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Jun 1, 2010

Seriously Overdue Movie Reviews: The Young Victoria , Repo Men

At long last, Emily Blunt is given her opportunity to shine, and shine she does - an impressive feat considering the talent she's surrounded by in Victoria, from the ever-present Jim Broadbent to the ever-evil Mark Strong to the ever-uh-something Miranda Richardson. Blunt portrays - believe it or not - the young Queen Victoria, both pre- and post- her coronation.

The film plays out more or less like a procedural, running the audience rampant with speeches and tête-a-têtes between the power players. Along the way, the filmmakers attempt to squeeze any drama they can out of the Victoria-Albert romance, but any kid worth his salt has heard the "Prince Albert in a can" prank time and again (though, upon further research, I learned that said tobacco was not in fact named for this Albert but for their son).
Anyway, The Young Victoria is a well-made, mostly-engaging-yet-kinda-boring film, taking you back perhaps to a high school history class, only with the added benefit of looking at beautiful people with good teeth rather than that schleppy teacher of yours with the pit stains and dirty travel mug filled with Folgers. Seems like

Fletch's Film Rating:
"You seem a decent fellow...I hate to kill you."
Shaky Cam Rating (details):LAMBScore:
Large Association of Movie BlogsLarge Association of Movie Blogs

♫ ♫ "For the memories...of a lifetime...Rekall, Rekall, Rekall..." ♫ ♫

I'm sorry, was Repo Men supposed to be ripping off Repo: The Genetic Opera? Because I could swear that it turned into Total Recall instead. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing...

I've had a few months in which to reflect on Repo Men (lord knows I've spent hours upon hours doing so...), and I think over that time I've come to like it a bit more than upon first viewing. Sure, it's derivative (though I've yet to see the Opera, so I have no ire there), and sure, it devolves over the course of the film like the recent Daybreakers, going from interesting sci-fi concept to shoot 'em up, but there's still a certain charm to it.

It handles a near-future world well, with just enough touches to make it feel real without going beyond what ought to be the technological capabilities of scientists and engineers over the next few years. It features Jude Law kicking ass - and believably - a feat I hadn't considered possible. RZA is in it, as is Liev Schrieber, hamming it up as best he can as the heartless villain. But most of all, it's got a somewhat ingenious ending - one that takes all of the complaints you might have built up about it over the course of the previous two acts and negates them in one fell swoop. Maybe it's just the LOST finale talking, but as much as I'd like to hold even that "gotcha" against the flick, I can't.

Repo Men is hardly a classic for the ages, but it just might be a TBS/TNT classic in a future nearer than the one the film's set in.

Fletch's Film Rating:
"Darn tootin!"
Shaky Cam Rating (details):LAMBScore:
Large Association of Movie BlogsLarge Association of Movie Blogs

(Yes, I realize that I've given each of these films the same LAMB/star rating whilst giving them different ratings on the Fletch Film Rating Scale. In short, it's based more on feelings than hard science, but the fact is that there's overlap amongst my ratings when translating to star ratings; a Darn Tootin! could be anywhere from a 4- to a 3-star movie, a Decent Fellow is usually a 2.5-3 star movie, and so on.)

11 people have chosen wisely: on "Seriously Overdue Movie Reviews: The Young Victoria , Repo Men"

Nick said...

I know what you mean on the Personal Score/LAMB score overlap. Mine do that all the time.

Haven't seen Young Victoria, but Repo Men... it was entertaining despite the crazy amount of stealing from other movies.

Fletch said...

"Mine do that all the time."

Only fitting, right? ;)

Hey, I meant to ask you but forgot - you notice a spike of traffic to your site over the weekend, by chance? It seems as though Google loves Blog Cabins, and put KV's final LOST post on the first page for the search "lost final episode." Got me a ton of hits over the weekend, and it looked to me like your comment about the email from the writers got a lot of people interested in you and that post on your site. True?

Nick said...

No idea... I stopped looking at traffic and stats and all that a long time ago. Though I probably should. It would make sense to know that people are actually, you know, reading my blog and I'm not just talking to like... 5 people.

Angie said...

I can't wait to see Young Victoria. I love period films, so I'm sure I'll enjoy it.

I found Repo Men to be entertaining overall, but it just got stupider as it went on. Eg: the love/massacre scene inside the vault thing.

So much potential wasted!

Nick said...

See, I loved the vault scene at the end. That was literally one of the only original things (that I'm aware of) the movie did. Everything else was pretty much ripped off from other movies.

Fletch said...

"That was literally one of the only original things (that I'm aware of) the movie did."

Played like The Matrix (2?) to me, if I recall correctly... Though, of course, it did bring its own twist to it, so points to it there, even if it was mega-gross (and ultimately pointless).

M. Carter @ the Movies said...

If not for Emily Blunt, I might have brushed "The Young Victoria" off as just another movie about a European queen. But this girl has spunk and more important than that, she has crack comic timing. I mean, she bested Anne Hathaway in "The Devil Wears Prada" without breaking a sweat!

Olive said...

Enjoyed watching The Young Victoria. Saw it on a Sunday afternoon and it was perfect viewing for then. And agree with Meredith, Emily Blunt completely outshone Ann Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada.

Fletch said...

M. Carter, Olive - I dunno - no knock against Blunt, but I'll still take Hathaway in an act-off. I submit Rachel Getting Married as evidence A. This was a great way to Blunt to display a wider array of talents, though, and I agree that she knocked it out of the park.

Peter Eramo said...

I have Young Victoria in my queue. I have to notch it up a bit....nice write up. Plus, I can't get enough of looking at Emily Blunt (even if it is in the awful Werewolf movie)....

Reel Whore said...

Still need to see Repo Men, but you're spot on w/ Young Victoria; slightly uninspired with any darkness wrung from it (I blame the PG rating), but beautiful to look at.