Movie Bag #2 – It Might Get Loud, Paul, After.Life, Foo Fighters: Back and Forth, Salt

It Might Get Loud is a music documentary featuring Jack White (White Stripes), The Edge (U2), and Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin).  Everything is told by the guitarists themselves as you find out about their backgrounds, musical experiences, influences, and how their differing styles work.  It ends up being a pretty engaging experience.  I’m not a fan of U2 and I don’t really listen to Led Zeppelin, but I still found myself interested in hearing their stories and satisfied with the information I was given.  There’s also plenty archived footage and performances to enjoy, and the documentary ends with an incredible jam session where the trio’s clashing styles all come together.

Paul is a comedy where two British nerds (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost) encounter an alien (Seth Rogen) while touring America on their way to Comic Con.  It was a funny and enjoyable movie, but it wasn’t a memorable one.  That’s honestly the only impact that it made on me.  I remember seeing funny things and I remember laughing, but I don’t really remember any of the jokes or even most of the plot afterward.  If you’re craving from Pegg & Frost and don’t feel like re-watching Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz then it’s worth a look, but it just doesn’t capture what made those movies so memorable and re-watchable.  You won’t regret watching it, but it’s not one of those movies where you and your friends spend the next week quoting jokes from it, either.

After.Life is a movie where nothing happens.  Christina Ricci’s character has completely meaningless jump scares and visions for a while, then she has an emotional explosion during a dinner with her boyfriend (Justin Long) and gets herself killed.  Liam Neeson then works to prepare her body for the funeral while also trying to help her accept her death.  This goes on for about an hour, and the plot just ceases to move forward.  Ricci and Neeson keep arguing about whether she’s dead (which mostly involves them saying the same thing over and over again), every now and then it cuts to Justin Long crying, and that’s about it.  Everyone delivers their lines like they’re in a horror movie, even before anything actually happens, and whenever someone cries it’s painfully obvious that the tears are fake.  Everyone keeps having visions involving Ricci’s dead character that are never explained, and make even less sense once you hit the big plot twist at the end of the movie.  The twist is interesting at first, but it didn’t make all that sense.  Just to make things worse the ending makes it ambiguous whether the twist was even true or not, leaving you unsure what even happened in the movie.  To summarize, the movie was 10 minutes of annoying, 70 minutes of absolutely nothing, and then 20 minutes of confusing.  About half of that nothingness was made up of long, tediously slow scenes that end in loud jump scares.

Foo Fighters: Back and Forth is your one stop shop for Foo Fighters gossip.  You get to see some cool performances, but it never really delves into what they do as a band aside from their explanation of the Skin and Bones album.  Instead the documentary spends the majority of its time jumping between various current and past band members for their differing stories on various events of the Foo Fighters lifespan.  The stories often differ when they discuss why certain members left the band, making the subtitle “Back and Forth” make a whole lot more sense.  It wasn’t what I originally expected it to be about, but they made it plenty entertaining.  Maybe I’m expecting too much by wanting to hear bands explain their own sound in depth.  Assuming you like the band, the members are genuinely interesting to listen to.  It’s worth a viewing if you’re interested in what I’ve described.  On a side note, there’s a strange absence of the biggest singles from the new album in the movie despite an entire section of it covering how they made it.

Salt is a movie you shouldn’t think too much about.  Angelina Jolie plays an agent that may or may not be a double agent, and is being pursued for treasonous acts that she may or may not have committed.  She’s constantly switching sides, and Jolie’s performance manages to make it all work really well even when the plot itself doesn’t always make much sense.  Salt ends up being a pretty entertaining action movie as long as you can keep yourself from pulling on loose ends or poking in plot holes.  They’re not huge, but they’re there.


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