Friday, January 08, 2010

Movie Review Catch Up

Let me start by saying that there are a LOT of movies that came out at the end of December that I have yet to see. It's tragic what parenthood has done to my movie going habits. . . but that's the way it is. Thank goodness for Netflix.

Also, fall TV completely shocked me with the number of interesting offerings. . . So I'm going to do a separate post with my feelings on TV shows, in case any of you care.

Boy A

So, basically I was disturbed by this movie. I liked it, I think. . . but it was also SO sad. It is basically about a kid that was in jail for murder since he was a child. Literally. They release him under a new name, and he tries to start a new life, but eventually it comes out. . . and I know it sounds weird to feel sorry for him. . . but I did. It's a little bit graphic, so if you watch it, be prepared, but it's a really interesting movie. (Oh, and it's British)

Julie & Julia

I found this movie delightful. Meryl Streep was SO good, and if the entire movie had consisted on the Julia Child side of the story I would have loved it even more vehemently than I already did. If it had consisted entirely of the Julie side. . . probably not. Apparently they toned her character down a lot from the book, but I still struggled to care about her. . . even with Amy Adams in the part. And that's saying something. But it is a wonderful movie that everyone should see, regardless. See it. Seriously. Even if it's ONLY for the Jane Lynch part.

Miracle at St. Anna

OK, this one. . . it was tough. It's really contrived in the plot device they use. The writing isn't great. It's beautiful. The little boy sucked me in when he was central to what was going on. And I enjoyed it. . . when I wasn't being pulled out by random things. So I can't say I would suggest everyone see it. It came at a point in my Netflix Queue when I was running out of stuff I was REALLY excited to see. . . and I didn't hate it.

Sunshine Cleaning

Oh how I wanted to love this movie. I love the cast. & the truth is, I think the trailer misrepresented it. I fully thought I was going to be watching a darkish comedy along the lines of Little Miss Sunshine. Not so much. It's actually kind of depressing. The acting is fine, but the writing is un-good and the story is just. . . sad. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Breaking and Entering

I don't know how to describe this one exactly. . . It's sort of dark and a little gritty. . . And it's got a great cast, but you are never really allowed to like any of them, or side with any of them. . . so it's sort of hard to care about. I understood where all of the characters were coming from, but I didn't think any of them were right. I don't think I'd suggest this one be added to your queues.

Easy Virtue

While we're on the subject of movies I would NOT recommend. . . Don't see Easy Virtue. It's stupid. It has such a great cast that I expected it to be good. . . I honestly have no idea how the director (Stephen Elliot) managed to get this cast. The script is not good and he doesn't seem to have a long resume of films that make him THE GUY to work with. He wrote AND directed, and that was just a mistake.

That's all I have to say about that.
Love Happens

This isn't a great romantic comedy. It's predictable, and sometimes downright ridiculous. . . It's really just DUMB. But I have to admit, there were Jennifer Anniston moments, and even a Martin Sheen moment, that sucked me in a little bit. Also, it's set in Seattle. So that's pretty cool. And at least they got Judy Greer to be the best friend AGAIN. Except this time she's a little bit icky. Nothing about it will blow you away, I'll just say that.

Couples Retreat

OK, I hated this movie. It was stupid and directionless with really bad writing and bad acting all around. If it had been mocking itself, OK. . . actually, maybe it was and I just didn't have a sense of humor that day. . . I don't know.

Let's just say, I left before it was completely over to make it to another movie. (don't worry. I know how it ends)

Bright Star

I left Couples Retreat to go see this. . . and let's all just take that into account when I tell you how I feel about Bright Star, m'kay?

I love chick movies. Period chick movies like this one, LOVE THEM. This particular movie. . . I did not love. I was bored. I was annoyed by the Keats character. I could NOT understand why she loved him the way she did. She seemed smarter than that to me. . . It wasn't the acting. It might have been the direction. . . the pace was REALLY slow (but that doesn't usually bug me)

I know that people feel really strongly about this film, and I may need to see it again so I can figure out why. . . but the day I saw it, I didn't love it.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

I am a fan of Wes Anderson movies. A real fan. If you're not, don't go see this movie. You won't like it. Because although it is a really cool stop motion twist and it's based on a Roald Dahl book. . . it's a Wes Anderson movie through and through. It's clever and quirky and the voice cast is awesome. I loved it.

The Blind Side

K, so this LOOKS like it's going to be one of those "inspirational sports movies" where the climax of the movie is at the big game, and the team you love just HAS to win, and then they DO! No. It's not that movie. Is it an uplifting movie? YES. Is it a well written and different movie than you think it will be, YES.

If I can suggest that you see any of the movies on this list, see THIS ONE. All of you. No matter how cynical you think you are. And even more so if you usually dig the inspirational sports movies.

It's good.


I love musicals. That's no surprise to anyone. And the preview for this movie looked AWESOME. But let's just say this. . . This movie should NOT be PG-13. It is a prime example of how the MPAA fails us. This movie is sexual. Almost every single frame of it. And I saw it with Ben's mom & sisters. . . so I was a little stressed out that they would be offended pretty much the whole time I was watching it.

That aside, Rob Marshall is a master of staging musical numbers on the screen. The cinematography and design of every kind and editing were AMAZING. I don't know the musical at all, and for the most part, I wasn't impressed with the music or the script. . . so I was probably destined not to love it. . . But I have to say, I did LIKE it. Just be aware, if you see it, that the rating is off.

The Other Man

Obviously I was drawn to this movie by the cast. I had never heard of it, I just saw a preview on Apple and added it to my queue. And for about 3/4 of the movie, it wasn't really anything new or interesting. But about half an hour before the end it twists a little, and then it gets interesting. And it's worth watching specifically for the end. The acting is great, as you would expect, and it's well directed.

And I don't know how Liam Neeson still makes movies like this.

And if you made it through all of those, I salute you!
And I will return with my TV thoughts later.


Megan said...

Hi Melanie. I just wanted to let you know that while it was good for you to leave your computer at home, I'm glad you're back to updating your blog. It makes me happy. Your "Randoms" are always fascinating, your movie reviews are helpful, and you, Ben & Nolan are just a cute family! That's all. :) Happy Weekend!

Jules said...

I like your movie reviews, and I whole-heartedly agree with your thoughts on "Julie and Julia". It was so great, but it would have been AMAZING if it was just "Julia".

mel said...

Oh, yes, I found myself wanting more Julia, too! You are way more plugged in to movies than I am. I've never heard of most of those! But thanks to you, if I do get a chance to see any of them, I know which ones to avoid! :)

Megan said...

Love it! Had my Netflix queue open in another window adding movies as I went along (well, and subtracting, too!).

Rachel said...

I was pleasantly surprised with Julie & Julia. I thought I would hate it, I even wanted to hate it because I hate "feel-good movies." But I really, really liked it. Have you seen 500 Days of Summer yet? Let me know what you think.

Samantha said...

I am happy to hear that sexy movies in mixed company make someone other than myself uncomfortable.

Thanks for making me feel less crazy. :)

Stefanie said...

I'm with Megan here -- thanks again for helping me update my Netflix queue!!! Keep them coming!

Angie said...

I like your movie reviews. It seems like we agree on the ones I've seen. Now I have a few to check out. Thanks!