Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Flick the Button

Think I've got them all this time...

1. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. A thoroughly interesting film. Exceptional acting and directing. And, oh, the lovely Marie-Josee Croze, one of my personal favorites. What I liked best about it was that it wasn't particularly inspiring to me, but just very human. There is much color in this film. Sharp steak knives.

2. 21. Serviceable, if forgettable. A decent enough adaptation of the book, but I didn't like the book all that much. Or at least I thought the book was interesting but poorly written, while I thought the movie was made fine enough, but I'd heard the story before. You're Fired.

3. Drillbit Taylor. Awful and embarrassing to all parties involved, including me for wasting my time. You're Fired.

4. The Last King of Scotland. Exceeded my expectations. I thought it'd be a performance movie, and Whitaker is really good, but it's more than that. McAvoy really impressed me in this (far more than Atonement), but the history (yes, embellished) was what kept me interested. It made me want to learn more about Africa. A lot of ground is covered in this film, but the film never felt long. Cadillac.

5. A Hard Day's Night. Classic fun. Great music and silliness. I could watch this dozens of times. Why is John Lennon not known as being so funny? Damn you Yoko Ono for robbing the world of his hilarity! Cadillac.

6. Harold and Kumar: Escape From Guantanamo Bay. Has its moments, but didn't feel as clever or fun as the first one. It's almost like the filmmakers heard some of the praise for the original being slightly smarter than it needed to be and then tried to hard at making this one smart. But it still has some very funny scenes, particularly the threesome scene and just about everything NPH says. You're Fired.

7. Eagle vs. Shark. Another movie that tries a little too hard, but it's still kind of a nice movie. No, I'm wrong about that and confusing Kiwi for quirky. It's not that good a movie. Still like Jemaine Clement though. You're Fired.

8. The Ruins. Not sure why I read a lot of positive reviews for this. Didn't really scare, wasn't that interesting. One 90 minute "wait, is that all?". You're Fired.

9. Cocaine Cowboys. Fascinating and engrossing, if too-shiny. There are better-made docs out there, but there probably aren't many I'd be as interested in or as detailed. Wacky editing though. Recommended. Steak Knives.

10. Vantage Point. Speaking of wacky editing... This movie took us nowhere. Wasted 90 minutes. You're Fired.

11. Definitely, Maybe. Ehh. If you are a woman and you have a very large crush on Ryan Reynolds, then it's worth watching. It wasn't horrible and Abigail Breslin didn't annoy the hell out of me. But I wouldn't say it's "good." You're Fired.

12. Chopper. I really liked it, but there was a tremendous flaw with the DVD: no closed captioning. I understood about half of what was said. What I understood I loved, and I wished I'd been able to comprehend the rest. One key thing: nobody can watch this and think Eric Bana is overrated, which I did until I saw this. Steak Knives.

13. The Hammer. It was a little better than I thought it'd be. I get annoyed by Carolla's energy, but I can't deny his comic timing. The story's been done before and better, but I've seen worse too. You're Fired, but not awful.

14. Jumper. First off, any studio head that gives $100M budget for a movie starring Christensen needs to be fired. Second, why is it that I sensed that they ran out of money for this movie? Seemed like it was missing something or that they didn't use the resources well. Third, Jamie Bell was, by far, the most interesting character in the movie. They should've introduced him earlier and given him more screen time. Lastly, Rachel Bilson's character is as poorly written as any character I've ever seen on screen. One more: actually seeing this movie makes me hate Fox's bowl coverage more because of their corporate synergy from last year's Sugar Bowl.  Why do I have so may thoughts about this movie, when it sucked so much? You're Fired.

15. Revolver. This movie made no sense. Whatsoever. Jason Statham shouldn't have hair. You're Fired.

16. Stop-Loss. Ryan Phillippe can't act. The reason why this and other Iraq War movies have failed is because we can't tell whether it's sensationalizing, preaching, reality with gloss, or what. I'd rather see either a documentary or something like Saving Private Ryan. But that's a taste thing. From a critical view, this wasn't very good. Poorly acted, plot felt like an outline, little tension. You're Fired.

17. The Onion Movie. Small handful of laughs, lots of misses. Cockpuncher is very funny. The Onion works better in words. At least it's really short. You're Fired.

18. The Bank Job. With a slightly better cast this would've been great, but instead it's just polished and interesting. A decent popcorn movie. Nothing all that important or mindblowing, but enjoyable. Steak Knives.

19. The Other Boleyn Girl. Snooze. Now having seen Chopper, I wish Henry VIII had used shivs and cussed constantly. You're Fired.

20. The Dark Knight. A theatre movie?!! Yes. It's an exceptionally good movie, and, yes, it's one with big ideas about terror and chaos. But I didn't like it as much as Batman Begins, which is one of my favorite movies of the decade. I missed the winking humor of Bruce Wayne. Everything that's been written about Ledger is true. A spectacle. Cadillac.