Blue Jasmine

Blue_Jasmine_poster

Blue Jasmine has somehow bought me back to the reviewers desk, I have found myself thinking about it in so many different ways I hardly know where to start on this review.

There is something about this movie that reminds me of Citizen Kane. Woody is missing the great revolutionary cinematography of Wells, but the subject matter the breadth of it is similar.

What first grabbed me is that it seems to lead you down a certain Hollywood track, and you feel comfortable being gently careered into this area because of Midnight in Paris, in that movie Woody willingly filled with Hollywood stereotypes, it was romantic and intellectual.

He fiddled with the genre a little in Midnight in Paris, put a few neurotic characters in there and added his style, but it was essentially a Romantic comedy. Because Woody is so unique it added an interesting intellectual slant on what was becoming a dry and boring genre of film.

Now with Blue Jasmine, we get lulled down that Hollywood stereotype avenue again, this is a riches to rags Dickensian tale. So often in a movie like this we are given a sort of moral lesson,  usually there is a ‘I fell from grace but now I am a humble person’  shtick.

BLUE-JASMINE

But this isn’t like that; Jasmine, doesn’t come back (spoiler) -she doesn’t recover or become a ‘good’ or ‘humble’ person after loosing everything. Things don’t work out, she goes mad, reality sucks.

In some ways the movie is even more interesting when you imagine the sort of people that Woody Allen has known in his life, and the things he has seen.

Just like Citizen Kane/ William Hearst connection I suspect there is a real life Jasmine or maybe even many Jasmines that Woody has known and watched fall from grace.

I sensed a touch of schadenfreude in this movie maybe even of malice from Woody, but I wasn’t sure it could just as easily been a misplaced impression.

Woody has made so many movies in his life, I think it’s fair to say that unlike someone like Steven Spielberg movie making hasn’t been easy for Woody, he has made plenty of flops and has made mistakes in his filming and acting career and even in his own personal life.

Woody+Allen+oaCDwyUo6uxm

It’s like all the past experiences of Woody is culminating swelling up, building up a complex fabric for his scripts and movie making, he is starting to test these genres and change them in a way that reflects his own life. He has after all experienced these things like Jasmine, had massive failure and felt and been through those things.

This movie could make some people uncomfortable or it could be interpreted in different ways, already after reading some reviews this seems to be exactly what is happening.

Movies that can be interpreted in many different ways are like a wine with multiple flavors, they are to be kept and savored and age well with time.

This is most certainly one of those very fine films.

Oblivion

157099b71b45ce351839e033aeb529a4

It’s the year 2077 Jack Harper is a drone Maintenance repair man, he lives in a groovy apartment way up in the clouds, the apartment seems like it could become horribly daggy in the future. Sort of like when Jack Thorn visits that flashy apartment in Solyent green and you cringe at the décor.

Jack Harper lives in a neat ordered world, everything feels like it is out of an Ikea brochure, even his wife. Right from the start you are aware ‘something is wrong’ these people have little raw emotion that makes them human…or do they? This is a touch screen world and the flying machine that Tom drives reminds me of a cross between an Apple product and two nuts.

Jacks main job is to go out and fix failed drones, which protect the giant fusion reactors from the ‘scav’ an alien species that invaded the earth and forced it’s inhabitants to head of to Titan.

The problems starts when a third wheel comes to stay via Julia (Olga Kurylenko) Who has to be awaken from cryogenic sleep. This is where the basic under structure of the movie displays itself. It is essentially a love triangle story between the three main characters.  Jack Harper, Victoria Olsen and Julia (who turns out to be his wife).  Jack and Vic are both a ‘team’ but who have had their memories wiped, the troubles start occurring only when Julia shows up. Trouble in paradise. The oldest story in the book.

The planet is a dead one and bits of New York pop out from the surface reminding me a little of Planet of the apes. The world is so obviously a dystopia there’s not much left on earth, just plenty of rubble. The movie never explores the decay, it draws heavily on Aliens for suspense using the sound of the beacon as we search the empty world.

The scav and the leader of the scav: Morgan Freeman look very Matrix like, Morgan Freeman looks odd in those John Lennon glasses his performance is so small and wasted. The drones are a little scary but they are a total give away. Science fiction lesson number one: Anything in a movie that is robotic and has a red eye is EVIL.

This movie feels like it is all about Tom Cruise. I am partially fond of Tom Cruise he won me over in War of the Worlds and Eyes Wide Shut. But here we are up close and personal with Tom, so close we can see every scratch and mark on his face and it becomes a little too much.

The movie is my favorite genre  science fiction and it had me in with the drones and the idea of the alien Tet, the central science fiction idea was a little too close to that of MOON especially with the idea of the clones not knowing of each others existence.

I felt a little disappointed with this movie, I was fairly excited about its prospects as part of the science fiction canon but it just didn’t quite make it.

Oblivion