Thursday, March 27, 2008

Horton Hears A Who

I saw this with only 6 other people in the theater! I expected hordes of knee biters with their chatty moms. I don't know where they were that day. I had to see what the fuss was all about- though nothing can equal Monsters, Inc for me. But this was pretty neat. This form of animation is now almost perfect- hair looks like hair, fur looks like fur, everything reacts in scenes with breezes or noises, etc. I really love that water, which is hard to capture in its essence even on film, is done so artfully. The dialogue is snappy Seuss, and the voices, despite being those of Steve Carell and Jim Carrey and Carol Burnett, were not distractingly recognizable. So it is totally unlike the Shrek films in that regard. I really was perplexed in the middle by a ridiculous anime sequence. I kid you not- what was THAT about? Why throw anime into a classic Seuss tale that stands on its own quite well? It was actually jarring and a bad decision. Once it returned to the actual story, it became enchanting again. Find a kid, and take them there. It's probably even nicer when there is a little kid enjoying it next to you.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Hammer

You might ask yourself what I was doing in an Adam Carolla movie on a Friday afternoon. I was lured in by the promise of a review that said it was a funny and light comedy with plenty of real laugh out loud moments and only about 85 minutes long. BANG! Perfect. And it was hilarious. It is the usual Carolla stuff- but with a plot about boxing and love and dreams and what they mean to people who have little else. Carolla is a loveable lug and the object of his dreams is an actress named Heather Juergensen- who is a dead ringer for Lois Griffin- you know, Stewie's mom on Family Guy. I tell you, she must have been the MODEL for Lois. I digress. If you have a couple of hours, and you want to laugh and feel good and have a little fun in a movie for a change, this would be a great little movie to see. Alex thought it was very funny also. So it could technically be called a good date movie.

Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day

Just about 15 minutes into this I was looking at my watch wondering how I fast I could get to Hollywood and pour a pitcher of water on Amy Adams's head and scream at her to stop pulling the same schtick in every film. But then, like a miracle, the movie started to change and make more sense and stopped being so cutesy flibbertygibbet- it FINALLY got the ball rolling. And really, once it found its footing, it became a really enjoyable, heart felt, golly gee, sweetie pie romantic "comedy" that was smart and easy. I really liked it and everyone was smiling by the end of it. It is easy to smile at Amy Adams. She is, however, in danger of having those blue eyes get stuck in the wide open position. Hopefully she will stop playing gullible ingenues (and even Junebug was a variation on this theme) and one day play a role with some real meat on it. Frances McDormand is frighteningly au natural in this- she is indeed a homely woman who only cleans up to the level of presentable. But she is acting a real role. There is some skill other than wide eyed wonder or pouting in this for her. But it is a lovely little movie of the kind they just don't make very much any more.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Bank Job

I'm giving it 4 stars- and here's why- it's a great movie. It is what an action movie is supposed to be- it has an involved plot, lots of plausible action, is loosely based on an event that actually happened, has great acting, doesn't star anyone so recognizable that their face interferes with the storyline, and the pace is non-stop. It is never, ever boring. Not for a second. It is a very adult film, with nudity, sex scenes, subthemes involving prostitution, etc- so it isn't one of those 'Take the kids but shield their eyes" films. It is a NO KIDS film. There is violence- both graphic and implied. There are some torture scenes. And the plot requires your attention. There was a bank heist like this in 1971, but some of the film's characters are made up (like the main female lead!). BUT those are penny ante details that you don't need to care about. It is about a small group of part time petty criminals being recruited by one of their former gang to rob a small bank in London. It is a really good movie and deserves 4 stars for being such.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Other Boleyn Girl

UGH. My friend, Liz, and I went to see this knowing that our husbands would not be interested in a story about Henry VIII and Scarlett Johansson. ScarJo is not much of an actress, and that is woefully seen in the few shots of her where she has no dialogue but the director yells "look happy" or something similar. She has to have dialogue to be in character, but never mind. As Anne Boleyn, Natalie Portman struggles with hysteria and screeching and tries valiantly to drag the half-dead Eric Bana , playing the formerly lusty Hank as a robotic lech, through scene after scene. It's as if Portman is pleading with the other actors to save her from the boring script and boring acting and boring story. I don't know WHAT went wrong here. Unless I read my own sentence about the boring part. It isn't even a good bodice ripper because everyone seems to be in a coma. It lasts for quite a while and then, mercifully, it is over. I am SO sorry this is not a good movie. The story is a phenomenal one and the BBC did it all quite beautifully in a 90 min special. I never like movies that portray historical facts in inaccurate ways. Most people don't go look up the facts, and totally believe the filmmakers are telling them the real story. Too bad. So this movie is not only bad, it is inaccurate. Go at your own risk.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Be Kind Rewind

Oh my- this is one of the worst movies ever made. We both fell asleep after the first ten minutes. Unfortunately, after about 5 minutes of blissful relief, we woke up. It was boring and stupid- not even silly and funny. Just stupid. Jack Black is just at his worst- mugging and acting like a moron. The story is much dumber than Lars and the Real Girl- and heartless, and the whole film feels like a way to just steal money from the public without actually using a gun. A gun would have been useful though- I'd have shot up the screen. The popcorn at the theater in Claremont CA is very good though. Now THAT I'd recommend. God- if someone takes you to this movie, then you'd better just break up with them and ask for the $9 so you can cry in some coffee.