Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Goodbye Girl (2004)

I have not read the play, nor have I seen the original movie, but I liked this quite a lot. The opening half hour or so was rough going, with way more soap opera drama than anything else. But after that first half hour, it began to pick up and became rather a sweet movie with characters I was warming to. The little girl was fairly annoying all the way through, alternately too precocious and too young, always too sappily sweet. But the story isn't about her, it's about the adults, both of which became well-developed characters toward the end and made it a satisfying movie, if not great by any means. 4 stars.

The Madness of King George (1994)

I was hoping for this movie to be a bit more than this. Although it was mildly interesting all the way through, it was never fascinating, and the climactic turn of the story felt like it wasn't even included. An oddly anticlimactic latter half. However, it still was an interesting movie and I'd probably recommend it. Great performances all around. 3 stars.

The Ladykillers (2004)

The first hour of this movie was super fun. From the first five minutes I was hooked. Snappy dialogue, interesting characters... Although some might have been annoyed by Tom Hanks' character's smug ranting, I found it hilarious. And it wasn't that the ending didn't fit, because it definitely did. But it all seemed to come to a close rather suddenly. Adding an extra ten minutes just might have made the last third of the movie much funnier. Still an enjoyable movie, though. 3.5 stars.

Stranger Than Fiction (2006)

A very satisfying movie... very funny moments, great acting (especially from Will Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal), entertaining movie over all. The only problem with it, however, is that it really couldn't have had a stupendous ending consistent with the tone and plot of everything coming before it. It does the best it can, and although it almost works, I felt somehow lacking or cheated as the credits began to roll. I'm not sure there was any other solution, though. Definitely still worth watching... I did laugh out loud a few times. "Yes. I am relieved to know that I am not a golem."

Also, check it out! Musical theater person! That's Kristin Chenoweth interviewing the Emma Thompson character on TV! 4 stars.

Leon (The Professional) (1994)

I believe this is one of the ones Anna recommended... and unfortunately is one of the ones I didn't enjoy so much. I found the initial concept more disturbing than anything else when played out (not to mention the relationship between the two of them). Gary Oldman was one of the creepiest villains I have ever seen on screen, although I'm not sure exactly what made him that scary... but points to him for that. The movie as a whole also felt like it was trying too hard to be deep, and I never really slipped into any mode where I was actually interested in the story, since the obvious meanings kept distracting me. I suppose I can see why people liked it, but everything that they liked just rubbed me the wrong way. 2 stars.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Rocky (1976)

I wasn't terribly excited about seeing this, but it turned out to be quite a good movie. I think it can appeal to a lot of different audiences because it really *isn't* just a sports movie. (A lot of sports movies claim that, but most of them are lying.) Although the plot was centered around this boxing match, the story was really more about the character of Rocky. The characters feel real (I especially love the character of Adrian, who reminds me a terrible lot of myself) and are different from the stereotypical Hollywood characters, and I even found myself interested in the boxing scene at the end. All-around good movie. 3.5 stars.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Man on the Moon (1999)

What a fascinating movie. I knew virtually nothing about Andy Kaufman when I saw the flick, so just learning about his life was interesting. But it was also just a well-done movie. It struck the right balance between drama and comedy. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 4 stars.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Yeah, this gets my standard Harry Potter rating, but it almost got a four. And a three. But at no point was it *really* a three and a half. There were some moments that made this the best movie in the series to date. The character development was satisfying - not *quite* as much as in the book, but close. And then there would be sudden moments that made me stare at the screen thinking, "Why would they choose to do it that way?" So because it was equal parts worse and better than all the rest, it unfortunately gets rated the same as they did.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Flushed Away (2006)

Kids' cartoon movies lately have been incredibly, incredibly disappointing. Last year yielded some clunkers (like Doogal), and then a few medium-bad (like Over the Hedge and Pixar's Cars). This is the first cartoon I've seen in a long time that I've actually thoroughly enjoyed. At first I was worried they'd overdo the film references (as Dreamworks has a tendency to do... Shark Tale, anyone? *Shudder*) but while it was self-referential and silly, it was also much cleverer than anything children's entertainment has offered us over the last few years. Lots of little throwaway moments that took me a second to get, but when I did, I started laughing out loud. This is not quite Chicken Run, not quite Wallace and Gromit, but it's certainly a cut above the dreck we've been offered recently. Enjoyable for both parents and kids. 4 stars.

Friday, April 6, 2007

The Sixth Sense (1999)

I know, it's pretty surprising I hadn't seen this before. This movie is rather incredible. Even knowing all the twists and the premise and all that, it's still a beautiful story done in a simply stunning way. Haley Joel Osment does an amazing job in this flick carrying the weight of his character. It strikes just the right balance between serious drama and supernatural thriller, hitting almost no sour notes at all. Definitely one of the best movies I've seen so far this year. 4.5 stars.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Reality Bites (1994)

This was a surprisingly satisfying movie. I'd had it in my head as a sort of goofy teen comedy/drama from long ago, but it turned out to be very interesting. Nothing earth-shatteringly original as far as plot goes, but all the actors do well in it, it mostly rings true as far as characters, and the ending made sense with the rest of the movie. As I said... thoroughly satisfying. 3.5 stars.