Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Insomnia (2002)

My father first saw this right after Memento, and therefore had some rather high expectations, and therefore didn't like it very much. This time around, though, not expecting it to be as brilliant as Memento was, he rather liked it. This was my first viewing of it and I have to say it was pretty darn good. It wasn't a typical thriller, it seemed to have some hidden depth. Nice. Although I also have to say it made me tired watching it. I'm an insomniac myself and it just felt a little TOO close to home at points there. Watching him toss and turn I kept going, "GAH! I KNOW THE FEELING!" 3 stars.

Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)

Wow, this was . . . different. Dark, but hilarious. Romantic, but not sappy. It managed a near balance between the zany and the macabre and achieved an all-around "fun to watch"ness that most comedies do NOT have. I enjoyed myself all the way through this. Kudos to everyone involved with this project. (Heh, makes it sound like they're reading this. Whatever.) 4 stars.

Go West (1940)

As far as Marx Brothers movies go, this was rather not-marvelous. Note: that's only in comparison to their other movies, it's still pretty darn entertaining. But certainly not one of the best. Glad I saw it but I wouldn't run out and buy it any time soon. 2 stars.

Glory (1989)

I'm not a big fan of war movies. The minute you choose a cute guy to root for, he dies. JUST KIDDING. That's not my approach, more like Sarah or Naomi L.'s ;-) But no, war movies aren't my thing. But as far as they go, this one wasn't bad. It was rather more touching at the end than I expected it to be, and even the actual combat scenes were somewhat interesting to watch. It's an intriguing story as well. Overall, quite a decent movie and much better than I thought it would be. 3 stars.

Compulsion (1959)

This was an interesting movie, although it was also very odd because it switched tones halfway through. The first half was more like Rope, another movie inspired by the real-life Leopold-Loebe murder case. The second half became a courtroom drama. It was still interesting to watch all the way through, it just felt like two separate movies rolled into one. Rather odd. And I must say Dean Stockwell reminds me far too much of Robert Sean Leonard. 3 stars.

Collateral (2004)

I saw this movie not knowing what to expect. I honestly didn't even have any idea what it was about, except that my father saw it and liked it, which means I'd probably at least enjoy it. And I did. Tom Cruise is FAR more interesting as a villain that he's ever been as a hero. The plot was intelligent. The characters were all intelligent. This made for a good solid thriller which, while not the best of its genre, was still great fun to sit down and watch for an evening. 4 stars.

A Mighty Wind (2003)

Plot: Mockumentary captures the reunion of 1960s folk trio the Folksmen as they prepare for a show at The Town Hall to memorialize a recently deceased concert promoter.

This is the third movie by the team of people who did Waiting For Guffman and Best In Show (the first I saw and loved, the second I haven't seen). This was not nearly as funny or as interesting as Guffman, although it had its good moments. This felt more...subdued, I suppose. While the first was "typical" people acting crazy, this was famous people (who would have license to act crazy anyway) acting just a little odd. Not a worthless movie, by any means, just not as great as it could have been. 2.5 stars.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Benny and Joon (1993)

Oh, wow. This was a really good movie. In fact it's definitely my favorite of all the Anna-recommended movies so far. I was amazed by the . . . hmm. How to put it? The casualness of the movie. It was sweet without being saccharine, and funny without being over-the-top, and serious without being depressing. It tackled all of this and managed to remain very believable, despite the quirky characters. The ending was also very well-done - 'twas a nice resolution that left me happy but didn't at any point make me go, "Oh, puh-LEASE." Many cool points to this movie. 4.5 stars.

Bend It Like Beckham (2002)

Sports movies are SO not my thing, but I'd much rather watch a soccer movie than a football movie or a baseball movie. (Hmm, that might be confusing, as this is a British film and in Britain football IS soccer. But whatever.) And as far as teenage sports movies goes, this one is intriguing. The extra element of the Indian culture is interesting. The fact that it's modern-day English instead of, say, 1960's American is interesting. The fact that it's about a teenage girl instead of a teenage guy is interesting. The fact that it's about soccer instead of, well, almost any other sport is interesting. And the fact that it's not ALL about the game, a lot of it is just about her relationship with her parents and friends, is interesting. Hmm. I wonder what word I'd use to best describe this? Eh, let's go with "interesting". :-) Not sure I'd ever want to own it, but I did enjoy my one viewing of it. Kudos for getting parent-child relationships wrapped up at the end, too. 3.5 stars.

Saturday, July 2, 2005

In the Line of Fire (1993)

I am not much for straight action movies. However, straight action movies with a psychopath involved get a little bit more interesting. So what did I think of this movie? Eh... it was just that little bit more interesting. I wouldn't ever watch it again. Plus I was a little icked out by the romantic sideplot. I mean the guy LOOKS old. *shakes head* Yech. Oh well. Action fans will probably enjoy this a heck of a lot more than I did. 1.5 stars.

Doc Hollywood (1991)

I got this expecting it to be much more interesting than it was. Which I guess always happens with these comedies where the selfish person from the big city is stranded in the country and finds peace and contentment and a soul there. I always go in to the movies thinking I'll enjoy them and come away with a sense of "Now they're trapped there forever, and people are going to set plates on their head, and they'll never get to run through the fresh-cut grass or feel the ocean breeze in their hair etc. etc. etc." So while there were some funny bits in here, most of it made me too depressed to truly enjoy it. 2 stars.

A Night at the Opera (1935)

Plot: A sly business manager and two wacky friends of two opera singers help them achieve success while humiliating their stuffy and snobbish enemies.

After a huge parade of Marx Brothers movies, I got this reluctantly, wondering, "Will these movie antics now be really old?" The answer, to quote John Adams of 1776: "NEVER! NEVER!" This is probably my second favorite, after Animal Crackers. Two of the most utterly classic and utterly hilarious scenes in movie history come from here - the scene where everyone's packed into Groucho's barely-big-enough-for-him-and-his-trunk room, and the scene where all the furniture between two rooms is switched around for no apparent reason. Come on. How can you not love that? I laughed long and hard all the way through this movie. May these films "be a beacon of hope to all who tread these grassy hills" (erm... this time quoting Alfred from Larry-Boy and the Rumor Weed). 4 stars.