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Friday, March 4, 2011

Monster Movie Club: King's Speech

This was the most pleasant movie I've seen in a while. If it was on TV while I was channel surfing I'd leave it on just so I wouldn't hurt it's feelings. Great people worked on this film. I absolutely admire all these people, but much like a taco with great ingredients and  no flavor, this film is very bland.
One thing I did enjoy about the film is that it did not try to bite more than it could politely chew. The only time they address the cult of personality that comes with world leaders, they stay away from heavy-handed commentary. No need to be reminded that Hitler was not a nice, pleasant fellow. No need to question the public's admiration of the monarchy. Sure you could do these, but that could easily go wrong.
Nice rating: A- Overall Rating C+

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE PLEASANT THINGS, I just did not feel moved by the film in any way. In fact here's a list of nice things that I love:

Grandma Moses

A nice house by a lake

Anne Geddes

Bettt White & Mr T


Coco the gorilla & Mr Rodgers
Real life Lisa Frank ponies
Maria Bamford & pugs with bow ties


  1. Perfect.

    I've felt like I couldn't talk about this movie around some friends because they gushed about it and I was just like you. I enjoyed the couple hours I spent watching it, but it's ambitions never seemed to go beyond telling a tidy version of an inspirational story. Which, hey, puts it above a lot of movies, but not anywhere near memorable.

    Also, as good as the acting is overall, it can't be mentioned enough how godawful Guy Pearce's role was. It was like an American's idea of a British villain in some slapstick comedy.

  2. I like you Trash, I really do, but a C+? Really? C'mon, bro. Just because the film is not challenging, doesn't mean it is not great. Awesome film -- deserves all of the awards it got.

  3. Really? You didn't like Black Swan because it was too graphic and you didn't like King's Speech because it was too nice?

  4. RejectedJeffdunhamPuppetMarch 4, 2011 at 1:08 PM

    King's Speech is the inspiring true story that proves that if you are the king of the biggest empire on Earth and hire a speech therapist, you too can give a great speech.

  5. @hipsterdad I did not like Black Swan because I thought it was overly dramatic and full of itself. I liked King's Speech but I did not think it was a great film.

    @teacherman I agree with you on that except for the Best Picture category.

  6. Half way through Black Swan I realized it was so ridiculous that Aronofsky had to be going for some kind of comic melodrama. Or maybe not. Either way, I laughed a lot.

  7. I have not actually seen this yet, but I get the strong impression from your review that this movie (Very nice, but not memorable) is the film version of me (also very nice, also not memorable). Which gives me something in common with Helena Bonham Carter, who is obviously the best.

    Also counterpoint: I really liked Black Swan. I thought it was visually interesting, and I identified with it in ways I find deeply uncomfortable. Also, ballet is baws (am I using that right? I am probably not using that right. I mean keen, for the record).

  8. Chris it is weird how much we disagree on this!!!!! Bland? No way! I mean if it were a typical British period drama about the woes of privileged life, then sure...I could understand the accusations of bland. But nope. I saw a different movie.

    I found it to be completely rich with emotion and full of humor. On top of all the obviously great things about it (direction, awesome chemistry between Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush), I loved the troubled relationship between Bertie and his brother, and the attention paid to the childhood that made them the way they are. I found it focused just the right amount on the monarchy and the public's need for a strong leader on the brink of a world war. Did you not feel that pressure build? It was definitely there for me.

    When he finally delivered the speech I just lost it. Tears streamed down my face through his last word. What a great finale.

    Sidenote: did anyone else feel like TKS was (accidental or not) much more of a commentary on technology and communication than The Social Network was? Not to knock TSN, which I also enjoyed. Just wanna throw that out there.

  9. I loved this movie so much. I thought it was a wonderful teacher movie (which obviously appeals to me), plus I am a history fiend and have read a lot about the various royal families of Europe (like, actual books, not Ok! magazine).

    I didn't get the criticism that the king's stutter is not a real problem (not that you're saying that CT). I mean, you get starved, both of food and affection, and then you're given one of the few jobs in the world that lays bare your glaring incompetence? It would be like if I were a math professor at MIT instead of a Spanish teacher. I'm not allowed near math without a calculator for fear that I will do damage to the field itself, but obviously I have a choice of what to do. Albert didn't want to be king, but there was nothing else that was right. I don't know--I just didn't think "white people problems" was a legitimate argument, given that the movie about crazy lesbian ballerina sex was also pretty "white people problems".

  10. I completely agree with you about TSN v. TKS, kate! But then, I thought TSN was kind of boring (although Jesse Eisenberg is completely precious, and I want to put him in my pocket as a reward for doing such a good job).

  11. Dammit! I agree with you, liz! But kate is a nice person too.

  12. The Social Network was more of the story of how an asshole uses not only technology, but also people against each other.

    I do not mind period pieces , I just found this one not that engaging. My plan was not to ridicule the movie since I did like it, but I could not find a single scene that really stuck out as memorable. The one thing that really impressed me about the film I already stated, so perhaps I need to look harder.
    OK, I will re-watch King's Speech and I will report back.