If you are anything like me, and I assume you are or aspire to be, you'll spend your upcoming days and weeks off avoiding your loved ones and watching TV and movies. Here are reviews of some new to DVD and not-so-new to DVD, flicks that I can recommend. Or unrecommend. Ready...set...
The most overhyped movie of the year, by far! This movie got such strong word of mouth praise that I almost saw it in the theater. But when I went, I missed the 3 o'clock showing by 15 minutes and there wasn't another showing till 7. Dude, if I had paid 13 dollars to see this...this...movie in a theater, heaven help all those who convinced me to see it. Look, it's okay. But it's implausible on EVERY level, which is fine if the movie is asking you to suspend belief a la Terminator, instead, Up goes out of its way to be as realistic as all get out, but then: ooh, look, his house is flying and oh, the fat kid's on the porch and not DEAD, which is what he would be. I didn't believe any of the characters. Why would the bird leave her children to follow strangers. It's pretty to look at though. I find the villan and the wife to have been the most interesting characters and the ones we learn too little about. Boo. I expected more. Don't you make that mistake!
People have been telling me to watch this movie ever since I became a diehard football fan. I don't know why. The mom in the film does tell her son she wishes she'd been able to watch Buffalo in the Championship, instead of being off birthing him, but it quickly becomes clear that's because she doesn't like her son. Or her life really, it's not an overenthusiastic love for the Bills. Hell, she schedules dinner in the middle of the game and gives her son the only seat at the table with a view of the television. Not too fannish, in my book. Instead, the movie is about profoundly unhappy people who live in Buffalo during the Winter. I'm not sure who the target audience is. The cast is mostly unknown, except for a bizzarely blond Christina Ricci, and well, if you're already unhappy what would you want to watch this movie for? And if you are happy why would you want this movie bringing you down? Best I can tell, this movie is for when you're too sick to do anything more than collect movies from the mailbox, stick the in the DVD player and crawl back to your couch.
Julie and Julia
Absolutely terrific movie! Meryl Streep just might be a god among men. She becomes Julia Child, like totally! I love her feisty competitive spirit. You can see the joy on her face as she cuts onions, the pain in her eyes as she sees babies that she'll never have being pushed down the street. I didn't particularly care for Stanley Tucci as her husband. He seemed too much Stanley Tucci playing a role, but Meryl makes it work! She's so the awesomest! But the movie isn't just about Julia Child. It's also about Julie something or another. A blogger trying to cook all of Julia's recipes in one year. This role is played by the ubiquitous Amy Adams. Oh, does she capture the pain of blogging! Posting and not getting comments. Frowny face. Having her mother wonder why she's wasting her time with this blogging nonsense. Shruggy face. But in the end, she, like Julia Child triumphs and becomes a...um...moderate star! Huzzah! I don't cook, so I couldn't really relate to that aspect of the film, but I understand a drive to compete in a male dominated world and the desire for comments. So...yay!
Okay, the absolute dang best part about this movie is why the Number 6 train is called Pelham 123, but now I can't remember the reason for the life of me! Dammit! Help! If anyone else saw this movie or remembers, please comment the answer!! Arrgh. Um. It's Denzel and it's Travolta, but they both look weird. Denzel is fat and Travolta is rocking that weird cartoon supervillan pencil thin mustache/beard thing. There is no nuance in either of their performances. Travolta bad. Denzel good. Even the passengers are hackneyed stereotypes. The white mom pulling her son to her, but the boy wants to see! And the tough guy black guy. Blah. Boo. There wasn't even a redemptive explosion. Skip!
Michelle Williams has a British accent! And stuff happens. Um. There's a huge bombing and her husband is on the bomb squad. Oh, and she's having an affair. And, it turns out that what she thinks she knows, may not be the whole story! And did I mention she has a British accent? This movie is good. It's sad, which is fine, cause whenever I see Michelle Williams I think of Heath Ledger and it makes me sad.
GI Joe: Rise of Cobra
I loved the cartoon as a kid and I was excited to see the movie, however, all the bad reviews made me wait for the DVD. I was pleasantly surprised. The action is top notch. The lead is a hottie and watching France get hit is mad cool. I HATED Marlon Wayans' black buffoonish character. UGH! Fucking Hollywood. And I HATE the NATO aspect. GI Joe is the great fucking AMERICAN hero, turd faces! We don't have headquarters in Africa and there ain't no Morrocans on the squad. Unless they've naturalized. All in all, though: Me likey. So now you know. And...um...that's half the battle.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Yawn. The trailer for this movie is so good! Exciting, suspenseful, captivating: essentially, everything the movie is NOT. The movie is slow, boring, predictable...British. Blah. No need to see this one ever.
Stars Diane Keaton, who will do anything for a paycheck. Not kidding, I bet if they offered her a role in American Pie 14 as a GILF, she'd take it and not bat an eyelash. Also stars the Napoleon Dynamite guy. This flick is a horrible, unfunny mess of nonsense poop. It's too late for me, save yourselves! If you're desperate to see a movie about an adult man living with his mommy, rent Stepbrothers.
Henry Poole is Here
This movie stars the dark haired Owen brother. He buys a house and the visage of Mary appears in a water stain on a wall. He has just been diagnosed with a terminal illness and doesn't believe in God. Thus, conflict! The neighborhood wants to enshrine his house, he just wants to be left alone. Eh, it's okay. Like if you've already seen everything else and it's down to this or Mama's Boy. Go ahead and see this.
Again, Ryan Reynolds is my guy! And I love him in this movie. Sandra Bullock as the tough as nails boss who has to marry her sycophantic assistant or be deported to Canadia is also delightful. It's your typical love/hate romantic comedy where...surprise, turns out they really love each other after all! But you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll sing bad rap songs along the way!
Angels & Demons
How come the people writing these mystical codes in ancient times are never specific? Can't they just be all "third cobblestone, 30 degress South of the city square." No, it's always "this bird neither sees nor flies, but its beak holds the key." And then it'll turn out that the bird isn't a bird, but is actually the tomb of Cardinal Bird!
Eyeroll. It's also fairly unbelieveable that Tom Hanks figures out every code correctly, in the right order, but aw shoot, he's one minute too late! One wonders why he doesn't just skip ahead to the last clue, so he can get a jump on the killer instead of being one step behind for the whole movie! Um...the deaths are bloody and gruesome, so that's a plus. But for the most part, if you liked the Da Vinci Code, you should probably just rent that again.
1990s teen flick about three social outcasts who play at witchcraftery. Yeah, that's a word...now. But when the mysterious transfer student Sarah Bailey enrolls at Blah blah blah High, inexplicable things start to happen and the trio discover she's the key that unlocks their magical powers! They exact revenge on their enemies, make their wildest dreams come true and altogether rule the school! But, oh no, have they gone too far? Will there be consequences? Yah huh. Indeed: There. Will. Be. Hell. To. pay! Hah! I'm so good! Or I read that on the movie poster for the movie when I was a kid.
Good. Definitely good.
I have a Kevin Spacey thing. It used to be much more diehard, but then he broke my heart with a string of duds which included K-Pax and Pay It forward, and well, I can barely look at his stupid sell-out face now. Insert hippie "it used to be about the art, man. I loved you!" rant here. But, I was sick, bored...so... In this Spacey plays the shrink. He counsels famous people. They are rich, but neurotic. Some take drugs. What they don't know, is that their shrink is also spiralling down the drain of mental illness. His wife has killed herself and he's been self medicating with pot he buys from that kid that plays Landry on Friday Night Lights. Spacey's father is also a shrink and decides the best way to get his son out of his self-pitying funk is to refer a patient to him that has real non Hollywood problems. Enter teenage black girl whose mother just died. She's been cutting school and acting out and maybe, tried to kill herself, she doesn't want to go to a shrink, but Spacey draws her out of her shell through their shared love of movies! Everything is going well, until one of Spacey's patients catches wind of the girl's story and decides it'd make a good movie! Oh no! But will this unforgiveable betrayal turn out to save them all? Will it? Um...probably, it was very boring and I was on medication. So I can't be sure.
This movie is supposedly named after the fact that the starring couple: Brad and Kate, have to spend Christmas with both sets of parents who are now divorced and have new step partners. However, it might as well be named for the fact that it feels like four actual years have passed between the opening bar scene and the closing hospital scene. Yarf. Dear Reese Witherspoon, I expect this garbage from Vince Vaughn, NOT YOU. Clean up your act, young lady. Also, Kristin Chenoweth, Unless there is singing involved, I don't want to see you in another movie. You are a TV/Broadway star, dammit!
I love good scary movies. I LOVED Orphan. The cast was perfect. Even the little blond girl character in the flick that I typically roll my eyes at for two hours, was great! I don't want to give any of it away, so suffice to say, it's about a family that welcomes a new member from an orphanage and how their lives change. Four thumbs up! But it is scary in parts, so Kelly, can you handle it? Michelle can handle it? Beyonce can you handle it? What? Doesn't everyone bust into Destiny's Child lyrics at the end of a movie review?
Terminator 3 or is it 4?
So Christian Bale, huh? That little boy grew up to be Christian Bale? Ok. I'll bite. Which reminds me, what's up with Bale's mouth, it's like his teeth are too far back to hold up his lips! Anyway, so we're in the future again. And um, Skynet is still trying to kill John Connor (what up with that, by the way? How come he doesn't have his father's last name?)This time, instead of going back in time after his mother, the robots hatch a plan to kill his father in their own time! John Connor must find his dad - now a teenage boy- and protect him before Skynet finds him. Meanwhile, Connor's father Reese is leading the rebellion in California where he meets a stranger and they, along with a little girl, fight robots. There are lots of really cool robots. Personally, I think the robots were too cool. I was so rooting for them! But that might be because of Bale's weird lip thing. If that's the future look of men, let the robots have the planet!
The hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy
Skip it. Seriously. Read the book, it's funnier and more entertaining. This flick is terribly cast. Horribly edited. Blerrgh.
I've never seen any Star Trek stuff. Not the original show, not any of the spinoffs and not any of the previous movies. So I wasn't sure I'd "get" this movie. But I did. I thought it hanged together well. I like the conflict between Spock and Kirk. (I thought the use of Leonard Nimoy was cheesy, like they panicked about trying to start the franchise over from scratch and so, clung to the security blanket of old Spock. I would have preferred to see old Kirk!) Um...as for the story...it starts fast and fun; then lags, then picks up again in the last 45 minutes. But I was entertained. Oh, and I Loved the Run, Fatboy, Run guy being in it! He's always a treat.
This movie is a brilliant combination of all the things I love about Adam Sandler (have seen all his movies…yes, even the terrible pudding/terrorism survivor ones) and none of the things I hate about Seth Rogen and that fat guy he always acts with…or is Seth Rogen the fat guy who acts with the other guy? Whatever, they didn’t irritate me this time. The standup bits were funny. I LOVED all the cameos and the story way doesn't go how you think it will! I was surprised at every turn. Just superb!
Night at the Museum 2
Hey! Look it's Amy Adams again! She's like the modern day Reese Witherspoon. In everything! Oh, and there's the fat guy from Seth Rogan movies. Irritating. And Ben Stiller! Sucktacular. The movies is dumb. A steady, unending suckfest. Even Hank Azaria and cool special effects couldn't save this film from itself and it's retarded premise. Yah, the New York Musuem of *Natural* History is going to replace all the exhibits with holograms. Sha. Boo. Boo. BOO!