It’s not a good week for Charlize Theron. She now owed me good money for that Snow White retelling and this Aliens prequel.
My biggest problem with this movie was that it tried too hard to be profound, but it indulged in the usual summer blockbuster action flick money shots. Other than the amazing visual effects (especially the luscious views and that stomach-churning surgery), everything else felt like a clunker. The movie got lost in all its religious themes and ended up ignoring all the questions.
In the end, it was nothing more than a plodding popcorn movie. Except that you wouldn’t want to eat popcorn while watching.
(Originally published June 14, 2012.)
Michael Fassbender I teaching Michael Fassbender II how to blow (er, play) the flute: “I’ll do the fingering.” It could very well have been Ridley Scott telling the audience that because this was just a rehash of previous Alien movies.
The movie wanted to make a Ripley out of Katherine Waterston but she was so bland in the lead role. Also, mankind would never survive in outer space with this forgettable crew that basically ignored all common sense. I was completely annoyed with every single one of them that I actually felt bad for the baby alien that got kicked right in the face.
The only reasons to watch this were all the Fassy on Fassy action (instant nominee for MTV’s Best Kiss) and the brilliant use of James Franco in a movie.
Still better than Prometheus that worked very much like a tablespoon of NyQuil, though.
(Originally published May 15, 2017.)
My notes on All the Money in the World:
1. It says so much about a film when the behind the scenes controversies were a lot more compelling than the movie itself. The sudden replacement of Kevin Spacey (amid the #MeToo movement) with Christopher Plummer, the last minute expedited reshoots to make its December 2017 release date (and maintain its Oscar contender status this year), and the huge salary gap concerns between Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams were just juicier and more dramatic.
2. “To be a Getty is an extraordinary thing. I know that because my grandpa told me so.” And he wasn’t kidding. His grandfather was J. Paul Getty (Plummer), named by Fortune magazine as the richest American in the late ‘50s and said to be the richest man in the history of the world. In a Playboy interview, Getty even mentioned that “If you can count your money, then you’re not a billionaire.” I would have been incredibly jealous if only I hadn’t seen so many rich people problems here (like buying a million dollar painting that could not be displayed for public viewing).
3. One of the biggest concerns of the rich would definitely be security. I couldn’t imagine an Ayala or Gokongwei enjoying life’s simple pleasures (like say, hanging out at a local mall) without any fear that their kids might get targeted by kidnap for ransom groups. I used to fantasize that I was a scion of Henry Sy, but it further heightened my already excessive paranoia so I had to give up the dream of having my own Shoemart branch. I guess it was true that “When a man becomes wealthy, he has to deal with the problems of freedom.”
4. Plummer was remarkable in his role and made a detestable character completely human (ergo relatable). He sneered at the poor people that wrote to him asking for help (“If I respond to every person asking for money, I will also be as destitute!”), played hardball with his grandchild’s kidnappers (“I have fourteen grandchildren. If I pay the ransom, I’ll have fourteen kidnapped grandchildren”), and finally agreed to pay the ransom but only as part of his tax deduction. I slightly felt bad for him in the scene where he was playing chess with himself.
(And before I get accused of anything, Williams was also good in her role. I found it odd though that she was billed as a lead, but it felt like she had a secondary character.)
5. Those reshoots worked out pretty well. I actually thought that Getty’s character was very minor and that was why they could easily recast the role. The only weird aspect (and only if you knew about the casting replacement) was that the actor that played Getty’s son looked and sounded very much like a young Spacey.
6. That artistic shot of the newspapers flying in slow motion? I’m sorry Ridley Scott, but Respeto did it first last year. #PinoyFried