Monday, July 19, 2010


Ah, this is a tricky one. The good or the bad first? Okay- the good. The premise is brilliant-don't think of this as a heist film- it's a dream fim. I went in not expecting much because the guy who directed Memento did this. But it's also the guy who did The Dark Knight. I hated Memento (so many holes in the story) and loved The Dark Knight. The idea of levels of dreams and being in the world invented by someone's mind and the concept of perceived versus real time alterations, etc,- all very intriguing and thought provoking. The idea of being able to plant ideas by using dream manipulation- well, scifi aside, it works. If you can relax and enjoy the ride, it will all make sense in the end. That part of the story ALONE would have been enough. The movie does drag on for 2.5 hrs and why? I'm gonna tell you. Because 20 minutes is wasted on unnecessary murder. I love a good cinematic shoot em up as much as the next person. But here, it got to the point that the useless gun fighting just wore me down. I mean it WORE ME DOWN. I finally just shut my eyes and waited for the noise to end. Then I'd go, ahhhhh that's over for 4 minutes. There was no point in beating up the audience with a lot of unnecessary, time eating, plot killing gun action. The film would have been brilliantly inventive without it. The acting by everyone is great- with one exception. Ellen Page. She needs to get a facial expression. No kidding. She is in the company of MASTERS in this film- DiCaprio, Watanabe, Caine, Cotillard, Berenger, Gordon-Levitt and the creepy Cillian Murphy. Page is so boring to watch- she's like a 13 year old in history class looking out at the playground. She could not hold up to what was around her. (Michael Cera is NOT Michael Caine). So in short, it is totally worth seeing, take a little more thought than most people go to the movies to do, and is absolutely STUNNING in its visuals. It's a great premise, a great story, well filmed and well acted. But the negatives are the wasted time in gun battles and watching Ellen Page struggle. Have fun!

Despicable Me

Awwww, come on. It's adorable. Plenty of humor for the adults and the use of the word "fart" for the kids and adults who act like them. A diabolical genius who wants to steal the moon uses 3 little orphan girls as pawns in his scheme but falls in love with being their dad. It's funny and cute and sweet and, in some places, very sharp. Steve Carell, Jason Segel and Russell Brand all do great voice work here without sounding like themselves. The animation is fun (3D) and there is not moment of great angst. We particularly loved the interation between Gru (Carell) and his mother. Gentle fun. Go see it.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

If you haven't read the book by slogging through the first two or three chapters of character after character, then the Cliff note's feelings of this movie might confuse you. It doesn't follow the book in all of the plot and it certainly doesn't have the back story or political insight of the Swedish system of "ward of the state" and socialist politics that the book gives. But it is close enough. In fact, if you saw the movie first, the book would unfold more easily. Yet, the book is better. It's a whodunnit murder mystery sort of story with a lot of sub plot that a movie reviewer cannot cover. But it is fun to see the book put to life and to see how the very intricate and damaged Lisbeth Salander is portrayed. See the movie AND read the book. The movie really gives you an idea of what the physical and mental state of these characters are.