Friday, July 29, 2011

Captain America

I really liked Captain America (in 3D). It was clever, retro, funny, sharp, well edited and tightly scripted. Sure, it's a comic book story. I get it. But it's also very sweet in some spots and yet, it also has enough action to keep you reminded that this is an adventure film. There were no drawn out plot contrivances (like the kind that made me dislike Inception). No heavy thinking. Just sit and have fun watching it. I loved the cast- most of whom you can recognize from such shows as Desperate Housewives- even Anne Boleyn from the Tudors was there in a bit part. But really, except for Tommy Lee Jones and a small part by Stanley Tucci, you can relax and enjoy the movie because you won't be looking at "stars".  I think it was fun. Just like a great comic book should be. I was a little sorry when it was over.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Friends with Benefits

This should have been called Justin and Mila Make a Porno- or at least make a silly attempt at sex scenes and casual banter. I am sort of mystified as to why this got 68% on the tomatometer on Rotten Tomatoes. It's not that Timberlake and Kunis are unlikeable- in fact, they save this movie. If I were a script writer teaching a class in how to write a trite, formulaic, predictable "romantic" comedy, I'm sure 50% of my students would write this exact movie. The sex scenes (and there are bunches of them) are bland and lack passion. What chemistry there is here seems to be killed by the non-stop talking of the characters. And it isn't fun. It ends exactly as you know it will. Both of these actors deserve a far better vehicle. I did laugh out loud several times- but in a two hour run, it wasn't much. Sigh. It gets 2 stars- don't ask me, I should give it 1.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Harry Potter 7.2 (the Deathly Hallows)

Sadly, this wraps up the HP series. We've seen little Daniel Radcliffe go from being the worst child actor ever cast in a film series to being little Daniel Radcliffe, the actor who took his clothes off on Broadway in order to show his magic wand. But this is the final installment, and it is as exciting as it is explanatory. If you have never read a HP book, you might consider yourself a Potterphile- but that would be impossible. Because though the movies are very true to the books, the magic and wonder of the books is in the elegance of writing that is done by J K Rowling. I've read many, many books- some under the duress of a deadline- and not ONE equals the mastery of this series (Keeping in mind I am a huge fan of Dante and love the Inferno). Her books are perfect and should not be read by children who are not ready to read them- there is a progression. And in many ways, the movies are, too. HP7.2 is a dark telling of the battle between good and evil. And the special effects are awesome.  Does the flickerchick have a criticism? Wellllllll, of course- gather round. Obviously my fellow viewer and I found a few moments of it to be comic genius- but we seemed to be the only ones laughing in the theatre. Sometimes, evil doers say things and they just come out campy. This time it was the privilege of Snape to have a few one liners that sounded like they came from an amateur production of Dracula starring your least favorite PE teacher from middle school. Even Voldemort had one that got me.  Was it the intent of the director to have those lines be funny? Well, that is probably for him to know and us to never find out. But other than those, it was true to form. I will miss Harry and the gang. The quasi-sentimental wrap up is also in the book- and I think it was wise of Rowling to put it in there. It ends a lot of pubescent debate groups right there. It'll give me a chance to stop resenting the fact that I didn't go to Hogwarts. Bye Harry, etc- it's been quite a run.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Horrible Bosses

This movie is a huge hit at the box office. Hmmm. There are 3 guys, all with ridiculously bad bosses- never mind that they really could quit, never mind that their bosses could all be fined for HR violations, etc. The guys try to hire a hit man then decide to try to kill one another's bosses. This story is a comedy- except that for the first half, it isn't.  If reviewers were totally honest they'd tell you to watch the first 15 minutes, then come back about 20 minutes later and enjoy it when it gets really funny. Is it worth it? well, yes, because the last half is realllllly funny. I don't like Jennifer Aniston, so my review of her performance might be unfair. She is dull. DULL. Her voice is always a monotone and with the botox and fillers, her face doesn't move too much either. And the storyline there is ludicrous.  Jason Sudeikis is great, as is Jason Bateman. I have no idea who that third guy was. If he does another big movie, I'll bother to learn his name.  Jason Sudeikis is cetainly the all-American guy (hard to believe his uncle is the guy Norm on Cheers). Bateman is  almost a leading man.  There are a lot of cameos- my fav was Ron White. It isn't consistently funny, but it is worth it to sit through. I am not going to jump on the "awesome" band wagon.  So, see it, but don't worry if you have to get up to walk the lobby at times.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Midnight in Paris

What's a better movie setting than the city of Paris (at least the good parts of Paris)? Woody Allen films Paris with a golden hue suitable to the City of Light. Midnight in Paris has the typical Woody Allen  nebbishy, insecure guy (the banana nosed Owen Wilson) who searches for happiness, etc- and the over-the-top female lead  (Rachel McAdam)  full of WASPish demands. Wilson yearns for the Paris of the 20s, and magically he time travels back to the days of impressionists and writers and entertainers he understands. It does get a teensy bit old- all the name dropping, and I'm assuming people under 45 might be scratching their heads on occassion. But the beautiful scenery, lovely costuming and introduction to Paris (for those who haven't been) more than make up for any plot dragging. Allen has always tended to self-indulgence but since he is so talented, we always go along for the ride with him.  Since I love Paris (too much), I loved the movie.  Truthfully, I liked Match Point better than this film- but it's a close second. A bonus is that the film is totally padded with half of Hollywood playing one role or another. It's actually kind of fun to see if you can name every actor in the film. Where else this year will you see time travel, Cole Porter, Gertrude Stein, and Paris in the rain?