Film Review: Endless Love (dir by Shana Feste)


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Oh, what a disappointing film this turned out to be!

When the trailer for Endless Love came out way back in the closing days of 2013, both me and my BFF Evelyn were seriously excited about seeing it.  The trailer was great!  It featured Florence + The Machine!  The movie looked hot and sexy and fun and…

Well, let’s just rewatch the trailer, shall we?

Here’s the thing:  Sometimes, trailers lie.

I saw Endless Love when it was originally released in February but I didn’t review it.  I meant to review it but somehow I never got around to doing so.  And, unfortunately, the film itself was so bland and forgettable that I actually struggled to think of anything to say about it.  Some movies make you laugh.  Some movies make you cry.  Some movies make you mad.  And some movies are just there.

Endless Love is a just there type of movie.

That said, when I saw that Endless Love would be making its cable debut on Cinemax on Saturday night, I decided to give it a second chance.  “Who knows?” I thought to myself, “Maybe I just went into the film with unrealistic expectations.  Maybe I was just in a bitchy mood when I saw it.  Maybe, on a second viewing, I’ll discover that Endless Love works on a purely emotional level…”

No such luck!  Having watched Endless Love a second time, I can now actually remember enough about the film to finally get around to writing a review.  However, I have also now been reminded why I didn’t care much about the film the first time I saw it.

Endless Love is essentially a collection of generically pretty scenes that all feature pretty performers thinking about love, talking about, and making love.  Recent high school graduates David (Alex Pettyfer) and Jade (Gabriella Wilde) start going out.  Jade comes from a wealthy family.  David does not.  Jade’s overly protective father, Hugh (Bruce Greenwood), does not approve of the relationship because Jade has an ivy league future ahead of her while David has no plans to attend college at all.  Jade becomes more rebellious.  David lectures Hugh on the fact that nothing is more important than love.  Hugh takes out a restraining order against David.  Jade goes off to college.  David tries to secretly see her.  And, of course, there’s a fire.

(Though, unlike in the original Endless Love, the fire is not deliberately set.  This is Endless Love  reimagined as a Nicholas Sparks novel.)

And who really cares?

The problem with Endless Love is that we’re supposed to care about David and Jade and we’re supposed love how obsessed they are with each other but David and Jade are two of the most boring people ever so who cares?  Alex Pettyfer is nice to look at.  Gabriella Wilde is pretty.  But, as a couple, they have next to no chemistry.  Instead, they come across like one of those vapid couples that my boyfriend and I always worry we’re going to end up getting trapped in an endless conversation with.

(“How did you two meet?  Wait, before you start — let me tell you how we met… It’s a great story…you guys are going to love this…we were both attending kindergarten on a dance scholarship but the ballet kids all hated the ballroom kids.  Then they moved to Iceland and I asked my dad if we could move to Greenland and then…”)

And again, this just shows the power of a good trailer.  Watching the trailer, you would never guess how boring David and Jade truly are.  Incidentally, the best parts of the trailer are all taken from a “David and Jade dating” montage that occurs about halfway through the film.  As such, the scenes that made me want to see Endless Love pretty much just serve as filler in the actual film.

Also, Florence + The Machine are nowhere to be heard in the actual film.  And their haunting, atmospheric music would have been out of place anyway.  Florence + The Machine embraces the power of ambiguity and Endless Love takes place in a world where there is no ambiguity.

However, there is a lot of blue.

Seriously!  (And yes, I do realize that there’s a typo in my tweet but everyone is allowed to be illiterate on twitter so get off my back.)  This movie opens with a high school graduation where everyone is wearing a blue robe and the entire cast is so oppressively cheerful and overwhelmingly pleasant-looking that I briefly wondered if they were supposed to be a graduating class or a cult.  Later on, David works at a valet at a country club and, of course, he wears a blue shirt.  Everyone who belongs to the club also appears to be wearing a blue shirt, except that it’s a lighter shade of blue than David’s blue.  It’s just odd-looking and reinforces the feeling that Endless Love is less a movie and more a collection of commercial outtakes.

Endless Love, of course, is a remake of a film from the early 80s.  The first Endless Love isn’t very good but it’s at least a lot of unintentional fun!  And you can read my review of it (and even watch the film!) by clicking here.

27 Days of Old School: #15 “You Shook Me All Night Long” (by AC/DC)


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“Taking More Than Her Share
Had Me Fighting For Air
She Told Me To Come But I Was Already There”

You shook me all night long! Yes, on the KTSL charts at No. 15 is just one of the greatest rock songs ever. Hyperbole and all that, but this song is just awesome times awesome equals awesome.

AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” first appeared in their mega-blockbuster album in 1980, Back In Black. It wasn’t until 1986 when it was re-released as part of their Who Made Who album. It was during it’s re-release that I first heard and first saw the new video that accompanied the song. I think every teenage boy ended up glued to their TV’s whenever this video came on. They probably ended up taping the video for further repeat viewing.

As is their style, the song was just full of double entendres and the video itself just played up on the song’s lyrics. This video and song was just hard rock at it’s most 1980’s excess and debauchery and it was great.

A Late Film Review: Non-Stop (dir by Jaume Collet-Serra)


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With 2014 rapidly coming to a close, I am currently trying to get caught up on some of the movies that I either missed seeing or did not get a chance to review earlier this year.  After all, in just another month and a half, it’ll be time for me to make out my “Best Of the Year List” and I want to have as many options as possible.

With that in mind, I just finished watching Liam Neeson in Non-Stop, an action-suspense film that came out way back in February.

In Non-Stop, Liam Neeson plays Bill Marks.  It’s interesting to note that Bill Marks has the same initials as Bryan Mills, the very specifically trained CIA agent that Neeson plays in the Taken films.  And really, Bill Marks might as well Bryan Mills because Neeson pretty much gives the exact same performance in Non-Stop that he previously gave in Taken.  That’s not necessarily a criticism.  There’s a reason why Liam keeps getting cast in these type of roles.  He’s good at them.

In fact, I would say that Liam Neeson is one of the few action stars who I can imagine actually killing someone in real life (though only if he had to).  He has a rugged, world-weary cynicism about him.  You look into the eyes of a character played by Liam Neeson and you realize that he’s had to do things that you probably don’t want to know anything about.  At the same time, Neeson also projects a certain old-fashioned decency as well.  He’s the epitome of a decent man forced to use bad methods for the good of us all.

As for Non-Stop, I imagine it was probably pitched as being “Taken on a plane.”  Bill Marks is an air marshal who is on board a non-stop flight from New York to London.  Shortly after the plane takes off, he starts to receive mysterious text messages telling him that, unless he arranges for a 150 million dollar ransom to be paid into a specific bank account, someone on the plane will die every 20 minutes.  While Bill tries to discover who is sending him the text messages and various people on the plane die, the authorities on the ground are convinced that Bill is hijacking the plane.  Why?  Well, mostly because the bank account is in Bill’s name…

That’s right!  Somebody’s trying to frame Bill Marks!  Can Bill — with the help of a passenger played by Julianne Moore — figure out who is trying to frame him and why?  I have to admit that there was a part of me that was hoping that it would turn out that Bill really was the mastermind behind the whole scheme but instead, the movie offers up a solution that is even more ludicrous and illogical.  Naturally, there’s a twist.  The hijacking is not what it originally appears to be.  Perhaps if Non-Stop itself was more fun, the total implausibility of the twist wouldn’t bother me.

Director Juame Collet-Serra (who previously directed Neeson in Unknown) manages a few good action sequence but, ultimately, Non-Stop is really saved only be the presence of Liam Neeson.  Regardless of how implausible or silly the film may get, Neeson always brings a lot of authority to his role.  He’s never more convincing than when he’s walking up and down the aisles, glaring at the passengers and barking out orders.

It’s the type of performance that leaves us assured that the world will be safe as long as Liam Neeson is around to kill people.

Liam Neeson, about to kill someone

Liam Neeson, about to kill someone