Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Wrestler (2008)

An extremely poignant look at the life of a professional wrestler as is forced to retire from wrestling. Mickey Rourke is brilliant, Darren Aronofsky's directing is stunning, Marisa Tomei is charming, and even the bland Evan Rachel Wood strikes the right chord as Rourke's bitter daughter. It's one of those movies that make you feel like you just watched a reality show (that was actual reality). Excellent. The final minute of the film is simply brilliant. 4 stars.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Primal Fear (1996)

(MAJOR SPOILERS) Edward Norton is excellent in this courtroom drama/psychological thriller. However, I was extremely disappointed by the ending. I'm always on the look for movies that tell the truth about multiple personalities, and this appeared to be, for the most part, accurate. And then they decide to make it all fake? There's something unfair about that. It was a very good courtroom drama up until that point, when they decided they needed a sudden twist ending to be... what? Interesting? Shocking? Daring? I have no idea. But only Edward Norton's acting made that scene interesting to watch, otherwise I would have been rolling my eyes in disgust. Not a smart direction to take the story. 3 stars.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

17 Again (2009)

Zac Efron is completely charming in this film, where he actually gets to play a real character, not an archetype. The plot is comparable to any of those movies where people change ages (think of it as a reverse Big or a gender-switched Peggy Sue Got Married... or a gender-switched reverse 13 Going On 30... any of those will do) and is pretty much standard as far as that goes. But there are some good moments and the acting is surprisingly strong. Cute, sweet, worth the watch. 3.5 stars.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Everyone Says I Love You (1996)

A Woody Allen musical? This should pretty much be my ultimate movie. And it comes close. I thoroughly enjoyed random song & dance breaks from people who I never thought would be involved in a musical, and the plot is very much typical Allen fodder. Most of the songs in this are classic jazz standards and bring a light, fanciful touch to the story. Overall, an enchanting movie that really needs to be re-released on DVD since it's so impossible to find! 4 stars.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Halloween (1978)

Ah, the first of the slasher movies. Moments of this are extremely eerie and effective. The silent Michael Myers is terrifying, without rhyme or reason for what he's doing, and every scene where he shows up is terrifying. However, with the slasher movies come the stupid main actresses who apparently think it's a great idea to sit with their back to the killer and throw their weapon away because he MIGHT be dead. The dialogue for the film is hokey and contrived. It's much stronger when it's just Myers' silent hunt for his prey. 3 stars.