Friday, March 3, 2017

The Film Critic (2013) - Foreign Film Friday

Number Rolled: 41
Movie Name/Year: The Film Critic (2013)
Tagline: What if your life becomes a movie… that you hate?
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama
Length: 97 minutes
Rating: NR
Production Companies: Haciendo Cine, Ibermedia, Instituto Nacional de Cine y Artes Audiovisuales, Lagarto Cine, Storyboard
Producer: Carolina Alvarez, Hugo Castro Fau, Harnan Guerschuny, Carlos Nunez, Gabriela Sandoval, Pablo Udenio
Director: Hernan Guerschuny
Writer: Hernan Guerschuny
Actors: Rafael Spregelburd, Dolores Fonzi, Ignacio Rogers, Telma Crisanti, Ana Katz, Daniel Kargieman, Eduardo Iaccono, Marcelo Subiotto, Blanca Lewin, Gabriela Ferrero, Pino Siano, Marta Paccamicci, Cecilia Czornogas, Alfonso Ponchi Baron, Pablo Krantz, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Luciano Rosso
Stunt Doubles: None

Speech Available: Spanish
Subtitles Available: English, Spanish

Blurb from Netflix: A pretentious film critic who despises romantic comedies realizes that his life is turning into one when he falls for a free-spirited woman.

Selina’s Point of View:
I didn’t enjoy this.

We’ll start with the base understandability of the film.

Normally, I don’t harp on the subtitles. That’s totally Cat’s bag right there, but these were atrocious. They weren’t even all in English and they went by so fast that you’d have to be a speed reader to keep up – which I am not. I’m fast, but not like that. This hour and a half movie took two hours to watch because I had to keep rewinding to catch shit I missed.

Also, it’s listed as a Spanish film. It’s only partially a Spanish film. A lot of it is actually in French.

Subtitles aside, language meshing aside, the actual format and story of the film wasn’t my thing at all.

I get what the film was trying to accomplish. They were trying to take a look at something pretentious and show how stupid it was – hollow and empty. Instead of reaching their goal, they just made an already unbearably snotty premise/character even worse.

For the record – when we say we’re not critics, we mean we’re not that character. The views we share on Trust the Dice aren’t meant to tell anyone that this is definitely, one-hundred percent, the way you should be looking at the movies we share with you. If you have an opposing stance, argue with us! We’re always up for a good debate. Our opinions are just that: opinions. We expect that some people will agree and others simply won’t. We’ll never look down on you for liking or hating something we feel the opposite of. We preach that people should have minds of their own, and we absolutely mean it.

Judge for yourself. Always.

Unless you like Uwe Boll (Postal, BloodRayne, House of the Dead). If you like Uwe Boll, get out. (Obviously, just kidding.)

The Film Critic came off a bit like a Woody Allen (Magic in the Moonlight, Blue Jasmine, Scoop) film and, quite frankly, I don’t like Woody Allen films. I’m sure there’s a reason people love his stuff so much, but I can’t – for the life of me – figure out why.

The only part of this film that I found at all interesting, or even attention-catching, was near the beginning when the main character went into a rant breaking down the romantic comedy recipe. That was both funny and sad while being completely true at the same time.

Even with that one moment, I still hated this film. I can’t recommend it.

Cat’s Point of View:
I didn’t love this movie. I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with The Film Critic, in fact.

A lot of what I didn’t enjoy was due to the fact that in parts it was a bit of a pretentious take on a pretentious character. The movement of the camera as the lead actor walked along wasn’t exactly the worst shaky cam but it was unpleasant. Not all of the camera work was like that so it seems to tell me that was on purpose. There’s even this one pan out shot pulling away that mimics the same type camera shot happening on the movie screen within the film simultaneously. That screams ‘trying to be artsy’ to me.

Part of me understands that the whole voice-over narration in French was illustrating how big of a douche-canoe this guy is because thinking in French sounds more pleasant than Spanish – his words, not mine. The main problem I had with that, though, was that the subtitles were already having a hard enough job keeping up – they were a bit laggy and the translation was shady every so often – but then throw a second language into the mix and I just had to throw my hands up in the air a couple times.

There was a fair amount of untranslated text, as well. That’s frustrating for me in a movie like this because the passages have to have some meaning to what’s going on, or an underlying message that highlights something about what the character is thinking or going through. One thing I like about watching anime with subtitles is that they generally translate everything on the screen from text to signs. No such luck here.

There were parts that I did enjoy in the movie, though – albeit grudgingly. I got so disgruntled that it kept me from really getting as invested as I would have liked to be. Even though the main character, played by Rafael Spregelburd (Water and Salt, The Gold Bug, Finding Sofia), is a cynical pervy creeper; I appreciated the parallel of what he was experiencing in his own life with the movies that he loved to hate on in his reviews.

Irony, right? Reviewing harshly a movie about a cynical movie reviewer. We maintain that we’re not critics, we’re fangirls… we’re just not fans of everything.

There was a subplot that was unexpected and the movie rather deftly both followed and balked at the recipe of the genre it poked fun at emulating.

I think the highlight of the movie for me was a scene that had me actually pointing at the screen and bouncing in my chair as I hollered “That guy!!” The Argentinian actor I randomly recognized was Luciano Rosso (Einstein, Rasputin, La ultima fiesta). He seems to have it all – he can act and dance and his body control is just crazy. He has a level of control over his expressions that rival ‘rubber face,’ himself, Jim Carrey (Fun with Dick and Jane, I Love You Phillip Morris, The Bad Batch). Look him up on YouTube. There are some hilarious videos in viral circulation of him lip syncing exaggeratedly to music – and then there’s his noir handlebar mustache that makes him look like he stepped out of a black and white silent movie villain role.

An excerpt of the stage production Un Poyo Rojo is featured in the movie. Rosso is one of the two actors taking part. The stage show is apparently a body of work that has been evolving since 2008, according to an article I found. It began in Buenos Aires, which was the location for filming for this movie, before it hit the road to reach an international audience in later years. I found the segment fascinating, as well as hilariously awkward in the context of the film.

I can’t say that I’d recommend this movie to anyone. It was too aggravating for me. For that same reason, I would be unlikely to watch it again.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 48%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 37%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score1/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 1.5/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score2.5/5

The Random Rating: PG-13

P.S. There’s a child speaking in Spanish after the credits with no picture and no subtitles.

Movie Trailer:

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