Friday, September 21, 2012
2012 King of the Hill: September Part 1
It is time for another movie post as I clear out the queue of movies I've watched for the month. This blog post is going to be a showdown the first four movies of the month, run mini-tournament style. I'll do the next round in the next couple of days offering another for movies to go against this entry's winner. But for today, we'll see the movies 50/50, Jumping the Broom, Nim's Island, and Premium Rush face off.
For those who do not know, the 2012 King of the Hill Movie Challenge is my system for determining the best movie of year that I saw. One movie from each month will be selected and, at the end of the year, I will do a tournament style showdown where they will take each other on until the final movie has been selected. Bracket placement will be determined by the number of movies the monthly movie faced and won.
50/50 v Jumping the Broom
50/50 is the story of Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and his dealing with cancer. Adam's cancer is particularly nasty and has a 50/50 survival rate. The movie details his life from just before discovering the illness up until the cancer situation is resolved. I've intentionally worded this to avoid spoiling the outcome, as it adds to the tension of the movie. In the movie, we get to see the many, many faces of cancer. You see how it impacts both Adam and the friends and family around him.
Jumping the Broom is the story of Sabrina (Paula Patton) and Jason (Laz Alonso), two love birds from very different worlds and their adventure into marriage. I both liked and disliked aspects of this movie. First off, the movie is a mostly black cast. This is intended as the very title references the culture tradition of when blacks were unable to marry and performed unions by jumping over a broom. Adding to this is intention is the single white character serving the "token white girl" of the film. The story, while good, is filled with a great deal of tropes and cliches. I personally felt that the character of Jason was able to get off easy for his inexcusable behaviors.
Winner: Though I would recommend both movies, 50/50 is the clear winner.
Nim's Island v Premium Rush
Nim's Island is a sort of three-in-one story that covers the adventures of Nim (Abigail Breslin), her father (Gerald Butler), and author Alexandra Rover (Jodie Foster). Nim is a girl who lives with her father on an island that is kept secret from the world in order to preserve it. After a storm leaves her father stranded and unable to return home, Nim contacts Alexandra Rover. The author hasn't left her home in years and decides to leave to help Nim. The adventure is a whimsical story filled with talking animals, silly antics, and a lot of creative imagination. It is a cute film and I had little to complain about.
Premium Rush is an adrenaline packed film about bicycle courier, Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), trying to survive as a crooked police officer is hot on his trail to stop a package from being delivered. The movie is action packed, filled with some intense chase scenes. The movie has a very diverse cast which definitely added to the film. The story is simple and straight forward. In most films, this would detract from the picture, but for Premium Rush, it works well. The only real complaint I have with the movie are the "predictions" Wilee has with upcoming dangerous intersections. One particular scene had each prediction more absurd than the last. Outside of this detail, there are no real complaints to be found.
Winner: Nim's Island wins. Again, I would recommend both movies.
Nim's Island v 50/50
This is a very hard choice. One is a very serious look into cancer, the other is a lighter film that addresses the different forms of courage. In the end, I'd have to give 50/50 the pick.