinklage) who’s been trying to get a glimpse of Penelope for years.  The usual shenanigans lead to a mistaken identity gambit in which Edward and the reporter hire Max (James McAvoy) to pretend to court Penelope.

It’s cute. It’s not careful, or especially clever, or particularly original, but it’s cute.

Stray observations:

  • Nigel Havers is in this movie.
  • Reese Witherspoon is also there, to teach Penelope a little sass.
  • Ostensibly, Penelope takes place in the States. But it is very obviously filmed in England, and nearly everyone in it is British.

Director: Mark Palansky
Rating: PG or so
Length: 104 minutes
Score: 3/5

* I am so, so sorry.

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This movie could have been substantially worse. But let me run a few things by you:

  1. Mystique is angry at everyone and lectures people about mutantdom or something (and basically acts a lot like Katniss Everdeen, which isn’t more attractive if you’re blue and naked).
  2. Erik Lensherr needs to be reminded that humanity is probably worth saving, Nazis and other bigots notwithstanding. But first people are awful and somebody dies.
  3. Somebody gets into Charles’s head, and it’s a problem.
  4. Some long-latent cosmic power is defeated with suspicious ease by an unlikely bunch of mutants who realize at the last moment that they need to work as a team.

Does that sound like…every X-Men movie?

Everyone’s phoning it in at this point, with the exception of Rose Byrne’s Moira McTaggart, who remains the only person in these movies with any sort of consistent and rational appeal. This is the point of Moira, of course. Jennifer Lawrence is just recycling her pouting noxiousness, James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender are visibly bored (which is understandable), and Oscar Isaac is unrecognizably painted blue, so you can’t really tell if he’s acting. The kids have very little to do–there are too many characters to bother caring about them, particularly when Psylocke (Olivia Munn) is given practically no dialogue (or clothing!). Conversely it’s probably a relief that Jubilee (Lana Condor) is barely there.

The fights are fine; the effects are fine; the Egyptian stuff is Mummy levels of insane nonsense, but who really cares.

Hmm. Maybe I just need to stop watching superhero movies until they seem less samey and dumb. Except Ragnarok: Once Thor with Feeling. I am going to see that a hundred times.

Stray observations:

  • Apparently Ally Sheedy has a small part. I didn’t notice.
  • “I’m blue! I’m Kurt!” Nightcrawler is always going to be the most charming.
  • Young Scott is not handsome enough.

Director: Bryan Singer
Rating: PG-13
Length: 144 minutes
Score: 3/5