Monday, February 16, 2009

Mini Movie Reviews: Bulk Hit No 6

Since my last installment of mini-movie reviews, there are only two films I care to write about in more than a set of parentheses, and for one I do so with hesitation. Two. How pathetic.


Doubt
I went to see this film because, upon viewing the trailer, I desperately wanted to watch Meryl Streep, Phililp Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams in these roles. I went for the characters and performances. I was not disappointed. In fact, Viola Davis' flawless scene with Streep turned out to be an unexpected bonus. I left with a lot to think about. I like the questions raised. A lot. I suppose the quality of the material was not so much in question, (as the play won the Pulitzer), but rather the quality of the adaptation. I haven't seen the play, and so I have zero authority to make any comparison. But in my lowly opinion, this film, standing alone, is very satisfying for those who enjoy a strong character piece...for me this means: sitting low in your seat and rubbing your hands together just to watch wordy scenes unfold.

Over Her Dead Body
First, let me establish, this is a dime-a-dozen movie, belonging to a genre which rarely proffers more than a smile and a brief escape. I get that. I get that most romantic comedies aren't really art, unless you appreciate fulfillment of formulaic dramaturgy. Over Her Dead Body makes my bulk hit list because it surprised me. I usually rent films such as these hopeful, and then turn them off disappointed or disgusted. With this movie, I rented it, pretty certain it'd be garbage, and was pleasantly surprised it offered light entertainment, and some genuinely funny scenes. So...this is the one I discuss with hesitation; it's not a work of art, it's not the movie of the year, but if you're in one of those moods where you just want some romantic comedy and nothing heavy, then this is worth seeing. Sexual references are a downer, physical comedy is an upper. I think my appreciation for it is probably also imbalanced by the high number of over-hyped films I've seen lately that have been too vulgar or too empty to see out to their end. P.S. I find Paul Rudd funny.

I recommend skipping:
  • Babylon AD (I'm an optimist, okay? I see all science fiction, that isn't R-rated, with high hopes. Bad language, bad story, bad bad.)
  • In the Name of the King (This came up as "Worst movie ever" at a BBQ from someone else's lips. Two witnesses people. Do not let the cover trick you, it is very much like a student film competition piece....except I watch all of a competition entry.)
  • Kite Runner (I fell asleep, and my life is better for it. I will save money on recovery counselling I am sure would be required based on what I did see, and later heard about its content.)
  • Smart People (A poorly-stitched-together actors' suite.)
  • Mrs Pettigrew Lives for a Day (The two female leads are fantastic, the movie is not.)
  • Wild Child (Gag.)
  • Closing the Ring (Christopher Plummer - you are all I can say is good about this film. Bad acting young folk, and Mischa Barton getting her kit off. No thanks.)
  • Death Defying Acts (This one isn't as bad as the rest on the skip list, but it's not good either...and I just can't justify giving away 2 hours for something that's "not bad", so can't recommend you do either.)
  • Hellboy 2 (High definition - check, impressive special effects - check, second half I remember watching? Second half I remember watching? Hello? Are you there? Absent.)
  • Anything Else (Haki and I made it through...what, 6 minutes? Dull. And not "Wow, this is profound in an everyday sort of way!" dull. Just dull.)
  • Yes Man (I don't care if some of it was funny. I can't see past the terrible language choices and appalling sexual content. I am ashamed that I didn't leave the theatre.)
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