Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Movie Reviews

It’s been so long since I reviewed any movies that this may be my longest entry ever. I’m probably going to miss some that I’ve seen lately, as well, since my memory is crumbling faster than a decade old Devil Dog. That analogy makes sense to me.

The Blind Side: Finally got around to seeing this and enjoyed it. Sandra Bullock deserves her Oscar, I guess, but I wasn’t overly ‘Wowed’ by her. Certainly funnier than I expected, but I’m guessing Bullock’s character is given a bit more credit than she deserves for her football input.

The Crazies: Fast paced, intelligent, and highly disturbing tale that makes me think Timothy Olyphant is starting to pick the right roles for himself. Between this and ‘The Perfect Getaway’, he’s on a major roll.

The Book Of Eli: Denzel kicks ass, as usual, but the ending left me confused and I’m fairly sure it cheated along the way. I liked the twist, but didn’t care enough about the movie to go back and double check. See this for the kick ass shoot out at the house, though. Too bad they didn’t take as much care with the rest of the movie as they did with that five minute sequence.

The Invention of Lying: I’m fully in the Ricky Gervais fan club, but this movie misfired from the beginning. There are still his trademark, awkward, bumbling comedy scenes, but when he decided to recreate the 10 Commandments on pizza boxes this movie lost me.

Edge of Darkness: Crazy Mel Gibson sports a terrible Boston accent (note to Hollywood, very few people actually sound like that around here. We’re not all Kennedy’s) in a confusing, less violent and vengeful than I was hoping for revenge flick. I never understand why movies make CEOs who are already making obscene amounts of money with legitimate business still deal with criminal activity with very little pay off. What was the point of this back room deal exactly? If you think I just ruined the movie for you wait until you see it.

ZombieLand: Despite the glut of zombie movies out there, this one had me hooked from the beginning. Fast paced, funny, gory and – just when you think things are going to drag – an appearance by Bill Murray.

Inglorious Basterds: While I enjoyed many parts of this movie, the ending sort of ruined it for me. I was watching this thinking it was Tarantino’s take on history. Maybe a bit more twisted and violent perhaps, but still based on some actual events. By the time things end, though, I realized this was nothing more than a revenge fantasy and it lessened the impact. I would recommend it still, but I feel cheated in a strange way.

Shutter Island: In the interest of full disclosure, I read the book years ago and had a hard time remembering the ‘big twist’ ending. I remembered it vividly when the men first arrive on the island and was a bit dismayed when I thought the rest of the film was ruined. Not so. This is so well done and visually inventive that I was absorbed the entire time. And, yes, I knew how it ended, but it didn’t lessen the affect when the main character learns for himself. While DeCaprio has spent most of his life as a movie star, it’s shocking how good an actor he’s become.

Alice in Wonderland: Tim Burton’s take on the classic is more a sequel than a remake. I would have enjoyed this more if he simply told the original story rather than making Alice some rebellious late teen looking for her way in the world. Visually involving and having Depp on hand certainly helps, but there was an absence of consequence that I found a bit frustrating.

Orphan: What the fuck? If you haven’t seen this, skip over this part because I’m going to ruin the ending. You know what? Read anyway so you save yourself the wasted time. The twist is that this psycho little adopted girl is actually a 35 year old woman with dwarfism. I shit you not. Frankly, this movie would have been more creepy and interesting if she was actually a little girl (ala ‘The Bad Seed’ or ‘The Good Son’). Instead they throw in a twist so ridiculous and far fetched that I laughed out loud before getting very angry at the film makers. Bastards!

Daybreakers: Here’s what pisses me off about Hollywood: Shit movies like the 'Twilight' get all the money and press while legitimately interesting and well made movies like this get over looked. People think ‘Another vampire movie? No thanks’ and dismiss it. Don’t dismiss this one where vampires are the majority and human blood is running scarce. Yes, it’s ultra violent but also very well acted and tragic. One of my favorites of the year.

The Damned United: Another over looked sports movie that is better than ‘The Blind Side’ in nearly every way. Michael Sheen has quietly become one of the best actors around. Compare his performance here to ‘Frost/Nixon’ and it’s hard to believe this is the same guy.

The Orphanage: Spanish language horror movie that has more scares and a legitimately tragic twist ending than Hollywood releases in a year.

Pandorum: Sci fi/horror flick that was much better than I was expecting. The ending left me a tad bewildered but the trip there was entertaining enough.

North Face: Harrowing, involving, true story of two German friends who want to become the first to conquer the North Face of Eiger only to have things go horribly wrong. At one point a reporter on the ground says to his friend ‘We’ll never fully understand what goes on up there’. Watch this movie and you’ll know.

The House of the Devil: From the opening credits, this movie is an homage to all those low budget 70s horror movies. What’s surprising is how well it evokes the ‘I’m alone in a strange, dark house’ mood. Some truly scary moments and the ending sticks with you.

The Last Winter: Strange things start happening in an Arctic outpost. While it sounds intriguing, it’s really not. Rewatch ‘The Thing’ instead.

My Sister’s Keeper: Fuck, yeah. I watched this entire, emotionally manipulative (yet not moving in the least) chick flick. The price of marriage. Cameron Diaz proves once and for all she shouldn’t act in a drama ever again and the film makers portray the cancer stricken daughter as an eight year old trapped in a 20 year old body. I was so convinced the girl was 11 or 12 I was shocked when they flashback to her having sex with her boyfriend.

Observe and Report: This started out fine with the typical Seth Rogan wise ass, vulgar schtick before crumbling into dark territory. Not nearly as bad as I heard (hilarious drug scenes with his partner, Anna Faris is always great, and his mother is classic) and way better than ‘Mall Cop’ (although so is static), but when the lesson seems to be bipolar people should go off their meds and all will be well, I’m alarmed. At one point a character says to his friend ‘I thought this was going to be funny, but really….it’s just sad’. Exactly!

Today’s distraction: Check out these two talented – and insane – guys. There must be a movie to make with them involved. Maybe they stumble across a murder scene and they’re chased through the city? How do they practice?


Rob said...

Thanks for these. My Netflix queue now has:

The Crazies
The Damned United
The Orphanage
North Face

Surprisingly, the only movie I saw on this list was The Blind Side. My 9 and 7 year old sons loved it. I did not.

Rob said...

Wow. Netflix lets me stream North Face, The Orphanage and The Damned United.

BeachBum said...

Yeah, Netflix is picking up the pace with the streaming movies. We got the Wii disk and now watch them through the Wii wireless connection at times. Quality still isn't the greatest, but it works on a rainy day.

Let me know how you like the movies.

A Tribute: deer a train and basketball said...

The Book of Eli was awesome I thought. I love Denzel and Oldman, they actually made a good combo on the screen.

Zombieland was fantastic. I lost my shit when Bill Murray showed up. Awesome cameo for him.

Edge of Darkness was super shitty. Worst Boston accent ever and I've never even been to Boston, so I don't know much but I do know it was crappy.

A Tribute: deer a train and basketball said...

ps not sure if you listened to soundgarden back in the day, but this is a new track that was unreleased along time ago. It's badass.

BeachBum said...

I heard that song but wasn't sure if they had reunited or not. Now it makes sense.

I actually liked them and Alice In Chains more than Nirvana and Pearl Jam. In answer to your question, I'm still recovering from their breakup.

Note to Soundgarden: It's time. If the Eagles can put their bad blood behind them, so can you.

Clayton Bigsby said...

I need to go on movie watching spree. I've only seen Observe and Report out of the movies you listed. My evaluation of the movie was Seth Rogen owes me $3.99.

Rob said...

I watched The Orphanage yesterday. Definitely a quality flick full of twists and some pretty good gore (car accident). Thomas's hood was freaky.

Thanks for the recommendation.

BeachBum said...

Right, forgot about the car accident. The scene that stays with me is the mother playing their version of Red Light/Green Light. The stuff of nightmares.