Tuesday, April 21, 2009

2 More Movies

Since I last wrote I saw two more movies.. The first was a DVD rental that was free thanks to the beauty of Red Box promo codes.

"Yes Man" is the latest movie from Jim Carrey... who's getting a little old. I was particularly intrigued by this movie because of the beautiful Zooey Deschanel. She play Carrey's love interest in the movie.. When previews for this movie started coming out it looked like this was a variation of "Liar Liar." It looked like Carrey was hypnotized say yes to everything.. Well turns out, that's not true. There are no supernatural/magic/hypnosis story lines in this movie.. Carrey just decides he wants to say yes to everything... so he does. I thought it was a pretty good rental. I laughed out loud a couple times.. So like I said a worthwhile rental. I give it a B.

Also I'd like to plug Deschanel's music group called "She and Him." It's her and indie artist M. Ward. Check out the website.. It's fun and light.. and there are Beatles covers.. you can't go wrong. I give the bands album "Volume One" an A.

The second movie I saw was "State of Play" starring Russell Crowe, Rachel McAdams, Ben Affleck and Jason Bateman. I really enjoyed this movie.. We don't get a lot of films like this anymore.. It's an old fashioned thriller about a journalist who is trying to get to the bottom of some murders. I don't want to say more than that because it would give too much away. But the performances are great and there are some fun twists and turns. I would recommend people check it out before the summer movie season hits in a couple weeks because it will get buried soon. Also I don't think we'll see many more movies like this... old fashioned newspaper journalism is unfortunately dying a slow death... and the topic is actually addressed in the movie. I give it an A-.. Check it out.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Calm Before The Storm

So it's April.. and that means it's less than a month until summer movie season. In May alone we have "Wolverine," "Star Trek," "Angels and Demons," "Terminator: Salvation," "Night at the Museum 2," "Up," and "Drag Me To Hell." I'm saving up the money now. And I'm sure some of those movies may end up being awful.. but at least they are movies I want to see.. There's been so little worth going to the theaters for... that it's a bit depressing. Only a few more weeks to go.

On the positive side some really good DVDs have been coming out. I finally got around to seeing both "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Doubt." Both really good and both worth a rental.

As most of you probably know "Slumdog Millionaire" was this years best picture winner at the Oscars. Now I haven't seen all of the films that were nominated so I can't say whether it deserved the win.. but it's definitely worth watching.. The movie follows the story of a kid who grew up in the slums of India.. and gets to be on their version of "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire".. but he's not there to win the money.. He's there to find someone. I don't want to give more away than that. It's a very uplifting and enjoyable movie.. It's not as good as I thought it would be. I think my expectations were too high because of all the praise it received. But I certainly enjoyed it and am glad an uplifting positive story can win an Oscar. B+

"Doubt" is an adaptation of an award winning stage play. The writer of the play wrote and directed the movie. I wasn't sure if I'd like this one because of the subject matter... basically a nun suspects a priest of having inappropriate relations with a male student at the school. But everything is discussed in a very puritan way. I didn't find myself uncomfortable or grossed out by the conversations in the movie. I was really impressed with this one... I find myself still thinking about it days later. I don't want to give anything away but I will say the performances are superb.. You put Meryl Streep, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and the beautiful Amy Adams in a room and you can expect some high quality drama. I listened to a "Creative Screenwriting Podcast" that interviewed the writer.. He gave some good insight into where he was coming from when he wrote the story. He was really fascinated with the concept of "doubt" and now I am too. Excellent movie. A

PS. Interesting side note: apparently the author also wrote and directed "Joe vs the Volcano." Odd.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Saw a Movie This Weekend

And what did I see? "Monsters vs Aliens."... in IMAX 3-D. It was pretty fun.. I think I'd probably give it two and half to three stars.. A B+ rating. It wasn't as funny as "Kung Fu Panda" but its worth seeing.. especially if you're willing to cough up the extra five bucks to see it in IMAX 3-D.

So what was good about the movie? The voice actors. Stephen Colbert plays the President of the United States.. I don't think I need to say more than that. But I will because this blog isn't long enough yet. Reese Witherspoon did a good job playing the 49-foot-11-inch-tall woman... she was able to bring across emotions.. in a plastic face.. Will Arnett of "Arrested Development" fame plays The Missing Link.. and Hugh Laurie plays this movie's version of "The Fly." It was good to see Laurie back in his comedy roots. Kiefer "24" Sutherland plays a military type person.. but it's definitely different from his usual voice. But the scene stealer is probably Seth Rogan as BOB. I think if the only thing Seth Rogan ever did was voice cartoon characters he would have made his mark in history. "Kung Fu Panda," "Horton Hears a Who?" and "The Spiderwick Chronicles" should be all I have to type. Also listen for John Krasinski who has a small cameo.

The movie basically spoofs/plays homage to the monster/alien picks from the fifties. I'm not as familiar as I should be with that genre.. but I still appreciated the love the writers had for the material. There's also a shout out to "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".. but I won't give it away.. It's too good.

So that's all I have. See it if you want to see it in 3-D.. otherwise wait for the dollar theater or DVD... Stay tuned for my next post where I will hopefully review "Slumdog Millionaire".. finally.