The Longest Week (2014) – Review

As seen on CinemaParadiso.


81qjC8EYxpL._SL1500_

What is it about attractive, rich, men who refuse to grow up that entertain us so much? These characters have run wild on Film (from Arthur Bach in Arthur to Tony Stark in Iron Man) and Television (Joey Tribbiani in Friends and Barney Stinson in How I Met Your Mother), increasing in popularity especially in the recent years. The Longest Week attempts to make us root for characters we would hate in real life, but while the comedy aspects hits their mark, the film unfortunately lacks in the more dramatic moments.

Conrad Valmont (Jason Bateman) lives the ultimate life of luxury. He wakes up in his lavish Manhattan Hotel, dresses in only the best clothes, and spends his days doing absolutely anything he wants. The only problem is that his parents will no longer fund his aimless existence. Within a single week, Conrad no longer has a home, no longer has money, and no longer has his wonderful life. His writing career barely lifts off the ground, and he resorts to ‘bunking’ with his best friend Dylan Tate. And, just when he thinks it cannot get any worse, he finds himself in love with Dylan’s girlfriend.

The Longest Week’s cast-list boasts quite a few talented names. Jason Bateman has really surged in popularity since his role as Michael Bluth in Arrested Development (2003-2006, then 2013). He has gone from film to film, even taking jobs behind the camera, but has not been able to find the same success. I have only recently heard the name ‘Billy Crudup’ – who plays Conrad’s friend in the film – yet now it seems his name is everywhere. He has already been in three films this year, where he never played the same type of character twice. Unfortunately, though the cast are known for their ability to deliver great performances, they struggled with the script to make the characters work.

The cinematic style Peter Glanz offered for this film appears to borrow greatly from other filmmakers. While he is skilled enough to make them work, once again, it is the heart underneath that lacks, and his filmic attempts ring fake. The dialogue is shockingly cliché at times, and the characters don’t manage to progress, just exist.

As many others have pointed out, The Longest Week is essentially a film about rich people with petty problems. For some projects, this works, but it needs to have heart. This film never established that vital element, and instead it works more to alienate the audience.

The film has been waiting to be released since its completion back in 2012, and the fact it was finally dumped into cinemas clearly is not a sign of confidence.

As with all movies, opinions are subjective, and what reviewers denounce, will always find some enjoyment from some cinemagoers.

2 out of 5 stars

Advertisements

Merlin & Morgana || Shake it out

original.jpg

For those of you who don’t know, I LOVE The Adventures of Merlin (2008-2012). It’s been over for a few years now, and I still miss it. I often have to stop myself watching an episode because I know it will lead to a series-long marathon.

In order to satiate myself, I fell back on watching fan videos on youtube. Naturally I was drawn to Merlin/Morgana ones, because let’s face it, they were the perfect couple (both love-y and hate-y).

Check out this one and read my review:

Merlin & Morgana || Shake it out

I knew there would have to be a fan video to this song for Merlin and Morgana. The story of their relationship is so heartbreaking, and yet there was nothing they could do to stop it. Everything they were going to do was already written, and they were just left to live it out.

I like that it starts with a more sorrowful Morgana. She wasn’t just an evil witch, but was essentially a victim to her powers. Merlin was too, but he had Gaius to help him.

We then see what is probably my favourite dimension to their relationship. The tension when they both know they are enemies, and yet Morgana is still on good terms with Uther and Arthur. Merlin doesn’t know if she is going to tell on him, and she doesn’t know if he is going to stop her plans. She gets back some of her original spunk (remember in the first episode when she snaps back at Uther about attending the dinner!), and she seems to be starting to give in to the darker parts of her abilities. But before we can see these images fully, we are shown the Morgana from the later seasons. Her hair is a mess, she is clothed all in dark, and she feels nothing but hatred and fear.

While being about both Merlin and Morgana, it tells the story more from Morgana’s side. We hear “all of the ghouls come out to play” and we see Merlin. In her eyes, he was the villain. He was siding with Uther (who some blamed for the death of her ‘father’), he protected Arthur (who was turning out more and more like his father and battling against magic), and he was just a pain in the butt.

Unfortunately, Morgana learned the hard way that not only are people sometimes hard to forget, but her past is going to stay with her, too. If only she had been able to deal with her issues and forget Arthur, Uther, and Merlin, she could have been safe and perhaps happy.

The interesting part about the relationship of Morgana and Merlin was that he was the personification of everything she could have been, and everything she lost. It reminds me of Harry Potter and Voldemort (yes, I said his name, get over it. lol). In any situation you can choose to either love or hate, and hatred is always going to be envious of what love can do. Not only was Morgana trying to get rid of Merlin so she could succeed in her plans, but because he was always a reminder of what she could have been. This is why, I think, she always went to great lengths to get him. We see this in the final episode where she lures him into the cave after taking his powers. Not only did she want him out of the way, but she wanted him to suffer and she wanted him to know that she was the victor.

I also like how, for Morgana, there are the words: “‘Cause I am done with my graceless heart, So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart.” Over and over again Morgana tried to separate herself from her feelings. She tried to turn her heart black, but there was always that hint of a lost little girl inside her.

Morgana was simply caught in the middle of a battle she never asked to be apart of. Her sister was using her to gain power, Uther was lying to her, Arthur wasn’t listening to her, and so on.

“Looking for Heaven for the devil in me.” Morgana thought she was in the right. She knew she had powers that could cause immense pain, and she lost a lot of her empathy (for example shooting the townsfolk in front of Sir Leon and some knights), but she thought she was in the right. She was looking for a reward, but it only brought her to her punishment.

Overall, this fan video did a great job illustrating the interesting and complex dichotomy that was the Morgana/Merlin relationship. Both actors played their roles brilliantly, and the writers did an excellent job creating such well-rounded and arc-ing characters.

What did you think?

Do you have another Morgana/Merlin fan video that does a good job illustrating their characters? Let me know below!

Merlin: Created by Seinfeld?

OK, so I’m a HUGE fan of The Adventures of Merlin (2008-2012). In fact, I’m sure it won’t be long until I dedicate a post or two to the beauty that is Colin Morgan. I have also been watching Seinfeld (1989-1998) for as long as I can remember.

For some reason, it hit me one day that the premise of Jerry and George’s sitcom sounds quite a bit like the premise of Merlin.

Bear with me.

The pitch goes like this: “I get into a car accident. The guy that hit me doesn’t have any insurance. So the judge sentences him to be my butler.”

Replace ‘car accident’ with ‘tackles Prince Arthur to the ground’.

Episode-1-The-Dragon-s-Call-arthur-and-merlin-6653699-400-224.jpg

And ‘no insurance’ with ‘saves Arthur’s life’.

1x01-The-Dragon-s-Call-merlin-and-arthur-33227771-1280-741

“…So the judge [King Uther] sentences [Merlin] to be [Arthur’s] butler [manservant].”

Screen Shot 2015-11-27 at 1.55.50 am.png

I know, it’s not exactly Merlin, but I still find the similarities rather comical; especially if Merlin had been a TV sitcom from the 1990s.

So let me know what you think, and how much you miss Merlin.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin