Thursday, August 09, 2012

Ebert, FWiG, Princess & Oliver

The dogs and I have been watching a lot of movies in between walkies and treats:

Fantastic Mister Fox ****

FWG: Stylish, original and highly entertaining adaptation of the childrens book of the same name by very creative author Roald Dahl. Done in painstaking stop-motion puppetry. Edgy and funny. Great stuff. Is it meant for children? It's kind of for everyone I guess. Don't miss it.

Oliver: Crap. All the dawgs were portraied as ideots.

Princess: Very realistic. The dogs were beagles after all.

Miller's Crossing **

FWG: I have a lot of respect for the Coen Brothers and their adventurous spirit in creating movies of diverse genres and with unique approaches. Inevitably they had to try a gangster movie, I guess, but where was the unique approach? This felt like Gangster 101 For Beginners. Biggest problem: None of the main characters were likeable. Couldn't wait for them to all kill each other and get it over with. Disappointing.

Oliver: Thugs take some long walks in the woods and a bunch of other things I didunt understand.

Princess: Excellent walk-in-the-forest scenes with a lot of unneccesary minutea between.

How I Ended This Summer ***

FWG: One of those realistic flicks where the purpetrators are portrayed as normal people who slip into badness through the frailties of human perception and obsession, wisdom usually the domain of foreign, not Hollywood, flicks. This one - I had trouble buying into the characters' motivations but perhaps that's my fault. I was partially side-tracked by a steak and asparagus dinner. Russian with subtitles.

Oliver: I was also side-tracked by FWig's steak. He didn't share a single morsel, the fat greedy bastard.

Princess: Good arctic scenery and an excellent performance by the polar bear.

Everybody's Fine **

FWG: Funny at times with nuggets of rich emotion but painfully unsubtle. A children's movie in terms of giving the audience not a thing to figure out for themselves, but with adult material. Another sign of the times. Alarmingly our society is still growing duller. When does it stop and when will DeNiro ever do a half-decent movie again?

Oliver: Borrrrrrrrrrring...

Princess: A pointless film about a bunch of people living in big houses but none with dogs or a pet of any kind.

The Day After Tomorrow *

FWG: I don't mind storytellers cheating science for the sake of a good story but this is a grotesque mockery. Roger Ebert says "Two thumbs up; the special effects are terrific!" He must have misspelled terrible or else he's completely senile or else taking bribes. The first 50 minutes was garbage, then I turned it off for fear my brain might turn into pudding.

Oliver: I would have liked sum pudding

Princess: I can not adequately analyze a film based on just the first 50 minutes.

Beginners ****

FWG: Intelligent exploration of human nature with delightful performances by Ewan McGregor, Melanie Laurent and Christopher Plummer.

Oliver: I coodent understand a thing.

Princess: Faithful dog is told by heartless owner that he was "bred to be cute."

The Future **

FWG: Funny at times but I fear that all these strange and fantastical ways to tell a story about a lot of people who range from dumb to extremely dumb might have been done for the hell of it and without a point. Slightly creepy, intentially or otherwise.

Oliver: Oh my gawd, I wanted to chase that cat all over the place.

Princess: The cat had a broken leg. In a cast. Only a heartless jerk would want to chase her.

Margin Call ***

FWG: Surprisingly tense and compelling dramatization of an American financial "disaster"; pretty clearly the sub-prime mortgage fiasco which blew up a couple years ago, and the Wall-street leetches-in-suits who must navigate the fall-out.

Oliver: I fel asleep

Princess: Man suffers emotional breakdown over beloved dog's death and buries him in his ex-wife's yard. Potentially moving tale ruined by way too much preliminary fluff about the big office where he works.

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