Sunday, November 20, 2005

Flick the Button

Backlog. Not too many great movies, but a few good ones.

Osama: Unsure if I'm the right person to say whether it's good or not. Part of the quality in it is the information presented. But I knew that the Taliban were repressive and women were treated like shit in Afghanistan, etc. I guess it's just nothing new to me. The acting was fine. The pace was strangely slow, especially for an 80 minute movie. It probably could've had 45 minutes cut. Just didn't blow me away. You're fired.

The Butterfly Effect: OK, expectations are key here. Starting this movie, I was expecting to watch about 5 minutes, think it sucked and turn it off. I honestly was expecting the worst movie of the year, so when it wasn't all that terrible, I feel like almost rating it higher. Kutcher is terrible. The plot has been done before, and it could've gone in a more interesting direction, but I still didn't think it was all that bad. I was entertained, and I wasn't exactly sure where things were going - I guess it wasn't as predictable as I thought. Plus, the eventual moral of the story - that sometimes people are better off not knowing you - is a pessimist's delight. Objectively, yes, it's still kind of sucky, but I don't give a shit. Steak knives.

Spanglish: Not funny. Not emotionally affecting. Feels like a shitty NBC sitcom that focuses on relationships and leaves out the, y'know, jokes. Plus, I kept wondering why the admissions committee at Princeton gives a shit about any of this. Or how the girl writing the personal statement would have any knowledge or interest in her mother's boss's affair. But all these thoughts are after the fact. While watching it, I could only think of one thing: how excruciatingly boring it was. This is the worst movie I've seen all year. You're Fired.

Dirty Pretty Things: Aha! Clever, well paced (as the other Frears films I've seen) and just interesting. Of course there were some problems (Juan, mainly), but those were outweight significantly. Ejiofor was pretty great. Tatou, as usual, is impossibly cute. Just a good movie. Sharp steak knives, the best of the movies this time around.

Maria Full of Grace: Simple and decent. Sandino Moreno is pretty good, but not stellar. I guess, considering the filmmakers, it shouldn't surprise me that it had the feel of an American film and not a Latin American film. Nothing surprising, and in fact it's quite predictable. But still good. Dull steak knife.

Spellbound: The last couple of Hitchcock films I've seen have bothered me with their overwrought exposition. This movie didn't catch it's fire until 90 minutes in, with the awesome dream sequence. I liked it, but I kept having the feeling of "come on, already!" and then "FINALLY!" Bergman, hot. Peck, great. But at the same time, they're better in other things. Not one of my favorite Hitchcocks, but still good. Steak Knife, if just for the dream.

Hidalgo: Good and bad things, I guess. The casting (except J.K. Simmons) was hilariously terrible, with apparently it being more difficult than one might think to cast Arabs. Some nice scenery, and it's an interesting story. Strangely, the character development of Hidalgo could've used more work. I'm a fan of good family films (the movies you're not afraid to watch with your parents), but this fell just short of being good. You're fired.