Sunday, April 14, 2013

Down on the upside


... I wanted to like this movie. Three minutes in, with the painfully cheesy, but strangely amusing narration, I still wanted to like this movie. I didn't want to like it for the cast, or the director, or any critical hype... it just sounded so damn cool.

Two worlds have somehow co-developed in a shared atmosphere and hence both have there own gravity, one world barely a tall tree, or mountain, from the other. Life sucks for the people on the bottom who are poor, and controlled by the folks above who have all the money and tech. Now there is a little rule that says objects from the other world can only exist in the inverted gravity for a matter of hours before they burn. So naturally people shy away from attempting to jump planets. But wouldn't you know it our would be hero, Adam (Jim Sturgess - the guy from Across the Universe), goes and develops a crush/love on a girl from above that he meets while climbing high trees and playing in the inverted rain. So years pass and he and this girl, Eden (Kirsten Dunst), meet, pull each other to the others cliff and engage in strongly forbidden inter planetary relations. Then they are discovered, she is injured, and his whole life falls apart... well more apart.

Years later he develops a cream through the use of a "Pink Bee" pollen that allows him to gain access to the other world and attempt to reconnect with his love.

Ok, so sounds pretty freaking messed up right. Almost too weird, and yet... intriguing. The visuals in the film are stunning. Some very neat camera tricks, and lots of very cool upside down/right side up shots. My favourite in the film was a scene where he launches himself form one ocean/lake type thing into the other worlds ocean/lake type thing, passing through both skies. Is that scientifically possible? No. Should he be dead from such an event... yes. But folks, this is a fantasy, of the highest romantic order, believe in unicorns, and move on.

The issue is once you get past the cool concept, and really awesome visuals, you really... don't have too much. The performances are decent, but not outstanding... Kirsten D, who I thought had turned a major acting corner with MELANCHOLIA takes a major one backwards here. But, in fairness, it's really not their fault, the script in just plain weighed down, once for each gravity, with such A typical plot. Big faceless organization stomping on the poor below them. Heck they even bring up their high oil prices... Thanks for letting me know what they were meant to represent, I um... got it. The romance is pretty typical, aside from all the floating and stuff... and I woulda been alright with that except... except... why did you have to give her amnesia?

So, you... um... come here often?

It serves no purpose. If you are going to build up an evil organization, they have to feel evil, you can't just show us a guy being a dick twice, and then a brief kidnapping and be all - see how evil they are! The same goes for a romance. If you are going to build around this reunion, and then deny the audience the moment... why?

"Because its tragic and builds further conflict for our hero, Boonsweet"

Yes I understand story structure, but all it actually did was suck the life, and joy out of the scene. And then when they do get their moment its over so quickly you hardly get to appreciate it. This would have worked much better if they simply played it as by the book as they were unintentionally being. Have the organization be evil. Testing the chemical Adam invented on unwilling below people. Have Adam and Eden rise up against them... etc.

But thats the story of the movie, a bright spark, a flicker of flame, and... Nothing. The fire dies.

Okay, and a quick note... when did they have sex? Seriously, if you are gunna try to drop a "surprise" ending on us... when did that happen? Was that when they were twirling around in the air? Because I think they still had their clothes on. And, wait, do people on these world leave their clothes on? Dammit...

The friend that Adam makes in the above world was awkward for me. I have a feeling their were some last minute cuts made that changed the course of the film. The friend seems to be playing it deviously at first, being a little too buddy, buddy, but then its like they decided it worked better as a real friend... same with the ending... like how many freaking threads can you tie up in 30 seconds, a bit of narration, and an explainy fade out...? hahaha.

Movie scale: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Fantasy/Romance scale 2.5 out of 5 stars (I um only chose that category because that is what it is listed as - drama/fantasy/romance... I really had no idea what to put it in)

Check my brain @tallwhitefox
and my occasional dual rants @BoonsBuckles all 140 character chat welcome :)

- Chuck Boonsweet saying, keep your feet on the ground... unless she's hot enough to jump planets for!

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