Monday, March 13, 2006

The Fantasticks (2000)

Wow. What a weeeeeird movie. I'd never actually seen the play, but when I found the movie at the video store, I decided to rent it to see what it was like. I haven't any idea how close this is to the actual show, but it was definitely an interesting watch. It actually reminded me quite a bit of Into the Woods, with its fairly normal opening act, and then a second act that shakes everything up in a way you were totally not expecting. At the end this got very surreal, and while my mom and sister were mostly just creeped out by it, I LOVED it! Simply fascinating stuff. I want to see the show now. 4 stars.

Musical Theater Person Sighting: That's Joel Grey as Luisa's dad and Joey McIntyre as Matt. Interesting to note that both have appeared in the show Wicked, although not at the same time.

A Christmas Carol (2004)

I got this because, hey, it had an abundance of musical theater people in it, AND it had music by people who wrote songs for musical theater! However . . . meh. The silliness of it all! The songs were goofy and overdramatic, the back story was goofy and contrived, the lyrics were (primarily) goofy and forced and . . . erm, yes, the entire movie can be very nicely described as "goofy". One of my absolute favorite moments - at the end, Scrooge appears to be taking the entire town to Fred's dinner party. That is NOT the way to get in good with your nephew. Oh, and the kid, also near the end of the movie, who Scrooge sends to buy the turkey. He makes the funniest faces in the entire world. My sibs and I spent more time making fun of it than we did actually watching the movie. 3 stars.

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Red Eye (2005)

This actually turned out to be quite a bit different than I thought it would be from the previews . . . not that I'm complaining, I was quite delighted with how interesting the story turned out to be. It was intelligent, entertaining, and even had a few semitense moments. (My mom and younger sister were utterly freaked out by it, although that doesn't say much for its scariness.) Definitely the best thriller I've seen in a few months - very solid. And I simply must say this. CILLIAN MURPHY IS THE SCARIEST PERSON IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. He even looks horrendously creepy. Ick, ick, ick, ick, ick. 3.5 stars.

Forrest Gump (1994)

I totally did not expect to like this movie. I mean, sappy relationship movies and I don't exactly mix. But I guess that's why I didn't mind this - it WASN'T sappy! It didn't try to garner sympathy for the main character unfairly. By the time tragedy happened, I genuinely cared about him as a character. The quirkiness of the humor had me, at times, laughing out loud. It reminded me a lot of Big Fish, actually, another movie I absolutely loved. My family was surprised when I expressed my fondness for that movie, and also when I said similar things about this movie. I am a little bit, too. Definitely a surprise - a pleasant surprise, though. 4 stars.

Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)

Hooray, horray for Wallace and Gromit! I was a major fan of the original cartoons, and so was eagerly awaiting the release of this. Then I started hearing negative things about it and I began to be a little bit wary. What if mainstreamness had murdered my beloved 'toons? When it came out on video, my mom rented it for us, and I sat down to watch it . . . and absolutely loved it. What a fantastic movie! Totally in the spirit of the originals. Full of silly sight gags, horrible puns, nifty inventions, and some talented voice actors. I cannot recommend this movie highly enough. It's stupendous. I can't wait to see the next movie created by these guys! 4.5 stars.

Corpse Bride (2005)

Okay, I know there are a lot of people who really hate Tim Burton . . . but I utterly adore all his movies. When this first came out, I knew I totally had to see it. When I watched it, I was struck, first of all, by how NOT beautiful it all was. Most of his others have a sort of surreal beauty to them, but this was profoundly ugly in its animation. Definitely interesting. I actually found myself less interested in this one than many of the other Tim Burton flicks I've seen, although it was still wonderfully executed. Some awesome morbid humor thrown in here, and a very lovely story . . . but it didn't entirely grip me, and I can't figure out why, because there's nothing wrong with it. Hmm. Odd. 2.5 stars.

Ladies in Lavender (2004)

Um. I think this movie was supposed to be deep and profound, but it just felt goofy. This had some great actors in it, and a plot that was fairly dramatic and interesting, but then it all kind of went kaput. Nothing came together. We spent most of our time watching the movie saying, "Wait . . . why did she do that? What is she doing? So . . . do they believe him?" And then finally we gave up trying to decipher it and just made up our own plot. That's when you know a movie's in trouble. Hmm. 1 star.