Saturday, February 11, 2006

Flick the Button

Closer: Few movies have elicited more debate in my household. Heavy issues at hand, and while the movie isn't perfect (or really all that close) in answering the questions, at least it's raising the questions. The odd thing is that the leads (Roberts and Law) are so much damn worse than the supporters (Portman and Owen - who is really incredible). It's almost embarrassing for the big dollar people. There are plenty of flaws though. It feels way to set pieced, and it probably works better as a play. The dialogue is very good though - just bare bones, solid, every word precise. Steak knife, but like many others, I'm not sure I'd recommend it.

Hustle & Flow: This movie had me completely hooked at the opening credits and the homage to blacksploitation films of yore. Howard is as good as advertised. The music is better than should be expected, I'd say. The ending surpassed my expectations. One of the few movies in the underdog wins genre that didn't make me groan with predictability. Can I call a movie that had constant MTV promotion underrated? I think it might be though. Can I call it a cadillac? I'm close enough to give it to it.

Red Eye: First things first: I am a huge fan of the 85 minute movie. I appreciate the filmmaker who doesn't have to flood a movie with unnecessary bullshit just to get to two hours. And indeed, this movie was somewhat quickly paced. But there also wasn't that much too it. And some of the jump scenes really were a few beats slow, letting us all know what was coming. The actors were OK, but it's not really an actor's movie. Murphy's better in Batman Begins. Upon viewing, I thought steak knife, but it hasn't stayed with me that much. You're fired.

Cinderella Man: Steady and basic, but we've been there before. All of the actors (Crowe, Zellweger, Giamatti, Considine, even D-Day) have been better in other things. Wait, Craig Bierko was actually pretty good as Max Baer. Just felt kind of stale. Some of the boxing scenes were solid (and significantly better than Million Dollar Baby), but it just didn't work as well as it could've should've. Fired.

Grizzly Man: I probably shouldn't even review this, because I was so annoyed by all the commercial breaks. The footage of the bears was way more interesting to me than Treadwell, whom I just didn't relate to. Herzog's narration was sometimes thoughtful and insightful, sometimes eye-rolling-inducing. If pressed, I'd give it a you're fired, but my frame of mind might not have been perfect.

Shaun of the Dead: Perhaps my hopes were too high? It kind of straddled the line between comedy and horror a little too much. If you're doing one, go all the way. I preferred the recent Dawn of the Dead by a good margin. There were some nice gags, but it didn't seem as great as it could've been. You're fired.

Road to Morocco: Madcap as fuck. The songs were quite good too. I truly appreciated the ending. One thing that bothered me was the way half the "Moroccan" characters looked Asian. Also, Hope's nose isn't as much of a skijump as I'd thought. Any chance he got work done to accentuate it? I did think it was funnier than I expected, and than most other comedies from that era. But, it was also a little slight. Steak Knife.

Serpico: I liked it, and almost entirely because of Pacino's performance. The plot was a little jerky, and all the other characters tended to blend together (partly because they're all stereotypical NYPD guys). Pacino is subtle when needed, and ramps it up like he's been trying to match for 30 years. This makes his more recent performances look like comedy (and sometimes they probably are). Steak Knife, but barely.

one other that I forgot...

What the #$*! Do We (K)now?: Holy fuck did this suck. Not only was it obnoxiously pretentious, to the point where I was entirely sure that all of the supposed experts were totally full of shit by the third minute of the movie, but the plotline seriously made high school sex ed videos look like Oscar contenders. I mean, shit, the Polish wedding scene made me laugh my ass off. Marlee Matlin was gave the worst performance I've seen in literally a decade. Is it wrong for me to have agreed out loud with her when she was yelling at her reflection "I HATE YOU"? There was nothing I liked about this movie. The animation was terrible. The acting was terrible. The "insight" was terrible. Absolutely terrible. And they're making a sequel! Inconceivable.