Friday, June 29, 2007

The Good German (2006)

This is clearly a tribute to noir movies of the 40s. It beautifully captures the feel and look of the movies of the time. George Clooney and Cate Blanchett are both good in their noirish roles. However, I'm not sure the movie had anything to offer *other* than being noir in 2006. It doesn't really standout as a movie in and of itself. Nice-looking, nice for fans of the genre... but nothing spectacular. 3 stars.

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Prestige (2006)

This was a beautifully done movie. Very much a Christopher Nolan picture. Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale both were wonderful in their roles. The movie might have gone slightly overboard on twists, but since none of them were completely earth-shattering, I don't think it made a huge difference. If you liked Memento, you probably will like this one as well. 4 stars.

Love Wrecked (2005)

Mindless nonsense, most likely to be enjoyed by pre-teen girls. I was going to add half a star to its rating because although it was certainly bland and uninspired, it wasn't obnoxious... and then the second half of the movie happened. Ugh. The first half is silly but acceptable. The second is just painful. 1.5 stars.

Never Been Kissed (1999)

Despite being painfully awkward in the first half, this movie managed to stay interesting and fun all the way up until the end... and then it blew it. For a movie that tries to be about being yourself and love conquering everything, it rather messed that up by making her declaration of love a selfish, thoughtless one that did absolutely nothing to prove her love to him. That, for me, just about ruined the movie. Too bad, because it could have been perfectly acceptable as a chick flick. 2 stars.

Night at the Museum (2006)

Considering I was expecting it to be horribly lame and annoying, it wasn't. Heh. It actually did have a few funny moments, although it's definitely a typical children's movie, and is therefore predictable. It could have been better, though. Although fine, it was bland. But I'll take bland over obnoxious any day. A fine kids' movie, a mediocre movie overall. 3 stars.

Employee of the Month (2006)

This movie was better than I thought it was going to be. The first fifteen minutes made me very skeptical, but then it picked up and was actually kind of entertaining by the end. However, it's nothing at all special. Totally forgettable. And, yes, Jessica Simpson is miserable as an actress. So... not a terrible movie, but not terribly good, either. 2.5 stars.

Miss Potter (2006)

While this movie was compared to Finding Neverland, let me start off by saying that movie was far superior. This felt a bit melodramatic and poorly-defined at times. Those moments were few and far between, though. Overall it was very well done. Renee Zellweger is great in this role, and even Ewan McGregor doesn't do too much to ruin it. Recommended for those who like movies based on true stories. Heh. 3.5 stars.

Man of the Year (2006)

Eh. This was fluffy, silly, and totally forgettable. I keep forgetting that I've actually seen it. Also, although Laura Linney is usually quite good as an actress, here she felt over-the-top and out of place, making an unconvincing progression from normalcy to paranoia. Nothing else particularly wrong with this movie, there's just nothing at all special about it. 3 stars.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Checking Out (2005)

Based on a play, feels like a play. That's a good thing as far as I'm concerned, but that means it moves slowly and there's far more sitting around and talking than exciting car chases (although, come to think of it, there's a kind of car chase too). A few of the characters are a little too self-consciously onstagelike, and the production quality is slightly amateurish. However, the script is intelligent, funny, and hits all the right notes without being either too morbid or too sappy. Peter Falk was fantastic, creating his own unique character. The ending veered dangerously close to being trite, but managed to avoid that. All in all, a very satisfying little movie you've probably never seen. 4 stars.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Deja Vu (2006)

Quite a fun film. There's nothing earth-shatteringly different about this movie - pretty straightforward dramatic premise. At first I was skeptical, but it's smarter about how it unfolds than a lot of movies, and this is what makes it interesting to watch. Denzel Washington turns in a solid performance, as always. 3 stars.

Doctor Zhivago (1965)

This movie should have enthralled me so much more than it did. It's just exactly the kind of movie I like - melancholy, atmospheric, moves slowly. But none of it ever came together to form a great story for me. It all just kind of fell apart without any real resolution, either happy or tragic. However, the atmosphere *is* lovely and the music is gorgeous. It is long, but that doesn't damage it, as it is an epic tale and deserves to be treated and filmed as such. 3 stars.

Dreamgirls (2006)

The movie as a whole is only 3 stars, but a few spectacular musical moments punch it up another half a star. This story is nothing particularly interesting, and most of the music isn't either. That's the show's fault, though, not necessarily the movie. Jennifer Hudson's renditions of "I Am Changing" and "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going" really stand out, as does Beyonce's song "Listen" (written for the movie). Not nearly as good as the equally well-received Chicago. 3.5 stars.

Copying Beethoven (2006)

This movie desperately wants to be Amadeus... but it's not. It could have been a really good movie, if the writing hadn't been stupid. And if the acting was better. Ed Harris does the best he can with this bizarre script, but everyone else seems like they stepped right out of a soap opera. In fact, this entire thing feels like a soap opera... melodramatic and silly to the extreme. 1.5 stars.

The Queen (2006)

This was a very well-done movie. Helen Mirren fully deserved her Oscar for this role, bringing a deeply complex character to the screen. Sometimes movies about real-life people get so caught up in making that person's life meaningful and significant that they forget to make the movie interesting, but this held my attention the whole way while still making its point. I don't think it's made a lasting impression on me, but it was definitely worth watching once. Quality movie. Possibly worth 4 stars, but I'm giving it 3.5 for now.

Manhattan (1979)

Annie Hall blew me away. This one... not so much. It felt a bit bleaker. Annie Hall had a sort of delightful reveling in how messed up life and relationships were, and this... not so much. That being said, however, it was still a very, very well-done movie. I absolutely loved the use of Gershwin as background music. Wonderful contrast between the sort of traditional, beautiful feel to the city and the bleak, straightforward look at life as it is. It seriously made me want to go back to New York. I miss my city! Anyway. If you have vowed to only ever see one Woody Allen movie in your entire life, see Annie Hall... but if you have made no such vow, I recommend this. 4 stars.