Monday, August 04, 2008

Reviewing Again

I have a lot of catching up to do on my movie reviewing. Though we JUST made it to see The Dark Knight, I have been watching a lot at home. . . So here we go!

We are big fans of TV on DVD, in case I haven't mentioned that before. And since we loved Veronica Mars so much, and everyone said it was so great, we thought we'd try out another series everyone said was so great:

Yeah, I LOVE Mary Louise Parker. I can't tell you how giddy I am that she has a career again. And I'm almost as happy that Elizabeth Perkins has a career again. That said, while I think the idea behind this show is pretty darn clever, I think they took their ability to be foul mouthed (because they're on cable) a little too seriously. It was just too much for me. The brother was the last straw. We only made it through one disc, and I took the rest off of my list.

I am a BIG fan of Pushing Daisies. I love the quirky production design. I love the color. I love the fun and silly writing, and I LOVE the cast. They are all so very very charming. Wonderfalls is created by the same guy (Bryan Fuller, who, incidentally, was also a co-executive producer for the first season of Heroes. . . maybe HE is what it's missing now.) I wanted it to be as charming as Pushing Daisies. I wanted Lee Pace to have more to do, cause I have a little crush on him. And it tries. It really does. But it never quite gets there, in my opinion. So we quit this one too. We watched the whole first disc. I was thinking it wasn't going to improve at that point. I hope I'm right.

And, with those 2 failed attempts at finding a new favorite series. . . We go to the movie selections.

Charlie Wilson's War
It's Sorkin. What can I say? I liked it. It's well acted, well directed, well everything. It doesn't have the heart I wanted it to have, but i really did enjoy it. If it had sucked me in and made me care just a touch more, it would have been even better. But I find Sorkin takes more than 2 hours to make you love the fast talkers he writes for, so it doesn't totally surprised me. It's definitely worth watching.

Yeah, this movie is SO not what i thought it was going to be. Though I'm not sure what i thought it was going to be. . . First of all, I thought it was going to be in Spanish, when it's mostly in English. That changed my perception of it right up front. PLUS, it's a very sweet, totally clean, wonderful story. I felt like the guy they cast in the lead was supposed to be a Spanish version of Jim Caviezel, a la Angel Eyes, but he was good, so it didn't much matter. Definitely see this one, especially if you're a happy-ending-in-unexpected-places kind of person. (though I guess I just ruined it by telling you there's a happy ending. Sorry)

My Kid Could Paint That
This is a documentary about a 4 year old painter that goes a really different direction than I thought it would. It ends up less celebrating the little girl in question, and more delving into a controversy surrounding her. I felt like everyone in the movie was manipulative and not to be trusted, except her mom. . . who I think really has her head on straight. . . it's worth watching, but just know it's not totally what you'd think.

The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
I had to take this one in 2 chunks. Frankly, I fell asleep the first time. It's beautiful. Cinematically, it will almost take your breath away, it's shot so well. And the acting. . . it's good. I mean really, really good. By everyone really, but especially by Brad Pitt & Casey Affleck. But it's SO slow. And to be honest, I'm a little done with movies that concentrate so little on plot while caring SO much about the pictures. Why can we not find a happy medium, I ask you? I'm just saying. . . Watch this if you really love film, care about cinematography, and aren't tired.

Holy SMOKES, this movie surprised me. I thought it looked cute when I saw the previews. I like the cast and it looked pretty, so I figured I'd add it. And then I started hearing people say they liked it, and I bumped it to the top of my list. And now I'm going to go out and buy it. It is such a great story, such a wonderful message, and it is, in fact, beautiful as well! That happy medium. . . HERE it is! And without bad language, or sex, or violence. But the best part is, while it IS a sweet movie, it's also not cheesy and sappy like it SO easily could have been. Watch it. Really. Support the people who made this so that they'll make more movies like this. It's just plain GOOD.

The Dark Knight
OK, I've saved the one I anticipated most for last. YES, it took us several weeks to see. It is ridiculous that it took us that long. There are many MANY reasons for that. And in that time, there was a lot of hype. And there was also a lot of, shall we say, backlash. It's too strong a word, really, but there were plenty of people, whose opinions I trusted, who told me they had issues with it.

So did I.

It is a great movie, don't get me wrong. I liked it very much. The acting was generally good, even from people whose acting I don't usually like (Ahem... Aaron Eckhart) But I wasn't as blown away as I wanted to be. That's probably inevitable. When I saw the first one, I was shocked. I hadn't known what to expect at all, I saw it on opening day, and I was AMAZED at the world Christopher Nolan had created. This time, I knew what to expect from the world, so it wasn't as awe inspiring. To his credit, how COULD it be, being a second film. . . but still. It was like walking in to the second Matrix movie. . . It has to be the same world, so you can't break any new ground. That's just the way it is. I thought it suffered from 2 things, mainly.

#1-- writer/director syndrome. I'm guessing Christopher Nolan was given a lot more room to do his thing this time around, being reigned in less by producers, etc. And it sort of showed. It was too long, and some of the sub-plots were just not needed. . .

#2-- middle movie in the trilogy syndrome. There was no awesome exposition like the last one had. We just got straight to the point. But without that exposition, it's just an action movie. Which is great for some people, but I like a little more story with my action. (and, let's be honest, a little more Christian NOT in the bat suit)

So, there you have it. A catch up on what we've been watching. I am on a roll, so I'll have a few more to share soon.


megan said...

I'm really surprised about Wonderfalls. Kevin and I went out and bought the DVD set as soon as it was available because we were hooked when it was on TV and then they cancelled it half way through the series. But we hadn't seen pushing daisies first, I guess, so if you'd maybe seen it in that order, you would have enjoyed it more.
I wonder, it's been a couple years since I've seen it, I wonder if I would like it as much now, but I do remember Kevin and I both loving it.

And we just love Penelope, too! Kevin and I both have crushes on Mr. Tumnus. heh.

Rachel said...

I have a crush on Lee Pace too. He has that mysterious, "I don't think I'm cute but I'm really clever" thing going for him. I dig it. Also glad you liked Penelope, it has a good message and I also have a crush on James McEvoy, which is slighly larget since watching that.

Anonymous said...

Lee Pace plays a bigger part in Wonderfalls later on. I too decided to watch it after falling in love with Pushing Daisies. I thought Wonderfalls was a brilliant show and Lee Pace is dreamy no matter what character he's playing. I suggest you finish the series. It's not like it's that long....

too_intensified said...

I just watched Penelope and really enjoyed it too! I hadn't seen it in theaters mainly because it got awful reviews, but it turned out to be totally charming. I don't think Christina Ricci is great acting-wise, but she does fit the role well anyway. And James McAvoy is so dreamy. And I think the director or designers were fans of Amelie because the style of it was similar. Which I enjoy. I'm thinking I'm going to buy it too.

If you enjoy Lee Pace, (and who doesn't), rent 'The Fall' when it comes out. You have to be a little patient with the story, but it is Beautiful. Visually and emotionally. And the little girl in it is to die for.