Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mini Movie Reviews: Bulk Hit No 22

Toy Story 3
I cried. And believe it or not, I don't do that very often. (It was Haki that got a little teary during the Lost finale.) I found the third installment much better than the second.

Tomorrow When the War Began
I read some of John Marsden's series as a 'tween, and so hoped this movie would proffer something of value...and I guess it did that much; there are some striking frames, a fairly-chosen cast, and some promising moments...but that's about it. I couldn't shake the feeling I was slumming it in the B-grade and being asked not to ask some very glaring questions that such a film and narrative would need to answer if any credibility is to be established.

Leap Year
This film does nothing extraordinary for its genre, but rather plays out as a romcom archetype. If you dabble in this field however, it's a solid pick for some genuine laughs, strong characters, and romantic chemistry.


All About Steve
I resisted renting this while Haki rallied for it to come home with us more than once, and eventually won. I was right to resist. It's not the 1/10 I expected, but it can't be higher than a 4. Missable...but not nightmare-inducing or unforgettably offensive...so maybe it would be watchable if it was late, it was on free television, and you really had nothing else to do.

My Life in Ruins
This film tries desperately to have deeper meaning, but unfortunately only succeeds in being just as plain and predictable as any other romantic comedy. The male love interest being interesting and the film's scenery are its strongest cards. I didn't feel my time was wholly wasted watching it, but I cringed now and then...and I was watching it alone.

SALT
Haki was certain this would be terrible, and I wanted to believe it wouldn't be. I don't hate watching Angelina Jolie as much as he seems to. As far as action flicks go, it's not bad at all, and I liked the story. Heads up, it's pretty violent not to carry an R-rating. P.S. I don't care what Haki says, she's hot....but yes, too thin here.

Motherhood
It's probably a tad confusing that I've selected this version of the film's poster for use here...but it's because the NZ DVD cover wears this image, not the yellow-backed close-up on Thurman sucking a pacificier...I just couldn't find "our cover" in English. I could talk about this movie for a long time. Overall, it's mediocre. Minnie Driver's character is intriguing, some stand-alone lines are priceless (particularly Thurman believably bringing her husband's socks into a completely unrelated argument - yus), and I believed Thurman could be a tired, everyday parent. I love that the overcoat+pyjamas ensemble - second yus. However...it irked me so much more than it delighted. I wanted to slap her quite a few times. Like many other films, Motherhood paints the daily occupation after which its titled as something that is impossibly mundane and difficult to enjoy, but worth it in the end. I understand sometimes people feel that way...but I'm really over that message. I don't relate; for me motherhood is impossibly rich with meaning and difficult to deny in importance. Again, I get people can feel otherwise, and that there are hard days, and maybe this film is therapy for those times...I'm just not in that place. I love what I get to do, and I don't have to dig deep to feel that way...maybe I should re-view this in a few years? Nope, even then, this film's mother's potty-mouth, need for cigarettes, and other brushes with grave error failed to translate to my own vices as cleanly as I would need to experience empathy.

I'd skip:

Brothers - this still gets a link, because I think many of you, readers, would love this film. I just can't recommend it, personally, to anyone much like me. The acting is exceptional, the story is arguably worth telling...but it was too much for me - too horrifying, too crass, and too.../shudder.
An Education - Like Brothers, this film came highly recommended from a close friend, and again, I could see why, but didn't share the same fervour for it - it plays out so intelligently, but ultimately fails to portray sufficient consequences for being foolish and promiscuous...which doesn't sit well with me.
Where the Wild Things Are - We didn't even finish it. Plain weird.
The Color Purple - Gag. The first few minutes were more than enough to decide I didn't need this movie in my day.
Killers - zero chemistry between Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl, and zero believability that Kutcher could have a "license to [anything]." Meh.
Jonah Hex- I confess, I'm fond of big explosions and over-the-top Western shoot-outs...but Jonah Hex injects some nightmarish, ghoulish elements I don't welcome. Missable, and I wouldn't be watch it in the company of children of any age (which is never the best marker, is it?).
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