Archive for the ‘Movie Review’ Category

To Rome, with Love

July 25, 2012

The movie was very strange. It was an attempt to be nostalgic. I imagine it would be a better film for people who have already visited Rome for a significant amount of time.
There are 3 story lines that run independent of each other. They don’t intertwine. None of them seem completely believable, in fact, each of them leans heavily towards the ridiculous.
The feel of this movie is very similar to the feel of some off-off-broadway shows that I’ve gone to, except those shows had better dialogue.
Woody Allen is funny.
I don’t like Opera, but this film made the Opera singer funny.

Everything else was pretty much a waste.
4 out of 10. Add a star if you spent a significant amount of enjoyable time in Rome. Remove a star if you dislike Alec Baldwin.

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Seeking a Friend (for the End of the World)

June 27, 2012

This review contains spoilers, but only because I believe that giving this spoiler will help you enjoy the movie more. If you don’t want to read spoilers about this movie, all you need to know is I liked the movie overall.

Now on to the spoilers! 🙂

Seeking a Friend was a little sad, but not as sad as I expected it to be.

It had an early scene where a guy [commits suicide by jumping out a window and] (suddenly and unexpectedly) crash lands on Carell’s windshield. That prepared me to expect any close-up to be accompanied by a horrific scene. So, I was anxious the rest of the movie. However, that was really the only horrific scene, so it unnecessarily ruined the movie for me.

They really didn’t need to show it in such a jarring way. They could easily have shown a suicide jumper (depicting people’s sadness at the end of the world) without resorting to terror-tactics.

I liked Carell more in roles like this, where he not trying to be funny. If you are looking for a funny Carell, look elsewhere. But if you find him to normally be frantic, awkward, and annoying, you might enjoy watching him calmly face the end of the world.

Some reviews complained about Knightley’s performance, but not I. I found her performance consistent with the unstable character she plays in the film. I didn’t see any positive or negative energy between the two leads, but the world is about to end, so how much chemistry is there going to be? In fact, you could argue that more chemistry would have made the film less believable.

I liked the movie overall. I have to take off a point for the jarring suicide scene early in the film, so I give it a 7 out of 10.

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Movie Reviews for 2011

December 27, 2011
Films released in 2011 that I saw in the same calendar year

You can see a full list of films on Wikipedia

Films are listed chronologically
Title Genre Rating
The Green Hornet Superhero Action Comedy 5
Unknown Thriller Action Adventure 4
Hall Pass Blue Comedy 5
The Adjustment Bureau Romantic Thriller Political 6
The Lincoln Lawyer Legal Drama 4
Win Win Sports Comedy Drama 7
Source Code Science-fiction Techno Thriller 7
The King’s Speech Historical Drama 2
Your Highness Fantasy Blue Comedy 4
Fast Five Action Adventure 5
Thor Superhero 4
Bridesmaids Black Comedy 1
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Fantasy Adventure Action Sword 6
Midnight in Paris Romantic Comedy Fantasy Historical 8
The Hangover Part II Blue Comedy 5
Beginners Independent Drama 6
Bad Teacher Blue Comedy 7
Transformers: Dark of the Moon Science-fiction Action 3
Horrible Bosses Black Comedy 4
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Epic Fantasy 7
Captain America: The First Avenger Superhero Historical 8
Rise of the Planet of the Apes Science-fiction 6
The Help Drama Comedy Historical 9
Conan the Barbarian Fantasy Sword Sorcery Action 1
Colombiana Action Gangster 6
Our Idiot Brother Drama Comedy 7
Drive Drama Action Gangster 6.5
I Don’t Know How She Does It Comedy 4
Moneyball Sports Drama 6
The Ides of March Political Drama 6
The Three Musketeers Steampunk Action Historical 4
Margin Call Financial Thriller Historical 5
Anonymous Drama Historical 3
Tower Heist Crime Comedy 6
Immortals Epic Action Fantasy Adventure Drama 4
J. Edgar Biographical Drama Historical 4
Hugo Family Adventure Drama 3
Mission Impossible Action Comedy Drama 6.5
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Source Code

May 2, 2011

I went, without any expectations, to see “Source Code”. Most of the movie had an “Inception” and “Groundhogs Day” feel to it, which I enjoyed.

The movie was intense and interesting. There were moments of humor, but they did not take away from the seriousness of the situation.

However, the ending to this film is really bad. I suggest people pretend that the ending is didn’t really happen and is just someone’s imagination.

Overall, I give this film a 7 out of 10.

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Exit Through the Gift Shop

June 16, 2010

I went to see “Exit Through the Gift Shop” because it got a high rating on and there wasn’t anything else to see.
I couldn’t quite make heads or tails of it when I read the online reviews or for the first 10-15 minutes of watching the film.
However, once the film really gets underway it’s funny and insane.
It’s a documentary of a human, male, American via France, shop owner who develops an obsession with picture and video taking.
During his search for something to photograph, he discovers street art.

Hilarity ensues.

If you are an art student, you should definitely see this film.

I give this film an 8 out of 10.

Robin Hood vs Prince of Persia

June 16, 2010

I went to see “Robin Hood” and “Prince of Persia”.
They are both action films.
They both contain a lot of unbelievable (and not in a good way) fight sequences.
They both don’t make much sense.
However, while “RH” tries to pretend to take place in the real world, “PoP” acknowledges that it’s merely a fairy tale.

“RH” was shot in the dark. It’s often hard to tell who is whom. A few times, it got so boring, my eyes closed of their own accord. Whenever I reopened my eyes, it was always in the same dark, incomprehensible fight.
“PoP” fights are too long and drawn out, but they take place (for the most part) under an artificially intense sun.

Both “RH” and “PoP” have an unnecessary and drawn out romantic story.

I give “Robin Hood” a 2 out of 10.
I give “Prince of Persia” a 4 out of 10.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work

June 16, 2010

I went to see “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” last night. It is a documentary of a year in the life of Joan Rivers.

Joan Rivers is a human, female, Jewish, comedienne. You can read her bio here.

This documentary starts as Joan is preparing her play about her life story for Scotland and English theater. She hopes it’ll be successful there, so she can bring it back to America (read: NY and LA). She expresses concern that American critics will view her play as an unflattering caricature.
Unfortunately, while the play is received well by the audience, critics are harsh.

Joan tells us that she sees herself as an actress and the failure of her play proves that she will never be viewed as such.
However, from the clips of her play that are shown in the movie, it appears she’s doing stand-up comedy about her life. If that’s what her play consisted of, her conclusion is unfair to herself. Perhaps if she took on a dramatic role, she could make the audience forget that she’s funny and instead take her seriously as an actress.

The film shows Joan as a funny, caring, woman, comedienne, mother, friend, and business woman.

I give it a 6 out of 10. It’s a funny documentary. If you like stand up comedy or documentaries, you should give this film a try.

Iron Man II

May 13, 2010

I saw “Iron Man” a couple of years back. It was an okay movie. I didn’t love it or hate it. I was happy for the recovery of Robert Downey Jr., but the film did not thrill me the way it did many others.

When I saw commercials for Iron Man II, I felt bored. It looked like non-stop boring action. When you have (seemingly) hundreds of identical robots fighting against two other similar looking robots, how do you know who to cheer for? Who really cares if the “good” robots destroy 50 “bad” robots? Either you destroy all the “bad” robots or the 50 don’t matter.

I was all set to completely ignore this sequel when I read a review in a newspaper. The review praised the film for not having a lot of action and spending more time on plot than other superhero films. I decided to give it a try.

The review was wrong. The film was full of action. Too much action. The bad kind of silly action. It’s long. Over two hours long. (124 minutes.)

The plot was mostly to drive the action forward and wasn’t solid.

I give this film a 6 out of 10.

City Island

May 7, 2010

I went to see “City Island” on Tuesday, May 4, 2010. The movie I really wanted to see, “Kick-Ass” was still playing, but I’d promised to wait to see it with Michelle, so it was off-limits.

Before I decided on “City Island” I went to and saw it had a rating of over 9 out of 10.

This movie is about a family, on City Island in the Bronx, that excel at keeping secrets from each other. The most publicized one is the father/husband correctional officer who keeps his acting classes a secret from his family by telling them he’s out gambling.

The film is much better than it has any right to be. I’d not heard of this film from any main stream media and I don’t understand why it doesn’t have a greater buzz.
It’s a serious film. It’s a comedic film. It’s an educational film. It’s an inspiring film.

The audience laughed out loud many times during the showing I was at. Sometimes their laughter masked the next spoken line or two of the film’s characters.

Not all of the subplots are completely logical, but all of them are great fun.

I would highly recommend this film to adults. I give “City Island” 8.5 out of 10.

Alice in Wonderland

April 30, 2010

I went to see “Alice in Wonderland” on Tuesday, April 27, 2010.
This film was released in 2D and 3D, but the theater I went to was only showing the 2D version. (If I had gone to see it when it first came out I would have had a choice.)

The trailers for “Alice in Wonderland” left me with low expectations. I saw Johnny Depp play a crazy guy in “Charlie in the Chocolate Factory” and I wasn’t eager to watch him play the same character again in a major role.
Additionally, the retelling of the “Alice” story seemed like a waste. I didn’t see what would be entertaining or informative about seeing the story retold with human actors.
As a final confidence drain, a lot of the people who were so excited to see “Where the Wild Things Are” were excited to see this one. After the fiasco that was “Where the Wild Things Are”, I started interpreting their excitement as a negative.

I was pleasantly surprised by the story and movie.
As it turns out the story is not a simple re-telling of the original story. In fact, it’s not a re-telling at all. I suggest viewing this as a (more meaningful) sequel to the original story.

In this story, Alice, now 20, is faced with serious choices that may well determine her course for the next 5 years and maybe even for life. These choices are serious. And, yet those close to her, the people who should be helping her choose wisely, try to push her into making a rushed decision.
Alice feels cornered and helpless.

*Cue the music* 😉

I could quibble with the Jabberwock’s slayer being a female, since the poem makes numerous references to the slayer being male. However, i’m okay with interpreting the uses of “he” and “boy” in the poem as being non-gender specific.

Also, I think a female Jabberwock slayer is kind of cool.

Johnny Depp didn’t try to do too much in his role as The Mad Hatter and the film didn’t let us lose focus of Alice being the main character. As such, I thought the pace and story were good and comfortable.

I enjoyed this film a lot more than I expected.

I give it a 7 out of 10.