Sunday, January 08, 2006

Flick the Button


Team America:World Police: This was a while ago, so these aren't exactly instant thoughts. I remember laughing very hard a whole lot of the time, especially at the songs. Some of the jokes are "too easy" dick and fart jokes, but I'm not one to knock someone for that. I never really liked the puppet shows when I was a kid, so in some ways I merely respect the effort the filmmakers put into it, rather than that blowing me away. Steak knife, but has gotten duller over time.

War of the Worlds: Eh. It held my interest and was exciting at times, but the end was seriously unsatisfying. Really just straightforward action, which is OK, but nothing amazing to me. Could've been much much better. Also, anyone that tries to read into this movie some form of commentary on terrorism or modern age fears I think is probing too much. You're fired.

The 40 Year Old Virgin: I love movies that are both nice and hilarious, so I liked this. A few scenes had me hyperventilating, and it's definitely repeatable. The one thing I liked best about it is the way the supporting actors were funny and in some ways "made" the movie, but they weren't one dimensional cartoons, like the supporting actors in most recent comedies. Barely a cadillac.

Dawn of the Dead (2004): Heh. Entertaining and funny. And I like Sarah Polley. This is the one movie of this group that I kept forgetting that I saw, but once I remember it, I liked it. Steak knife, sort of.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith: Yes, it was fun, and the people were pretty and had nice gadgets. But it was again, straightforward and not clever enough, especially since Liman normally brings a lot more to the table. Just seemed like the supposed summer blockbusters this year weren't as challenging as they could be, or maybe that's just because Batman Begins set the bar kind of high. You're fired.

Black Narcissus: Now this is a movie that doesn't get made today. Beautiful sets. The plot is not one that most people would immediately related to, say through a preview, but in fact it's a universal, and almost timeless story. Romance, drama, suspense, some action, some comedy. Really, there isn't much that this movie didn't have. I think this was a great movie, and not something I expected to like as much. Cadillac.

Rope: Torn here. I thought it was very very funny. Just black as night. But I also think it'd work much better on stage. There wasn't much of a reason for this to be filmed. The last act stumbles a bit. 40 minutes in I was thinking it was one of the best Hitchcocks, but it definitely lost steam. Steak knives.

Riding Giants: Interesting, and definitely made you feel like part of the subculture. It's not just a movie with pretty surfing scenes - and that's the strange thing. In some ways, I wanted to see more actual surfing footage, but then at other times I wanted more of the backstory of the people. I guess it just left me wanting more of what it gave me, which I suppose is a good thing. The dude at Mavericks who surfed by himself for several years is a total badass. Steak knives.

Princess Mononoke: Here's the flaw in seeing movies several years late. Had I seen this when it came out, I would've been blown away by the creativity and beauty. But today it's hard to watch without thinking of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, considering the world created. And now I was left thinking how much better it would've been with live action. I know that isn't fair to the movie itself. And it is very creative. Also, the pacing was not as rushed as I thought it'd be, with good results. I'm no expert on Miyazaki's films (this is the first one), so I'm not sure how this compares. I'll probably see one or two more, eventually. I'll call it a set of steak knives, with the benefit of the doubt. But I was really leaning towards firing it.

Crash (2005): I liked it, though it's not perfect. Nearly every actor and actress was better than I'd normally seen. The closed circle plot is pretty good outlining for the writer. The problems were some of the subtlety in filmmaking (slow motion and closeups... seemed like a jackhammer approach instead of an archaelogist's tools). Yes, it's a little preachy at times too, and at times falls into the "West Wing" style of speech, citing statistics and studies - people don't talk that way. But it's worth seeing and definitely will spark some discussions. I'm not prepared to call it great - the direction was just a little too unrefined - but I'll call it very good. Steak knives.

And it might be another while until I have another movie post like this. Just started the first season of Lost. This may mean I won't have time for movies for a while, or it may mean I'll be watching this for the next three days pretty much straight.