December 30, 2011

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close- AMC Lincoln Square 13

Mike: I don't mind when films manipulate your emotions. After all, that's what films are supposed to do - they're supposed to mess around with how you feel. Overall I'm pretty tolerant of excess sentimentality - I like it when a film tugs at my heart strings. But sometimes the methods used are a bit too superficial. That's the case with Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (or is it Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close, or Extremely Close and Incredibly Loud? I can't keep it straight). The manipulation is all too obvious, and not just in scenes directly dealing with the 9/11 tragedy.

But I don't think most people are aware of that. I think anyone who enjoyed a film like The Blind Side a few years ago is likely to enjoy this film, or at least feel touched by it. And I think at its core it's a decent film, but there are some significant flaws that kept me from really liking it. The biggest problem of all is the main character. He's an asshole, making it hard to feel sympathy for him. I get that he's got some behavior issues - he sees everything in terms of logic. But man, the kid's a prick. At one point, he tells his mom (Sandra Bullock) that he wishes she had died on 9/11 instead of his dad (Tom Hanks). I couldn't help but think that if any of the three should have died that day, it really should have been the selfish asshole kid himself.

The other problem is the film's conclusion - there's a bit of a twist that I won't spoil which involves the Sandra Bullock character, but it's pretty absurd. There were some parts of the film that I liked, though. Like Max Von Sydow's mute character - a great performance by a great actor who we don't see much of on the big screen. Also, Sandra Bullock was fine and I thought Tom Hanks was very good, too, albeit a bit too Tom Hanksy at times.

Erica: I didn't love this film, yet I didn't hate it. The one major thing I didn't like is the same as Mike. The star of the film. Man that kid is obnoxious. Plus his name is spelled Oskar, for some reason using a 'k' in place of a 'c' annoyed me for two hours, but not as much as the kid did. The whole movie is centered around his relationship with his deceased father and the lack of a relationship with his still very much alive mother. This kid needs to stop being an obnoxious, arrogant kid and get some friends. 

Sandra Bullock was fine in the movie, but I feel like the mother could have been played by anybody. Hanks was good, he wasn't in it much but he was again fine. This movie to me was a bit Lifetime-y as well. Like We Bought a Zoo, this movie would have also have been perfect as a Lifetime Movie of the Week starring two random actors from eighties sitcoms and an unknown (maybe less obnoxious) kid playing Oskar. AND LOSE THE TAMBOURINE!!!

This is perfect for people who like those sappy movies about a broken family and seeing if they can mend their broken relationships. My suggestion, wait for DVD. 

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