Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Stardate 60662.67 - Movie Reviews

I've watched a couple of movies recently, so here are some really quick reviews.

Night Watch (Nochnoy Dozor) is a Russian film based on a trilogy of books that was hugely popular in that country. This is a film that was shown here in NYC back in 2004 at a festival that Cheryl and I didn't make it to. No worries, I thought, it will be released on DVD any day. Two years later, I finally got to see it. Despite the cool trailer, I went in with low expectations due to the reviews. Overall, I liked the movie, especially since it didn't end as I expected it to end. There were lots and lots of things I just didn't get, which I expect are known to people who have read the books. The movie actually made me want to read the books, although I have not looked to see if they are available in English. While Cheryl could read them in the original Russian, I cannot. Cheryl fell asleep part way into this (it had been a long couple of days with Loren not sleeping well) and after I stayed up to watch it to the end she said to go ahead and send it back. So it only has one thumb to measure it, and I give it a thumbs up. I'm not sure I'd recommend it to anyone, however, as you have to really, really pay attention (it is subtitled for the dialog, although the voice-overs at the start and end are in English). Also it is a bit odd and like I said, if you didn't read the books there is a lot which just goes over your head.

Regardless, one thumb up (and one missing as Cheryl fell asleep).

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events was one I went into with very, very low expectations - again, due to the critical reviews. I read about 6 or so of the books, and while it is an interesting concept (and dark), after about 6 books you start to wonder how many more relatives will come and go while evil Count Olaf pursues the inheritance belonging to the three kids (they do get really repetitive). The movie is essentially the first 3 books, with one part out-of-order. While the ending has a bit of sunshine (literally), it still ends much as each book ends, with the children moving on to yet another relation. Regardless, I did like the movie and have to give it a thumbs-up. Jim Carry is a little over the top as Olaf (which I found annoying) but the children did a good job. Warning to parents - this is dark. I'm not really giving anything away to say it opens with the death of the children's parents in a fire and continues with several more deaths, including several attempts on the children. If watching a baby in a cage suspended several stories over the ground being threatened with dropping isn't what you want your kids to see, don't see this movie. These are not happy children and this is not a happy movie.

Regardless, one thumb up (and one missing as Cheryl didn't really like the books and wasn't interested in seeing the movies).



-s said...

The Limony Snicket preview on the Spongebob Movie DVD was enough of that one for me. It could just be that Jim Carrey is almost completely unwatchable for me.

Reel Fanatic said...

I liked Lemony Snicket quite a bit for an hour or so, but then was very ready for it to end .. I guess I had just reached Jim Carrey overload!

CAPT_Sawyer said...

As I mentioned, I felt that Jim Carrey was too over-the-top as Count Olaf. Olaf seemed to be more cruel than showman...I felt Carrey made him too "Jim-Carrey-ish" if you know what I mean.