Sunday, February 26, 2006

Flick the Button: Bad and Worse edition

Kinsey: Well, it's not terrible, but also doesn't offer anything exceptional. The acting's fine, but it's not a terribly pretty film. I kind of got the feeling like I was watching just a polished episode of A&E Biography. Just nothing much to write home about. Doesn't match the supposed controversy generated by the subject matter; it just didn't feel as important as I think they wanted it to be. You're fired.

Hide and Seek: Pretty bad. DeNiro seriously needs to be more selective. Compare this movie to the nearly identical plot of Secret Window, and you'll see the difference between an actor "giving a shit" and one that doesn't. I saw the DVD of this yesterday and saw how the special edition has "4 alternate endings". That, if nothing else, should tell you how poorly written it is for a thriller. Fired.

Frida: This was one of the more difficult movies to review, because it's really nicely filmed, the acting is decent (Molina is quite good), and the subject matter is somewhat interesting. I just don't think it's a great film though. The animated clips of the artwork are worth seeing, but I don't know... there's just something missing. Maybe biopics of people whose stories I already know just aren't my thing. Plus, Salma Hayek is just too hot to play Frida Kahlo. Seriously. Right at the verge of Fired and Knives. Not feeling generous. Fired.

Lord of War: OK, here's a movie with flaws galore. Like the way Cage, Moynihan and Leto's characters don't age at all over a 25 year period. Like the pedantic narration, which at times is very interesting, and at times annoying. Like the way I started cataloging the anachronisms (flat screen plasma TVs in 1990?). Like the way the ending is supremely unsatisfying. It had a little feel of "there's a good movie in here, but this ain't it". But I still liked it. I probably have a slightly soft spot for international movies that have settings in places we don't normally see in big movies (like Liberia or Ukraine). Cage is gamy. It's fast moving and occasionally clever (and occasionally too-clever). Verge of Fired and knives. Feeling generous. Steak knives.

Assault on Precinct 13: The opening sequence was pretty good, and the movie kept my attention for a good 45 minutes (and at which point I thought it was going to keep it going, since it's only 90 minutes long). But after about that halfway point it loses all momentum. I mean, the assaulters just keep doing the same shit. I'm pretty sure they used the same film stock for a few different Mexican standoff scenes. It gets very repetitive and boring. Fired.

In Her Shoes: Lifetime movie with A-list stars. Nothing more to it than that. Diaz seems miscast (or maybe she's just bad at the role). Collette's character isn't likable enough. Nothing makes this interesting. Fired.

Wimbledon: This will make a serious run at worst movie of the next year. The bar is set very high (low?). I cannot think of another sports-related movie that is as offensive to the idea of professional athletes actually taking their jobs seriously. We're supposed to be surprised that a top tennis player can hit a can of balls with a serve? Or that players don't warm up before matches? Or that players have like 4 days off in the middle of a 14 day tournament? Or that the Mens' SEMIFINAL match would be on what looks like court 17? Plus, I've never seen a sports film where key in-game moments are decided when the protagonist benefits from unforced errors by his opponent. Just shameful. Pat Cash should be embarrassed. Plus, I'm not sure why Kirsten Dunst has a job in the movies now. She's unlikable and unbelievable in this (and I'm usually a fan of hers). Super fired. One of the worst movies I've seen.