Saturday, January 31, 2009

1197 - The House Bunny

This is the kind of film I probably wouldn't have chosen to watch, but it had enough of the right elements that I wouldn't fight watching it either. Namely the writers (Legally Blonde scribes) and the cast, Faris, Dennings, etc... There's some great writing in here, and some nice plotting as well. A few times I couldn't help but feel that the jokes could have worked better, and not that they weren't written well or properly, but the execution was off. Some really really funny stuff here. When it's working - it's really working, and when it's not, it's still fun.

1196 - Hamlet 2

This film has one of the most engaging trailers for a comedy that I can think of. It makes me want to see the film each time I see it. So how was the film, you ask? When it was good - it was inspired. When it wasn't, it just kind of floated around. Don't get me wrong, there's lots to like about this film - especially if you make it to the end. Great final act, lots of fun - and a bit of heart to it. Perfect use of Elton's "Someone Saved My Life Tonight". Definitely worth watching, but it's not quite the film that the trailer gets you stupid excited for.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

1195 - Vicky Cristina Barcelona

This film gets better each time I see it. Not that there was anything wrong with it's first viewing. It's a really beautiful film to look at. It's shot wonderfully. The cast is phenomenal. Johanson is beautiful and fun, of course, but there's a beautiful discovering in Rebbecca Hall's performance. Bardem and Cruz are absolutely electric with one another. What's really nice about Woody's comedies is that they always have this delightful sophistication to them, and yet they never feel like they're taking themselves too seriously. Two Woody's in the last week. I wouldn't be surprised if I go on a binge and start re-watching a whole whack of his films...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

1194 - 49 Up

We took some time between the last film and this, the latest one. Glad that we did. Although we find them interesting, and much like catching up with people we used to know, I can understand how a lot of the characters feel that there isn't much a point to them. The idea itself is interesting and it's a bit of a time capsule, but I don't feel like it's really making any conclusions - although perhaps that's not the point. I'll keep watching them as long as they keep making them.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

1193 - Milk

This film makes me feel bad about not having a strong desire to make films that are probably more in the realm of importance than what I usually flock to. Luckily the need to subside in a day or two, but it's there. This is a well craft film, fantastic performances by all, except Diego Luna whose character I couldn't care less about - and kind of hurts the film a little bit. I suppose he's part of the real story, but still... Check it out while it's still in theaters!

Friday, January 23, 2009

1192 - The Purple Rose of Cairo

I haven't been watching as many Woody films recently, which is a shame. I never tire of them. Of his library of film there's very few weak ones, and quite a few brilliant ones, this being near the top of the pile. A really beautiful, tragic comedy that puts a smile on your face and makes you think. Of all of Woody's films this is probably the most high-concept, I'm surprised that with the exception of Shane Black's "Last Action Hero" the storyline hasn't been bastardized more often. It's a real gem of a film and should be seen by anyone who loves to love films.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

1191 - Eagle vs Shark

I'm really amazed by how sweet this film was. I wasn't expecting it to be this good. I'm touch and go on Jermaine Clement, but he has an interesting quality to him. Lauren Horsley is the real star of this film. She's lovely and adorkable. The realtionship works in this film because of her and what she's able to project. Some really lovely moments in this film and some clever writing hidden amidst what appears to be idiocy, but isn't at all. I could easily watch this again. If you're a 'Flight of the Conchords' fan this is a must see, if you just like clever-silly films then it's a must-see as well.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

1190 - Rocket Science

The best that I could say about this film is that I felt indifferent watching it. That is, of course, during the parts where I wanted to turn it off because I really couldn't stand the lead characters stutter over and over and over and over and over again. God damn that was annoying. I didn't find that I really cared at all what happened to these characters. The performances were fine, but in the end it's just a 'meh' film that's easily forgettable.

1189 - Cool Runnings

This is one of those films that works when you watch it snowed in on a Sunday afternoon. I remember liking it a lot as a kid, my wife still does and has been trying to get me to re-watch it for years now. Finally, I submitted. The comedy has not aged with time, and feels a bit flat. The ups and downs of the story feel forced and fabricated (which they are - from what I know, none of the hardships they faced in the film really occurred). The last bit of the film works really well despite all that. It's exciting and heart-warming. If you've never seen it, it might be worth a check out, but go in expecting it to be cheesy otherwise you'll be disappointed.

Friday, January 16, 2009

1188 - Charlie Bartlett

This is a film that grabbed my attention right from the trailer. I was interested in this character. Wanted to see more. It could have been so cliched, but it wasn't, it was lovely. Watch out for this Anton Yelchin kid, I see him doing lovely things. The story is honest about the current climate with kids and medications and how they're feeling. If anything they could have gone a little deeper, but it could have been preachy too. A solid cast keeps that from happening. Downey Jr. and Hope Davis are great, but I loved Kat Dennings here. I wanted to love her in Nick and Nora, but something about those characters just kept it from happening - utterly smitten. I would have done backflips to make this girl love me in highschool. Again, I see lovely things for her, gotta love a girl that throws an Annie Hall "la de da" line into the film. Check it out if you see it in the video store. Sweet, fun film.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

1187 - Fargo

I haven't watched this in a long time and decided that since my wife is about the same level of pregnancy that Marge is in the film, now would be a good a time as any to show it to her. I find that I'm enjoying the Coen's films a little less as I get older and discover a deeper world of cinema. I think what the Coen's do really well is strong characters and interesting premises and set-ups, but that after a certain point their stories just lose a little steam. I think their films suffer because of it. In the end I'm no longer wowed, perhaps because I've seen them over and over, but I'm just left with a bit of a 'meh' feeling . I really enjoy Fargo because of the world and the characters. If you haven't seen this film, you really should. It's one of the Coen's best films. I'm a little worried to re-visit some of the other Coen films I used to love for fear that they'll be deminished. Alas.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

1186 - The Wrestler

There's a lot of great stuff going on in this film. It's painful to watch and that's kind of the point. In one of those amazing moments where the role and the actor line up perfectly, you have Rourke becoming The Ram. What a fantastic, sad, delightful, human portrayal. The film is full of so many wonderful moments that I really urge you to discover yourself. While it's not a film you absolutely must see on the big screen, it's a must see film. Even if you don't care a lick about wrestling, and I do, it's a solid film.

Monday, January 05, 2009

1185 - The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

With the exception of it's non-traditional ending I'm not quite sure what the fuss is about this movie with cinephiles. It was enjoyable, but didn't knock my socks off or anything. The performances were what you'd expect from the actors involved, and the story moved along nicely. I liked it enough, but didn't find it inspiring or anything. Nice rainy day film.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

1184 - The Wire: season five

And so it ends. Alas. What a fantastic show. Seriously. I can't think of any other show that has managed to juggle this many characters. Dozens of story lines, countless characters. What an amazing treat it was to watch this show, and how sad to see it end. The finale gave us some great parallels to sadly show us how history can and will repeat itself. The bad guy doesn't always win. I really liked what ended up happening to a lot of the characters, and sad to see some not make it out alive, but all for, hopefully the greater good. This show will be missed. It was a great final season. If you haven't ever seen this show, you seriously owe it to yourself to start now.

Holiday Viewing: 1176 - 1183

Okay. So I haven't posted in a long while. Holidays and whatnot. Got a lot done, writing, visiting, viewing. I'm going to give a little mini review of what I saw over the holidays (not that I write tons and tons here anyway, my personal film journal is much more detailed). So here we go:

1176 - Margot at the Wedding
Liked it despite not liking Baumbach's previous film. Good solid stuff.

1177 - Fur
I meant to watch this years ago, it's been sitting on my shelf. It has this really interesting flow to it, and because I was tired when I saw it, I really think I need to revisit.

1178 - Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Loved this when I first saw it, lost something on it's second viewing. Still has some great stuff in it.

1179 - Juno
Still love it. I think the first act is awkward, but then as soon as Bateman and Garner enters the film is sores. Great flick.

1180 - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Pretty to look at. Good premise. Fine performances. Lacks real depth. This film will be forgotten as time passes I believe.

1181 - No Country For Old Men
This film grows on me the more I watch it. Fantastic performances.

1182 - Rachel Getting Married
Despite it's really great performances, this film drove me a little nuts. Really didn't like it all that much. Love Anne Hathaway.

1183 - Yes Man
Once you get over how painfully by-the-numbers it's set-up is, it's a fun film - great middle, weak end. I love love love Zooey Deschanel.