Movie Review:  To Be, Or Not To Be – A Fan, That Is

Release date:  March 2022.

Category:  Comedy; Action & Adventure.

Review, short version:  All thumbs down.

Review, long version:

I recently watched all 111 torturous minutes of The Lost City, and afterwards my only thought was:

“I wish I hadn’t wasted 111 minutes of my life watching The Lost City.”

Which let to this question:

Why did I want to see The Lost City?”

Answer:  Because Sandra Bullock was in it.

Am I a fan of Sandra Bullock?

I thought I was.

Quinton Aaron and Bullock in “The Blind Side.”

Then I started thinking about the movies I’d seen her in, and realized that no – I wasn’t a fan.  I thought she was good in The Blind Side (2009), but I disliked her – or rather, the characters she chose to play – in The Proposal (2009), Miss Congeniality (2000), Speed (1994), and some of her other movies.

So my conclusion is, I like Sandra Bullock but not most of her movies.

What do I like about her?

I admire her adoption of two children (pictured, in 2019) as a single woman.  At age 58 she’s the parent of a 12-year-old son and a 10-year-old daughter, when many women her age are celebrating being empty nesters and looking forward to grandchildren.

I also admire Bullock for her staying power:  Her first film was in 1987 and she’s still going strong, when so many other aging actresses have been discarded by Hollywood.

And I’ll even admit to admiring Bullock’s credible Lost City portrayal of a romance with a male character who is younger – significantly younger – than Bullock.

He’s played by Channing Tatum, 42.  I always get him and this other actor mixed up – do you know who is who?

Yes, what I just did was stereotyping.

Like what happens in this movie.

Read on.

Here’s some of what I disliked about The Lost City:

Bullock was a producer of this movie, and chose to spend a large part of it dressed in an outfit that displayed her chest.  One giant step backwards for womankind:

I’m fine with showing skin, I’m fine with nudity, but this was purely…

And why is she the one tied to a chair, instead of him?  When will we discard the helpless-woman-needing-to-be-rescued-by-a-big-strong-man stereotyping?

In The Lost City Bullock plays a romance novel writer who has an adventure, a direct rip-off of Romancing the Stone (1984).  I saw other rip-offs, including from Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and The African Queen (1951).  The Lost City was…

Derivative:  Having parts that originate from another source; made up of or marked by derived elements.

I dislike derivative.  Come up with something original, will you?

The Lost City is supposed to be a comedy, but I don’t recall laughing.  It’s supposed to have action and adventure, but neither engaged my interest enough to care what happened to Bullock and Tatum.  Tatum’s character was mostly dopey, and Bullock’s character was tense, twitchy and mostly helpless.  As a New York Times review put it,

“But while Loretta [Bullock] isn’t as helpless as she might have been back in the old studio days, this is still about a man rescuing a woman whose eye makeup never runs even when she does.”

Speaking of reviews, I think it’s fair to say there were both good and bad:

Loved It

Hated It

To be fair, I’ll acknowledge that there were many more good reviews than bad.

And the same on Amazon:

I’d say 35,000+ reviews, and 78 percent of those people giving the movie four and five stars, is impressive.  Two examples:

Loved It

Bullock pulling leeches off Tatum’s back. As I said – derivative, this from “The African Queen.”

“What a pleasure!  This movie is artfully done, as it’s hard to keep narrative cohesion and thematic consistency weaving together true heartfelt romance, side-splitting comedy, and action parody.  Every character of the movie was so well done that you surfed between the different plot lines without resistance, wanting no scene to end. The cutest, funniest fun flick I’ve seen in years.”

Hated It

“The script sucked, the acting was so contrived, the directorial decisions… laughable, the cast…a farce.  Honestly, the question is what DIDN’T suck about this movie?  Mother Nature.  The scenes outside (if they were really outdoors) immersed in the splendor of the jungle…that was the ONLY winning point.”

In mid-2022 there was a slew of headlines – all of which I missed – about Bullock’s future career plans:

According to the Today Show and other articles, after starring in 50 films, Bullock said,

“‘I don’t want to be beholden to anyone’s schedule other than my own.  I’m so burnt out.  I’m so tired, and I’m so not capable of making healthy, smart decisions, and I know it.’”

And:

“‘I take my job very seriously when I’m at work,’ the actor said, adding that is it a ‘24/7’ job.  ‘And I just want to be 24/7 with my babies and my family.  That’s where I’m gonna be for a while.’”

So even if I don’t like most of Bullock’s movies, this is yet another reason for me to like Sandra Bullock:

She’s clear on her…

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