Monday, January 4, 2010

A Few Movie Reviews

Okay, I know I promised to write my top ten lists. But I've seen a few movies over the past month or so that I am obligated to review. So you can look forward to seeing the top ten lists a little later.

The first movie I'd like to review is "Avatar." By now you probably have seen "Avatar" or you haven't and you don't plan to. I think everyone should see "Avatar"... just for the visual feast factor. And you definitely have to see it in 3-D. I have a friend who was invited to go see it and when he arrived he realized his friend hadn't known there was a 3-D option. Unbelievable. Poor guy had to watch the movie in regular 2-D... what's the point of that.

I saw the movie a few days after it opened at the IMAX in 3-D. I enjoyed the movie. The special effects are quite amazing... but I thought the plot was only okay. I'm so tired of military cliches. Does every military leader have to be bloodthirsty. Can we have one that's conflicted? That'd be nice... maybe something like Kiefer Sutherland's character in "Monsters and Aliens." Yes I'm saying a cartoon character had more dimensions than Colonel Miles Quaritch. Oh well. And yes as "South Park" put it... the movie is pretty much "Dances with Smurfs." My favorite part was the final battle sequence. It was crazy good. I've heard of a few people who have proclaimed this movie, "The best movie ever." I think they're crazy. It may be the best visual effects movie ever... but best movie ever? No way. Not even close. So I am recommending the movie... but don't expect an original plot. For another good review check out the comments section of the "I'm Back" post.


Next I'll be reviewing "Sherlock Holmes." Robert Downey Jr. is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. He just brings so much fun to every role. And his take on Sherlock Holmes is no exception. Jude Law is also great as Watson. The interplay between the two is the heart of the movie. This is a hyperstylized version of "Holmes" and I'm okay with it. I read most of the books when I was in Junior High and enjoyed them a lot. I don't think this movie strays too far from the original Conan Doyle books. Sure it's filled with action scenes... but I think that the stuffy version of Holmes has been done to death and I enjoyed this fresh take. Having said all that it isn't a perfect movie... and I would've enjoyed more classic Holmes deductions. But a fun two hour adventure.

Grade B+

I finally saw "Inglourious Basterds" on DVD a few weeks ago... and it was a great movie. I've enjoyed most of Quentin Tarantino's films and this was no exception. The best part of the movie was the first twenty minutes or so. I won't give too much a way... but the entire scene is just one conversation between two men... it's one of the most intense scenes I've ever seen. My wife also agrees. Christoph Waltz plays Col. Hans Landa and you can expect he'll be nominated and probably win for the role. Every time he's on screen you can't take your eyes off his crazy character. Brad Pitt and his cohorts are also a lot of fun. Their story line wasn't as big as I'd thought it would be from the trailers but they were perfect for the parts. There's also a plot about the owner of a French cinema that I really enjoyed. Obviously this movie isn't for everyone but for those who think they may enjoy this fictional version of WWII.. you probably will.

Grade: A

I watched the sci-fi film "District 9" a few days ago. I realized when I put in the DVD that I didn't know what the plot was. I knew it took place is South Africa and that there were aliens... but that was about it. So I went in not knowing much. A lot of sci-fi geeks are calling this the best sci-fi movie of the year. I wouldn't go that far, but it was a lot of fun. I would definitely recommend it for fans of the genre. But I wasn't as engaged as I thought I should be. I probably need to watch it again to gain a full appreciation for the film...
Grade for now: B+

Finally... I also saw "Paranormal Activity." I'd heard all the buzz back when it came out and was glad to finally form my own opinion of the horror film. It was great. It was scary and real and also fun. It's this decade's "Blair Witch Project." It also has a little in common with the great "Open Water." The movie basically follows a man and his girlfriend as they try to figure out why she's being haunted. Sure, the guy acts like an idiot.. but that's probably what most guys would do in the same situation. It's all videotaped on a consumer camera ala "Cloverfield." I didn't have any nightmares after watching the movie... but if I was the type of person who was bothered by scary movies, I'm sure I would have.
Grade: A

One more thing of note... I'm thinking about creating a Twitter account where I will give quick reviews of films, books, music, and TV episodes. If that is something you think you'd like to subscribe to, let me know. Until next time...


Nells-Bells said...

we went to see avatar in 3-D and it was sold out. so we ended up seeing sherlock holmes, which we too enjoyed. it didn't stick to the true holmes persona but i'm glad they did manage to squeeze in some true holmes highlights. so we will definitely be seeing avatar soon. we too saw district 9 and it was intense! i can't believe you didn't feel grossly involved. oh. my. maybe it was all the violence. but it was insane! i liked it...not sure it is a movie i would like to see over and over. but i truly liked the premise of the movie. i have been wanting to see inglorious bastards and now with your review, am about to run out and rent it. and i am trying to bring myself to see paranormal activity. i have heard it is so good but i know it will scare me out of my mind. do you know what is funny? i kind of like that...but i know afterwards, i will hear every creak in the house and jump. what to do...what to do...

Erik A. said...

I completely agree with your review of Avatar. It was far from the best movie ever but worth watching in 3-D for the visual effects.

Calvin Smooth said...

oh dude...

agree with your inglorious bastids review. Fantastic.

Also your review of Sherlock Holmes. Good but not amazing.

But paranormal activity gets an A and District 9 a B? This I cannot abide. Paranormal activity was mildly entertaining while District 9 was an intense imaginitive ride.

Take it as you will.

Nells-Bells said...

i'm surprised you haven't posted anything regarding all the late night drama. any thoughts?