Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Flick the Button

1.  I Am Legend.  For a big action movie, this was sure subtle.  I kept waiting for the "whoa" scene, but it never came.  Initially, I thought that might be a credit to the film, but thinking back, I mean, isn't this supposed to be a big Will Smith action movie?  Why isn't there a big scene that kicks ass?  I guess it's serviceable, if forgettable.  You're Fired.

2.  Atonement.  My least favorite movie of the year.  I had serious ethical issues with it.  Perhaps the east satisfying ending of any film I've seen.  You are fired.  

3.  There Will Be Blood.  On the other hand... this may be the best film of the last year.  It's far more than Day-Lewis's performance.  Perfect score, exceptional cinematography, thick and meaty script (though sparse dialogue, every word matters).  A classic.  Cadillac.

4.  Cloverfield.  OK idea for a film student thesis, but as a feature meh.  Though in comparison to I Am Legend, it was far less suspenseful but much "bigger" - the final scenes were what I like to see in an action movie.  At a minimum, it was barely longer than an episode of shitty summer reality TV.  You're Fired.

5.  Charlie Wilson's War.  The book is far better if you actually want the history, but the movie does a good job of hitting the high points and keeping you entertained.  As good an adaptation as I think could've been done.  Hoffman is amazing, as usual, and acts Hanks off the screen.  Steak Knives.

6.  27 Dresses.  Blah.  Don't remember anything about it except that I tuned out about halfway in. And that Katherine Heigl is annoying as hell. You're Fired.

7.  The Darjeeling Limited.  It might be that I have two brothers, but I really enjoyed this movie.  Even though it at times seemed like famous boys on vacation in costumes.  I know that there's a certain Wes Anderson-ism that people either love or hate.  I like it, but I also think it can be flawed - and the flaws can overcome the qualities of the movie.  In this, I didn't mind the flaws.  And I loved the soundtrack.  I can see people not digging this all that much, but I liked it as much as any of Anderson's since Rushmore.  For me, it's a Cadillac.

8.  Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.  Surprisingly funny.  I was expecting the preview scenes (like the odious Beatles scene) to be the best parts, but that wasn't the case.  Reilly is hilarious.  Steak Knives.

9.  Dan In Real Life.  Lifetime movie with famous male lead.  Snooze.  You're fired.

10.  My Kid Could Paint That.  Interesting to an extent, but not all that entertaining or informative.  I don't think the kid painted the good ones.  You're fired.

11.  Lars and the Real Girl.   A sweet movie, but I'm not sure I liked it all that much either.  The acting is fine.  For some reason I thought there was some forced quirkiness, like an episode of Northern Exposure.  I can see people liking it, but for me it's You're Fired. 

12.  The Kite Runner.  A decent adaptation, but seemed like an HBO movie, rather than a feature.  They took out the "evil nazi" angle, which I think was a good choice.  The book didn't thrill me when I read it, and the movie gave me about the same thing.  You're Fired.

13.  The Wicker Man (2006).  Pretty hilarious.  Man, does LaBute hate women.  Man, is Nick Cage a ridiculous actor.  You're fired, but I'd watch it again for shits and giggles.  

14.  Be Kind Rewind.  Cute and funny and had some interesting Gondry sight gags, but it was too rough.  Felt like a first draft.  I liked it, but I know it could've been better.  You're fired, but I liked it enough to watch again.

15.  In Bruges.  Clever and interesting and oddly moving.  Really.  Colin Farrell's best work since...  hmmm... maybe Tigerland?  Made me want to visit Belgium.  And shoot people.  And I don't know if there's anything else one can ask out of a movie.  Beat up Cadillac.

16.  Semi-Pro.  A couple good jokes in the middle of a weak, lazy movie.  Wigs and funny costumes aren't enough.  The worst Will Ferrell movie.  You're Fired.

17.  The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters.  Rent this movie!  If you like Christopher Guest movies, this is as good as you're going to get.  Simply hysterical.  Cadillac.  

18.  Trailer Park Boys: The Movie.  Here's a surprise too.  Recommended.  Smarter than a cussing comedy needed to be.  Reminded me of Super Troopers like that.  Canadians are interesting.  Sharp Steak Knives, and if I see it a few more times (and when drunk), I'm betting I'd raise this to a cadillac.

19.  Death at a Funeral.  A fine choice if you're looking for a somewhat funny comedy that you can watch with your parents without cringing too much.  Not the most memorable film, but a decent way to spend a couple hours.  Dull steak knives.

20.  The Signal.  Disclosure: I'm friends with one of the directors.  Still, this was interesting, shockingly well acted - amazing what happens when a horror movie casts people based on talent, rather than because they have a job on a shitty CW/UPN/WB teen soap.  The end gets a little messy, but overall this was a good movie.  Really liked the middle transmission.  Sharp steak knives for a horror movie.


Anonymous said...

"The worst Will Ferrell movie. You're Fired."

worse than Elf and Kicking and Screaming? Those fucking blew.

I too liked the signal, on a whole not just because of J - everyone i went with thought it blew though. OH well.

peacedog said...

Elf was great. And Kicking And Screaming is watchable, though not All-American material. I agree that Semi-Pro was the weakest Farrel movie that I've seen.

I really liked Signal - it's cool you know the director. And I think some of the actors/actresses in it are local (I saw the party host from the movie in a local commercial the other day, anyway)?

I agree on it kind of being a mess at the end, but I think it did a wonderful job up until that point. Lack of budget prevented the sort of awesome, end-of-days sweeping landscape shots like you got with 28 days later, but they still did a good job with what they had IMO.