the wonderful world of veena.

22 December 2013

movie reviews: anchorman 2; the east.

With the brother home for the holidays, and with all the new movies releasing, I have a feeling there will be a lot of movie-viewing happening these next few weeks. In an attempt to not have a ridiculously long post chronicling my thoughts on all of them at once, I thought I'd split them up and go a few at a time.

The first two up are Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and The East. My thoughts on both are below.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues. The first one was brilliant, so obviously I was going to see the sequel. I knew it wouldn't be as great as the first one, but I was pretty disappointed with how it turned out. The pre-release PR campaign was awesome, with the Dodge commercials and Ron Burgundy as a host on SportsCenter, but the movie was a pretty big flop in my books.

On the whole it seemed really disjointed, and I know Ron is the main character, but I felt there could have been more of the supporting characters. Brick's little storyline was by far the most entertaining - especially with the added bonus of Kristen Wiig - and I would have loved more of that and less of Ron.

It was also far too long. These movies shouldn't be longer than an hour-and-a-half, and this one came in just under 2 hours. I love a comedy that knows when to cut and run, and this one seemed like it just kept going.

The best scene was definitely the fight scene involving all the other newscasters. It might have even been better than the original, especially with the cameos from Kanye, Jim Carrey, Marion Cotillard, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and more that I can't even remember right now. It's was awesome.

Other than that, though, it's pretty eh. I'd say that unless you're a super fan of the first one - hello Britney - you can probably give this one a pass.

The East. My brother and I wanted to see this when it was in the cinema, but we somehow missed it. When the brother found it available on iTunes, we decided to rent and watch it on Friday afternoon.

The East is the story of a young female recruit at a private intelligence firm who goes undercover to gather information on "The East", an underground activist group that focuses on outing corporations who are committing eco-terrorism. The group is run by Benji, played by a brilliant Alexander Skarsgard, and they reluctantly allow the new girl - Sarah, played by Brit Marland - to become a peripheral member. When another member abruptly leaves the group, Sarah is pulled into one of their "jams" and slowly becomes more integral to their plans. As the movie progresses, you can see Sarah's evolution from viewing the group simply as a mark to becoming more and more involved in their operations.

The movie jumps around a bit at times, but on the whole it was a captivating, interesting film. I couldn't help but identify with the group at times, because I am always a fan of corporations being held responsible for their actions, but I certainly don't have the balls to do the things they do. I found out after we watched it that the screenplay was co-written by Marland and the director [Zal Batmanglij, elder brother of Rostam from Vampire Weekend] and is based on their own personal experiences. That little tidbit made me like it just a little bit more.

For those interested, The East is available through Redbox and also for rent or purchase on iTunes. If you like thrillers, I'd say this is definitely one to check out.

Many more movies will be viewed in the coming weeks, so that means many more reviews are on your horizon. Please save your applause for the end.

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