Monday, May 15, 2006

Mr. Mom (1983)

This concept is certainly not new. I could name you probably five or six "man learns to take care of kids" movies just off the top of my head (The Pacifier, Kindergarten Cop, Kramer Vs. Kramer, and Daddy Day Care just to name a few, although some of those are better than others). This one did manage to hold my attention the entire time, which is an accomplishment, and it even had a few moments that made me smile. Not bad. Overall a pleasant viewing, if nothing spectacular. 2.5 stars.

Two Weeks Notice (2002)

You all know my stand on romantic comedies: Blech. Most of the time they're stupid and melodramatic and annoying. This one was fairly unoriginal and melodramatic, but it did have something that made it triumph over all that: a hero who I actually liked. I'm not a massive Hugh Grant fan, but my GOODNESS, I loved this character. I was able to sit through the rest of the silliness because of him. So . . . would I recommend it? Only to people who already like romantic comedies. 3 stars.

Roxanne (1987)

I've always been a fan of the Cyrano story. Oh, gosh, I love that story. So I was simultaneously excited and worried as I sat down to watch this. Thirty minutes in, I was REALLY worried. It appeared that thus far they were butchering my story. However, as it kept going, it definitely improved. Despite the romantic comedy silly ending, I decided as the credits rolled that I quite liked the movie. Not at all as bad as I initally thought. 3 stars.

Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)

Intriguing movie. I didn't know much about the McCarthy trials, and even here they didn't go into a whole lot of detail about it, but it was still fascinating to watch. The choice to go black-and-white with this one was, I think, definitely a good one. The atmosphere of the whole movie was very serious and quite interesting. I can't say I actually LIKED the movie - I wouldn't watch it again - but I'm glad I saw it once. It was certainly well-done. 3 stars.

The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (2001)

Our community college put this on as a play a year or so ago, but I missed it. I wish now I'd been able to see it, because I absolutely loved this movie. When spoofs are done well, I think they can be brilliant, and this one was. It's a spoof of every sci-fi B-movie in existence, and it so perfectly captures what makes them so bad. Several times while watching this, we had to pause the movie because we were laughing so hard we couldn't hear what was going on. I most definitely recommend it. 4.5 stars.

Millions (2004)

This movie was . . . odd. The character of 7-year-old Damian was absolutely delightful - such a sweet kid - but I'm not sure I ever "got" this movie. Everything was all about the mom? He was really just traumatized by his father being with another woman? *blink* No, I mistly didn't get it. Maybe I was missing something. 1 star.

Madagascar (2005)

Going in to watch this, my expectations were very, very low. The commercials hadn't thrilled me, nor was there an abundance of cool people in it. I thought it would be boring and obnoxious. However, that was only half true. It was pretty boring, but it wasn't obnoxious at all. As far as I'm concerned, that puts it head and shoulders above movies like Shark Tale. That being sad . . . it still wasn't a very good movie. It was dull, wooden, and uninspiring. My siblings seemed to like it, though, so apparently it wasn't as dull for them. 1.5 stars.

Fun With Dick and Jane (2005)

Hmmm. This was odd. Very touch-and-go. There was a few moments that made me giggle quite a lot - the scene where he got their lawn back, for instance - but there were a WHOLE lot of moments where I just sat there looking at the screen thinking, "That was supposed to be funny?" At the end I was left mostly with a feeling of confusion. This movie should have been much better than this. 2 stars.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Lost In Translation (2003)

What an intriguing movie. Artsy and profoundish without being too obscure and weird. The story involves an aging actor in the midst of a midlife crisis who goes to Japan and meets a beautiful young girl who is trying to find happiness in her marriage. At the end of watching this movie, the group I saw it with had a long discussion about whether or not the two fell in love. My vote was for yes, but not romantically. As they spent time together during those few days, they did both find something in the other person that they loved. The relationship never turns physical, where in a lesser movie it would have. I was fully satisfied with how this storyline was resolved. The movie also did a lovely job of painting a picture of Japan and the culture and how difficult traveling is with such a big language barrier. 3.5 stars.

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

There's something about the story of friends falling in love that strikes a chord for me and a lot of other people. Anna has been recommending this movie to me for a long time, so I decided I should finally see it, and my gosh, I loved it. While watching the journey these two took toward their obvious ultimate goal of finding true love together, I squealed and laughed and exclaimed, "That is SWEET!" There were so many moments that made me go "awww" - their watching Casablanca on TV together, and their attempt to set each other up with friends, just to name two. Definitely one of the best feel-good chick flicks. 4.5 stars.

Proof (2005)

At first I just wanted to see this movie because Jake Gyllenhaal was in it. Then I wanted to see it because it was based on a play. And then as I began watcing, I wanted to see it because it was a compelling story. It's about a woman who's recently turned twenty-seven and has spent most of her life caring for her father, who was once a brilliant mathematician but for the past several years has been sliding into insanity. When he dies, she and a former student of her father's (played by Jake!) begin looking through her father's papers. The dialogue in this is gorgeous. It's witty and clever, and yet the characters were entirely believable. I particularly liked Gwyneth Paltrow's protagonist, who is very vulnerable and introverted and clearly slightly messed up, but at the same time manages to have this dry wit. There's a heartbreaking scene toward the end of the film portraying the father during one of his bouts of madness. I actually cried during this part. Overall, one of the best movies I have seen so far this year. 4.5 stars.

Speak (2004)

I read this book a few years ago and wasn't impressed, and then reread it a month or two ago and still wasn't impressed. The thing I was least impressed by was the characterization. None of them felt real or distinctive to me. I couldn't identify with anyone. After reading it twice and watching the movie once, though, I have to say a few of them are beginning to gel in my mind. The movie followed the book pretty closely, omitting a few details and condensing, of course. However, it made a big difference to me to be able to actually see the characters on the screen. I was able to get a more concrete idea of them in my mind. I would imagine if you liked the book, you'll like the movie. The only thing that seems to be truly missing is Melinda's wry sense of humor, which really doesn't show up very much in the transition to the screen. 2.5 stars.