Sunday, November 27, 2011

28 Days Later... (2002)

A very solid horror/thriller, whether you want to call it a zombie movie or not. Right from the opening, it does a great job of building an extremely creepy atmosphere, while moving the story along enough to keep it from feeling like just an atmosphere movie. There are so many great moments where I found myself holding my breath, just hoping the protagonists would make it out okay. Very, very nicely done. 4 stars. Maybe 4.5 after another viewing someday.

Best Part: The early scenes of Cillian Murphy wandering the empty streets are absolutely haunting and stunningly beautiful.
Worst Part: (Spoilers.) The very final fight in the bunker was difficult for me to visually follow. I had trouble setting all the different soldiers apart and figuring out who was who. It made the climactic ending somewhat frustrating for me.
FlickChart: #303, below The Gods Must Be Crazy and above An Education.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Paul (2011)

Whenever I watch movies like this, I come away thinking, "Man, I enjoy being part of the nerd community." It's a pretty entertaining story anyway, but for those of us who are the kind of people who would actually love to go to Comic-Con (some day I'll have the money and it'll happen), this movie is well worth the watch. It's filled with tributes to great sci-fi movies and is clearly made by people who love this kind of thing. So many movies about nerds are written about nerds rather than by nerds and come off as being a little condescending. Not Paul. It's not a fantastic movie - there are a few moments that just don't work - but it left me with a sort of warm fuzzy feeling. I suspect this is how I as a girl am supposed to feel after watching romantic comedies. :-) 4 stars.

Best Part: "Boring conversation anyway." Nod to one of my favorite Star Wars moments.
Worst Part: It took a lot longer than I'd have liked to adjust to stop hearing Seth Rogen in my head and start hearing the character. It eventually happened, but it was distracting for the first half of the movie or so.
FlickChart: #526, below Good Will Hunting and above I Heart Huckabees.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Soultaker (1990)

This movie is silly and cliched and the writer/lead actress can neither write nor act worth anything. However, that being said, there was a moment or two that could have worked if done by someone with talent. I'm kind of a sucker for stories about evil villains falling in love, and so I did kind of enjoy the plot point about the soultaker's sudden interest in the heroine, but every time I felt like it was maybe heading toward something potentially entertaining, it then hit a clunker of a line or an awkward acting moment and reminded me that, nope, this movie is sucky. 1 star.

Best Part: Like I said, as cliched as it is, I kind of enjoyed the evil-bad-guy-has-feelings-for-heroine subplot. Added a slight twist to the story. (Watching an MST3K version of the movie didn't hurt matters either, but I wanted to make sure and address the actual movie itself.)
Worst Part: Basically anything with that main girl in it.
FlickChart: #1432, below Stepsister From Planet Weird but above Flywheel. Pretty sure Flywheel is too high up on this list.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Small Time Crooks (2000)

This is not one of Woody Allen's shining moments, but it isn't one of his absolute clunkers either. (Although, as a biased superfan, there are only 2, maybe 3 movies I'd put in that category anyway.) I enjoyed the movie as I was watching it, but now as I think back on it, I have great difficulty actually remembering it. It's very pleasant, never stellar. Glad I saw it but wouldn't really recommend it to anyone unless they're already a fan of his. 2.5 stars.

Best Part: I laughed out loud at, "My husband, Otto, was dyslexic, and the only thing he could spell was his own name."
Worst Part: It was a little disconcerting to me when the part about them being criminals was abandoned 30 minutes in and not picked up again until the very end. Pretty meander-y there.
FlickChart: #677, below Over the Hedge and above The Witches of Eastwick.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Mickey Blue Eyes (1999)

I wish this movie made sense. It starts off kind of promising, with Hugh Grant playing his typical likable-but-fairly-inept good guy, and I smiled a lot in the first 15-20 minutes or so. But as soon as the girl's family enters the picture, the jokes get cliched and unfunny. If that wasn't bad enough, the story also unravels pretty quickly and by the end I was just left going, "Huh?" Definitely not worth the watch. 1 star.

Best Part: I thought "The La Trattoria" was pretty funny. Would've been funnier if they didn't have to explain it, but the idea of a restaurant named that just tickled me.
Worst Part: The final scene where he explains everything to his girlfriend is utter nonsense. It's as if the screenwriters suddenly remembered they'd forgotten to explain, ya know, any of that, and thought, "Crap, we only have a page left to do that... Well, uh, maybe if he just gives his lame excuse really fast? And she just believes him for no reason? Yeah, that'll work."
FlickChart: #1329, above Bus Stop and below Chicken Little.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Maurice (1987)

I've never read the novel but I can't say this movie inspired me to do so. It's long and meandering, I never got a very strong sense of any of the characters, and the ending just didn't work for me at all. There were one or two very moving moments (the last shot of Clive looking out the window especially struck me) but overall, nothing really connected with me. I just find myself struggling to remember it. 2 stars.

Best Part: Hey, that's li'l Rupert Graves (a.k.a. Lestrade from the new BBC Sherlock series) as Alec Scudder! I love when I see people from my favorite shows elsewhere.
Worst Part: Nothing stands out as being particularly bad, it was just uninteresting.
FlickChart: #1021, below Hans Christian Andersen and above Ocean's Twelve.