Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Movies movies movies

The Wackness ***
(2008) Entertaining performance by Ben Kingsley in a sort-of feel-good movie perfect for the kind of ass holes who appreciate drugs being glorified and ugly-boy/hot-girl sex. If you're an ass hole you'll like it. Others may too. Just try not to fall for all the simple-mided crap that tries to sound like wisdom. It. Aint.

No Country for Old Men ***
(2007) I was so much hoping to like this movie that I've either fooled myself into thinking I liked it or else I actually liked it but just can't figure out why. I would hope that a story that engages for so long would leave some kind of mark; a point, a message; something. What did I miss? Something tells me I should have read the book first.

Gran Torino *
(2008) Sweet Jesus. Sweet sweet suffering Jesus. Clint Eastwood, what horrible trauma befell your brain? What a colossal train wreck of a movie. The experiment to see if Eastwood's mystique can carry a disfunctional movie with nothing else going for it but the most atrocious writing and acting imaginable, yielded a surprising result. Yes. The Eastwood threat-of-revenge mystique is enough to keep viewers from walking out of the theater on a film that in every way amounts to an ABC After-School Special that editors forgot to edit. Has to go on the list of all-time lemons.

Ali Zaoua ****
(2000) Another sad, touching, elbeit unlikely story about poor kids and the mean people who exploit them. I'm always a sucker for these.

Two Soldiers **
(2003) It took about 39 minutes to get through the introductory phase of the movie. At that point, as the lead characters parted ways and one began to cry, I found myself finally settling in and anticipating a good epic war film ahead. Abruptly the credits fell like a brick, as did my jaw - in disbelief. I grabbed the movie jacket. Yup. Forty minutes. It's the movie that almost was.

Star Trek Origins ***
(2009) Nice special effects for those who go out for that sort of thing. So much silliness and hokey plotlines I wasn't sure if it was a comedy or not. Clever casting though, has turned familiar faces into young people again. I'll give the next installment a chance.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine **
(2009) All action. No substance. I'm probably a fool for having hoped for more. Why is Hugh Jackman not the current James Bond? I swear he'd be the best since Connery. I swear it.

The Happening *
(2008) Perhaps M. Night Shamalamadingdong's worst ever. Had the feel of a spontanious weekend project. But Marky Mark Walberg showed up and that's all I ask of him! Hoo Haw!

Righteous Kill **
(2008) Former Heavyweights Al Pacino and The-Guy-Who's-Name-I-Can-Never-Remember are miscast as a couple of unintentional lightweight geeks in a movie written by some joker who doesn't know how to make cop movies with any more resonance than a cereal commercial. God help us all. Oh yeah. Robert DeNiro. Why can I never remember his name?

88 Minutes *
(2007) It's the longest 88 minutes ever. Al Pacino in an another embarassing cop flop, this time with inexplicable giant blue hair. Can we schedule poor Al's funeral already? His career is apparently dead. Cell phones, taxi-cabs, more cell phones and the worst Marg Simpson impression ever.

Off The Map ****
(2003) Was this based on a true story? I think it must have been. It had that feel. Characters genuine but too stark, as if eroded with the passage from old childhood memory. A useful study of human nature. A film, you might say, rather than a movie.

Where The Day Takes You *
(1992) In an enormous cast of millionaire actors, how many are actually talented enough to believably portray wretchedly poor street people? Um. Zero. And why did the make-up people cover every actor with a thin layer of grime but give them flattering hairstyles and no scars or blemishes of any kind? 'Cause they suck at their jobs too, I assume. This is actually negative-one star, not one star. I would have given it a zero if not for the extended scene where Sean Astin is covered in his own vomit. Cheque please.

Where the Eagles Dare **
(1968) Early Bond-style WW2 Nazi castle intrigue/action flick has a young Clint Eastwood playing second-fiddle to Richard Burton in an ensemble cast. Such under-utilization earned you a star-and-a-half penalty, bozos.

Blindness ***
(2008) Was this an artful exploration of the nature of humans and their societies or just more plot-driven hollywood-style muck? I think they were trying for the former but too much of it felt more like the latter and whenever it did; just when the plot needed to move; it didn't. I think this could almost have been a great movie had it not stalled a couple times.


Automattic said...

Wow, I feel like I really missed the mark here... I actually enjoyed Gran Torino quite a bit.

I feel dysfunctional now.

I agree with your analysis of No Country, though... I thought there'd be some sort of moral to the story, but I couldn't find one, other than never let a guy put a pneumatic bolt against your head.javascript:void(0)

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

Don't feel bad. A lot of people liked Gran Torino. Movies are very complex in the various ways we connect to them. It lost me early because it broke rules that are very important to me (oh did it ever) but for people with other priorities, they connected to the things that were lost on me. In the end there are no distintively good or bad art works. It's all personal!

Anonymous said...

No Country was awesome because IT HAS NOTHING BUT TENSION and then some pretty shitty breaks. It's one of those WTH? films, I loved it, heh.

Have you seen The Fall yet? I loved that, but maybe because it overloaded my eyeballs with colour... I am curious what you think of it.

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

Supermom: I will see The Fall and get back to you!

Kathleen said...

I haven't seen Gran Torino yet, but will, but mostly because it was filmed here in Detroit. Gotta support the hometown.

Had ZERO desire to see No Country For Old Men - and even less than zero after I saw the preview for the third time (when I saw Control three times in the theatre). I don't know what happened at the end but I do know it pissed of a friend of mine to nth degree. I think he's still pissed a year later.