Friday, October 31, 2008


RockNRolla is the new Guy Ritchie (and soon to be the former Mr Madonna) movie. Fortunately, Madonna isn't IN it, so it doesn't suck. It goes back to the formulaic "give them a bunch of puzzle pieces, throw them on the rug, put out some clues and shoot a bunch of people before we put the puzzle back together" formula. It's not as smooth as "Lock, stock" or as witty as "Snatch", and it feels like a cousin of those tighter, more imaginative films. But that's what being in the same realm as Madonna will do to a creative man, I guess. Maybe he is back on path. Maybe not. But it's like Danielle Steel- either you like the formula or you don't. It's a good movie, well acted, but the predictability of it all makes it seem like Ritchie was a man learning to walk again. Hopefully, he will ditch the formula or at least make it better the next time. If you see it, be prepared to hide your eyes from some of the gore. It was good enough but disappointing in how it felt like Ritchie was just leaning back trying to finish it.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Go Lucky

This is a Mike Leigh film, meaning it is really a character study. Of sorts. The lead character is a 30 year old, elementary school teacher named Poppy. She lives the life of extended adolescence that is very popular right now. And she is happy and silly. There are some bizarre moments, and some fresh moments and some poignant moments, but the problem is that the character and most of her mannerisms are so damn annoying that you don't care about her. She has an irritating habit of giggling under her breath, and of making inane conversation that one can't listen to without starting to itch. I couldn't decide if Mike Leigh wanted us to actually LIKE her, and unfortunately for me, that was the only way the movie could make sense. Of course, growing up and being an adult and committing to another person does NOT take away your ability to be happy. In fact, it rubs offs some of those annoying edges in most people. I'll give it 2 stars so you can go if you want and judge for yourself. But I doubt I'd have gone to see if despite its high rating among other reviewers. I think those reviewers just didn't pay attention!

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Oh, yes I did. I went to see it. Talking dogs have come a long way. And if you are UNDER the age of 12, happen to like dogs, have a tender heart and huge leaps of logic, then you will like this movie. Should you be lacking ANY of those things, you should probably skip it. I'm sorry to be late posting this, but well, it just wasn't on my mind! If you have kids over the age of 4 and under 12 and need a place to seek cover during a storm or something, then by all means, go see it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

An American Carol

David Zucker, the director and co-writer of Airplane!, uses the format of Dickens' A Christmas Carol to build the plot for this satire/comedy about the commonly held and true notion that Christianity and conservatism and patriotism are under fire these days. It's trendy to hate your country in some areas. If you read a review by a liberal critic, they will pan it. If you read a review by a conservative critic, they will like it and agree with it. The audience of about 250 we saw it with on a Sunday afternoon APPLAUDED and laughed. It has a silly plot, but a heavy point. I've seen movies that derided anyone who believed in the terrorist threat to America and blamed the evil Americans. It's worth essays and books to explain the generosity of Americans and the way they hand back countries to their people rather than occupy and set up a flag. If the premise of this movie doesn't appeal to you- if you hate the military, think the war is not worth it, think Christians and/or religion is a waste, and don't like Trace Adkins, Kelsey Grammer, Leslie Neilsen, Jon Voight, Dennis Hopper or Kevin Farley (chris's little brother), then don't go see it. IF you do see it, realize that it is a movie, but it has a serious message shrouded in slapstick and some comedy. Sometimes it feels like a lecture, but maybe some people need a little lecture. I'm not the person to discourage going to see it. I felt good after I saw it. Maybe you might, too.