Saturday, July 07, 2007

Flick the Button

Some of these I forgot last time, and I'm trying to do this more often so I don't forget...

The Pursuit of Happyness: It's a biopic but I feel like I don't know the main character very well still. Even though I think Will Smith was quite good. Kid is cute. I think there's a veneer of nice values (hard work, love your kid), but there's not much depth. There are flaws in looking at this movie with a broad view. The more I think about this movie, the more I think it struggles, though on a cursory view it seems like fine family friendly viewing. You're fired.

Match Point: Strangely, most of the time when I think a movie runs too long, I think they needed to end it sooner. This movie needed to be about 20-30 minutes shorter, but I would've cut it all in the exposition in the beginning. I liked exactly zero of the characters. On the other hand, Scarlett Johansson is very attractive. Hmmm. That makes this hard to rate. The movie: You're fired. Scarlett: Cadillac.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: I'm an idiot for forgetting this one, because it was one of the best movies I saw over the last few months. Top notch dialogue. Exceptional acting from Downey and Kilmer. Very very funny. Everyone involved in this seemed to be having a good time. Fine first film (though the director has written some good stuff before). Dented cadillac.

Accepted: Yeah. Not good. Jonah Hill is the only actor involved with any comedic ability. Ridiculous plot, without ridiculous comedy. Justin Long's performance in this raises my esteem for John Hodgman exponentially. Lewis Black is annoying and incoherent. One of the worst movies I've seen this year. Fired Fired Fired.

Miami Vice: OK, here's why I liked this (a lot actually): I wasn't comparing it to the TV show, but rather to Michael Bay directed crapfests like Bad Boys II. And when you compare it to those kinds of movies, this is (a) smarter, (b) better directed, (c) really well filmed, and (d) even well acted. Farrell and Foxx's public personae in the publicity for this movie were awfully grating, but their performances in the movie on their own were subdued and kind of smart. I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this. All about expectations, though. Steak Knives.

An Inconvenient Truth: I didn't really learn anything new in it. I suppose it's decent in terms of filmmaking, but it definitely isn't among the most interesting or entertaining docs I've seen in a long time. I think Gore's presentation would definitely work better in person, so this is kind of a concert film - OK, but I already know the music and it doesn't have the same effect as a live show. You're Fired.

Dreamgirls: The sum didn't equal its parts. The acting was OK, the songs were alright (if overdone), and the sets and direction was fine. But all-together, the movie just seemed a little simple, and not really "big" enough to support the weight of the notes hit. Had this won lots of awards, I'd have been very disappointed. A big meh. You're Fired.

Knocked Up: There were several scenes of dialogue in this movie that word for word mirrored conversations the Lady and I had over the last year. So I guess there were parts that hit a little close to home. There could've been a sitcom-like quality of this movie, but there wasn't. The scenes with and interaction between Rudd and Rogen were very funny, but the movie overall probably could've pulled fewer punches. Maybe I like comedy a little harsher, so I guess I would've placed the balance between sweetness and audaciousness a bit farther away from sweet than the filmmakers did. But it still had several funny moments. Acceptable date comedy, though not outrageously hilarious. Steak knives.

Reno 911: Miami: Previews gave away too much, and because I love the series I found it a little disappointing that the movie wasn't even more ridiculous. But at the same time, it was really hilarious in parts. Could've been better if it was a little longer. I wouldn't mind more comedies like this. Steak Knives.


Jack said...

"Dreamgirls" was absolutely demolished by the weight of expectations. If it had been promoted in a subtler way, kind of like, "oh by the way, there's a musical coming out next month. Check it out," the movie could have been a pleasant, enjoyable experience. But damn near every media outlet was hyping that flick as the Oscar frontrunner 6 months before it even premiered, and I think a lot of moviegoers (myself included) left the theater going, "that's it?"

hillary said...

I'm not sure you're supposed to like the characters in Match Point!

Grandy said...

Jonah Hill is terrific.

I liked Knocked Up more than you did I think, but I agree it might have been better served with a little more viciousness and a little less sweetness. Tons of funny, seemingly "aside" moments (like when she reveals to work she's preggers. The other female assistant is just phenoninally funny). I loved, loved, loved the comradarie of the group of friends in 40 Year Old Virgin. The group here had that same level but we saw them less, because they weren't really the focus of the movie. I wouldn't say that hurt exactly, but I would have loved to see them more.

Two times Jonah Hill is terrific. I don't know if he could carry a movie or help carry it directly (and I guess we'll be finding out soon), but he was a great sidekick in this one.

LD said...

Hillary, the intent of the filmmaker didn't matter all that much in terms of whether the movie was enjoyable.

My take on that line was that ALL the characters, even bit roles, were unlikable. It was like going to a party and hearing all these stories told by and about people I wouldn't want to be around.

Doug said...

I loved "Knocked Up," but I wouldn't recommend it as a date movie unless you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that sex at the end of the night is a lead-pipe cinch. Obviously the consequences of casual screwing are shown to be quite dire, but there are also those birthing scenes at the very end that give one pause. You're not going to be getting anyone's pants off right after seeing this movie, not that you'd necessarily want to.

hillary said...

I guess what I mean is that I think Match Point is about luck and class more than anything. The luck of being born into a rich family. The desperate desire for that kind of life. The conflict of that desire with everything else. And the luck of whether or not it works out. It's not my favorite Woody Allen movie or anything, but I thought it was interestingly and coldly worked out.