Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I've watched quite a few films lately. Some I'd seen before, others were old but I hadn't seen, and other are brand new. Here's my take.
Wall-E Rated G
4 of 5 stars.
When did kids' movies get so darned depressing? It's like they rip your heart out, stomp on it, then give it back to you with a parting gift intended to make it all better. Aside from some of the sad parts, I liked the movie. Pixar knows how to tell a good tale. This little robot flick had a MAJOR environmental theme as well as some commentary on how our society is obsessed with technology with disregard to our health and relationships. Thank goodness it wasn't as depressing as that horrible penguin documentary. I still can't believe people think that's appropriate viewing for children.
3:10 to Yuma (the remake) Rated R for violence and some language
5 of 5 stars.
Yes, that's right. It's a western, and I gave it five stars. Russell Crowe and Christian Bale are amazing. Their characters are complex and well developed. The entire cast is. I didn't know what to expect with this movie and put off watching it. I recommend you don't waste another day.
Breach Rated PG-13 for violence, sexual content and language.
5 of 5 stars.
Ryan Phillipe does an amazing job of a newbie with the FBI. The scene with his father is poignant. The movie makes one realize that our nation truly is the product of human heroes and is a living thing--which is frightening when one realizes how easy it could be to weaken it.
Get Smart Rated PG-13 for some rude humor, action violence and language.
2 1/2 of 5 stars.
I may have liked it better if I'd not seen Breach the night before. Similar topic treated lightly. Steve Carrell, as usual, was funny. The Rock always improves things visually. However, although Anne Hathaway was the most beautiful I'd ever seen her, I just can't buy her as a humorist. (Meg Cabot's The Princess Diaries rock, but I thought she was too serious to play Mia. The Devil Wears Prada was more her style, but she lacked the willingness to push the envelope for that role as well.) Instead, Zoe Deschanel would have been a better choice for this movie.
There Will Be Blood Rated R for some violence
2 of 5 stars.
Daniel Day Lewis earned his Academy Award. He was gritty and raw and believable. The movie must have received its other nominations on his merit alone. The film lacked continuity. The characters often lacked motivation for their actions, giving no clues to the audience. Enormous time gaps weren't smooth. One day the child is a full grown man, the oilman has weathered hair, but the preacher still has a baby face. What's up with that? The only reason to watch this film is to marvel at the talent of Daniel Day Lewis. As a teenager, I repeatedly watched Last of the Mohicans to marvel at Daniel Day Lewis, but at least that movie was good.
Volver Rated R for some sexual content and language
4 of 5 stars.
The movie was funny, quirky, touching, and unpredictable. It managed to touch on many aspects of the human emotional spectrum--from the gruesome to the sweet. My husband doesn't like "reading his movies," but even he enjoyed this one. Note: It does contain some disturbing sexual suggestions, so I definitely recommend parental viewing. However, it could open up a dialogue with older children.
The Game Plan Rated PG for some mild thematic content
31/2 of 5 stars.
It was cute. Maddison Pettis, who played the daughter, was cute. Tubbs, who played Spike the Bulldog, was cute. Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson, was cute--okay, that's putting it mildly. The Game Plan had the heartwarming moments you'd expect in a Disney movie as well as the predictability. A few unexpected elements saved the movie, though. It's a good family flick and can appeal to miniature football heroes and ballerinas as well as their full-grown counterparts.
After looking over all of these I realize that I've seen a lot of testosterone filled cinema lately. Maybe the little boy I'm carrying is influencing my taste in entertainment.